The Greatest Movie Themes Films
Ultimate List
76  items 2,899 votes 218 voters 5,182 views more info

The Greatest Movie Themes

List Criteria: Theme music for films

A memorable movie theme song is an underrated crucial element that helps turn a great movie into an iconic one. At its core, a movie score is supposed to capture the mood and set the tone of what's going on in a particular scene. But the theme song if done right, can be as iconic as the film itself. Many film score composers set out to write a theme that fully encapsulates what a film is going for, but only a handful have become the greatest.

Perhaps the most famous film composer is John Williams, who is well represented on this list. Williams is the musical mind behind some of the greatest movie themes like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Superman, Jaws and the Star Wars movies. These film scores are as memorable and iconic as the films.

Great movie themes are often instrumentals that when played, can be easily recognized. Themes from Rocky, Batman, The Godfather franchise, 2001: A Space Odyssey, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Psycho are among the most recognizable songs and have long since established their place in pop culture. You can hear these songs on commercials and often times at sporting events as well.

The key element to remember as you vote on your favorite theme song is that we are only voting on the theme, not the entire score or soundtrack. This is the Ultimate List specifically for theme songs, so vote on what you think is the greatest movie them of all time. If you think a movie theme is missing, feel free to add it.

To vote on the movies with the best "mix tape" style soundtracks, not scores, check out Movies with the Best Soundtracks. For best all-around sound, vote on The Greatest Soundtracks in Film History.
  • 7 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 76
    Up 2
    Down 3

    added by WarrenMitchell Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin

    open
  2. 75
    Up 2
    Down 3

    added by Kaloy

    open
  3. 74
    Up 3
    Down 4

    added by WarrenMitchell Halle Berry, Elizabeth Taylor, Rosie O'Donnell

    open
  4. 73
    Up 1
    Down 1

    added by dee123 Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    open
  5. 72
    Up 2
    Down 2

    added by wiabux

    open
  6. 71
    Up 1
    Down 0

    added by Richard777 David Greenan, Myrna Matthews, Dirk Benedict

    open
  7. 70
    Up 1
    Down 0

    added by Richard777 Kirk Douglas, Daryl Hannah, Jim Belushi

    open
  8. 69
    Up 1
    Down 0

    new! & added by Richard777 Peter Fonda, Yul Brynner, Blythe Danner

    open
  9. 68
    Up 2
    Down 1

    added by dee123 Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

    open
  10. 67
    Up 2
    Down 1

    added by dee123 Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein

    open
  11. 66
    Up 2
    Down 0

    added by dee123 Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

    open
  12. 65
    Up 3
    Down 1

    added by RonnCunningham Kirk Douglas, Gus Mercurio, Jack Thompson

    open
  13. 64
    Up 2
    Down 3

    Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons

    open
  14. 63
    Up 3
    Down 6

    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

    open
  15. 62
    Up 3
    Down 4

    Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen

    open
  16. 61
    Up 5
    Down 3

    Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson

    open
  17. 60
    Up 15
    Down 6

    ranked low on reranks 20th Century Fox Fanfare

    open
  18. 59
    Up 6
    Down 16

    Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley

    open
  19. 58
    Up 1
    Down 4

    Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård

    open
  20. 57
    Up 2
    Down 3

    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin

    open
  21. 56
    Up 15
    Down 14

    Frank Welker, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto

    open
  22. 55
    Up 6
    Down 2

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

    open
  23. 54
    Up 4
    Down 14

    often listed Emma Stone, Sally Field, Martin Sheen

    open
  24. 53
    Up 6
    Down 2

    Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper, Lee Van Cleef

    open
  25. 52
    Up 3
    Down 11

    often listed Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau

    open
  26. 51
    Up 19
    Down 20

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, James Cameron

    open
  27. 50
    Up 9
    Down 8

    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

    open
  28. 49
    Up 16
    Down 8

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins

    open
  29. 48
    Up 12
    Down 9

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

    open
  30. 47
    Up 12
    Down 8

    Sylvester Stallone, David Caruso, Brian Dennehy

    open
  31. 46
    Up 17
    Down 15

    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

    open
  32. 45
    Up 18
    Down 15

    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

    open
  33. 44
    Up 18
    Down 16

    Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Jeffrey Jones

    open
  34. 43
    Up 20
    Down 15

    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

    open
  35. 42
    Up 15
    Down 10

    Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

    open
  36. 41
    Up 29
    Down 17

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

    open
  37. 40
    Up 12
    Down 17

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

    open
  38. 39
    Up 17
    Down 11

    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

    open
  39. 38
    Up 24
    Down 14

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

    open
  40. 37
    Up 18
    Down 15

    Alex Van Halen, Leeza Gibbons, Peter Weller

    open
  41. 36
    Up 34
    Down 20

    ranked low on reranks Emma Watson, Julianne Hough, Daniel Radcliffe

    open
  42. 35
    Up 14
    Down 13

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

    open
  43. 34
    Up 21
    Down 22

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

    open
  44. 33
    Up 22
    Down 7

    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

    open
  45. 32
    Up 17
    Down 16

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

    open
  46. 31
    Up 37
    Down 24

    open
  47. 30
    Up 17
    Down 9

    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

    open
  48. 29
    Up 55
    Down 20
    open
  49. 28
    Up 24
    Down 15

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

    open
  50. 27
    Up 32
    Down 21

    Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

    open
  51. 77 +

    Something missing? Add it!

items 1 - 50 of 76

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists