The Greatest Movie Themes Films
Ultimate List
76  items 2,894 votes 217 voters 5,133 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.
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  1. 54
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    often listed Emma Stone, Sally Field, Martin Sheen

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  2. 8
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    Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  3. 53
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    Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper, Lee Van Cleef

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  4. 9
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    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw

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  5. 68
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    added by dee123 Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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  6. 41
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    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

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  7. 35
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    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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  8. 58
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    Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård

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  9. 57
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    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin

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  10. 46
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    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

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  11. 7
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    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern

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  12. 19
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    Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave

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  13. 42
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    Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

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  14. 5
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    Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

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  15. 73
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    added by dee123 Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  16. 44
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    Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Jeffrey Jones

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  17. 76
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    added by WarrenMitchell Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin

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  18. 43
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    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

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  19. 11
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    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  20. 49
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    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins

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  21. 24
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Bill Paxton

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  22. 1
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    the people's #1 Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  23. 71
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    added by Richard777 David Greenan, Myrna Matthews, Dirk Benedict

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  24. 25
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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  25. 16
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    ranked low on reranks Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

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  26. 51
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, James Cameron

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  27. 13
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

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  28. 39
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    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

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  29. 61
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    Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson

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  30. 45
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    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

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  31. 27
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    Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

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  32. 50
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    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

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  33. 18
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

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  34. 48
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

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  35. 65
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    added by RonnCunningham Kirk Douglas, Gus Mercurio, Jack Thompson

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  36. 70
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    added by Richard777 Kirk Douglas, Daryl Hannah, Jim Belushi

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  37. 21
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    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris

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  38. 33
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    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

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  39. 56
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    Frank Welker, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto

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  40. 66
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    added by dee123 Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

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  41. 2
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    most listed Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Frank Welker

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  42. 59
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    Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley

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  43. 30
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    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

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  44. 3
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    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

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  45. 67
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    added by dee123 Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein

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  46. 17
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    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

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  47. 14
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    often listed Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Robert MacNaughton

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  48. 55
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    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

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  49. 47
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    Sylvester Stallone, David Caruso, Brian Dennehy

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  50. 28
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    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

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  51. 77 +

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