11,490 votes 1,007 voters 15,140 views 209 items tags f p @

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.

The Greatest Movie Themes Films
  • 21 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options
B Comments
& Embed
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 409
    - 51

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

    ; watch now
  2. 2
    + 302
    - 57


    Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen

    ;
  3. 3
    + 288
    - 61


    Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans Surendran, Raghu

    ; buy at  
  4. 4
    + 246
    - 71


    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

    ;
  5. 5
    + 221
    - 51


    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider

    ;
  6. 6
    + 199
    - 44


    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

    ;
  7. 7
    + 237
    - 76


    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

    ;
  8. 8
    + 184
    - 73


    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

    ;
  9. 9
    + 167
    - 65


    Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong

    ;
  10. 10
    + 180
    - 69


    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

    ;
  11. 11
    + 182
    - 83


    Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

    ; watch now
  12. 12
    + 160
    - 51


    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

    ; watch now
  13. 13
    + 175
    - 55


    Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave

    ;
  14. 14
    + 150
    - 71


    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  15. 15
    + 154
    - 58
    ; buy at  
  16. 16
    + 168
    - 56
    ; buy at  
  17. 17
    + 120
    - 55


    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough

    ; watch now
  18. 18
    + 116
    - 62


    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  19. 19
    + 82
    - 41


    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

    ;
  20. 20
    + 111
    - 60


    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

    ;
  21. 21
    + 111
    - 68


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

    ;
  22. 22
    + 102
    - 56


    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

    ;
  23. 23
    + 93
    - 55


    Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

    ; watch now
  24. 24
    + 87
    - 58


    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

    ; buy at  
  25. 25
    + 89
    - 56


    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

    ;
  26. 26
    + 83
    - 54


    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  27. 27
    + 69
    - 52


    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  28. 28
    + 76
    - 49


    Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn

    ;
  29. 29
    + 76
    - 52


    Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

    ;
  30. 30
    + 55
    - 38

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

    ;
  31. 31
    + 45
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks & added by CraigAlarm
    John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

    ;
  32. 32
    + 48
    - 14

    ranked low on reranks
    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

    ; watch now
  33. 33
    + 69
    - 47


    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

    ;
  34. 34
    + 45
    - 14

    ranked low on reranks
    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

    ; watch now
  35. 35
    + 50
    - 36


    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

    ;
  36. 36
    + 67
    - 37


    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

    ; watch now
  37. 37
    + 68
    - 53


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton

    ;
  38. 38
    + 60
    - 53


    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

    ;
  39. 39
    + 64
    - 50


    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

    ;
  40. 40
    + 52
    - 55

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

    ; watch now
  41. 41
    + 50
    - 47


    Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    ;
  42. 42
    + 34
    - 8

    ranked low on reranks & added by slaft
    John Travolta, Fran Drescher, Denny Dillon

    ;
  43. 43
    + 26
    - 13

    added by CraigAlarm
    Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall

    ;
  44. 44
    + 51
    - 51


    Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  45. 45
    + 30
    - 7

    ranked low on reranks & added by slaft
    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker

    ;
  46. 46
    + 44
    - 53

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

    ;
  47. 47
    + 38
    - 24


    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

    ; watch now
  48. 48
    + 50
    - 32


    20th Century Fox Fanfare

    buy at  
  49. 49
    + 22
    - 14

    added by CraigAlarm
    Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones

    ; watch now
  50. 50
    + 42
    - 45


    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

    ;
210 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >