The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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List Criteria: "Film score" refers to the instrumental background music that plays throughout the movie, not the soundtrack

This list contains greatest movie themes and scores ever recorded, chosen by the Ranker community. (NOTE: This list is for film SCORES, the instrumental music from movies. We also have a list of The Greatest Movie Soundtracks, designed for collections of songs taken from films.) These are the most iconic, memorable themes and collections of background music ever.

Film scores also include dialogue and special effects. This means you should rank the film scores on how important you think they were in delivering the atmosphere the film was trying to achieve?
 
  • 68 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2,478
    - 1,566

    most listed
    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  2. 2
    + 2,598
    - 1,515

    the people's #1

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  3. 3
    + 1,524
    - 1,325


    Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen

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  4. 4
    + 1,474
    - 539

    ranked low on reranks
    Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

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  5. 5
    + 1,462
    - 1,254

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong

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  6. 6
    + 1,327
    - 1,259


    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  7. 7
    + 1,158
    - 1,030


    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider

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  8. 8
    + 1,201
    - 769

    ranked low on reranks
    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick

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  9. 9
    + 1,563
    - 1,024

    added by CraigAlarm
    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

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  10. 10
    + 781
    - 682

    often listed & added by CraigAlarm
    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

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  11. 11
    + 1,358
    - 1,051


    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

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  12. 12
    + 877
    - 966

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

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  13. 13
    + 949
    - 439
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer&... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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

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  14. 14
    + 1,118
    - 721


    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

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  15. 15
    + 571
    - 384


    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

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  16. 16
    + 932
    - 755

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

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  17. 17
    + 653
    - 572

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

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  18. 18
    + 882
    - 398

    ranked low on reranks
    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  19. 19
    + 1,060
    - 720
    The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time


    Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman

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  20. 20
    + 776
    - 422


    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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  21. 21
    + 941
    - 645


    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix

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  22. 22
    + 1,019
    - 494

    ranked low on reranks
    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

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  23. 23
    + 815
    - 466

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates

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  24. 24
    + 726
    - 432


    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

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  25. 25
    + 571
    - 294


    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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  26. 26
    + 690
    - 298

    added by Kosh105
    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite Randy Eldermann

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  27. 27
    + 631
    - 172

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

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  28. 28
    + 616
    - 412

    added by CraigAlarm
    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

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  29. 29
    + 738
    - 654


    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

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  30. 30
    + 492
    - 281


    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

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  31. 31
    + 416
    - 339

    added by sid_cassal
    Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson

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  32. 32
    + 346
    - 301


    Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall

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  33. 33
    + 368
    - 292


    Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

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  34. 34
    + 397
    - 344


    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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  35. 35
    + 300
    - 170

    added by DuckNation
    Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon

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  36. 36
    + 352
    - 366

    often listed & added by CraigAlarm
    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

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  37. 37
    + 448
    - 287

    ranked low on reranks
    Katie Holmes, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman

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  38. 38
    + 393
    - 358

    often listed
    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

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  39. 39
    + 382
    - 265


    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket

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  40. 40
    + 368
    - 279
    The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time


    Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn

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  41. 41
    + 390
    - 270

    added by SoumyaKanti
    Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard

    ;
  42. 42
    + 356
    - 355


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

    ;
  43. 43
    + 504
    - 339


    Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

    ;
  44. 44
    + 340
    - 330


    Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Vincent Price

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  45. 45
    + 315
    - 275


    Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman

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  46. 46
    + 326
    - 384
    The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

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  47. 47
    + 270
    - 262


    James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock

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  48. 48
    + 443
    - 286

    ranked low on reranks
    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman

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  49. 49
    + 258
    - 157

    ranked low on reranks
    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland

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  50. 50
    + 226
    - 214

    added by ender34
    Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons Ennio Morricone 

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451 +

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