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.
Directed by: Sergio LeoneThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by... more
Directed by: George LucasStar Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The... more
Directed by: Francis Ford CoppolaThe Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the... more
Directed by: Blake EdwardsThe Pink Panther is a 1963 Technicolor American comedy film filmed in 70mm Super Technirama... more
Directed by: Brian De PalmaMission: Impossible is a 1996 American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, based on... more
Directed by: Hugh HudsonChariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two... more
Directed by: Robert ZemeckisBack to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty... more
Directed by: Stanley Donen, Gene KellySingin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley... more
Released: 1962 - Present
Directed by: Terence Young, Guy Hamilton, Lewis Gilbert, Sam Mendes, Peter R. HuntThe James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character... more
Directed by: Rob Minkoff, Roger AllersThe Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature... more
Directed by: Ivan ReitmanGhostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan... more
Directed by: Chris ColumbusHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (released in the United States, India and Pakistan as... more
Directed by: Richard DonnerSuperman is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics... more
Directed by: Gore VerbinskiPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler... more
Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, T. Hee, Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, Ben SharpsteenPinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergRaiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The... more
Directed by: Robert WiseThe Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergJurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg.... more
Directed by: James CameronTitanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A... more
Directed by: Peter JacksonThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergJaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter... more
Directed by: Ron Clements, John MuskerThe Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney... more
Directed by: John G. AvildsenRocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer... more
Directed by: David LeanLawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E.... more
Directed by: Alfred HitchcockPsycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an... more