Entertainment

The Greatest Film Scores of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules "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?
 
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26
Indiana Jones and the Last Cru... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more
27
Batman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton
Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character. The Dark Knight of Gotham City (Michael Keaton) begins his war on crime with his first major ...more
28
The Lord of the Rings: The Fel... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
TobuscusHolmes added Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the first ...more
29
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more
30
The Pink Panther is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
CraigAlarm added Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven
The Pink Panther is a 1963 Technicolor American comedy film filmed in 70mm Super Technirama directed by Blake Edwards and co-written by Edwards and Maurice Richlin, starring David Niven, Peter ...more
31
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young
Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more
32
Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm
Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of ...more
33
Once Upon a Time in the West is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
sid_cassal added Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson
Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian/American epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone for Paramount Pictures. It stars Henry Fonda cast against type as the villain, ...more
34
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more
35
The Lord of the Rings: The Ret... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
DeannaChurch added Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is ...more
36
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more
37
Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock
Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D'entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was ...more
38
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more
39
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson
Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. After training with his mentor (Liam Neeson), Batman (Christian Bale) begins his fight to ...more
40
The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver
The Phantom of the Opera is a 2004 British film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical of the same name, which in turn is based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra ...more
41
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall
Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film ...more
42
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
CraigAlarm added William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a 1979 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the first film based on Star Trek, the first Star Trek film to star the original cast ...more
43
The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
iplay2 added Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway ...more
44
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss
The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more
45
How to Train Your Dragon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
ChristopherShan added Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, David Tennant
How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated action-fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the British book series of the same name by Cressida Cowell. The ...more
46
The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more
47
The Dark Knight Rises is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
SoumyaKanti added Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman
Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard
The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman (Christian Bale), with the ...more
48
Star Wars Episode I: The Phant... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Ernest Gundel added Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Ewan McGregor
(32 Years Before Episode IV) Stranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescuing young Queen Amidala from the impending invasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master ...more
49
The Sting is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
CraigAlarm added Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters to con a mob boss. The film was directed by George Roy Hill, who had ...more
50
The Nightmare Before Christmas is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D is a 2006 3D version of the 1993 film of the same title directed by Henry Selick and written by Caroline Thompson.