soundtracks The Greatest Film Scores of All Time  

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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?
 
list ordered by

1
3,417 2,351
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Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill - Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

The Best Songs in the History of South Park The Best Tony Award Winning Musicals

2
3,526 2,219
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The Lord of the Rings trilogy The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The ...more

3
1,870 1,552
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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles respectively. ...more

4
2,132 1,890
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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen - Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more

5
1,651 1,478
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The Godfather Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall - The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as ...more

6
2,199 904
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Forrest Gump Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field - Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

7
1,158 1,217
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Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve - Superman is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, ...more

8
1,262 944
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Rocky Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith - Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an ...more

9
1,452 1,227
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Jaws Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider - Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

10
1,066 857
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CraigAlarm added Back to the Future Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson - Back to the Future is a 1985 American comic science fiction film. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, produced by Steven Spielberg, and stars Michael J. Fox, ...more

11
1,581 949
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The Lion King Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick - The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

12
1,956 1,171
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CraigAlarm added Jurassic Park Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough - Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more

13
1,756 1,277
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Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard - Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, ...more

14
981 587
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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

15
1,476 864
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Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen - Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

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16
1,272 628
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. ...more

17
827 729
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Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness - Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon ...more

18
1,357 629
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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks. It was directed by Gore ...more

19
1,121 535
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Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson - Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

20
933 263
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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill - The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

21
1,013 550
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Schindlers List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley - Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

22
1,078 630
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Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates - Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

23
1,337 887
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The Dark Knight Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman - The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of Nolan's Batman film ...more

24
1,132 737
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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 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

25
913 415
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Kosh105 added The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite - Randy Eldermann

26
704 525
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Psycho Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins - Psycho is a 1960 Psychological thriller and horror film written by Joseph Stefano and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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774 513
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CraigAlarm added The Pink Panther 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

28
724 381
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2001: A Space Odyssey 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

29
631 379
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Chariots of Fire 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

The Greatest Band Cameos In Movie History Things You Should Know How to Do Before You Turn 30

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881 768
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Batman Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton - Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first installment of Warner Bros.' ...more

31
604 301
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DuckNation added Interstellar Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon - Interstellar is a British-American 2014 science fiction epic film directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film ...more

32
516 448
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sid_cassal added Once Upon a Time in the West 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

33
533 444
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Terminator 2: Judgment Day 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

34
478 397
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The Phantom of the Opera 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

35
517 460
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Blade Runner 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

36
516 357
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Dances with Wolves 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

37
428 392
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Goldfinger 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

38
359 355
Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Vertigo 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

39
427 491
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CraigAlarm added Star Trek: The Motion Picture 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

40
456 376
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The Magnificent Seven Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn - The Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's ...more

41
550 424
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Batman Begins Katie Holmes, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman - Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman along with Michael ...more

42
378 246
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Gone with the Wind 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

43
624 457
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Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn - Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more

21 Most Annoyingly Over-Used Movie Trailer Songs The Best Golf Games of All Time

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489 470
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Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow - Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 sword and sorcery/adventure film directed and co-written by John Milius. It is based on stories by Robert E. Howard, a pulp fiction writer of the 1930s, about the ...more

45
397 399
The Nightmare Before Christmas is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Nightmare Before Christmas 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.

46
563 422
Up is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Up Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman - Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an ...more

47
393 499
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The Matrix 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

48
411 331
The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Shawshank Redemption 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

49
409 466
Edward Scissorhands is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Edward Scissorhands Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Vincent Price - Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 American romantic dark fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp. The film shows the story of an artificial man named Edward, an unfinished ...more

50
313 173
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iplay2 added The Sound of Music 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