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The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

Updated January 8, 2020 209.4k votes 23.5k voters 533.4k views557 items

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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  • 1
    Forrest Gump
    3,805
    1,734

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 2
    Star Wars
    5,427
    3,833

    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

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  • 3
    The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
    2,883
    2,181

    The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    Braveheart
    1,728
    1,102

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

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  • 5
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    1,600
    1,093

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 6
    Jurassic Park
    3,368
    2,009

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 7
    Gladiator
    2,245
    1,347

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 8
    The Lion King
    2,667
    1,620

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

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  • 9
    Rocky
    2,150
    1,558

    Rocky

    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

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  • 10
    Schindlers List
    1,747
    1,205

    Schindlers List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    1,137
    675

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
    3,357
    2,297

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    The Last of the Mohicans
    1,429
    779

    The Last of the Mohicans

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Mann

    Randy Eldermann
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  • 14
    The Dark Knight
    2,197
    1,225

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 15
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    2,454
    1,746

    Released2003

    Directed byGore Verbinski

    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 16
    Chariots of Fire
    940
    706

    Chariots of Fire

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh

    Released1981

    Directed byHugh Hudson

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  • 17
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    2,151
    1,131

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

    The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 18
    Titanic
    1,776
    1,356

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 19
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
    2,267
    1,578

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe

    Released2001

    Directed byChris Columbus

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (released in the United States, India and Pakistan as... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    The Sound of Music
    786
    576

    The Sound of Music

    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

    Released1965

    Directed byRobert Wise

    The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    1,466
    910

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 22
    Jaws
    2,345
    1,667

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 23
    The Godfather
    2,614
    2,005

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 24
    Psycho
    1,062
    858

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

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  • 25
    The Wizard of Oz
    499
    372

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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