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The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

Updated January 8, 2020 208.2k votes 23.2k voters 532.7k 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 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    3,503
    1,719

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 2
    Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    5,409
    3,660

    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

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  • 3
    The Good, The Bad & The Ugly is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,873
    2,163

    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 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,721
    1,076

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

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  • 5
    Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,243
    1,326

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • 6
    The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,664
    1,612

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

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  • 7
    Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    3,361
    1,986

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 8
    Rocky is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,146
    1,553

    Rocky

    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

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  • 9
    Schindlers List is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,745
    1,192

    Schindlers List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 10
    2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,136
    671

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

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  • 11
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,596
    1,070

    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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  • 12
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The  is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,440
    1,707

    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
  • 13
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empir is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,148
    1,055

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

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  • 14
    The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,420
    776

    The Last of the Mohicans

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Mann

    Randy Eldermann
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  • 15
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders  is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    3,349
    2,294

    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
  • 16
    Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    938
    702

    Chariots of Fire

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh

    Released1981

    Directed byHugh Hudson

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  • 17
    The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,193
    1,224

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 18
    The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    783
    573

    The Sound of Music

    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

    Released1965

    Directed byRobert Wise

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  • 19
    Titanic is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,773
    1,355

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

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  • 20
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer& is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,263
    1,575

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe

    Released2001

    Directed byChris Columbus

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  • 21
    Indiana Jones and the Last Cru is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,463
    908

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 22
    The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,607
    2,003

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

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  • 23
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    2,341
    1,665

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 24
    Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,671
    753

    Interstellar

    Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2014

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • 25
    Psycho is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
    1,057
    856

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

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