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The Best Oscar-Winning Scores

Updated July 27, 2020 9.8k votes 685 voters 36.4k views127 items

List RulesVote up the best film scores that have won an Oscar for Best Score

What is best Oscar-winning musical film score? This list includes every film score that has won an Academy Award. Oscar-winning scores have come from films such as “Chariots of Fire,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s," “The Sound of Music,” and “The Lion King.” The award for Best Score was first awarded in 1934 at the 7th Academy Awards.

Movies have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we see on screen. The best of these movies are bestowed with an Academy Award nomination, and those that are truly the best take home the Oscar.

Film scores have the ability to enhance these feelings in films. They often make the movie more emotional, intense, suspenseful, or gut-wrenching. The score tells us, as viewers, what to feel and when to feel it. These best Oscar-winning film scores have done this the best. They are moving, saddening, or comical. Vote up the best Academy Award-winning scores below - based on the quality of the score, not just the quality of the film.
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  • 26
    Life Is Beautiful
    46
    31

    Life Is Beautiful

    Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz

    Released1997

    Directed byRoberto Benigni

    Nicola Piovani

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  • 27
    My Fair Lady
    51
    37

    My Fair Lady

    Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison

    Released1964

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    Andre Previn
  • 28
    Gigi
    43
    29

    Gigi

    Eva Gabor, Leslie Caron

    Released1958

    Directed byVincente Minnelli

    Andre Previn
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  • 29
    The Sting
    53
    42

    The Sting

    Paul Newman, Robert Redford

    Released1973

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    Marvin Hamlisch
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  • 30
    Pocahontas
    54
    43

    Pocahontas

    Mel Gibson, Christian Bale

    Released1995

    Directed byEric Goldberg, Mike Gabriel

    Alan Menken
  • 31
    Oklahoma!
    45
    33

    Oklahoma!

    Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger

    Released1955

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

    Robert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton, Adolph Deutsch
  • 32
    Easter Parade
    38
    25

    Easter Parade

    Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland

    Released1948

    Directed byCharles Walters

    Johnny Green, Roger Edens
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  • 33
    Atonement
    41
    30

    Atonement

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2007

    Directed byJoe Wright

    Dario Marianelli
  • 34
    With a Song in My Heart
    39
    28

    With a Song in My Heart

    Robert Wagner, Susan Hayward

    Released1952

    Directed byWalter Lang

    Alfred Newman
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  • 35
    Ben-Hur
    42
    32

    Ben-Hur

    Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Miklos Rozsa
  • 36
    Anchors Aweigh
    38
    27

    Anchors Aweigh

    Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly

    Released1945

    Directed byGeorge Sidney

    Georgie Stoll
  • 37
    The Great Gatsby
    40
    30

    The Great Gatsby

    Robert Redford, Mia Farrow

    Released1974

    Directed byJack Clayton

    Nelson Riddle
  • 38
    The Song of Bernadette
    36
    26

    The Song of Bernadette

    Vincent Price, Jennifer Jones

    Released1943

    Directed byHenry King

    Aflfred Newman

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  • 39
    Doctor Zhivago
    56
    50

    Doctor Zhivago

    Omar Sharif, Julie Christie

    Released1965

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Maurice Jarre
  • 40
    The Old Man and the Sea
    38
    29

    The Old Man and the Sea

    Spencer Tracy, Tony Rosato

    Released1958

    Directed byHenry King, Fred Zinnemann, John Sturges

    Dimitri Tiomkin
  • 41
    Tom Jones
    32
    23

    Tom Jones

    Albert Finney, Lynn Redgrave

    Released1963

    Directed byTony Richardson

    John Addison

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  • 42
    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    41
    34

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Malcom Arnold

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  • 43
    Thoroughly Modern Millie
    33
    25

    Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore

    Released1967

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    Elmer Bernstein
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  • 44
    Frida
    36
    29

    Frida

    Salma Hayek, Edward Norton

    Released2002

    Directed byJulie Taymor

    Elliot Goldenthal

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  • 45
    Spellbound
    32
    24

    Spellbound

    Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck

    Released1945

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Miklos Rozsa

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  • 46
    Dumbo
    48
    45

    Dumbo

    Sterling Holloway, Cliff Edwards

    Released1941

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Samuel Armstrong, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen, Norm Ferguson

    Frank Churchill, Oliver Wallace

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  • 47
    Pinocchio
    45
    43

    Pinocchio

    Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards

    Released1940

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, T. Hee, Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen

    Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith
  • 48
    Emma
    31
    25

    Emma

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor

    Released1996

    Directed byDouglas McGrath

    Rachel Portman
  • 49
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    38
    35

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    Paul Newman, Robert Redford

    Released1969

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    Burt Bacharach

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    #10 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#15 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 50
    Out of Africa
    38
    35

    Out of Africa

    Meryl Streep, Robert Redford

    Released1985

    Directed bySydney Pollack

    John Barry

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