Awards The Best Oscar-Winning Scores  

Ranker Film
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List Rules Vote 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.
list ordered by

166 70
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Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
John Williams 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

175 78
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Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick
Hans Zimmer 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

164 75
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Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
Howard Shore 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

203 103
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates
James Horner Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of what happened to the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

121 55
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Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider
John Williams 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

124 62
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Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan
Herbert Stothart The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more

121 61
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Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
Howard Shore 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

102 48
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Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
John Williams 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

93 42
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Angela Lansbury, Frank Welker, Jerry Orbach
Alan Menken Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 30th film in the Walt Disney ...more

112 57
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Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Irwin Kostal 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

102 50
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Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall
Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. ...more

99 53
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Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elsa Lanchester
Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill ...more

95 50
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Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll
Alan Menken The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the Danish fairy tale by Hans ...more

82 40
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Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, John Astin
Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin, Irwin Kostal West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn ...more

84 49
Up is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman
Michael Giacchino 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

86 53
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Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Rooney, Mel Blanc
Henry Mancini Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 American romantic comedy film starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, and featuring Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and Mickey Rooney. The film ...more

75 49
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Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm
Vangelis 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

69 45
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Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger
John Williams 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

56 40
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Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Marvin Hamlisch 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

61 46
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Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket
John Barry 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

59 44
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Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness
Maurice Jarre 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. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the ...more

56 43
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Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Alec Guinness
Maurice Jarre Doctor Zhivago is a British-American 1965 epic drama–romance film directed by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. It is set in Russia between the years prior to WWI, and is ...more

47 37
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Sterling Holloway, Cliff Edwards, Verna Felton
Frank Churchill, Oliver Wallace Dumbo is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and premiered on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures. Sound was recorded conventionally using the RCA System. One voice ...more

46 37
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Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey
Ralph Burns Cabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous ...more

46 37
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Mel Gibson, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly
Alan Menken Pocahontas is a 1995 American animated musical romantic-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 33rd film in the Walt Disney Animated ...more