oscars The Best Oscar-Winning Scores  

Ranker Film
6.8k votes 393 voters 28.4k views 125 items Embed

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

1
158 69
Ranker Video
Titanic 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 the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

The Greatest Film Scores of All Time The Best Nissans of All Time

2
110 41
Ranker Video
Star Wars 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

3
115 45
Ranker Video
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 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

4
129 55
Ranker Video
The Lion King 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

5
90 36
Ranker Video
Jaws 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

6
100 44
Ranker Video
The Wizard of Oz 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

7
90 39
Ranker Video
The Sound of Music 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

8
80 33
Ranker Video
The Godfather Part II 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

9
78 32
Ranker Video
Schindler's List 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

10
89 41
Ranker Video
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 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

11
70 29
Ranker Video
Beauty and the Beast 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

12
77 36
Ranker Video
The Little Mermaid 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

13
81 40
Ranker Video
Mary Poppins 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

14
66 31
Up is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
Up 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

15
63 29
Ranker Video
West Side Story 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

The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

16
70 36
Ranker Video
Breakfast at Tiffany's 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

17
57 33
Ranker Video
Chariots of Fire 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

18
52 29
Ranker Video
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 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

19
47 27
Ranker Video
The Sting 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

20
50 30
Ranker Video
Dances with Wolves 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

21
49 30
Ranker Video
Lawrence of Arabia 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 through his British company, Horizon ...more

22
46 28
Ranker Video
Doctor Zhivago 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 World War I and ...more

23
40 25
Ranker Video
Cabaret 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

24
49 34
Ranker Video
Life of Pi Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu Mychael Danna Life of Pi is a 2012 adventure film written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee.

25
38 24
Ranker Video
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat Tan Dun Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han actors, ...more

26
38 25
Ranker Video
Pocahontas 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

27
37 25
Ranker Video
High Noon Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper, Lee Van Cleef Dimitri Tiomkin High Noon is a 1952 American Western film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gary Cooper. In nearly real time, the film tells the story of a town marshal forced to face a gang of killers by ...more

28
40 29
Ranker Video
Pinocchio Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards, Frankie Darro Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the Italian children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It was the ...more

29
36 25
Ranker Video
Dumbo 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

The Best-Ever Oscar Winners for Best Original Song Inexcusable Dating Dealbreakers (from a Woman's Viewpoint)

30
42 33
Ranker Video
The King and I Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno Alfred Newman, Ken Darby The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the ...more

31
43 37
Ranker Video
Brokeback Mountain Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Mara Gustavo Santaolalla Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 American epic romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx; the screenplay was written ...more

32
33 26
Ranker Video
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Cloris Leachman Burt Bacharach Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 American Western film directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman. Based loosely on fact, the film tells the story of Wild West ...more

33
38 32
Ranker Video
Fiddler on the Roof Paul Michael Glaser, Chaim Topol, Molly Picon John Williams Fiddler on the Roof is a 1971 American musical comedy-drama film produced and directed by Norman Jewison. It is an adaptation of the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name, with music composed ...more

34
33 27
Ranker Video
The Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins Malcom Arnold The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 World War II epic film directed by David Lean, based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai by Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but ...more

35
26 20
Ranker Video
Ben-Hur Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith Miklos Rozsa Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh ...more

36
29 24
Ranker Video
My Fair Lady Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Jeremy Brett Andre Previn My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical of the same name based on the 1938 film adaptation of the original 1913 stage play Pygmalion by ...more

37
25 20
Ranker Video
The Lion in Winter Anthony Hopkins, Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole John Barry The Lion in Winter is a 1968 historical drama film made by Avco Embassy Pictures, based on the Broadway play by James Goldman. It was directed by Anthony Harvey and produced by Joseph E. Levine ...more

38
29 26
Ranker Video
Oklahoma! Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger, Eddie Albert Robert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton, Adolph Deutsch Oklahoma! is a 1955 musical film based on the 1943 stage musical Oklahoma!, written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II and starring Gordon MacRae, Shirley ...more

39
25 24
Ranker Video
Exodus Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb Ernest Gold Exodus is a 1960 epic war film made by Alpha and Carlyle Productions and distributed by United Artists. Produced and directed by Otto Preminger, the film was based on the 1958 novel Exodus, by ...more

40
24 23
Ranker Video
An American in Paris Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Nina Foch Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin An American in Paris is a 1951 American musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary, and ...more

41
28 28
Ranker Video
Out of Africa Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Iman Abdulmajid John Barry Out of Africa is a 1985 American epic romantic drama film directed and produced by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The film is based loosely on the autobiographical ...more

42
23 22
Ranker Video
The Omen Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner Jerry Goldsmith The Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Spencer Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick ...more

43
32 33
Ranker Video
Gravity Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris Steven Price Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, and sees them stranded in ...more

The Very Best Oscar Winning Performances The Best New Fall TV Shows in 2015

44
29 30
Ranker Video
Yankee Doodle Dandy James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston Ray Heindorf, Heinz Roemheld Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owned Broadway". It stars James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and ...more

45
36 39
Ranker Video
Slumdog Millionaire Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan A. R. Rahman Slumdog Millionaire is a 2009 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. It was co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an ...more

46
29 31
Ranker Video
Born Free Geoffrey Keen, Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna John Barry Born Free is a 1966 Technicolor British drama film starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers as Joy and George Adamson, a real-life couple who raised Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned lion cub, to ...more

47
33 36
Ranker Video
The Way We Were Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, James Woods Marvin Hamlisch The Way We Were is a 1973 American romantic drama film, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, and directed by Sydney Pollack. The screenplay by Arthur Laurents was based on his college ...more

48
24 25
Ranker Video
The Music Man Ron Howard, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett Ray Heindorf The Music Man is a 1962 musical film starring Robert Preston as Harold Hill and Shirley Jones as Marian Paroo. The film is based on the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name by Meredith ...more

49
23 24
Ranker Video
The Last Emperor Peter O'Toole, Joan Chen, Vivian Wu Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, Cong Su The Last Emperor is a 1987 biographical film about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo ...more

50
30 33
Ranker Video
Love Story Tommy Lee Jones, Ray Milland, Ryan O'Neal Francis Lai Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama film written by Erich Segal, who also authored the best-selling novel of the same name. It was directed by Arthur Hiller and starred Ryan O'Neal, Ali MacGraw, ...more