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The Best Oscar-Winning Scores

Updated July 27, 2020 9.8k votes 684 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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  • 1
    Star Wars
    196
    73

    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    John Williams

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  • 2
    Jaws
    143
    54

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    John Williams

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  • 3
    The Lion King
    178
    83

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

    Hans Zimmer

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  • 4
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    173
    85

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    Howard Shore
  • 5
    Titanic
    204
    112

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

    James Horner

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  • 6
    The Wizard of Oz
    133
    62

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

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

    Herbert Stothart

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  • 7
    Beauty and the Beast
    106
    46

    Beauty and the Beast

    Angela Lansbury, Frank Welker

    Released1991

    Directed byGary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

    Alan Menken
  • 8
    The Sound of Music
    120
    58

    The Sound of Music

    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

    Released1965

    Directed byRobert Wise

    Irwin Kostal
  • 9
    Schindler's List
    111
    52

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    John Williams
  • 10
    West Side Story
    95
    43

    West Side Story

    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno

    Released1961

    Directed byJerome Robbins, Robert Wise

    Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin, Irwin Kostal

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  • 11
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    126
    70

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    Howard Shore
  • 12
    Mary Poppins
    100
    51

    Mary Poppins

    Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke

    Released1964

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman

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  • 13
    The Little Mermaid
    99
    53

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    Alan Menken
  • 14
    The Godfather Part II
    100
    54

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola
  • 15
    Up
    88
    54

    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

    Michael Giacchino
  • 16
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    76
    46

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    John Williams

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  • 17
    Chariots of Fire
    77
    49

    Chariots of Fire

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh

    Released1981

    Directed byHugh Hudson

    Vangelis

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  • 18
    Breakfast at Tiffany's
    80
    54

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Rooney

    Released1961

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    Henry Mancini

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  • 19
    Lawrence of Arabia
    69
    43

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Maurice Jarre

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  • 20
    Finding Neverland
    55
    31

    Finding Neverland

    Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet

    Released2004

    Directed byMarc Forster

    Jan A. P. Kaczmarek

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  • 21
    Around the World in 80 Days
    54
    32

    Around the World in 80 Days

    Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine

    Released1956

    Directed byMichael Anderson

    Victor Young

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  • 22
    The Best Years of Our Lives
    48
    30

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright

    Released1946

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Hugo Friedhofer

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  • 23
    The King and I
    58
    41

    The King and I

    Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner

    Released1956

    Directed byWalter Lang

    Alfred Newman, Ken Darby

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  • 24
    Fiddler on the Roof
    59
    43

    Fiddler on the Roof

    Paul Michael Glaser, Chaim Topol

    Released1971

    Directed byNorman Jewison

    John Williams

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  • 25
    Dances with Wolves
    65
    50

    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

    John Barry

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