vote on everything
Watchworthy
681 voters

The Best Oscar-Winning Scores

Updated July 27, 2020 9.8k votes 681 voters 36.3k 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.
Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    195
    73

    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    John Williams

    More Star Wars 

    The Best Blasters in the 'Star Wars' Saga, RankedThe Most Hated Star Wars Villains

  • 2
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    142
    54

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    John Williams

    More Jaws 

    Behind The Scenes Of Every Death In ‘Jaws’Surprising Facts, Small Details, And Trivia Most People Don't Know About 'Jaws'

  • 3
    The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    178
    83

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

    Hans Zimmer

    More The Lion King 

    'The Lion King' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True#5 of 572 The Best Animated Films Ever

  • 4
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    173
    85

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    Howard Shore
  • 5
    Titanic is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    203
    112

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

    James Horner

    More Titanic 

    20 Small But Poignant Details From 'Titanic' That Make Us Never Want To Let Go#7 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 6
    The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    132
    62

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

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

    Herbert Stothart

    More The Wizard of Oz 

    The Original 'Wizard of Oz' Books Are Shockingly Violent Compared To The Judy Garland ClassicStrange Things You Definitely Didn't Know About 'The Wizard of Oz'

  • 7
    Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    104
    46

    Beauty and the Beast

    Angela Lansbury, Frank Welker

    Released1991

    Directed byGary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

    Alan Menken
  • 8
    The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    117
    58

    The Sound of Music

    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

    Released1965

    Directed byRobert Wise

    Irwin Kostal
  • 9
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    107
    52

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    John Williams
  • 10
    The Lord of the Rings: The Ret is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    126
    70

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    Howard Shore
  • 11
    West Side Story is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    92
    43

    West Side Story

    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno

    Released1961

    Directed byJerome Robbins, Robert Wise

    Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin, Irwin Kostal

    More West Side Story 

    Every Song in West Side Story, Ranked by SingabilityThe Behind-The-Scenes Of 'West Side Story' Was Plagued With More Hatred Than The Movie Itself

  • 12
    Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    100
    51

    Mary Poppins

    Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke

    Released1964

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman

    More Mary Poppins 

    Behind The Scenes, The Making Of 'Mary Poppins' Was Not As Magical As You'd ThinkEvery Song in Mary Poppins, Ranked by Singability

  • 13
    The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    97
    53

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    Alan Menken
  • 14
    The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    99
    54

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola
  • 15
    Up is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    87
    54

    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

    Michael Giacchino
  • 16
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    75
    46

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    John Williams

    More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'

  • 17
    Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    77
    49

    Chariots of Fire

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh

    Released1981

    Directed byHugh Hudson

    Vangelis

    More Chariots of Fire 

    #11 of 384 The Greatest Movie Themes#332 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 18
    Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    69
    43

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Maurice Jarre

    More Lawrence of Arabia 

    #10 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#9 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 19
    Breakfast at Tiffany's is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    79
    54

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Rooney

    Released1961

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    Henry Mancini
  • 20
    Finding Neverland is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    55
    31

    Finding Neverland

    Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet

    Released2004

    Directed byMarc Forster

    Jan A. P. Kaczmarek

    More Finding Neverland 

    #95 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books#143 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 21
    Around the World in 80 Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    54
    32

    Around the World in 80 Days

    Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine

    Released1956

    Directed byMichael Anderson

    Victor Young
  • 22
    The Best Years of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    48
    30

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright

    Released1946

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Hugo Friedhofer

    More The Best Years of Our Lives 

    #70 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time#46 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

  • 23
    The King and I is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    58
    41

    The King and I

    Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner

    Released1956

    Directed byWalter Lang

    Alfred Newman, Ken Darby

    More The King and I 

    #57 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#985 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 24
    Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    65
    50

    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

    John Barry
  • 25
    Fiddler on the Roof is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Scores
    58
    43

    Fiddler on the Roof

    Paul Michael Glaser, Chaim Topol

    Released1971

    Directed byNorman Jewison

    John Williams
FilmsMusicFilmSongsEntertainmenttop 100poll