Image the shower scene in Psycho without Bernard Herrmann’s screeching strings, or any of the danger scenes in Jaws where John Williams’ two-note "dunn-dunn" terrified movie spectators before they even set sights on the monstrous great white? Believe it or not, there are some directors who choose to make their films without a musical score. And it’s not just art directors seeking to subvert the codes of traditional cinema. Here are the best movies with no soundtrack.
What role does music actually have in telling a narrative film story? It certainly sets the tone and cues film audiences into what may be coming next. However, some filmmakers eschew the soundtrack in order to let their images do the talking, or to create an air of filmic truth. For example, in order to add a sense of realism, Alfred Hitchcock skips the soundtrack in his crime thriller Rope because the movie’s events unfold in a (seemingly) uninterrupted long take in real time.
Chances are you probably never noticed that these movies without a score did not have any music that existed outside the world of the film. But now that you’ve been enlightened, let us know which are your favorite movies without music by voting thumbs up or thumbs down in our list below.