Entertainment

The Best Movies Without Soundtracks  

Ranker Film
78 votes 10 voters 17 items

List Rules Only films with no musical score.

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.   

list ordered by
1
M is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John
M is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film. Now ...more
2
Network is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Robert Duvall, Faye Dunaway, William Holden
Network is a 1976 American satirical film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, about a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings. The film stars ...more
3
Rope is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, Cedric Hardwicke
Rope is a 1948 American psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton and adapted by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents. The ...more
4
Dog Day Afternoon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Al Pacino, Carol Kane, Charles Durning
Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, written by Frank Pierson, and produced by Martin Bregman and Martin Elfand. The film stars Al Pacino, John Cazale, ...more
5
The Defiant Ones is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Lon Chaney
The Defiant Ones is a 1958 black and white film which tells the story of two escaped prisoners, one white and one black, who are shackled together and who must co-operate in order to survive. It ...more
6
A Separation is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini
A Separation is a 2011 Iranian drama film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, starring Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, and Sarina Farhadi. It focuses on an Iranian ...more
7
The Exterminating Angel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook, Jacqueline Andere
The Exterminating Angel, is the second Buñuel film of the Buñuel/Alatriste/Pinal film trilogy, written and directed by Luis Buñuel, starring Silvia Pinal, and produced by ...more
8
Beyond the Hills is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Luminița Gheorghiu, Doru Ana, Dionisie Vitcu
Beyond the Hills is a 2012 Romanian drama film directed by Cristian Mungiu, starring Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan. The narrative follows two young women at an Orthodox convent in Romania. ...more
9
Fail Safe is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman
Fail-Safe is a 1964 Cold thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The film features performances by veteran actors ...more
10
The Blair Witch Project is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams
The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American found footage horror film written, directed and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. The film was produced by the Haxan Films production ...more
11
Hunger is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham
Hunger is a 2008 film directed by Steve McQueen.
12
The Homecoming is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Ian Holm, Cyril Cusack, Vivien Merchant
The Homecoming is a 1973 film directed by Peter Hall based on the play of the same name by Harold Pinter. The film was screened at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the ...more
13
Caché is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Juliette Binoche, Annie Girardot, Daniel Auteuil
Caché, titled Hidden in the UK and Ireland, is a 2005 French-language thriller written and directed by Michael Haneke. The film stars Daniel Auteuil as Georges and Juliette Binoche as his
14
The China Syndrome is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Jack Lemmon
The China Syndrome is a 1979 American thriller film that tells the story of a television reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. It stars Jane Fonda, ...more
15
The Birds is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette
The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California, which is, ...more
16
Winter Light is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Allan Edwall
Winter Light is a 1962 Swedish drama film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bergman regulars Gunnar Björnstrand, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. The film follows Tomas ...more
17
Interiors is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Without Soundtracks
Diane Keaton, Sam Waterston, Geraldine Page
Interiors is a 1978 drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. Featured performers are Kristin Griffith, Mary Beth Hurt, Richard Jordan, Diane Keaton, E. G. Marshall, Geraldine Page, ...more