Everyone knows the importance of music in conveying a film's emotion,..." /> Greatest Original Movie Scores Of All Time

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Published on May 16th, 2013 | by Allan Brown


The Greatest Original Movie Scores Of All Time

Everyone knows the importance of music in conveying a film’s emotion, mood and desired tone. There are two forms in which this is achieved, a Score and a Soundtrack, but what is the difference? Film scores are an orchestral composition (sometimes with a chorus) designed uniquely for the film on which is appears. Soundtracks on the other hand are are often comprised of popular songs. However, they can also be made up of songs written for the film like Grease. Below I have composed a short list of some of my favourite and what I regard as the greatest original movie scores that are playable on my site. What would make your list?


Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
Music By: Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer
Track: The Bathtub
Beasts of the Southern Wild poster

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Music By: Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman
Track: Main Title

The Last of the Mohicans poster image

Dances With Wolves (1990)
Music By: John Barry
Track: The John Dunbar Theme

Dances with Wolves poster

Psycho (1960)
Music By: Bernard Hermann
Track: Prelude

Psycho movie poster

Cast Away (2000)
Music By: Alan Silvestri
Track: End Credits

Cast Away poster

Finding Nemo (2003)
Music By: Thomas Newman
Track: Nemo Egg (Main Title)

Finding Nemo poster

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Music By: John Brion
Track: Theme

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Poster

Jurassic Park (1993)
Music By: John Williams
Track: Theme


Braveheart (1995)
Music By: James Horner and The London Symphony Orchestra
Track: End Credits


Forrest Gump (1994)
Music By: Alan Silvestri
Track: Forrest Gump Suite


The Dark Knight (2008)
Music By: Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard
Track: I’m Not A Hero


The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Music By: Howard Shore
Track: Bag End


Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Music By: John Williams
Track: Hymn To The Fallen


Gladiator (2000)
Music By: Hans Zimmer
Track: Now We Are Free


E.T . The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Music By: John Williams
Track: Flying Theme


Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Music By: John Williams
Track: The Imperial March


The New World (2005)
Music By: James Horner
Track: The New World


Gone With The Wind (1939)
Music By: Max Steiner
Track: Main Title -Tara’s Theme


The Thin Red Line (1998)
Music By: Hans Zimmer
Track: Journey To The Line


The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Music By: Howard Shore
Track: The Road Goes Ever On Pt 2
Beasts Of The Southern Wild (2012)
Music By: BenhZeitlin and Dan Romer
 Track: Once There Was A Hushpuppy

What would make your list of favourite original movie scores?

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About the Author

Despite my 9-5 being consumed by the daily duties of an Electrician, Movie Review World serves as a platform for me to share my thoughts, explorations and reflections on one of my biggest passions, film.

8 Responses to The Greatest Original Movie Scores Of All Time

  1. Ryan says:

    No Jerry Goldsmith!!

    Try “Arrival On Earth” from Supergirl
    “Main Title” from Basic Instinct
    “The Cellar” from Psycho II
    “Let’s Get Her/Rebirth” from Poltergeist
    The Omen Trilogy


    • Allan Brown says:

      Hi Ryan, Some good choices there. I could only add a small collection of some of my favourites that I tend to listen to more frequently than others. I’m looking to do a follow up post on The Greatest Non Original Soundtrack Themes soon.

  2. pturner1010 says:

    So many excellent choices! LOVED the Beasts Of The Southern WIld one! A few here I’ll have to have a re-listen of! I loved the Dark Knight Rises score, Back to the Future and Requiem for a Dream.

    • Allan Brown says:

      There are so many great and memorable scores, some that add to the picture whilst others quite simply make it. I tried give each of my fav composers a mention here. Alan Silvestri’s ‘Back to the Future’ theme is without question an absolute classic.

  3. Betty says:

    I could listen to Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack ALL DAY! Which is lucky considering how often it appears on the play list of a certain someone!!!

  4. Incredible list! Going to listen to Beasts right now! Still cannot believe that score was an Oscar snub…

    • Allan Brown says:

      Absolutely! it is one of the strongest and most beautiful scores I have heard in years. It encompases the emotion of the whole movie for me. Simply beautiful.

  5. Betty says:

    I think I would also put forward the score for La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful).

    It won an Academy Award for Best Dramatic Score in ’97. Nice theme and variation throughout score. I also like that you can almost hear the slapstick-esk style of Roberto Benign’s character portrayed through the music!


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