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film The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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List Rules "Film score" refers to the instrumental background music that plays throughout the movie, not the soundtrack

This list contains greatest movie themes and scores ever recorded, chosen by the Ranker community. (NOTE: This list is for film SCORES, the instrumental music from movies. We also have a list of The Greatest Movie Soundtracks, designed for collections of songs taken from films.) These are the most iconic, memorable themes and collections of background music ever.

Film scores also include dialogue and special effects. This means you should rank the film scores on how important you think they were in delivering the atmosphere the film was trying to achieve?
 

1
+ - 2,346 1,502
Star Wars 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher Mark Hamill

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2
+ - 2,469 1,453
The Lord of the Rings film tri... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

3
+ - 1,454 1,277
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina Karen Allen

4
+ - 1,424 461
Forrest Gump 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Forrest Gump Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell Sally Field

5
+ - 1,383 1,204
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen Mark Strong

6
+ - 1,270 1,206
The Godfather 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Godfather Al Pacino, Marlon Brando Robert Duvall

7
+ - 1,108 975
Jaws 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Jaws Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss Roy Scheider

8
+ - 1,144 718
The Lion King 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Lion King Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons Matthew Broderick

9
+ - 833 914
Superman 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman Christopher Reeve

10
+ - 1,500 979
Jurassic Park 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Jurassic Park Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum Richard Attenborough

11
+ - 1,294 986
Inception 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy Marion Cotillard

12
+ - 729 640
Back to the Future 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Back to the Future Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd Lea Thompson

13
+ - 540 334
Psycho 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Psycho Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh Anthony Perkins

14
+ - 627 531
Lawrence of Arabia 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole Alec Guinness

15
+ - 1,065 667
Gladiator 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix Michael Sheen

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16
+ - 879 715
Rocky 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Rocky Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier Burgess Meredith

17
+ - 909 607
Indiana Jones and the Last Cru... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Harrison Ford, Sean Connery River Phoenix

18
+ - 1,019 660
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The Dark Knight Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman Gary Oldman

19
+ - 966 445
Pirates of the Caribbean: The ... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley Zoe Saldana

20
+ - 541 258
2001: A Space Odyssey 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter Ed Bishop

21
+ - 884 391
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe Julianne Hough

22
+ - 735 379
Schindler's List 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Schindlers List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes Ben Kingsley

23
+ - 764 426
Titanic 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet Kathy Bates

24
+ - 600 377
The Pink Panther 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Pink Panther Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale David Niven

25
+ - 829 363
Braveheart 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau Brendan Gleeson

26
+ - 674 399
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak Debra Winger

27
+ - 715 622
Batman 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Batman Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger Michael Keaton

28
+ - 652 262
The Last of the Mohicans 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe Pete Postlethwaite - Randy Eldermann

29
+ - 581 149
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher Mark Hamill

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30
+ - 463 252
Chariots of Fire 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Chariots of Fire Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh Ian Holm

31
+ - 396 309
Once Upon a Time in the West 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Once Upon a Time in the West Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale Charles Bronson

32
+ - 382 309
Blade Runner 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Blade Runner Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah Sean Young

33
+ - 331 272
Goldfinger 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Goldfinger Sean Connery, Honor Blackman Garry Marshall

34
+ - 341 260
The Phantom of the Opera 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Phantom of the Opera Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler Minnie Driver

35
+ - 340 328
Star Trek: The Motion Picture 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Star Trek: The Motion Picture William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy George Takei

36
+ - 432 254
Batman Begins 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Batman Begins Katie Holmes, Christian Bale Morgan Freeman

37
+ - 373 330
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong Linda Hamilton

38
+ - 348 254
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The Magnificent Seven Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson James Coburn

39
+ - 361 242
Dances with Wolves 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell Charles Rocket

40
+ - 244 140
Interstellar 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Interstellar Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey Matt Damon

41
+ - 486 308
Requiem for a Dream 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto Ellen Burstyn

42
+ - 337 326
Conan the Barbarian 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones Max von Sydow

43
+ - 370 236
The Dark Knight Rises 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Dark Knight Rises Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale Morgan Freeman - Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard

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44
+ - 295 247
The Nightmare Before Christmas 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Nightmare Before Christmas Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara Danny Elfman

45
+ - 312 355
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The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving Carrie-Anne Moss

46
+ - 319 305
Edward Scissorhands 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Edward Scissorhands Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder Vincent Price

47
+ - 246 238
Vertigo 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Vertigo James Stewart, Kim Novak Alfred Hitchcock

48
+ - 417 258
Up 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Up Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner Laraine Newman

49
+ - 215 179
The Mission 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
The Mission Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson Jeremy Irons - Ennio Morricone 

50
+ - 231 133
Gone with the Wind 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Gone with the Wind Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh Olivia de Havilland