Best Film Scores of All Time

Music is what makes a movie come to life. Many of the iconic scenes from beloved films would seem dull and lifeless without an accompanying score.

When you start to think about the best film scores of all time, a few works rise above the rest to deliver an intense emotional response.

Here are the best compositions to consider adding to your playlist.

1. Schindler’s List

John Williams initially told Steven Spielberg that a better composer was needed for this score. Once the violin starts on the melody, you know that what he created was perfection. It encompasses traditional pieces while delivering a solemn and sad expression.

2. The Lord of the Rings

Although Howard Shore wasn’t the first name to come to mind for a blockbuster score, his dozens of motifs and themes created a delicate Celtic-inspired result that eventually won three Oscars, three Golden Globes, and four Grammy Awards.

3. Out of Africa

The movie is about a doomed African love affair. John Barry managed to create an expansive landscape that reflects the savannahs while producing a timeless melody that speaks of the romance felt on the screen.

4. Star Wars

John Williams gets a second nod for his revolutionary film score with this movie. He’s composed almost all of them, with the brass blasts of the Imperial March arguably the most well-known piece he’s ever created.

5. Cinema Paradiso

Although this Italian film from 1988 isn’t on many lists of favorite movies, the cinematography explores the relationship between a father figure and a child. Ennio Morricone worked with his son to produce the music, earning them a Bafta for their accomplishment. Instead of nature sounds and electric guitars, this composition is driven by a traditional piano melody.

What are some of your favorite film scores from the movies?