Greatest Movie Scores of All-time

Whilst watching a movie, people rarely consider the significance of the music behind the picture. Given some thought, the first kiss in a romantic movie would seem less spectacular somehow without a dynamic musical accompaniment behind it, a chase scene less engrossing without staccato orchestra instrumentation and driving percussion beating in time with the footsteps, and a sensual moment less arousing without a delicate melody playing in the background. And think about how a change of music could completely change the mood of a scene. A martial arts fight scene is a riveting moment in any picture, but played over John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” it takes on a sardonic tone of humor.  Below are a few movies whose accompanying scores top the list as some of the greatest of all time.

  1. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Ennio Morricone had the greatest influence of all in shaping the spaghetti western sound. “Whooo – Haaas” in foreboding succession, the snap of a whip at a dynamic high, a whistle track thrown in the middle of a sad ballad, and practically
    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly had one of the most influential scores in the history of the movie industry.

    Morricone’s score in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was one of the most influential in the history of the movie industry.

    every other cliche we associate with western movie music derives from the compositions of Morricone. His score for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is perhaps his most famous, complimenting wide panoramic shots of beauteous desert with gentle, drawn out orchestral ballads and cowboy style stand offs with quarter notes against a cowhide drum and call-and-response melody between pan flute and vocals, whistling, and instrumentation in turn define the mood of their respective scenes.

  2. The Pink Panther – Everybody knows the tune from The Pink Panther, even those who haven’t seen the movie. Henry Mancini’s sexy, jazzy, finger snapping melody fits in perfectly with the story of a French detective on the hunt for a pink panther.
  3. James Bond, Dr. No – Without question, the James Bond theme is one of the most memorable pieces of film score ever beheld. Monty Norman and John Barry’s theme not only set the standard for James Bond movies to come, but for action movies on the whole as well.
  4. Halloween – John Carpenter’s theme in Halloween is chilling and terrifying, suggesting the fear of impending doom to a tee. The intervaled meter change and haunting key shift inspire the feeling that something isn’t quite right, and that something could be nothing other than Michael Myers around the corner.
  5. Star Wars – How could Star Wars not be mentioned? Triumphant, terrifying, and graceful to compliment the varied themes of the movies, John Williams’ score for Star Wars could almost tell the story without the picture.