MusicListsAreUs: Fave Film Scores & Composers, by Decade, w/comments


Favorite Film Scores & Composers, by decade, with brief comments


Captain Blood by Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1935

Of Mice and Men by Aaron Copland 1939

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1938

Lost Horizon by Dimitri Tiomkin 1937


The Sea Hawk by Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1940

Our Town by Aaron Copland 1940

The Heiress by Aaron Copland 1949

Henry V by William Walton 1946

Citizen Kane by Bernard Hermann 1941


On the Waterfront by Leonard Bernstein 1954

Lift to the Scaffold (Ascenseur pour l'echafaud) by Miles Davis 1958

Pather Panchali by Ravi Shankar 1955

The Old Man and the Sea by Dimitri Tiomkin 1958

Anatomy of a Murder by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn 1959

The Bridge on the River Kwai by Malcolm Arnold 1957

No Sun in Venice (Sait-on jamais) by John Lewis 1958 (performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet)


The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein 1960

Lawrence of Arabia by Maurice Jarre 1962

The Lion in Winter by John Barry 1968

West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein 1961

Spartacus by Alex North 1960

The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini 1963

Doctor Zhivago by Maurice Jarre 1965

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) by Michel Legrand & Jacques Demy 1964

To Kill a Mockingbird by Elmer Bernstein 1962

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Henry Mancini 1961


Star Wars: A New Hope by John Williams 1977

The Godfather by Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola 1972

Children of Sanchez by Chuck Mangione 1978

Shaft by Isaac Hayes 1971

Once Upon a Time in the West by Ennio Morricone 1972

Tess by Philippe Sarde 1979

Trouble Man by Marvin Gaye 1972

Rocky by Bill Conti 1976

Love Story by Francis Lai 1970


Henry V by Patrick Doyle 1989 (perhaps my favorite film score of all time)

The Mission by Ennio Morricone 1986

Out of Africa by John Barry 1985

Agnes of God by Georges Delerue 1985

Empire of the Sun by John Williams 1987

Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso) by Ennio Morricone 1988

Glory by James Horner 1989

Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams 1981

The Last Emperor by Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne & Cong Su 1987

The Milagro Beanfield War by Dave Grusin 1988

Chariots of Fire by Vangelis 1981


Seven Years in Tibet by John Williams 1997 (with cello solos from Yo-Yo Ma)

The Last of the Mohicans by Trevor Jones & Randy Edelman 1992

Forrest Gump by Alan Silvestri 1994

Life is Beautiful (La vita e bella) by Nicola Piovani 1997

Jurassic Park by John Williams 1993

Braveheart by James Horner 1995

Gettysburg by Randy Edelman 1993

The Red Violin (Le violon rouge) by John Corigliano 1999

The Cider House Rules by Rachel Portman 1999

Looking for Richard by Howard Shore 1996

Saving Private Ryan by John Williams 1998

Emma by Rachel Portman 1996


25th Hour by Terence Blanchard 2002

TLOTR: Fellowship of the Ring by Howard Shore 2001

Finding Neverland by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek 2004

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Tan Dun 2000

Frida by Elliot Goldenthal 2002

The Hours by Philip Glass 2002

Pan's Labyrinth by Javier Navarrete 2006

Atonement by Dario Marianelli 2007

Slumdog Millionaire by A.R. Rahman 2008


La La Land by Justin Hurwitz 2016

The Grand Budapest Hotel by Alexandre Desplat 2014

Life of Pi by Mychael Danna 2012

Phantom Thread by Jonny Greenwood 2018

Bridge of Spies by Thomas Newman 2015

Black Panther by Ludwig Goransson 2018


West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein  2021

Soul by Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross 2020

The Power of the Dog by Jonny Greenwood 2021

Encanto by Germaine Franco 2021

Level 55
Feb 26, 2022

Fun fact: Korngold composed the theme of Star Wars for another movie. John Williams took it and modified it for Star Wars

Level 62
Feb 27, 2022
I'm familiar with Korngold's score to King's Row, & the charge that Williams plagiarized it. There are similar charges of him treating Wagner, Holst & Strauss in the same way. I don't know how much music you have composed, but music composition was my major in college, & i have experienced the paralyzing situation where every chord & melodic interval I write feels unoriginal, & I have written only a few compositions. John William's output is truly astronomical, & the number of chords & intervals available in tonal music is limited. If he wanted to create completely new sounding film score, he could, but most people would be jarred by the dissonances; after 500 years of western music, most of the good chords, rhythms and melodies have already been used. In short, Williams uses the same tonal language that Korngold and others use; If he didn't, most wouldn't like it, but you wouldn't charge an author with plagiarism for using the same words, spelling & punctuation others, would you?
Level 43
Feb 26, 2022
None from Rio: crime detected.
Level 62
Feb 26, 2022
What? Are you saying that none of these soundtracks were made in the city of Rio de Janeiro? I don't claim any expertise concerning Brazilian movies, so please suggest a few with good soundtracks and I will try to check them out.
Level 60
Feb 26, 2022
Pretty sure he means the movie Rio
Level 62
Feb 26, 2022
the cartoon? I did see that, but never really even considered it as an original score; maybe I'll check it out again (but I doubt I will change my mind upon a second hearing).
Level 57
Mar 5, 2022
We don't talk about Bruno, no no no.

I am also a fan of the Empires SMP, so I like to sing: We don't talk about Xornoth, no no no.

Seriously though, great blog!

Level 62
Mar 6, 2022
Thank you for the feedback & the positivity, seriously.