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LISTS, LISTS, AND MORE LISTS > Greatest film scores

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message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed | 218 comments Mod
What are your top film scores? Off the top of my head anything by bernard driver comes to mind. The composer who scored the spaghetti westerns.

message 2: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Ennio Morricone scores the Leoni westerns. I love the opening credits to FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, makes me smile every time:) But his most creepy score is to John Carpenter's THE THING: just listen to that almost subliminal synthesizer thump. Chilling.

Then the Zither score to THE THIRD MAN is a fave too!

And I've enjoyed every Bernard Herrmann score so far, except the music in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH kinda gets on my nerves...even though the cresendo is the climax of a murder!

message 3: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (starshinejen) Last night I listened to my husband's LP - Classical British film scores of the 1940's and 50's. (One of his top 50 albums of the last 50 years of music collecting). My favorite was the Warsaw Concerto written for the movie 1941 Dangerous by Moonlight. The music was familiar also the movie was not. Many people (I am told by Ken) when they listen to this music mistakenly think Chopin wrote it.

message 4: by Maryse (new)

Maryse (belle_maryse) | 66 comments Jenny wrote: "My favorite was the Warsaw Concerto written for the movie 1941 Dangerous by Moonlight. The music was familiar also the movie was not. Many people (I am told by Ken) when they listen to this music mistakenly think Chopin wrote it.."

Hehehe. When I read "Warsaw Concerto" I thought of Chopin too and "The Pianist"

Anyway, I like Henry Mancini's score and song for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" as well as Ennio Morricone's score for "The Mission". Morricone's music for "The Mission" is just so haunting I couldn't help crying when I saw that movie. I also adore his score for "Malena".

John Williams' score for "Star Wars" also comes to mind because I'm a big Star Wars fan.

message 5: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Love Bernard Herrmann of the classical scores. Enjoy Danny Elfman of the modern ones.

Three other personal favorites: Stephen Sondheim's score for "Stavisky," Dominic Frontiere's score for "The Stunt Man," and Burt Bacharach's score for the 1967 "Casino Royale."

I have eclectic tastes. :)

message 6: by Ed (new)

Ed | 218 comments Mod
I also loved the Satie piano pieces, especially Gymnosie 1 (sp.?) during the Man on Wire film that I ordered the piano sheet music. Fantastic, wonderful piano solos!

message 7: by Heidi (last edited Jan 31, 2009 08:06PM) (new)

Heidi A film score resonates with me if I can still remember the scene when I hear just the music... sometimes I even like the music better than the movie... I tend to favor the sweeping epics such as The English Patient, Last of the Mohicans, Pride and Prejudice, Out of Africa and Schindler's List... but I love quirky independents too like Juno and Napoleon Dynamite.

message 8: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) This is a very difficult decision for me ... I see a movie and often NEED to buy the soundtrack! My all-time favorite is from "The Mission", but Heidi has mentioned a few others ...

message 9: by Phillip (last edited Feb 01, 2009 01:30AM) (new)

Phillip | 10511 comments there are so many wonderful scores. i love nino rota's scores for the fellini films, and his theme for the godfather is outstanding. others have mentioned hermann - the collaboration between hermann and hitchcock (along with fellini and rota), and the leone - morricone relationship are maybe the most famous and the most satisfying.

i also really like the scores takemistu did for the teshigahara films woman of the dunes and the face of another). the work wendy carlos did with kubrick (and kubrick's taste in music in general in his films) really breathed some life into the way music is used in film.

the simple soundtrack for bergman's wild strawberries is gorgeous and perfectly suited to the movie. when i think of my favorite soundtracks, the ones i cite above are situations where you can't imagine the film without the music.

10 favorite sountrack moments

1) the theme for juliet of the spirits by nino rota (film by fellini)
2) hermann's title sequence for north by northwest (by hitchcock)
3) use of strauss' waltz for accompanying the giant spaceships in 2001
4) takemitsu's score during the burning of the warlord's castle in kurosawa's ran
5) wendy carlos' realization of the william tell overture in kubrick's a clockwork orange
6) title sequence music for leone's good the bad & the ugly by ennio morricone
7) shower music for hitchcock's psycho by bernard hermann
8) takemitsu's score for woman of the dunes (film by teshigahra)
9) song "wicked witch is dead" from the wizard of oz (music by harold arlen)
10) mancini's music for orson welles' touch of evil

message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5321 comments My top ten film scores/music moments in films:

1. Nino Rota's score for 8 1/2
2. Bernard Herrmann's scores for PSYCHO and NORTH BY NORTHWEST
3. Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" playing at strategic times in Fincher's ZODIAC
4. The opening credits of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
5. Philip Glass's score for KOYAANISQATSI
6. Max Steiner's score for NOW, VOYAGER
7. Fats Waller's organ solos in ERASERHEAD
8. Rossini and Wagner put to glorious use in THE RABBIT OF SEVILLE and WHAT'S OPERA DOC?
9. John Williams' STAR WARS score
10. Bernard Herrmann's score for CITIZEN KANE

message 11: by George (last edited Feb 02, 2009 06:26PM) (new)

George | 951 comments These are all good, but I would put in a vote for Max Steiner's score for King Kong. And I also like the score for The Magnificent Seven.

message 12: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) George wrote: "These are all good, but I would put in a vote for Max Steiner's score for King Kong. And I also like the score for The Magnificent Seven. "

West Side Story!

message 13: by George (new)

George | 951 comments Well, I won't dis West Side Story, as it's a favorite as well, but I'm not sure Broadway musicals should count in this category. But, either way, it's excellent.

message 14: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments While musical films do have "scores" besides the songs, I think musicals are a separate category.

"West Side Story" is great. (How can you go wrong with Bernstein and Sondheim?) But it's different from, say, anything Bernard Herrmann did.

message 15: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10511 comments tom - excellent citation of the fats waller stuff in eraserhead...perfect music for that film.

message 16: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments Its a pitty when the score is sometimes better than the movie.

Two examples of scores I loved from movies that were simply OK

"The Mission" by Ennio Morecone. Someone mentioned he also did most of Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns.

"The Last Temptation of Christ" by Peter Gabriel.

message 17: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10511 comments Morricone has scored hundreds of films! I was in a record shop in Italy a few years ago, browsing through the soundtrack section and saw dozens of films that he had scored - I had no idea he had worked with so many projects.

message 18: by Myra (new)

Myra | 123 comments Has anyone mentioned "Lawrence of Arabia?" When I think back to movies that have scores I can't even hear a little bit of without remembering exactly where I heard it, "Lawrence of Arabia" has to top my list.

message 19: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments Myra wrote: "Has anyone mentioned "Lawrence of Arabia?" When I think back to movies that have scores I can't even hear a little bit of without remembering exactly where I heard it, "Lawrence of Arabia" has to ..."

Great score, great film. And if you haven't seen it on a big screen, you haven't seen it.

There's not many films that can honestly be said about, but "Lawrence of Arabia" is one of them.

message 20: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Agree Daniel, the DVD versions avaliable have been very poor in visual quality and even color timing...and the panoramas need to be seen on a Big Screen. The British Film Institute is busy releasing remastered versions of all Lean's films and LAWRENCE on Blu-Ray will be outstanding: but even in my home theatre not a match for the true experience of the Silver Screen.

message 21: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 155 comments You know, my colleagues and are always complaining about long, drawn out films, particularly during Oscar season. But when the film is a masterpiece, the time speeds by. I've never found anyone complaining that "Lawrence" just went on and on.

message 22: by Oscar (new)

Oscar | 10 comments Morricone has to top it. For a few dollars more – no contest.

message 23: by Myra (new)

Myra | 123 comments Daniel M. wrote: "Myra wrote: "Has anyone mentioned "Lawrence of Arabia?" When I think back to movies that have scores I can't even hear a little bit of without remembering exactly where I heard it, "Lawrence of Ar..."

You're definitely right. Big Screen film definitely. I'm old, so yes, I saw it on a great big screen on a hot summer night at a drive-in theater in Oklahoma. It was too hot to be in cars so all my friends and I who had gone were sitting on blankets on the ground. I remember it vividly!

message 24: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Feb 09, 2009 07:07PM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I just watched JANE EYRE (Robert Stevenson, 1944) and the Bernard Herrmann score was fantastic! I also watched Truffaut's THE BRIDE WORE BLACK and thought Herrmann's score too derivitave of his Hitchcock work, but this was probably intentional for the tone and style of the film: a tribute to the master himself;)

message 25: by SLIM SHADY (new)

SLIM SHADY Gontier (heroesfreak) | 254 comments WALL-E

message 26: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5321 comments Alex, have you seen the documentary on Herrmann? It was part of a series of films on great film composers, you can get it on Netflix. Very interesting, well worth your time. There are some scenes of Herrmann and Truffaut working, apparently there were some disagreements...

message 27: by Phillip (last edited Feb 24, 2009 08:46AM) (new)

Phillip | 10511 comments i'd like to see that. i didn't know one existed.

i transcribed the title score for psycho about a year ago. it's brilliant...i was amazed to see how every time he tries to establish harmony in that piece, he immediately modulates it - there's no actual secure tonal center in the piece; it's so well done that it sounds tonal, (and it is), but the tonality is constantly shifting in half-steps; not unlike mr/mrs bates...the shadow identity is constantly shifting for position in the music. brilliant!

message 28: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Feb 24, 2009 04:18PM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Thanks Tom, I didn't know this existed either! I would guess Truffaut and Herrmann were discussing the score to THE BRIDE WORE BLACK which is a rather bland film, and even Herrmann's score is derivative...but still pretty damn good.

I just watched HANGOVER SQUARE and have finished my review, to be posted soon. It has great Herrmann music that uses diagetic sound as well as a dark brooding score. Though a flawed film, worth a rental!

Phillip, when are you touring the East Coast? I'd love to hear you play Herrmann's jazzy score to TAXI DRIVER:)

message 29: by Tom (last edited Feb 24, 2009 05:27PM) (new)

Tom | 5321 comments Philip, East Coast dates, please. Let me know when you hit NYC. I can give you a tour of some of the remaining TAXI DRIVER locations.

message 30: by Phillip (last edited Feb 25, 2009 12:24AM) (new)

Phillip | 10511 comments i was working on setting something up for april, but then i got an offer to do a tour here on the west coast in april...someone "made an offer that i can't refuse". i'm thinking now it will more likely be late august. there's a great gig in philadelphia at bowerbird i'm trying to set up first, then i'll put the rest of the dates in around that.

thanks for the invites, guys - you will certainly be on my list of folks to contact as soon as i have dates.

don't expect me to play the theme from taxi driver though! i've got my own horn to toot!

message 31: by Corey (last edited Dec 29, 2020 04:18PM) (new)

Corey | 7 comments My favorite movie scores

Star Wars by John Williams
Harry Potter by John Williams
The Dark Knight Trilogy by Hans Zimmer
James Bond Franchise 1962 to 1987 by John Barry
Indiana Jones by John Williams
The Godfather Part 1 and II by Nino Rota
Rocky by Bill Conti
Psycho by Bernard Hermann
Vertigo by Bernard Hermann
North by Northwest Bernard Hermann
ET The Extraterrestrial by John Williams
Jurassic Park by John Williams
The Untouchables by Ennio Morricone
The Man With No Name Trilogy by Ennio Morricone
Halloween by John Carpenter
Batman 1989 by Danny Elfman
Spider-Man Raimi Trilogy by Danny Elfman
Pirates of the Caribbean by Hans Zimmer
Die Hard 1 through 3 by Michael Kamen
The Hunt For Red October by Basil Poledouris
Robocop 1987 by Basil Poledouris
The Rock by Hans Zimmer
Lethal Weapon by Michael Kamen
James Bond Licence To Kill by Michael Kamen
Dances With Wolves by John Barry
Jason Bourne Franchise by John Powell
Crimson Tide by Hans Zimmer
Under Siege by Gary Chang
Under Siege 2 Dark Territory by Basil Poledouris
Broken Arrow by Hans Zimmer
Cliffhanger by Trevor Jones
The Last of The Mohicans by Trevor Jones
Beverly Hills Cop by Harold Faltermeyer
Ghostbusters by Elmer Bernstein
Home Alone 1&2 by John Williams
The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini
Armageddon by Harry Gregson-Williams
Independence Day by David Arnold
Mission Impossible by Danny Elfman
Mission Impossible II by Hans Zimmer
Mission Impossible III and IV by Michael Giacchino
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation by Joe Kraemer
Mission Impossible Fallout by Lorne Baffe
The Specialist by John Barry

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