Top 10 Best Original Scores of All Time

This is an award given out every year to the best song made especially for movies. Here are 10 movies which I think topped all the ones given and nominated throughout the years. I was looking for uniqueness, class and also something that stands out from the rest.


1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tann Dun:

The soundtrack to this movie earned a nomination in 2000 at the Academy Awards, which it won. It had an excellent combination of western and eastern themes, played with minimalist sound. The score was also excellent at setting the mood and emphasized certain important scenes quite well.


2. Chariots of Fire, Vangelis:

This was very unique of its kind music, which won in 1982 for originals score at the Academy Awards. The music was also new to Vangelis who was more modern. The song had a traditional orchestral score to it. It topped the American billboards for one week, after its release as a single.


3. American Beauty, Thomas Newman:

This 1999 Academy Award winner has a great mystical part to it. It does an excellent job at setting the very slow and easy tone of the movie. The soundtrack album won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media in 1999.


4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, John Williams:

This 1982 winner of original score was excellent as well. Williams divided the soundtrack songs into 8 major themes, which were excellent at defining the movie. The emotional touch and the touch of romanticism in the songs helped define the movie from beginning to end.


5. The Agony and the Ecstasy, Alex Smith:

This movie was in the category of Best Score in 1965. Alex Smith is a talented composer. Although it did not win, the original score deserves to be on this list. Its music type was based on that in medieval times and had some religious aspects to it. It really showed that the composer did much research before writing it.


6. Schindler’s List, John Williams:

John Williams does not disappoint us again in the original score to Schindler’s List. Not only did it win the Academy Award for Original Score in 1993, it also won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. It was another moving and emotional masterpiece by Williams.


7. Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman:

This original score of 2008 was different than most winners. Rahman planned to write the score in 2 months, but completed it in 2 weeks. The song tried to mix the old music of India with that of the new. You could feel your heart beat fast as you listen to the music, which goes well with the movie and its theme.


8. The Omen, Jerry Goldsmith:

This original score won the award in 1976. It was a dark choral song that deserves special mention on this list. It was the first to feature a choir in Avante-Garde style for the nomination. This was Goldsmith’s first Academy win.


9. Atonement, Dario Marinelli:

This winner of original score in 2008, was also nominated for Golden Globe Award in the same category. Piano and typewriter were the main elements used in the music. They were influenced by the actions of the character in the film.


10. Titanic, James Horner:

It was a dramatic score which won in the same category. The vocals that were heard throughout the film were said to be evocative by the Wall Street Journal.


About The Author

One Response


    You mention John Williams twice, a man well known to mimic other composers (Star Wars is basically Petrushka by Stravinsky) and not a single mention of Hans Zimmer or Howard Shore. Fail.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.