Top List Thursdays – 16 Greatest Movie Themes

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When a film releases, there are always quite a few factors that can make it stand out. Cinematography, great acting and impressive special effects are just a few such factors, that can combine to make something mundane, memorable, but without a decent film score it all just falls apart.

It’s that one signature film tune, that stirring melody, that really helps channel 90 minutes of action, drama and suspense, hammering it deep into your memory.

So join us, as we take a look at the top film themes that made all those explosions worthwhile and super-dramatic.

Robocop (By Basil Poledouris)

Unlike other Human Right groups, I’m all for our law enforcement officers being transformed into merciless killing machines, provided that they come with a kickass orchestral theme, whenever they bust a perp.

Lawrence of Arabia (By Mauricce Jarr)

Next time I go camping, I’m totally going to play this track, 24/7, while wearing white, easily blood-stained, robes.

The Pink Panther (By Henry Mancini)

How many of you actually know what the Pink Panther is, without Googling? Maybe you can’t remember what Peter Sellers was trying to recover in those classic films, before Steve Martin dragged the franchise into an alleyway and put a bullet in its head, but at least this theme tune is instantly recognisable.

Superman  (By John Williams)

You will believe that a Kryptonian orphan who receives incredible powers from solar radiation can fly, as John Williams proved in the score for one of the greatest Superman films of all time.

Chariots of fire (By Vangelis)

I may get tired and winded just by walking to my front door, but hot damn, this tune has always helped me catch my second breath, in order to allow me to reach the post box.

Rocky (By Bill Conti)

Which is where the Rocky theme kicks in, when I need to get to a Black Friday sale before the rest of the crowds.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (By Ennio Morricone)

AYAYAYAY! WAA WAH WAAAAAH! AYAYAYAYAY! And that, is why CLint Eastwood never smiles.

Jaws ( By John Williams)

I’ve been arrested more times than I care to remember, for assaulting orchestral groups practicing on the beach front, for fear that that they would attract some great white sharks with smiling issues.

Star Wars  (By John Williams)

Did Chewbacca ever get his medal, at the end of the first Star Wars film? Shame on you Leiah, shame on you!

Inception (By Hans Zimmer)

Is there anything that Hans Zimmer can’t make cool? The man scored Kung Fu Panda, for Petes sake!

Tron Legacy (Daft Punk)

Daft Punk being snubbed at the Academy Awards, for this fantastic theme and overall soundtrack, is yet another reason why the judging committee needs people who can eat food with their own, natural teeth.

Indiana Jones  (By John Williams)

You may hate snakes, but it’s hard to not love this iconic theme.

Back To The Future (By Alan Silvestri)

Hearing this theme for the first time, it hit my heart with 88MPH of pure love.

Batman (By Danny Elfman)

It’s 1989, I’m standing outside the movie house waiting patiently, and then I hear the theme play on the mall speakers. Where does he get those wonderful orchestras from?

Jurassic Park (By John Williams)

Whenever I go to the bathroom, this is the melody that I play, to chronicle my journey, true story.

James Bond (By Monty Norman)

007 may be pushing 50 now, and yet, this very arrangement of catchy riffs and trumpets is as relevant today, as it was when he first appeared.


Last Updated: May 24, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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