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AFI's 25 Greatest Film Scores


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Here's the complete list of AFI's 25 Greatest Film Scores:

1.)Star Wars (1977); John Williams

2.)Gone with the Wind (1939); Max Steiner

3.)Lawrence of Arabia (1962); Maurice Jarre

4.)Psycho (1960); Bernard Herrmann

5.)The Godfather (1972); Nino Rota

6.)Jaws (1975); John Williams

7.)Laura (1944); David Raskin

8.)The Magnificent Seven (1960); Elmer Bernstein

9.)Chinatown (1975); Jerry Goldsmith

10.)High Noon (1952); Dimitri Tiomkin

11.)The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938); Erich Wolfgang Korngold

12.)Vertigo (1958); Bernard Herrmann

13.)King Kong (1933); Max Steiner

14.)E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982); John Williams

15.)Out of Africa (1985); John Barry

16.)Sunset Boulevard (1950); Franz Waxman

17.)To Kill a Mockingbird (1962); Elmer Bernstein

18.)Planet of the Apes (1968); Jerry Goldsmith

19)A Streetcar Named Desire (1951); Alex North

20.)The Pink Panther (1964); Henry Mancini

21.)Ben-Hur (1959); Miklos Rozsa

22.)On the Waterfront (1954); Leonard Bernstein

23.)The Mission (1986); Ennio Morricone

24.)On Golden Pond (1981); David Grusin

25.)How the West Was Won (1962); Alfred Newman

Article from Yahoo Movies:

The Force is strong with John Williams.

Not only was his score for 1977's Star Wars named the number one Greatest Film Score of all time by the list-happy folks at the American Film Institute, but the music he wrote for 1975's Jaws and 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial also made the cut, coming in at number six and 14 respectively.

A jury of over 500 film artists, composers, musicians, critics and historians were tapped to determine which of the most memorable scores would be chosen for The Big Picture—AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores, a new list commissioned by the famed institute in association with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

Of the movie music rounding out the top 10, a number predictably belong to some of the most beloved films ever made. Coming in at number two was Max Steiner's majestic score for 1939's Gone with the Wind. That was followed in third place by Maurice Jarre's sweeping orchestrations for 1962's Lawrence of Arabia, Bernard Herrmann's heart-piercing composition for 1960's Psycho in fourth, and Nino Rota's epic score for 1972's The Godfather in fifth.

The rest of the AFI's top ten were respectively: Jaws, John Williams; Laura (1944), David Raskin; The Magnificent Seven (1960), Elmer Bernstein; Chinatown (1974), Jerry Goldsmith; and High Noon (1952), Dimitri Tiomkin.

A who's who of the cinema's best tunesmiths were represented on the list: giants like Hermann, Steiner, Bernstein, Goldsmith, Ennio Morricone, Henry Mancini, John Barry and Alfred Newman.

The committee based its selections on criteria such as its creative impact—i.e. "scores that enrich the moviegoing experience by bringing the emotional elements of a film's story to life;" its historical significance, or scores that help advance the art form; and the scores' legacy in cinema history. The works chosen also had to be from American films.

Steiner, Herrmann, Bernstein, and Goldsmith each had two films on the list.

Aside from Gone with the Wind's second place finish, Steiner also placed 13th with the score for 1933's King Kong. Herrmann followed up Psycho's fourth place victory with his thrilling orchestrations for 1958's Vertigo, which came in at number 12. While outdoing himself with the music for The Magnificent Seven, Bernstein also etched himself in cinema lore with his stirring score for 1962's To Kill a Mockingbird, which was ranked 17th. And last but not least, Goldsmith shifted from Chinatown's murder-mystery vibe to sci-fi with his score for 1968's Planet of the Apes.

Some of the other notable composers on the list were Erich Wolfgang Korngold, whose swashbuckling score for the The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) ranked eleventh and helped make Errol Flynn the object of every girl's desire; Franz Waxman, whose evocative music for noir classic Sunset Boulevard (1950) came in at 16 and revealed the darker side of Tinseltown; Alex North, who made his mark at number 19 with his score for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951); and Miklos Rozsa, who roused the masses with his work on Ben-Hur, which placed 21.

Mancini's beloved theme from The Pink Panther (1964) landed in the 20 spot, Leonard Bernstein's music for On the Waterfront at 22; and Morricone's classic score from 1986's The Mission at 23. Wrapping up the list was Dave Grusin's score for On Golden Pond (1981) and Afred Newman's for How the West Was Won (1962) at 24 and 25 respectively.

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Was LOTR ineligible or something? Howard Shore's work in that film was far superior to 75% of the films in that list.

In fact, looking at the list it looks like it was composed by those 'Things were so much better before the current generation of movie-goers were born' kind of people.

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The problem with AFI is that there's never any "surprises" when they do lists...And rarely modern films.

The Mission (86) is the most recent film in that list but there's been some great soundtracks since then...

Not to everyone's tastes but the "Fight Club" soundtrack was great.

"Amelie" and "Trainspotting" were also superb soundtracks.

Channel 4 and Empire Magazine tend to do the best and most balanced film lists.

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The lack of Rocky saddens me. The music in the film was fantastic.

I hate these AFI lists, they should be split up by decade or something. Whoever puts this lists together clearly has the mentality that chriswalkerbush mentioned. They make it seem like the state of cinema became utter garbage after the 70's.

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