POLL: Who is the Best Film Score Composer?

There are many film score composers out there, but there are some that continually provide movie-goers with music that pulls you deeper into the film. But who among those composers is the best? Let's find out!

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By ecksmanfan - 9/13/2011
I think I can speak for most people when I say that we go to movies to escape reality; to get away from the things in life that bog us down. Films allow the viewers to escape into a world that, for the most part, none of us will ever be able to visit in reality. There are many parts to films that assist in this of course: the actors, the story, the cinematography, among others. But there is one aspect to a film that many people over look: music. I've a few discussions with some of the users here on CBM who, like myself, appreciate what a musical score can do for a film. Having the wrong music can completely pull you out of the movie and can ruin the experience if it's bad enough. For instance, take this re-cut trailer for Mary Poppins. Granted, some of this has to do with editing, but they are all scenes from the original film.



There are many great composers out there that have contributed to a film's succes, even thought they aren't in the spotlight like the actors and directors are. What would Superman or Star Warsbe like without their now iconic John WIlliams scores? Or what about Hans Zimmer's incredible music for the critically acclaimed Gladiator? Would that film have had the same emotion and power with out the unique music he provided? I could go on and on here, but I won't. My point here is simply this? Who is the best out there? Which film composer provides movie-goers with the best musical experince while attending movies?

Here is a list of film composers that I have compiled for your votes. I know that there are others out there, but this group has consistantly provided us with outstanding film scores. So take a look and cast your vote and of course, discuss below.

John Williams- Star Wars films, Superman, Indiana Jones films, Harry Potter films, The Patriot, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, E.T.: the Extra Terrestrial

Hans Zimmer- Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Gladiator, The Lion King, Crimson Tide, Inception, Sherlock Holmes, Pirates of the Caribbean films, Black Hawk Down

Danny Elfman- Spider-Man films, Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Hulk, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sleepy Hollow, Terminator Salvation, Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Randy Newman- Toy Story films, A Bug's Life, Pleasantville, Seabiscuit, Cars

Howard Shore- The Fly, Big, The Silence of the Lambs, Philidelphia, Ed Wood, Se7en, Crash, The Lord of the Rings films, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, A History of Violence, The Departed

Alan Sylvestri- Back to the Future films, The Flight of the Navigator, Predator, Who Framed Roger Rabbit,  The Abyss, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, Van Helsing, The Polar Express, Beowulf (2007), Captain America: The First Avenger

Michael Giacchino- The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible III, Cloverfield, Star Trek (2009), Up, Let Me In, Super 8, John Carter. Video Games: Medal of Honor series, Call of Duty, Alias

John Barry- Multiple James Bond films, Howard the Duck, The Golden Child, Dances With Wolves, Chaplin, The Specialist

James Horner- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Krull, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Aliens, Willow, Swing Kids, Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, Titanic, Troy, Avatar,

Alexander Desplat- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The King's Speech, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Golden Compass, The Girl With the Pearl Earring

Ennio Morricone- Mission to Mars, Lolita, In the Line of Fire, Casualties of War, The Untouchables, Red Sonja

Bernard Hermann- Psycho, The Birds, North By Northwest, Vertigo, Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver

Thomas Newman- Wall-E, American Beauty, The Shawshank Redemption, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Finding Nemo, The Green Mile, Scent of a Woman, The Lost Boys

Now, I know there are more great composers out there that have given us some very memorable film scores, but this list could go one forever. Therefore, I have included a few songs from scores that are definitely worth checking out if you haven't already done so. Be sure to pass along your favorites in the comments below!

"Speak Softly Love" (Theme from The Godfather)- Nino Rota
"The Pink Panther"- Henry Mancini
The Last of the Mohicans Original Score- Randy Edelman & Trevor Jones
TMNT Original Score- Klaus Badelt (Most of his work is awesome)
The Social Network Original Score- Trent Reznor
TRON: Legacy- Daft Punk



Who do I think is the best? I'd be shocked if John Williams doesn't win this poll, but I can't get enough of Hans Zimmer. He is extremely versatile with the types of scores he has written and never fails to produce music that is both emotional and effective in pulling you deeper into the film. Zimmer has written some incredible pieces including one of my favorite instrumentals "Nyah and Ethan" from Mission: Impossible II as well as the always amazing theme from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. His music from Gladiator never fails to send chills over me.

Having said that, I would love to see Trent Reznor and Daft Punk take on more film scores and their respective scores for The Social Network and TRON: Legacy were extremely impressive.

While I'm on the topic of music, would somebody please get Muse on board to do the theme song for the next James Bond flick? Can you imagine?!
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78 Comments
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ecksmanfan - 9/13/2011, 11:52 PM
bwahaha!

SHHH - 9/13/2011, 11:52 PM
Hans Zimmer.. Director's Make Movies For Han's Zimmer
Pontius888 - 9/14/2011, 12:00 AM
Nino Rota is a legend...
VanCityKid - 9/14/2011, 12:01 AM
Kiss a Wookie, Kick a Droid, Fly the Falcon through an asteroid....
PartyHard - 9/14/2011, 12:05 AM
Why is this even here?
WellDrawn - 9/14/2011, 12:07 AM
John Williams without a doubt. Funny, I'm pretty sure you listed them in order of greatness.
Spilox - 9/14/2011, 12:10 AM
Another poll...
Limbooda - 9/14/2011, 12:12 AM
You DO realize that John Williams has stolen a number of his most popular themes (the Jedi theme, love them in Superman, etc) from classical pieces, right?
BatmanFTW - 9/14/2011, 12:12 AM
If you dont pick John Williams you obviously know nothing about music
VanCityKid - 9/14/2011, 12:12 AM
Zimmer may be kicking ass now a days but he didnt do Superman, Star Wars, Indy, ET, Jurassic Park which easily have the most ICONIC film scores of all time.
MGS - 9/14/2011, 12:14 AM
Where's the late great Jerry Goldsmith? Omen? Alien? Star Trek 1+5+8+9? STVoyager? Rambo 1-3? Air Force One?

Williams hands down. His best work were from the eras of Jaws to Jurrasic Park. Every piece and theme amazing.
Rokrad - 9/14/2011, 12:16 AM
You forgot James Newton Howard
Limbooda - 9/14/2011, 12:17 AM
Whoever DOES pick John Williams doesn't know music. Yes, he's created many iconic works of music for the film genre, but many of his popular themes are NOT original motifs at all! They've been taken VERBATIM from classical pieces of music by the likes of Dvorak and Stravinsky, among others.
User1134 - 9/14/2011, 12:17 AM
Williams.
NOLANITE - 9/14/2011, 12:18 AM
wheres the purple dinosaur?! I know yall have heard his beats!
Photobucket
Kaedus - 9/14/2011, 12:19 AM
Seriously, anyone who doesn't think that John Williams is the master is absolutely retarded.
VanCityKid - 9/14/2011, 12:23 AM
@Limbooda I know that and I still chose Williams. His works are some of the most iconic and well known themes of cinematic history. The only Zimmer piece I loved was Pirates and that was because I spent an entire year learning it in Band Class
ecksmanfan - 9/14/2011, 12:24 AM
What....no love for the Muse comment?
Limbooda - 9/14/2011, 12:27 AM
Interesting that the only two composers on here being taken seriously are Zimmer and Williams. M. Giacchino is one of the best film composers working today!
gaikinger - 9/14/2011, 12:33 AM
i enjoyed what was done on Battlestar Galactica...the soundtrack did very well. Trent Reznor is my favorite right now. Tangerine Dream anyone? Daft Punk?
VanCityKid - 9/14/2011, 12:36 AM




...I just had to...
Lionheart1 - 9/14/2011, 12:36 AM
John Williams easily. Yet I see no love for Bill Conti. He did the music for the Rocky films, The Karate kid.
Lionheart1 - 9/14/2011, 12:38 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25NmudB2fqg
spiderneil - 9/14/2011, 12:40 AM
williams by a mile. I can't believe zimmer is running neck and neck with williams, that's just crazy.
OdinsMissingEye - 9/14/2011, 12:49 AM
So many ridiculous polls on this site, whos my favourite movie composer, WHO THE [frick] CARES, whats next whos my favourite 2nd assistant director....stop spamming the site with these [frick]ing polls already!!!
nailbiter111 - 9/14/2011, 12:53 AM
no james newton howard?
Corpse - 9/14/2011, 12:58 AM
Thomas Newman is the greatest of the modernists. John Williams is the master however. Franz Waxman and Max Steiner have however created some of the most epic and influence scores of all time.
TheDominicanBoy - 9/14/2011, 1:22 AM
is all ok, but the question is, Who is the best music film composer? after seeing TDK & HOME zimmer is above all and williams
drykillogic22 - 9/14/2011, 1:22 AM
WHAT?!..No GRAEME REVELL?
TheDominicanBoy - 9/14/2011, 1:24 AM
is all ok, but the question is, Who is the best music film composer? after seeing TDK & INCEPTION zimmer is above all and williams
ballstothewall - 9/14/2011, 1:50 AM
John Williams.
Kayo - 9/14/2011, 2:29 AM
It's John Williams
thalidomide - 9/14/2011, 2:33 AM
Danny Elfman :)
Kayo - 9/14/2011, 2:42 AM
my top 3 lists: 1. John Williams 2. Alan Sylvestri 3. Randy Newman
Ichaos - 9/14/2011, 2:59 AM
Does everybody know musicians have been influenced by the countless musicians that came before?

Top of my head most recognized movie themes in no particular order

Star Wars
indiana Jones
Superman
ET
Rocky
Jaws
James Bond
God Father

Quite a few Williams up there. Check his imdb http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002354/ interesting listing up there

2011 Untitled Star Wars TV Series (TV series) (composer: theme "Star Wars") (in production)
 



Greggmcg - 9/14/2011, 3:43 AM
How can you have Ennio Morricone on the list and not mention The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly?
gillri - 9/14/2011, 4:10 AM
No Client Mansell = fail

for me thought Zimmer for sure, and depressing? its only depressing if your a drepressant!

I find most downbeat music can be very uplifting
SamHell - 9/14/2011, 4:14 AM
Tyler Bates & Steve Jablonski are real good modern composers but Yeah John williams is the best followed by Zimmer and Goldsmith
BIGBMH - 9/14/2011, 4:26 AM
Hans, I'm really happy for you, but John Williams has composed the most iconic film scores of all time!



Seriously, people. This shouldn't even be a question.
pepe - 9/14/2011, 4:27 AM
Burtons Batman theme by Elfman... epic
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