POLL: Who is the Best Film Score Composer?
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 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!
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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