Top Scores from Iconic Movies
Just as memorable as the scenes, acting and special effects, movie music provides a crucial element to many iconic masterpieces of cinema. Able to deepen the messages conveyed visually, music affects us on a deeper emotional level. Who can forget the majesty of the Star Wars score or the triumphalism of the Superman soundtrack? And who hasn’t felt a shiver of terror when hearing the music from the infamous Psycho shower scene. The following is a brief history of some of the greatest movie scores in Hollywood history.
Scoring An American Icon • Superman was scored in 1978. • Music from the original movie has been used in nearly all Superman movies since then. • John Williams, who scored Superman, also scored Star Wars. • The 2013 reboot Man of Steel, is the first Superman movie to use none of Williams’ music.
Psycho was scored by Bernard Herrmann in 1960. • Alfred Hitchcock said the music was responsible for about 33 percent of the terror the movie evoked in audiences. • Music from the film’s shower scene has been parodied and adapted for countless television shows and other films. A Thrilling Classic
A Stellar Score • Scored by John Williams in 1977. • Considered the best score of all time by the American Film Institute. • Score was inspired in part by a 1942 film, Kings Row, which starred Ronald Reagan.
Taking a Bite out of the Box Office • Yet another John Williams hit, scored in 1975. • Won an Academy Award for best score. • Sixth greatest score, according to the American Film Institute.
Secret Agent Man • Authorship of the iconic tune is a point of contention between John Barry and Monty Norman. • Used in every James Bond film since the first in 1962. • The theme uses a surf rock riff. When the first Bond movie was made, surf rock was a popular musical craze.
Pulling All the Strings • The Godfather was scored by Nino Rota in 1972. • Director Francis Ford Coppola’s father also contributed music. • The original theme from the film appears in all three Godfather movies.
Chariots of Fire • Chariots of Fire was scored by Greek composer Vangelis. • Vangelis said the Academy Award winning theme was dedicated to his father, a runner. • The movie’s soundtrack also incorporates classic Gilbert and Sullivan music.
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