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Who is your favorite film composer?

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49 replies to this topic

#1 of 50 pegastar



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Posted March 19 2009 - 09:47 AM

Who is your favorite film composer? What is your favorite score? Mancini? Hermann? Hans Zimmer? Elfman? John Williams? John Barry? Howard Shore? Michael Kamen?

Just found out Michael J Lewis who is one of my favs and did the score for the animated The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is making his own movie and has samples of the score on his website http://www.youmakemydaythemovie.com definitely worth checking out. Wrote songs for it as well, can see music video here

#2 of 50 Brian Borst

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Posted March 19 2009 - 10:09 AM

Some of my favorites:
- John Williams
The master of course. The amount of famous tunes he has written are enormous, and incredibly famous. Although I must say that his recent efforts are a bit predictable (especially in underscoring action scenes, they sound very similar to each other) they are nonetheless still great. From the recent scores, Star Wars III was an amazing soundtrack, I think. Really emotional. Indy 4 also sounds exceptional. Different from the previous three, but it is written with a different intent than those films.
- Danny Elfman
This guy can write for everything. Action films like Batman and Wanted, zany films like Beetlejuice and Pee Wee's Big Adventure (I still love those) and more serious romantic scores, like Dolores Claiborne and Black Beauty. Every Tim Burton score is outstanding as well. I can't wait for his music for Alice in Wonderland
- Jon Brion
Not a very well known or prolific composer, but the stuff he does write is excellent. Magnolia, I Heart Huckabees (film is lousy, music is great) Punch-Drunk Love and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are some of his great scores. He has a quirky sense of melody, that's highly original. I simply love it. He also sings (now, his voice can take some time getting used to) check out his solo album called Meaningless.
- Philip Glass
Koyaanisqatsi takes some time getting used to, but is one of the best examples of the marriage of picture and sound. The Hours, Dracula, Candyman, Mishima are also amazing scores.

Of course there are many more great composers, but these are some favorites of mine.
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#3 of 50 Bill McA

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Posted March 19 2009 - 10:50 AM

The legendary master, Ennio Morricone!

#4 of 50 Richard--W



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Posted March 19 2009 - 11:25 AM

Nino Rota and Bernard Herrmann, equally.

But of course I appreciate many, many composers.

My favorite soundtracks are El Cid, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, and John Barry's Bond scores in total, including his arrangement of the Bond theme by Norman, one of the single greatest pieces of music from the movies.

#5 of 50 James 'Tiger' Lee

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Posted March 19 2009 - 12:34 PM

My top ten and my personal fave of their scores

John Barry - King Kong
Elmer Bernstein - Ghostbusters
Danny Elfman - Batman
Bernard Herrmann - North By Northwest
Akira Ifukube - Godzilla
Alan Menken - Beauty and the Beast
Giorgio Moroder - Metropolis
Ennio Morricone - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Tangerine Dream - Thief
John Williams - Superman

#6 of 50 Mr. Film

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Posted March 19 2009 - 01:36 PM

John Williams and Hans Zimmer
"As soon as television became the only secondary way in which films were watched, films had to adhere to a pretty linear system, whereby you can drift off for ten minutes and go and answer the phone and not really lose your place."
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#7 of 50 Jim*Tod


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Posted March 19 2009 - 02:16 PM

Bernard Herrmann (VERTIGO) (Unquestionably the greatest film composer)
Franz Waxman (PEYTON PLACE)
John Barry(BODY HEAT)
Leonard Rosenman (EAST OF EDEN)
Johnny Green (RAINTREE COUNTY---misfire of a movie but what a score)
John Barry (any Bond but especially GOLDFINGER and THUNDERBALL)

#8 of 50 Ockeghem



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Posted March 19 2009 - 04:06 PM

Bernard Herrmann and Max Steiner.


#9 of 50 RickER



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Posted March 19 2009 - 04:16 PM

Jerry Goldsmith- Star Trek: TMP

James Horner- Battle Beyond the Stars. They all come from this template. Everything sounds like this score. But i love his work anyway!

John Barry- From Bond, to Dances with Wolves. I love his work.

Hans Zimmer- Love his scores, and i own a half dozen of his soundtracks...its late, and i cant think of one!

Murry Gold- Doctor Who, season 1-4 Best TV work in YEARS!

I also really like my season 1 and 2 soundtracks of Space:1999. Two different composers, but i love the music to both years.

#10 of 50 Michael Rogers

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Posted March 19 2009 - 04:21 PM

It's so hard to choose from so many favorites

John Williams
Jerry Goldsmith
Danny Elfman
James Horner
Bernard Hermann
Elmer Bernstein
Basil Poledouris

and more...

#11 of 50 ChrisBEA



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Posted March 19 2009 - 11:19 PM

John Williams and Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer are around the top. Some that are growing in my eyes include Tyler Bates, Bear McCreary, Alexandre Desplat, Javier Navarrete, Clint Mansell, Michael Giacchino

#12 of 50 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 19 2009 - 11:38 PM

My favorite composers are the following and each of them had too many great films for me to pick a specific favorite from them.
  • Dimitri Tiomkin
  • Bernard Herrman
  • Miklos Rozsa
  • Elmer Bernstein




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#13 of 50 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 20 2009 - 12:39 AM

I second Robert's picks and add Nina Rota.
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#14 of 50 Peter McM

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Posted March 20 2009 - 12:41 AM

Jerry Goldsmith. I grew up a life-long Trekkie, and Goldsmith's music has been an intregal part of that journey; his end title overture for Nemesis remains one of the most stirring pieces of modern orchestra I've ever heard.
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#15 of 50 PaulDA



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Posted March 20 2009 - 12:42 AM

In no particular order, some of my favourites:

Jerry Goldsmith
Ennio Morricone
Howard Shore
Bernard Herrman
Michael Giacchino
John Barry
John Williams
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#16 of 50 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 20 2009 - 12:43 AM

And for a one-off, one-time composer, I'll mention Anton Karas.
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#17 of 50 Joseph J.D

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Posted March 20 2009 - 01:17 AM

These are the ones that are my faves.....

John Williams (Star Wars, Superman....etc. The man is in a class by himself)
Jerry Goldsmith (Star Trek.....of course he's on this list)
Howard Shore (Lord Of The Rings....damn fine piece of work.)
John Barry (James Bond....I especially love the Somewhere In Time soundtrack)
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#18 of 50 Rhoq


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Posted March 20 2009 - 02:08 AM

Clint Mansell
James Newton Howard
Hans Zimmer (and to a lesser degree Steve Jablonsky)
John Williams

#19 of 50 Shaun


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Posted March 20 2009 - 02:25 AM

James Newton Howard - His stuff is sometimes hit and miss. King Kong (2005), Defiance, I Am Legend, Dinosaur, Atlantis, Waterworld, The Village, Unbreakable, Lady In The Water, Snow Falling On Cedars and The Waterhorse are all excellent scores. Then there's his scores for Michael Clayton, The Interpreter, Freedomland, Collateral, etc. which tend to be more low-key and less memorable.

Basil Poledouris - Conan The Barbarian is considered to be one of the best film scores of all time. Other scores like Robocop, Hunt For Red October and Starship Troopers, along with other greats like Les Miserables, Farewell To The King, Quigley Down Under and Flesh and Blood are all worth checking out as well. But Conan The Barbarian is the best, hands down.

John Debney - His score for Cutthroat Island is also considered to be one of the best film scores of all time. If you're looking for the definitive pirate/adventure score, look no further. It's certainly the best of his career along with The Passion of the Christ. He also did the score for Lair, a video game, which is one of the best scores of 2007 in my opinion.

Trevor Jones - He hasn't done much recently, but his scores for tv movies/miniseries such as Merlin, Dinotopia, Cleopatra and Loch Ness are all excellent and highly addictive. He's no slouch in the feature film department either with scores like Dark City, Cliffhanger and The Last of The Mohicans.

James Horner - Depending on the genre or theme of the movie, his scores tend to sometimes sound similar to eachother. But, you can't deny his talent. He knows how to pull those heartstrings. Some of his greats include Titanic, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Legends of the Fall, Field of Dreams, The Land Before Time, Willow, Glory, A Beautiful Mind, The Spitfire Grill, The Rocketeer, Cocoon and Krull.

Christopher Young - A very well-rounded composer. His scores for Murder in the First, Hellraiser, The Shipping News and Flowers in the Attic are well worth checking out. He's also sometimes known as the master of horror scores.

Hans Zimmer - He gets a lot of criticism for creating the whole "Media Ventures" sound of generic action music. But much like James Horner, his music perfectly matches the scene. His power anthems are well known and are widely used in various movie trailers and he's got a lot of great scores under his belt such as The Lion King, Crimson Tide, Backdraft, Gladiator, The Dark Knight, The Prince of Egypt, Beyond Rangoon, The Thin Red Line, The DaVinci Code, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Jerry Goldsmith - His skill with blending symphony with electronics and a talent for creative sounds made him very unique. His themes are always addictive and even though he scored some questionable films, the music was what was always memorable. Some of his best are Star Trek The Motion Picture, Total Recall, The Rambo Trilogy, Poltergeist, The Omen, Rudy, First Knight, Mulan, Medicine Man, Hoosiers, Under Fire, Legend, The Ghost and the Darkness and Basic Instinct.
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#20 of 50 Ockeghem



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Posted March 20 2009 - 02:39 AM

With regard to specific films, I greatly respect the work of Hermann for Fahrenheit 451 (who can't appreciate 7/4?), Psycho, and Vertigo.

I also admire the work of Georges Delerue in Jules et Jim and especially Charles Trenet's work for L'Argent de Poche. Some of those melodies are haunting, and stay with me for days after I watch the films. The same goes for the opening music for the shot as we approach the Eiffel Tower in Les Quatre Cents Coups (Jean Constantin) -- it is haunting and capable of leaving an indelible impression on one's mind.

Here is an interesting piece on what Hitchcock thought of some of the music in his films. I had no idea he was this critical of music; I would have loved to have discussed music in film with him.

Sound in Psycho


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