Memorable film scores on DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JosephMoore, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. JosephMoore

    JosephMoore Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 10, 2002
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    For some reason it dawned on me last night that of all the movies that I had watched recently not one of them featured a score that I could even remember, let alone single out as being exceptional. (Now in some ways I guess that's a good thing because a good score can just set the tone and remain invisible.)

    I can't think of anything in the past twenty years to compare to the memorable themes of the 70's and 80's -- such as John Williams' themes. Or even farther back, like the work done for certain Hitchcock movies in which the score was integral.

    So, everybody, what recent (last 20 years) scores stand out in your memory ? Let's exclude musicals (including Disney animated musicals) and other soundtrack "songs" don't count either, so for instance all of the songs for the "Matrix" soundtrack don't count as it's score.

    - I remember Marylin Manson's score for "Resident Evil" just because it was so very different.
    - I remember Ennio Morricone's score for "The Mission" because it was so haunting.
    - I remember the "Jurrassic Park" theme, but it annoyed the hell out of me.
    - I remember the jazzy temp of "The Thomas Crown Affair."
  2. BruceLongee

    BruceLongee Agent

    Jan 3, 2003
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    - Danny Elfman's score for "Batman"
    - John Barry's score for "Dances With Wolves"
    - Hans Zimmer's score for "Gladiator"
    - Howard Shore's scores for "LOTR:FOTR", "Se7en", and "The Cell"
    - Thomas Newman's score for "The Shawshank Redemption"
    - James Horner's score for "Aliens"
    - Don Davis's score for "The Matrix" (yes, the score)
    - John William's scores for "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back"
  3. John Simon

    John Simon Second Unit

    Feb 6, 2001
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    John Williams' score for "JFK"
    Hans Zimmer's score for "Black Hawk Down"
    Jerry Goldsmith's score for "Air Force One"

    And other scores (I'm unsure who composed them):
    Back to the Future
    Last of the Mohicans
    The Rocketeer
  4. JosephMoore

    JosephMoore Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 10, 2002
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    I do now remember the "JFK" score as being good, and yes, "Batman" is certainly memorable (though all of Elfman's stuff begins to blend together.)

    I can't remember a single theme from LOTR, though. It's a very serviceable score, but it seems to sit in the background.

    Also, the Terminator's have a pretty memorable theme now that i think about it.
  5. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

    May 29, 2002
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    Basic Instinct:b
  6. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

    Feb 22, 1999
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    Well, "Cinema Paradiso" for sure... which is coming to DVD (new version) next month.

    Also, I know how we all love to bash James Horner around here, but I actually thought his scores for "Legends of the Fall" and "Braveheart" were excellent.
  7. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

    May 24, 2001
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    Jack Nitzsche's score for "The Razor's Edge" (1984) is excellent and very memorable.
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Jan 16, 1998
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    Neil Joseph
    My list for memorable...

    - Braveheart (James Horner)
    - Dinosaur
    - Gladiator (Hans Zimmer)
    - Hook (John Williams)
    - Jurassic Park
    - FOTR
    - The Mask Of Zorro
    - The Prince Of Egypt (Hans Zimmer)
    - SW ep 1 (John Williams)
    - SW ep 2 (John Williams)
    - Terminator 2
    - Titanic
    - Top Gun
  9. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Feb 15, 2002
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    A.I. - John Williams

    Heavenly Creatures - Peter Dasent (I have a bid on this out-of-print CD on ebay -- hope I win!)
  10. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

    Jun 25, 2002
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    Air’s score to The Virgin Suicides. And, although I’ve only heard the soundtrack album, I think Cliff Martinez’s score for Soderburgh’s Solaris is excellent, as well. (Although, if your only criterion is hummability, you’ll probably disagree with me.)
  11. kevin_asai

    kevin_asai Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 12, 2001
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    Alan Silvestri's Back To The Future & Forrest Gump
    Jerry Goldsmith's Air Force One
    John Williams' E.T.
    Howard Shore's Fellowship of The Ring
    Hans Zimmer's Gladiator & Black Hawk Down
  12. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    As requested, memorable film scores of the last 20 years:

    Accidental Tourist (1988) John Williams
    Age Of Innocence (1993) Elmer Bernstein
    American Beauty (1999) Thomas Newman
    Before And After (1996) Howard Shore
    Blue Velvet (1986) Angelo Badalamenti
    Body Double (1984) Pino Donaggio
    Brainstorm (1983) James Horner
    Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) Wojciech Kilar
    The Bride (1985) Maurice Jarre
    Careful He Might Hear You (1983) Ray Cook
    Carlito's Way (1993) Patrick Doyle
    Casualties Of War (1989) Ennio Morricone
    Cat People (1982) Giorgio Moroder
    Conspiracy Theory (1997) Carter Burwell
    Country (1984) Charles Gross
    Dark Crystal (1982) Trevor Jones
    The Dead (1987) Alex North
    Dead Again (1991) Patrick Doyle
    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) Miklos Rozsa
    Dead Ringers (1988) Howard Shore
    E.T. - The Extraterestrial (1982) John Williams
    End Of The Affair (1999) Michael Nyman
    Far From Heaven (2002) Elmer Bernstein
    Glory (1989) James Horner
    Golden Bowl (2000) Richard Robbins
    The Grifters (1990) Elmer Bernstein
    Hamlet (1990) Ennio Morricone
    Henry V (1989) Patrick Doyle
    The Hours (2002) Philip Glass
    Ice Storm (1997) Mychael Danna
    Interview With The Vampire (1994) Elliot Goldenthal
    L.A. Confidential (1997) Jerry Goldsmith
    Lifeforce (1985) Henry Mancini
    Little Women (1994) Thomas Newman
    Living Daylights (1987) John Barry
    Looking For Richard (1996) Howard Shore
    Madeline (1998) Michel Legrand
    Magnolia (1999) Jon Brion
    Mars Attacks (1996) Danny Elfman
    Michael Collins (1996) Elliot Goldenthal
    The Mission (1986) Ennio Morricone
    Monster's Ball (2001) Asche And Spencer
    The Natural (1984) Randy Newman
    Perfect Storm (2000) James Horner
    The Piano (1993) Michael Nyman
    Playing By Heart (1998) John Barry
    Psycho II (1983) Jerry Goldsmith
    Public Eye (1992) Mark Isham
    Red Dragon (2002) Danny Elfman
    Requiem For A Dream (2000) Clint Mansell
    Return To Oz (1985) David Shire
    Ride With The Devil (1999) Mychael Danna
    The Score (2001) Howard Shore
    Scream 2 (1997) Marco Beltrami
    Signs (2002) James Newton Howard
    Silence Of The Lambs (1991) Howard Shore
    Straight Story (1999) Angelo Badalamenti
    Summer Of Sam (1999) Terence Blanchard
    Suspect (1987) Michael Kamen
    The Thing (1982) Ennio Morricone
    Titus (1999) Elliot Goldenthal
    Total Recall (1990) Jerry Goldsmith
    25th Hour (2002) Terence Blanchard
    Under Fire (1983) Jerry Goldsmith
    Under The Volcano (1984) Alex North
    Whales Of August (1987) Alan Price
    Witches Of Eastwick (1987) John Williams
    Wyatt Earp (1994) James Newton Howard
    Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) Bruce Broughton
  13. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    Truly memorable scores, hmm. Let's see, I'd stick most of Williams' stuff in there, how many of his themes have been just ingrained into our society? Two notes can clear a beach in seconds, and just five can evoke images of benevolent aliens. Even so, his most memorable ones include E.T., Indiana Jones, the Star Wars prequels (Ep II especially did a brilliant job of wedding Ep I to the OT), and Schindler's List.

    Besides him, I'd also put in Braveheart, one of Horner's best works (and one of the ones that least takes from his other stuff), as well as Willow.

    For jsut being memorable (although it's not a particularly outstanding score, good, but not incredible), I'd saay American Beauty is quite memorable, especially in the fanatsy scenes.

    Would Fantasia 2000 count?

    The Rock has another very memorable soundtrack, with a main theme that has a nasty habit of getting stuck in your head and not leaving for the rest of the month.

    I'll second the Terminator series.

    Lord of the Rings so far is doing very well on the score front, although I don't rate them quite as highly as do many others.

    Trying to come up with memorable scores makes me realize just how rare a good score is anymore. I was looking at my DVD collection trying to find those which had a standout score, and just realized how many of them even had a main theme I could remember. Not many.
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Jun 20, 2000
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    OK, I'm a bit of a music snob, so forgive me. I definitely agree with Joseph that there is very little interesting in movie soundtracks anymore. To me, in most cases, the stuff that gets a lot of attention still sounds the same.

    I like that as Well. Ennio Moricone, wasn't it? I just watched that as well. He has done a lot of really nice stuff, though some of it does tend to blend together.

    Two of my definite favorites. These are musical in a way movies almost never have anymore and the second one is incredibly varied to fit the movie.

    The Man in the Moon - James Newton Howard does a wonderful, bluegrass soundtrack.

    Titus - Elliott Goldenthal (who just won a Golden Globe) composed the most incredible and effective range of music I have ever heard in a movie.
  15. Iain Jackson

    Iain Jackson Second Unit

    Nov 22, 2001
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    RoboCop by Basil Poledouris. Brilliant...

    Enemy of the State had a really good score as well (or at least the main theme). It was composed by Trevor Rabin and Harry Gregson-Williams.

    Donnie Darko - another brilliant soundtrack, by Michael Andrews.

    Unbreakable by James Newton Howard.
  16. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Dec 30, 2002
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    Beetlejuice by Danny Elfman. The DVD even has an isolated score.
  17. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

    Jun 30, 1997
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    I'll second Dinosaur. Wonderful score.
    Here are a few more scores that come to mind instantly.

    Requiem for a Dream
    Saving Private Ryan
    Resident Evil
    Lord of the Rings
    The Phantom Menace/Attack of the Clones
    The Terminator/T2
    The Rock
    Silence of the Lambs
    Red Dragon (soon to be on DVD)
    American Beauty
    The Mask of Zorro

  18. Phu Vo

    Phu Vo Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 25, 2000
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    I started a thread like this about a year back. Seems the question comes up in a thread every now and again and becomes very popular. Here are some of my favorites from lesser known movies. Of course everyone knows about the Elfman, Horner, and Williams scores, but these ones absolutely can't be missed.

    Blade Runner - Vangelis (melodic and at times almost trance like)
    Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story - Randy Edelman (one of the greats of all time here. This one tends to play in commercials alot)
    Dragonheart - Randy Edelman (Heroic tune)
    The Last of the Mohicans - Randy Edelman (Another Heroic tune)
    The Beach - Angelo Badalamenti (Mythical, don't miss this one. Check the feedback at to see what I mean. soundtrack is pretty cool too)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Haunting and emotionally stirring)
    The Crow - Graeme Revell (Dark, haunting, and uplifting all at once, and then there is the soundtrack. Awesome!)
  19. Matt Giggey

    Matt Giggey Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 2, 2001
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    In the Mood for Love - Michael Galasso (Best. Score. Ever.)
    Kundun - Philip Glass
    Mulholland Drive - Angelo Badalamenti
    Requiem for a Dream - Clint Mansell
  20. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

    Aug 2, 2001
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    I almost started this exact same thread a few weeks ago, but I wasn't going to limit it to DVD, just memorable scores from the last 20 years because I was truly having a hard time thinking of many. This isn't to say that there hasn't been some great scores, but not many that are immediately recognizable when heard seperate from the movie.

    Here are some of my favorites

    Randy Newman - The Natural
    Tim Burton - Pee Wee's Big Adventure
    Tim Burton - Batman
    Thomas Newman - American Beauty
    Bram Stoker's Dracula - Wojciech Kilar

    I've heard pieces from the American Beauty score in several commercials and countless trailers for other movies.

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