200 Greatest Film Score Composers

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Criteria: These composers were ranked according to their influence on scoring of films, the acclaim they received for their film scoring, and, to a lesser degree, the greatness (influence, acclaim, popularity) of the films they wrote scores for.

Disclaimer: This list is strongly influenced by the Western canon of films. This means that in the broader scope of a global cinema certain regions may be underrepresented, among them Russia, India, China, Africa and Latin America.

Last Updated: 2022-05-24
Greatest Film Score Composers
  1. John Williams (Star Wars)
  2. Max Steiner (Gone with the Wind)
  3. Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)
  4. Alfred Newman (How the West Was Won)
  5. Jerry Goldsmith (Chinatown)
  6. Bernard Herrmann (Psycho)
  7. Nino Rota (The Godfather)
  8. Elmer Bernstein (The Ten Commandments)
  9. Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia)
10. John Barry (Dr. No)
11. Miklós Rózsa (Ben-Hur)
12. Hans Zimmer (Inception)
13. Dimitri Tiomkin (High Noon)
14. Franz Waxman (Sunset Blvd.)
15. Henry Mancini (The Pink Panther)
16. Erich Wolfgang Korngold (The Adventures of Robin Hood)
17. Ilaiyaraaja (Sagara Sangamam)
18. Alex North (A Streetcar Named Desire)
19. James Horner (Titanic)
20. Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)
21. Georges Delerue (Contempt)
22. Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
23. Danny Elfman (Batman)
24. Victor Young (Around the World in Eighty Days)
25. Herbert Stothart (The Wizard of Oz)
26. Thomas Newman (American Beauty)
27. Randy Newman (Toy Story)
28. Lalo Schifrin (Cool Hand Luke)
29. Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings)
30. Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future)
31. Hugo Friedhofer (The Best Years of Our Lives)
32. Ray Heindorf (A Star Is Born)
33. Dave Grusin (On Golden Pond)
34. Louis F. Gottschalk (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse)
35. Bill Conti (Rocky)
36. Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi)
37. Fumio Hayasaka (Seven Samurai)
38. Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away)
39. A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire)
40. David Raksin (Laura)
41. Sergei Prokofiev (Alexander Nevsky)
42. Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast)
43. James Newton Howard (The Fugitive)
44. Roy Webb (Cat People)
45. Andre Previn (Elmer Gantry)
46. Vangelis (Blade Runner)
47. Shankar–Jaikishan (Barsaat)
48. Georgie Stoll (Meet Me in St. Louis)
49. Walter Scharf (Hans Christian Andersen)
50. Morris Stoloff (From Here to Eternity)
51. Francis Lai (A Man and a Woman)
52. Georges Auric (Beauty and the Beast)
53. Alessandro Cicognini (Bicycle Thieves)
54. Malcolm Arnold (The Bridge on the River Kwai)
55. Lennie Hayton (The Harvey Girls)
56. Eduard Artemiev (Stalker)
57. George Fenton (Gandhi)
58. Bronislaw Kaper (Lili)
59. Basil Poledouris (Conan the Barbarian)
60. Rachel Portman (Emma)
61. Hugo Riesenfeld (Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans)
62. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (The Social Network)
63. Toru Takemitsu (Ran)
64. Leonard Rosenman (The Cobweb)
65. Akira Ifukube (Godzilla)
66. George Duning (3:10 to Yuma)
67. Frank De Vol (Pillow Talk)
68. Aaron Copland (The Heiress)
69. Roger Edens (For Me and My Gal)
70. Adolph Deutsch (The Apartment)
71. Charles Chaplin (City Lights)
72. Jerry Fielding (The Wild Bunch)
73. Michael Giacchino (Up)
74. Leigh Harline (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
75. Johnny Green (Easter Parade)
76. R.D. Burman (Sholay)
77. Richard Rodney Bennett (Far from the Madding Crowd)
78. John Carpenter (Halloween)
79. Ralph Burns (Cabaret)
80. Louis Silvers (One Night of Love)
81. Oliver Wallace (Dumbo)
82. Edward Ward (Saratoga)
83. William Walton (Henry V)
84. Gabriel Yared (The English Patient)
85. Michael Kamen (Highlander)
86. Harris Jayaraj (Minnale)
87. Friedrich Hollaender (Sabrina)
88. Ernest Gold (Exodus)
89. Shigeru Umebayashi (In the Mood for Love)
90. Werner R. Heymann (To Be or Not to Be)
91. Richard Hageman (Stagecoach)
92. Heinz Roemheld (Yankee Doodle Dandy)
93. Irwin Kostal (Mary Poppins)
94. Cyril J. Mockridge (Guys and Dolls)
95. Lionel Newman (Hello Dolly!)
96. Quincy Jones (In Cold Blood)
97. Louis Gruenberg (All the King's Men)
98. Giuseppe Becce (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)
99. Masaru Sato (Throne of Blood)
100. Mikis Theodorakis (Zorba the Greek)
101. Frank Churchill (Bambi)
102. Luis Bacalov (Django)
103. Charles Wolcott (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
104. Marc Shaiman (When Harry Met Sally...)
105. Frank Skinner (Destry Rides Again)
106. Hans J. Salter (The Wolf Man)
107. Dmitri Shostakovich (The Gadfly)
108. Erik Satie (Entr'acte)
109. Bruce Broughton (Silverado)
110. George Bruns (The Jungle Book)
111. Brian Easdale (The Red Shoes)
112. Carter Burwell (Carol)
113. Angelo Badalamenti (Mulholland Dr.)
114. Wojciech Kilar (The Pianist)
115. Werner Janssen (The General Died at Dawn)
116. Patrick Doyle (Sense and Sensibility)
117. Philippe Sarde (Tess)
118. Harold Faltermeyer (Beverly Hills Cop)
119. Duke Ellington (Anatomy of a Murder)
120. Alberto Iglesias (Volver)
121. Elliot Goldenthal (Frida)
122. Marvin Hamlisch (The Sting)
123. Ron Goodwin (Where Eagles Dare)
124. Nicola Piovani (Life Is Beautiful)
125. Giovanni Fusco (L'avventura)
126. Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood)
127. Bernhard Kaun (Frankenstein)
128. Carl W. Stalling (Rabbit of Seville)
129. Trevor Jones (Excalibur)
130. Brad Fiedel (The Terminator)
131. David Arnold (Independence Day)
132. Jon Brion (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
133. Riz Ortolani (Mondo Cane)
134. Piero Piccioni (Swept Away)
135. Jack Nitzsche (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
136. David Newman (Anastasia)
137. Edmund Meisel (Battleship Potemkin)
138. Laurence Rosenthal (Becket)
139. Nelson Riddle (Lolita)
140. Leo Shuken (The Lady Eve)
141. William Alwyn (Odd Man Out)
142. John Addison (Tom Jones)
143. Toshiro Mayuzumi (The Bible: In the Beginning...)
144. Randy Edelman (Kindergarden Cop)
145. Piero Umiliani (Big Deal on Madonna Street)
146. Michael Nyman (The Piano)
147. Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream)
148. Erik Nordgren (Wild Strawberries)
149. Edward H. Plumb (Bambi)
150. Wolfgang Zeller (The Adventures of Prince Achmed)
151. Melvin Van Peebles (Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song)
152. Tangerine Dream (Sorcerer)
153. Harry Sukman (Song Without End)
154. David Shire (The Conversation)
155. Paul Smith (Pinocchio)
156. Hans Erdmann (Nosferatu)
157. Johann Johannsson (Arrival)
158. Arthur Honegger (Napoléon)
159. Gottfried Huppertz (Metropolis)
160. Burt Bacharach (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
161. Marco Beltrami (The Hurt Locker)
162. Terence Blanchard (BlacKkKlansman)
163. David Hirschfelder (Shine)
164. Miles Davis (Elevator to the Gallows)
165. Isaac Hayes (Shaft)
166. John Morris (The Elephant Man)
167. Virgil Thomson (Louisiana Story)
168. Ernst Toch (Heidi)
169. Meredith Willson (The Great Dictator)
170. Jerome Moross (The Big Country)
171. Giorgio Moroder (Midnight Express)
172. Ralph Vaughan Williams (Scott of the Antarctic)
173. Hanns Eisler (The Forgotten Village)
174. John Debney (The Passion of the Christ)
175. Paul Dessau (White Cargo)
176. John Corigliano (Red Violin)
177. Daniele Amfitheatrof (Letter from an Unknown Woman)
178. Saul Chaplin (West Side Story)
179. Bruno Nicolai (Il Conte Dracula)
180. Clifton Parker (The Wooden Horse)
181. John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon)
182. John Scott (Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes)
183. Ryuichi Sakamoto (The Last Emperor)
184. Richard Robbins (Howards End)
185. Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain)
186. Dario Marianelli (Atonement)
187. Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby)
188. Mark Mancina (Speed)
189. Johnny Mandel (I Want to Live!)
190. Harry Gregson-Williams (The Chronicles of Narnia)
191. Florian Fricke/Popol Vuh (Aguirre, The Wrath of God)
192. W. Franke Harling (Stagecoach)
193. Marvin Hatley (Way Out West)
194. Bebe & Louis Barron (Forbidden Planet)
195. Michael Gore (Fame)
196. John Murphy (28 Days Later)
197. Christopher Young (Hellraiser)
198. Éric Serra (Léon: The Professional)
199. Victor Schertzinger (One Night of Love)
200. Leith Stevens (Destination Moon)
Selected Film Scores by John Williams
John Williams
Valley of the Dolls
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
The Reivers
The Missouri Breaks
Tom Sawyer
The Rare Breed
Cinderella Liberty
The Cowboys
Fiddler on the Roof
The Poseidon Adventure
The Long Goodbye
Seven Years in Tibet
Jane Eyre (TV)
The Fury
Sugarland Express
Black Sunday
The Towering Inferno
Man Who Loved Cat Dancing
The Eiger Sanction
Jaws 1, 2, 3D, 4
Battle of Midway
Close Encounters Third Kind
Superman 1, 2, 3, 4
Raiders of the Lost Ark 1, 2, 3
Star Wars 4, 5, 6, and 1, 2, 3
ET, The Extra-Terrestrial
The Big Chill
The River
Empire of the Sun
The Witches of Eastwick
The Accidental Tourist
Born on the Fourth of July
Home Alone 1, 2
Presumed Innocent
Schindler's List
Jurassic Park 1, 2
Far and Away
Saving Private Ryan
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
Angela's Ashes
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Harry Potter/Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter/Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter/Prisoner of Azkaban
The Patriot
Minority Report
Catch Me if You Can
The Terminal
War of the Worlds
Memoirs of a Geisha
Selected Film Scores by Max Steiner
Max Steiner
Cimarron (1931)
King Kong (1933)
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
A Star Is Born (1937)
Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)
Dark Victory (1939)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Santa Fe Trail (1940)
Sergeant York (1941)
Casablanca (1942)
Now, Voyager (1942)
Since You Went Away (1944)
The Big Sleep (1946)
Night and Day (1946)
Life with Father (1947)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
White Heat (1949)
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
The Searchers (1956)
A Summer Place (1959)
Spencer's Mountain (1963)
Selected Film Scores by Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
Lilies of the Field (1963)
Seven Days in May (1964)
Von Ryan's Express (1965)
A Patch of Blue (1965)
The Blue Max (1966)
The Sand Pebbles (1966)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Patton (1970)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Papillon (1973)
Chinatown (1974)
The Wind and the Lion (1975)
The Omen (1976)
Alien (1979)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Basic Instinct (1992)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Mulan (1998)
The Mummy (1999)
The Sum of All Fears (2002)
Selected Film Scores by Elmer Bernstein
Elmer Bernstein
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
The Great Escape (1963)
Hud (1963)
The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
Hawaii (1966)
Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968)
True Grit (1969)
Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973)
The Shootist (1976)
The Great Santini (1979)
Airplane! (1980)
The Chosen (1981)
Trading Places (1983)
Ghostbusters (1984)
The Grifters (1990)
The Age of Innocence (1993)
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
Twilight (1998)
Far from Heaven (2002)
Selected Film Scores by Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann
Citizen Kane (1941)
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
The Kentuckian (1955)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
Vertigo (1957)
The Naked and the Dead (1958)
North by Northwest (1959)
Psycho (1960)
Mysterious Island (1961)
Cape Fear (1962)
The Birds (1963)
Marnie (1964)
Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
Taxi Driver (1976)

John Williams - Imperial March - Star Wars / Live

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