Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Best Film Scores -- What's Your Pick?


DonaldM

Recommended Posts

The thread that David had on Avatar made me think of this. What would you pick as your top 3 film scores of all time and why?

In your opinion, what makes a film score great?

 

I'll have to admit, its tough for me, but here goes.

 

1. The Mission - Ennio Morricone Besides the powerful story in this film, the music blended perfectly with the story line, combining simple instrumental elements, choral elements and full orchestration. Brilliant and one of the very best ever in my opinion.

 

2. Kingdom of Heaven - Harry Gregson-Williams Perfect blend of ethnic rhythms and styles that emotionally support and enhance the story. Great film, too!

 

3. Pan's Labyrinth (El labertino del fauno) - Javier Navarrete

I don't know of any film theme more haunting than the simple one that forms the main theme for this film.

 

I know I could name others, but I said 3. What makes a score great in my opinion is first that it captures the emotional impact of the story perfectly and second that its memorable in its own right. Tough to pull off.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Favorite Score:

 

Escape from NY (Simple, yet so appropriate)

Close Encounters

Shawshank Redemption

 

Honorable Mention: Anything by Danny Elfman

Favorite Soundtrack: Goodfellas

Best use of songs in a documentary: Riding Giants

 

Ask me tomorrow and my list could change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Braveheart - James Horner

 

I really love that score. I was never a huge fan of his score for Titanic, so I always tell myself that Horner's oscar win for bext score on Titanic was just a makeup for his missing out on Braveheart.

 

I'll throw in John Williams score for "Star Wars", not because it's the greatest but because of the life changing impact it had on me as a kid and how I continue to view music.

 

Bernstein's "Ten Commandments" and Herrmann's "Psycho" are also quickly coming to mind....I would probably give the nod to Psycho, personal preference.

 

There's tons more....after thinking about it I would probably change my top 3 many times in the next few hours. I don't know that I could really ever narrow it down like that...so much great music has come out of the movies.

 

Then again....Starship's "Nothing's gonna stop us now" came out of Mannequin, so it ain't all great....right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the best scores enhance the visuals, create mood and can often stand on their own as compositions. I'm a Herrmann fan. Other favorites: Ennio Morricone, Alex North, and Nino Rota. Bernard Herrmann was prolific, laying the groundwork for composers like John Williams. No way to list 3... some of this from a web search:

 

Hitchcock classics:

 

The Man who Knew too Much

The Wrong Man

Vertigo

North by Northwest

The Trouble With Harry

Psycho

The Birds - Herrmann was credited as "sound consultant", with the bird noises created by Oskar Sala using an early electronic instrument called the Mixtur-Trautonium.

Marnie

Torn Curtain (unused but recorded score, possibly his best)

 

Music for the TV series "Have Gun Will Travel".

 

The rest:

Citizen Kane - Orson Welles - Herrmann's first film score

The Magnificent Ambersons - Orson Welles

The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) - his one Oscar for this score, a track called "the devil's concerto" - a wicked version of "pop goes the weasel" for strings.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

The Day the Earth Stood Still - the usual intensity of Herrmann with the inspired use of Theremins to produce the eerie electronic sounds which have influenced sci-fi music ever since, leading to the parody "Mars Attacks".

Anna and the King of Siam

The Egyptian

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef

The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit

Hangover Square

Five Fingers

On Dangerous Ground

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

The Kentuckian

The Bride Wore Black - Francois Truffaut

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

The Three Worlds of Gulliver

Mysterious Island

Cape Fear - the original and the remake as used by Elmer Bernstein.

Jason and the Argonauts

Obsession - Brian DePalma

Fahrenheit 451 - Truffaut

Taxi Driver - Martin Scorcese - Herrmann's final score

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All great stuff mentioned.

 

Another vote for all the Bernard Hermann stuff, particularly Psycho and Rear Window.

 

Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western stuff of course.

 

John Williams is legendary of course, but I'm tired of the number of his themes opening with an ascending fifth. (Star Wars, ET, Schindler's List, just to name a few).

 

Danny Elfman's work for Pee Wee's Big Adventure

 

For something completely different, Jonny Greenwood's (Radiohead) score to There Will Be Blood is unbelievably spooky.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Passion of Joan of Arc -- classic French silent movie (1927)

 

The composer, Richard Einhorn, is on the MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) user forum. I didn't notice at first, because Einhorn is German for Unicorn, so I thought it was a typical forum pen name.

 

Elevator to the Gallows -- French film noir 1950's, Miles Davis

 

This movie has informed my entire approach to movie soundtracks, with interrelated themes that are inversions, etc.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elevator to the Gallows -- French film noir 1950's, Miles Davis

 

This movie has informed my entire approach to movie soundtracks, with interrelated themes that are inversions, etc.

AKA Ascenseur pour L'Echafaud. See my post above. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite movie with classic Nino Rota

[video:youtube]v=1aV9X2d-f5g&feature=related

 

There could be a whole discussion on "movie music that's better than the movie itself". #1 on my list: "The Natural". Here's another very nice piece of music for a very mediocre film:

[video:youtube]v=rOxQhaUpjkY

 

John Williams is legendary of course, but I'm tired of the number of his themes opening with an ascending fifth. (Star Wars, ET, Schindler's List, just to name a few).

Try "Catch Me If You Can". Somewhat un-Williams-like for a Williams score. The '60s cool, pre-Mad Men title sequence is great.

[video:youtube]gaLDyrun_Cc&feature=related

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[video:youtube]gaLDyrun_Cc&feature=related

 

+47

 

Its amazing how these scores can capture specific moods or ambiance. Any mood my music creates is pure coincidence.

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There could be a whole discussion on "movie music that's better than the movie itself".

 

Purple Rain, although not really a score, more a soundtrack.

 

Try "Catch Me If You Can". Somewhat un-Williams-like for a Williams score. The '60s cool, pre-Mad Men title sequence is great.

 

Forgot about that one. I remember going to see that movie when it first came out, and loving that title sequence. Great film too.

 

Another great John Williams score, although for TV is his theme to Time Tunnel.

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmTbnU_aLDU&feature=related

 

I just recently joined an 8 piece band which does TV and film music arranged for Drums, percussion, bass, guitar, piano/organ, and 3-piece brass section. We do a lot of 60's and 70's TV themes, as well as a few film themes. We're called the Remote Control Ensemble. It's a lot of fun, all great players, and probably the only chance we'll ever get at performing this genre.

 

Here's a list of stuff we do:

 

Barney Miller

Benny Hill (Yakety Sax)

Bullit

Batman (60's TV show opening theme)

UFO

Time Tunnel

Lucertola (Ennio Morricone obscure movie theme)

Fireball

Theme from Hockey Night In Canada (done in latin jazz style, very funny)

Star Trek (done in 60's stripclub style, funny)

The Penguin

Powerhouse

Overture/Breakfast Machine (Danny Elfman, from Pee Wee's Big Adventure)

Sesame Street (done in dirty funk style ala Steven Bernstein's Sexmob)

Man From U.N.C.L.E

Streets of San Francisco

 

All in all a very fun and challenging project. We're recording a demo on Wednesday. When I get a copy I'll post some excerpts.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read over and over again that Conan the Barbarian has the greatest movie soundtrack of all time, and that all aspiring film composers should pick it up and study it. I never saw the film, but pay taxes to the star actor. :-)

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Conversation (1974, Coppola, with Gene Hackman and an early Harrison Ford in a modest role). Sophisticated film, and great score featuring solo piano sparingly played by David Shire.

Yamaha P2 acoustic, Yamaha P120 digital, Nord Electro 3HP, QSC K10.

FOR SALE: Nord Electro 2-61.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of my favorite original scores were done by Jon Brion and Danny Elfman. Two very different approaches: Brion is very minimalist and Elfman has a penchant for more over-the-top theatrical stuff, but both of them have an uncanny ability to capture the essence of a film musically.

 

In terms of compiled music (not original scores), I love the soundtrack for "Vanilla Sky." Tarantino's films always have great music too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...