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The Top 8 Movie Themes Composed by John Williams

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If you are not familiar with the name John Williams, you should be. Even if you are not familiar with the name, you’ve more than likely heard the composer’s iconic movie score themes at least once in your life. John Williams has composed the music for some of the most memorable films of our generation. Star Wars, Jaws, and Superman are some of the more notable films where you’ve heard his work, and that’s just a small sample of his prowess as a composer.

When you hear the “Imperial March” you may imagine yourself walking into a room demanding that everyone stops what they are doing and pay attention to you. The Jaws theme may make you feel that impending doom is headed your way. When the brass starts at the beginning of the Superman theme you can’t help but get excited and actually want to fly, breaking out the red cape with arms fully extended in front of you and away you go.

There are many great films that John Williams composed the score for, but this list was narrowed down to the top eight. They are not ranked in any particular order. Check out the scores below and relive your childhood or escape in your own imagination. John Williams has moved us for many years with his incredible composing skills. Whatever that feeling is, there is no denying that his music leaves a lasting impression on you.

 

8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“Hedwig’s Theme” makes both kids and adults want to be part of the Harry Potter world, both camps impatiently waiting for a letter from Hogwarts to arrive stating when they will start at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The theme is both mysterious and wondrous at the same time.

7. Jurassic Park


When you hear this theme you may immediately think of the antagonist of the film, the tyrannosaurus rex. There is more to this movie than adventure. Science plays a huge role in the film via the cloning dinosaurs, which is something some would see as playing God. The music of the film tells a different story, one of wonder, possibility, and adventure.

6. Superman (1978)


Superman was one of the first movies to get the superhero motif down. Christopher Reeves gave an outstanding performance as Clark Kent and Superman, and too many fans he’ll forever be the Man of Steel. If you re-watch the film some of the special effects may come off cheesy, but the film holds up in part to the score that John Williams composed.

5. Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones makes archeology look badass. He travels to some of the most exotic places in search of the rarest treasures, yet he manages to always get in trouble. He hates snakes and brings a gun to a sword fight. John Williams composed a score that makes you want to be Indiana Jones. Da-da-da-da, da-da-da!

4. Jaws


Jaws either made you terrified of the beach, made you love sharks, or both. When watching a movie about a great white shark terrorizing a small beach town, the score better be just as good. John Williams managed to compose a score out of two notes that has gone on to be one of the most famous movie themes of all-time.

3. Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace


The Phantom Menace may not have been the best film in the Star Wars prequels, no thanks to Jar Jar Binks, but it does pack a wonderful score. When those double doors open up and Darth Maul is standing there you know some serious fighting is coming your way. The “Duel of Fates” provides the score for an amazing light saber fight.

2. Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back


“The Imperial March”, welcome to the Dark Side. Sometimes its good to be bad. Darth Vader overlooks his fleet while standing in the Super Star Destroyer, which gives the impression that he is quietly telling himself, go my minions destroy the Rebels. “The Imperial March” might sound demanding, but it’s more fitting for a leader.

1. Star Wars IV: A New Hope


“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” John Williams composed what could be the best theme to a film ever. When the words “Star Wars” appear on the screen accompanied by Williams’ booming main title theme movie goers instantly realize they’re in for a special treat. Star Wars films would not be the same if the score was composed by another person.

 

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Ana Febo

The author Ana Febo

Ana lives in Orlando, FL with her husband and two dogs; Miles and Jello. She is possibly a Cylon. Devoted a piece of her skin to a Destiny tattoo and has a long term plan of cosplayjng as a Bioshock Splicer or Warlock at some point. Her prized possession is an autograph from Robert Englund welcoming her to prime time. Favorite games include those mentioned above, Aladdin for SNES, losing her life to Animal Crossing and the good Resident Evil games. Saga comics are an unequivocal recommendation. She recently wrapped up yet another viewing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.