AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores

In 2005, as part of the AFI 100 Years… series, the AFI unveiled its 100 Years of Film Scores list of the top 25 film scores in American cinema. There’s some great film composers not represented, Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore are maybe too recent with Morricone’s work on The Mission from 1986 being the most modern score on the list. John Williams stands out as having three mentions.

1 Star Wars 1977 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd. John Williams
2 Gone with the Wind 1939 MGM, Selznick International Max Steiner
3 Lawrence of Arabia 1962 Columbia, Horizon Pictures Maurice Jarre
4 Psycho 1960 Paramount Bernard Herrmann
5 The Godfather 1972 Paramount Nino Rota
6 Jaws 1975 Universal John Williams
7 Laura 1944 20th Century Fox David Raksin
8 The Magnificent Seven 1960 United Artists, Mirisch Company Elmer Bernstein
9 Chinatown 1974 Paramount Jerry Goldsmith
10 High Noon 1952 United Artists, Stanley Kramer Productions Dimitri Tiomkin
11 The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Warner Bros. Erich Wolfgang Korngold
12 Vertigo 1958 Paramount Bernard Herrmann
13 King Kong 1933 RKO Max Steiner
14 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 Universal, Amblin Entertainment John Williams
15 Out of Africa 1985 Universal John Barry
16 Sunset Boulevard 1950 Paramount Franz Waxman
17 To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 Universal Elmer Bernstein
18 Planet of the Apes 1968 20th Century Fox Jerry Goldsmith
19 A Streetcar Named Desire 1951 Warner Bros. Alex North
20 The Pink Panther 1964 United Artists, Mirisch Company Henry Mancini
21 Ben-Hur 1959 MGM Miklós Rózsa
22 On the Waterfront 1954 Columbia, Horizon Pictures Leonard Bernstein
23 The Mission 1986 Warner Bros., Goldcrest Films Ennio Morricone
24 On Golden Pond 1981 Universal, ITC Entertainment Dave Grusin
25 How the West Was Won 1962 MGM, Cinerama Releasing Alfred Newman, Ken Darby

AFI’s Top 100 Movie Songs: E-Z Play Today Volume 134 (Paperback)
AFI’s 100 Years – 100 Movies (CBS Television Special) DVD
AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Stars: American Film Institute (CBS Television Special) DVD
Becoming AFI: 50 Years Inside the American Film Institute (Hardcover)


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