Part 1: Memorable Movie Scores

by thethreepennyguignol

5. Duel of the Fates-John Williams

In a film that was, basically, crap, Duel of the Fates gleamed like a jewel in Amidala’s many headpieces. John Williams’ work on Star Wars was some of his finest to date but this- a legendary tune that scored the finest lightsaber battle of the series so far- stands even further out. By the time it reaches that heady climax of choir, brass and strings, you’re transported to another galaxy (forced long time ago, far, far away observation optional, but advised).

4. Hello Zepp- Charlie Clouser

Charlie Clouser, in my eyes, at least, has always made an interesting choice with his music. He’ll often mesh ambient sound as percussion together with carefully constructed orchestra pieces to give this unsettling mix of old and new that works perfectly in his horror scores (see also: American Horror Story). This particular theme does it’s job perfectly, to the point that I can’t listen to it now without assuming that someone’s going to break my fingers if I don’t write this fast enough. Come that big climax at around 2:20 I’m beyond the point of no return by a substantial distance.

3. Gremlins- Jerry Goldsmith

Once, I was drunk (what’s new) and me and my best friend were staggering back to his place after a night at the pub. When we got in, he sat down at his piano, grinned mischievously up at me, and played this theme song. That event pretty much sums up this music perfectly- it’s anarchic, completely silly, and ridiculously fun. That campy, flatulent organ mixed with that endearingly repetitive thud of percussion is so shamelessly eighties, so shamelessly subversive. It’s basically made for me, and I know I should never be given what I want.

2. He’s a Pirate-Klaus Badelt

Klaus Badelt never gets enough credit for his amazing work on Pirates of the Caribbean, a franchise which spawned a modern classic of a score. Come on, can you look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t immediately picture yourself as a pirate fleeing from the period-appropriate authorities when you hear this number? It’s a properly breathless number: the brilliant swell of the orchestra matched with a ruthless energy is almost enough to make you forget about that time they did that film with Penelope Cruz in it. Shudder.

1. The Magnificent Seven theme- Elmer Bernstein

I would put this up there, not just with my favourite scores of all time, but my favourite songs of all time. This is a properly faultless bit of music- aside from that great hook, you’ve got every bit of cowboy life covered without a word spoken. Each segment of the song puts you in mind of everything from riding a donkey across a desert to falling in love with a local sassy bartendress. And then there’s that bit at 2:07- a toe-curlingly joyous piece of music that sums up the attitude of the whole film with ease. This is how you do music scores. Take note.

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