Great Movie Scores
Great Theme Music
The movies appeal to our sense of sight with lights and imagery. They appeal to our sense of hearing with explosions and boom. Movies appeal to our hearts with dialogue and feeling. But all of senses and emotions are enhanced by beautifully written theme music. The following is a short list of the best movie theme songs.
E.T. The Extra terrestrial
E.T. the Extrea-Terrestrial was released in 1982 and tells the story of Elliott, a friendless boy who befriends an extra-terrestrial and helps him return home while keeping him safe from Elliott's mother and the government.
E.T. starred Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote. It was directed by Steven Spielberg. When released, ET was a huge hit and surpassed Stars Wars as the most successful film ever. E.T. won four Oscars, including the Oscar for the best musical score by John Williams.
E.T. was a wonderfully written movie. The actors played the roles well, but it would not have tugged at the heartstrings without the music. The best example of this is E.T.'s most famous scene, when Elliott and his friends are trying to get E.T. to the spaceship on their bikes, and to avoid the cops they all fly above the cars and into the sky. Without the music, the scene would not be so well remembered.
The Music Of The Dark Side
Star Wars was first released in 1977 with subsequent sequels and prequels released through 2005. Star Wars tells the story of Luke Skywalker, a young man looking for more in the Universe. When he stumbles upon two droids, and it triggers a message from Princess Leia and he seeks out Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke learns his true destiny. He learns that he comes from a line of Jedi Knights. He travels with Obi-Wan and begins to battle the Dark Side, led by Darth Vader.
The Score for all six movies was composed by John Williams
JAWS was released in 1975 and instantly became a classic. Directed by Steven Spielberg, JAWS was based on a best selling novel by Peter Benchley. JAWS tells the story of Amity Island, a small summer resort town. The town Sheriff tries to protect the summer beach-goers from a killer great white shark. The movie then tells the steps taken to kill the Great White. JAWS starred Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss,Robert Shaw and Lorraine Gary.
JAWS is regarded as the first "Summer Blockbuster" and due to its success changed the way studios released such movies. JAWS won three Oscars, including the Oscar for musical score. It was nominated for best picture but lost to The One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
JAWS provides the two most famous musical notes in movie history. The musical score was completed by John Williams, and the two note threatening music was his brainchild.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was released in 1960 and was based on the novel by Robert Bloch. The film tells the story of a secretary who running from her employer after stealing money and ends up at the Bates Hotel, run by Norman Bates. Norman Bates is an obviously lonely man who lives with his mother, or so we think.
Psycho originally was not well received by critics but did well at the box office, which prompted a re-review and led to four Academy Award nominations. It won none. Janet Leigh won a Golden Globe for her part. Psycho starred Leigh, Anthony Perkins and Martin Balsam.
The score for Psycho was composed by Bernard Herrmann. The most famous of this music was heard in what is known as the Shower Scene, where Leigh character is murdered. In order to match Hitchcock's straight on shots and numerous cut away shots in the Shower Scene, Herrmann developed a soundtrack of screeching violins, violas and cellos. The piece is called the Murder. Originally, Hitchcock wanted the scene to have no music attached but after hearing Herrmann's work, agreed that it intesified the scene.
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