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DeaconsDen 5 Favorite Film Scores

Music is an essential part of the movie watching experience. For me it requires using your brain in a different way. You listen to music. Yet when music and cinema come together in a perfect blend you are seeing the music. It gives you chills, it widens your eyes, it transports you, it takes you to another world. As much as I may love to see what’s on the screen, when I fall in love with the score it really cements that film’s place for me as an absolute favorite. 

Here I present to you five film scores that I love sincerely and mean something to my development as a film lover.

5.) Beauty and the Beast (1991)  

 I was 6 years old when this film was released. I remember sitting in my seat and for the first time I can recall in my life, being captivated by a musical score. From the opening prologue to our introduction of Belle, I found myself separating the brilliant lyrics by the late Howard Ashman from the score by Alan Menken. You could say this inspired my interest in film as I began to watch specials on the making of Beauty and the Beast as well as other films. My first encounter with the idea of “Disney Magic.”

4) Batman (1989) 

 

I feel this is Danny Elfman’s best work. It has elements of his quirky style and at the same time perfectly fits the character. There aren’t too many opening themes to a film that I think are perfect, but this score has it. It totally sets the mood and everything about the score screams Batman. Elements of the score made it into Batman: The Animated Series which a lot of people claim (myself included) is the best iteration of Batman outside the comics. So it certainly is an inspiration. This film sparked my interest in superheroes and Danny Elfman’s work was a huge part of it.

3) Ben-Hur (1959)

 

An epic amongst epics. Miklos Rozsa was a master at these kind of scores. With films such as Ivanhoe and Quo Vadis under his belt, Rozsa excellently captures the grandiose scale of Ben-Hur. My favorite pieces of this score are its Overture which spells out musically (at least that’s how my ears interpret it) the journey that Judah Ben-Hur will soon take. From a prince to a slave to a man set on vengeance the overture’s tone flows to set the mood. I also love the music leading up to the chariot race scene. It brings to life the spectacle that is that scene and the entire film. Ben-Hur is one of the last great epic biblical films and its music is a masterclass in film scoring.

2) Star Trek: The Motion Picture 

 
Honestly, if you asked me, this is Jerry Goldsmith’s best score and most unappreciated at the same time. I feel it’s forgotten due to the the reception of the film itself. For me it captures the exploration of space and the wonders of discovery. This is what Star Trek is about. Two standout tracks are Ilya’s Theme which acts as the film’s overture. It’s soft and beautiful and sometime brings a tear or two while I’m listening. The other is Enterprise because it sums up the bond between Kirk and the Enterprise. Goldsmith has me feeling what I imagine what Kirk is feeling when he sees his ship again for the first time in years. Also there’s the main theme which I always thought was the theme for The Next Generation until I saw this for the first time. This film and this score to me is what Star Trek really is.

1) Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope

This is the only film score that I can perfectly play the entire film in my head as the music goes. John Williams is a virtuoso and this is his magnum opus to me. It drops adventure, fantasy, escapism. Everything is iconic and recognizable. This score was the icing on the cake to fully bring George Lucas’ vision to life.

So there you have it! The DeaconsDen 5 Favorite Film Scores. What are some of your faves? Let me know in the comments!

6 responses to “DeaconsDen 5 Favorite Film Scores”

    • I actually thought it would be harder when I was thinking about it, but each one popped in my head instantly and I knew why. Guess the impact of those films was stronger than I even thought.

  1. Epic list, Eric! Love your top 3! You already know my high regard for JG’s Star Trek scores, especially this one. Ilia’s Theme is an amazing piece of music and very moving, too. Also, I love the extended anniversary edition CD, too, which I believe you have, right? Great post bro 🙂

      • It is! I loved that Shatner brought JG back to do The Final Frontier soundtrack, even though he was dropped again until First Contact.

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