AFI’s 100 YEARS OF FILM SCORES – American Film Institute

AFI's 100 YEARS OF FILM SCORES

the 25 greatest film scores of all time LEARN MORE
The American Film Institute proudly curates lists to celebrate excellence in the art form. We believe their greatest impact is to inspire personal, passionate discussions about what makes a great film and why and, also, to chart the evolution of the art form. Since its inception, American film has marginalized the diversity of voices that make our nation and its stories strong – and these lists reflect that intolerable truth. AFI acknowledges its responsibility in curating these lists that has reinforced this marginality and looks forward to releasing new lists that will embrace our modern day and drive culture forward.
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Star Wars (1977)

Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Directors: George Lucas|58957

Producer: Gary Kurtz|57246||George Lucas|58957

Writer: George Lucas|58957

Editor: Paul Hirsch|121941||Marcia Lucas|207660||Richard Chew|129720||John Jympson|86094

Cinematographer: Gilbert Taylor|61462

Genre: Adventure, Science fiction

Production Company: Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Composer: John Williams

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Cast: Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil, Vivien Leigh

Directors: Victor Fleming|150912||Sam Wood|138105||George Cukor|58446||Chester Franklin|31119||James Fitzpatrick|180750

Producer: David O. Selznick|37056

Writer: Sidney Howard|140606||Barbara Keon|17722||Lydia Schiller|102711||Connie Earl|33790

Cinematographer: Ernest Haller|48571||Lee Garmes|96572

Genre: Romance

Production Company: Selznick International Pictures, Inc.

Composer: Max Steiner

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Cast: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn

Directors: David Lean|36567

Producer: Sam Spiegel|138056||David Lean|36567

Writer: Robert Bolt|131338||Michael Wilson|112014

Editor: Anne V. Coates|14028

Cinematographer: F. A. Young|50445

Genre: Adventure, Biography

Production Company: Horizon Pictures (G.B.), Ltd.

Composer: Maurice Jarre

Psycho (1960)

Cast: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Directors: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Writer: Joseph Stefano|89708

Editor: George Tomasini|59543

Cinematographer: John L. Russell|87706

Genre: Horror

Production Company: Shamley Productions, Inc.

Composer: Bernard Herrmann

The Godfather (1972)

Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

Directors: Francis Ford Coppola|52754

Producer: Robert Evans|131692||Albert S. Ruddy|9452

Writer: Mario Puzo|190340||Francis Ford Coppola|52754

Editor: William Reynolds|156300||Peter Zinner|124422

Cinematographer: Gordon Willis|62919

Genre: Drama

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp., Alfran Productions, Inc.

Composer: Nino Rota

Jaws (1975)

Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

Directors: Steven Spielberg|210355

Producer: Richard D. Zanuck|130624||David Brown|36208||William S. Gilmore Jr.|157383

Writer: Peter Benchley|234619||Carl Gottlieb|26708

Editor: Verna Fields|150516

Cinematographer: Bill Butler|20972

Genre: Drama

Production Company: Universal Pictures , Zanuck/Brown Company

Composer: John Williams

Laura (1944)

Cast: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb

Directors: Otto Preminger|119881

Producer: Otto Preminger|119881

Writer: Jay Dratler|79843||Samuel Hoffenstein|138296||Betty Reinhardt|20539

Editor: Louis Loeffler|101118

Cinematographer: Joseph La Shelle|89486||Lucien Ballard|101921

Genre: Film noir

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.

Composer: David Raksin

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Cast: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen

Directors: John Sturges|86985

Producer: Walter Mirisch|153535||John Sturges|86985

Writer: William Roberts|156314||Walter Newman|153550

Editor: Ferris Webster|51306

Cinematographer: Charles Lang Jr.|29619

Genre: Western

Production Company: The Mirisch Company, Inc., Alpha Productions

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Chinatown (1974)

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

Directors: Roman Polanski|134497

Producer: Robert Evans|131692

Writer: Robert Towne|132756

Editor: Sam O'Steen|137989

Cinematographer: John Alonzo|85045||Stanley Cortez|141902

Genre: Mystery, Romance

Production Company: Long Road Productions, Inc.

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

High Noon (1952)

Cast: Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges

Directors: Fred Zinnemann|55504

Writer: Carl Foreman|26686

Editor: Harry Gerstad|219083||Elmo Williams|47020

Cinematographer: Floyd Crosby|51832

Genre: Western

Production Company: Stanley Kramer Productions, Inc.

Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone

Directors: Michael Curtiz|111394||William Keighley|155882

Producer: Jack L. Warner|76481||Hal B. Wallis|65158

Writer: Norman Reilly Raine|118663||Seton I. Miller|139470

Editor: Ralph Dawson|126985

Cinematographer: Tony Gaudio|148490||Sol Polito|141255

Genre: Adventure

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Vertigo (1958)

Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Directors: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Writer: Alec Coppel|9693||Samuel Taylor|217552

Editor: George Tomasini|59543

Cinematographer: Robert Burks|131398

Genre: Romance

Production Company: Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corp.

Composer: Bernard Herrmann

King Kong (1933)

Cast: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot

Directors: Merian C. Cooper|110989||Ernest B. Schoedsack|48719

Producer: David O. Selznick|37056

Writer: James Ashmore Creelman|78424||Ruth Rose|136946

Editor: Ted Cheesman|144655

Cinematographer: Eddie Linden|43489||Vernon L. Walker|150607||J. O. Taylor|74739

Genre: Adventure, Horror

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Composer: Max Steiner

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Cast: Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton

Directors: Steven Spielberg|210355

Producer: Steven Spielberg|210355||Kathleen Kennedy|92606

Writer: Melissa Mathison|236978

Editor: Carol Littleton|210249

Cinematographer: Allen Daviau|236977

Genre: Fantasy, Science fiction

Production Company: Universal Pictures , Amblin' Entertainment

Composer: John Williams [composer]

Out of Africa (1985)

Cast: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer

Directors: Sydney Pollack|143849

Producer: Sydney Pollack|143849||Kim Jorgensen|374388

Writer: Kurt Luedtke|244541

Editor: Fredric Steinkamp|56093||William Steinkamp|156464||Pembroke Herring|244542||Sheldon Kahn|228502

Cinematographer: David Watkin|36924

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Production Company: Universal Pictures , Mirage Enterprises

Composer: John Barry

Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Cast: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

Directors: Billy Wilder|22099

Producer: Charles Brackett|29073

Writer: Charles Brackett|29073||Billy Wilder|22099||D. M. Marshman Jr.|34806

Editor: Arthur Schmidt|16202||Doane Harrison|39117

Cinematographer: John F. Seitz|87507

Genre: Drama

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.

Composer: Franz Waxman

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Cast: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton

Directors: Robert Mulligan|132322

Producer: Alan J. Pakula|8979

Writer: Horton Foote|71139

Editor: Aaron Stell|7038||J. Terry Williams|74903

Cinematographer: Russell Harlan|136573

Genre: Drama

Production Company: Pakula-Mulligan Productions, Inc., Brentwood Productions, Inc.

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Cast: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter

Directors: Franklin J. Schaffner|54579

Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs|16435

Writer: Michael Wilson|112014||Rod Serling|133812

Editor: Hugh S. Fowler|71850

Cinematographer: Leon Shamroy|97555

Genre: Science fiction

Production Company: Apjac Productions, Inc.

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Cast: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter

Directors: Elia Kazan|46252

Producer: Charles K. Feldman|30512

Writer: Tennessee Williams|145062||Oscar Saul|119638

Editor: David Weisbart|36931

Cinematographer: Harry Stradling|67250

Genre: Drama

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., Charles K. Feldman Group Productions

Composer: Alex North

The Pink Panther (1964)

Cast: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner

Directors: Blake Edwards|22224

Producer: Martin Jurow|107994

Writer: Maurice Richlin|109861||Blake Edwards|22224

Editor: Ralph E. Winters|127275

Cinematographer: Philip Lathrop|124891

Genre: Comedy

Production Company: Mirisch--G-E Productions

Composer: Henry Mancini

Ben-Hur (1959)

Cast: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet

Directors: William Wyler|156648

Producer: Joseph R. Vogel|205802||Sol C. Siegel|141275||Sam Zimbalist|138111||J. J. Cohn|74572

Writer: Karl Tunberg|92154

Editor: Ralph E. Winters|127275||John D. Dunning|204780||Margaret Booth|105099

Cinematographer: Robert L. Surtees|162275

Genre: Epic

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.

Composer: Miklos Rozsa

On the Waterfront (1954)

Cast: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb

Directors: Elia Kazan|46252

Producer: Sam Spiegel|138056

Writer: Budd Schulberg|24821

Editor: Gene Milford|57706

Cinematographer: Boris Kaufman|23593

Genre: Drama

Production Company: Horizon-American Pictures, Inc..

Composer: Leonard Bernstein

The Mission (1986)

Cast: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally

Directors: Roland Joffé|264784

Producer: Fernando Ghia|229939||David Puttnam|227659

Writer: Robert Bolt|131338

Editor: Jim Clark|82601

Cinematographer: Chris Menges|31457

Genre: Drama

Production Company: Goldcrest, Kingsmere Productions , Enigma Productions

Composer: Ennio Morricone

On Golden Pond (1981)

Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda

Directors: Mark Rydell|107475

Producer: Bruce Gilbert|251995

Writer: Ernest Thompson|251996

Editor: Robert L. Wolfe|133240

Cinematographer: Billy Williams|22101

Genre: Drama

Production Company: ITC Films , IPC Films

Composer: Dave Grusin

How the West Was Won (1963)

Cast: Spencer Tracy, Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb

Directors: John Ford|85693||George Marshall|59001||Henry Hathaway|69295

Producer: Bernard Smith|19493

Writer: James R. Webb|78740

Editor: Harold F. Kress|66219

Cinematographer: William H. Daniels|157018||Milton Krasner|113429||Charles Lang Jr.|29619||Joseph La Shelle|89486

Genre: Western

Production Company: Cinerama, Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Composer: Alfred Newman

1. Star Wars (1977)

Composer: John Williams

Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Directors: George Lucas|58957

Producer: Gary Kurtz|57246||George Lucas|58957

Writer: George Lucas|58957

Editor: Paul Hirsch|121941||Marcia Lucas|207660||Richard Chew|129720||John Jympson|86094

Cinematographer: Gilbert Taylor|61462

Production Company: Lucasfilm, Ltd.

2. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Composer: Max Steiner

Cast: Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil, Vivien Leigh

Directors: Victor Fleming|150912||Sam Wood|138105||George Cukor|58446||Chester Franklin|31119||James Fitzpatrick|180750

Producer: David O. Selznick|37056

Writer: Sidney Howard|140606||Barbara Keon|17722||Lydia Schiller|102711||Connie Earl|33790

Cinematographer: Ernest Haller|48571||Lee Garmes|96572

Production Company: Selznick International Pictures, Inc.

3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Composer: Maurice Jarre

Cast: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn

Directors: David Lean|36567

Producer: Sam Spiegel|138056||David Lean|36567

Writer: Robert Bolt|131338||Michael Wilson|112014

Editor: Anne V. Coates|14028

Cinematographer: F. A. Young|50445

Production Company: Horizon Pictures (G.B.), Ltd.

4. Psycho (1960)

Composer: Bernard Herrmann

Cast: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Directors: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Writer: Joseph Stefano|89708

Editor: George Tomasini|59543

Cinematographer: John L. Russell|87706

Production Company: Shamley Productions, Inc.

5. The Godfather (1972)

Composer: Nino Rota

Cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

Directors: Francis Ford Coppola|52754

Producer: Robert Evans|131692||Albert S. Ruddy|9452

Writer: Mario Puzo|190340||Francis Ford Coppola|52754

Editor: William Reynolds|156300||Peter Zinner|124422

Cinematographer: Gordon Willis|62919

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp., Alfran Productions, Inc.

6. Jaws (1975)

Composer: John Williams

Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

Directors: Steven Spielberg|210355

Producer: Richard D. Zanuck|130624||David Brown|36208||William S. Gilmore Jr.|157383

Writer: Peter Benchley|234619||Carl Gottlieb|26708

Editor: Verna Fields|150516

Cinematographer: Bill Butler|20972

Production Company: Universal Pictures , Zanuck/Brown Company

7. Laura (1944)

Composer: David Raksin

Cast: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb

Directors: Otto Preminger|119881

Producer: Otto Preminger|119881

Writer: Jay Dratler|79843||Samuel Hoffenstein|138296||Betty Reinhardt|20539

Editor: Louis Loeffler|101118

Cinematographer: Joseph La Shelle|89486||Lucien Ballard|101921

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.

8. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Cast: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen

Directors: John Sturges|86985

Producer: Walter Mirisch|153535||John Sturges|86985

Writer: William Roberts|156314||Walter Newman|153550

Editor: Ferris Webster|51306

Cinematographer: Charles Lang Jr.|29619

Production Company: The Mirisch Company, Inc., Alpha Productions

9. Chinatown (1974)

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

Directors: Roman Polanski|134497

Producer: Robert Evans|131692

Writer: Robert Towne|132756

Editor: Sam O'Steen|137989

Cinematographer: John Alonzo|85045||Stanley Cortez|141902

Production Company: Long Road Productions, Inc.

10. High Noon (1952)

Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin

Cast: Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges

Directors: Fred Zinnemann|55504

Writer: Carl Foreman|26686

Editor: Harry Gerstad|219083||Elmo Williams|47020

Cinematographer: Floyd Crosby|51832

Production Company: Stanley Kramer Productions, Inc.

11. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone

Directors: Michael Curtiz|111394||William Keighley|155882

Producer: Jack L. Warner|76481||Hal B. Wallis|65158

Writer: Norman Reilly Raine|118663||Seton I. Miller|139470

Editor: Ralph Dawson|126985

Cinematographer: Tony Gaudio|148490||Sol Polito|141255

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

12. Vertigo (1958)

Composer: Bernard Herrmann

Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Directors: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock|10493

Writer: Alec Coppel|9693||Samuel Taylor|217552

Editor: George Tomasini|59543

Cinematographer: Robert Burks|131398

Production Company: Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corp.

13. King Kong (1933)

Composer: Max Steiner

Cast: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot

Directors: Merian C. Cooper|110989||Ernest B. Schoedsack|48719

Producer: David O. Selznick|37056

Writer: James Ashmore Creelman|78424||Ruth Rose|136946

Editor: Ted Cheesman|144655

Cinematographer: Eddie Linden|43489||Vernon L. Walker|150607||J. O. Taylor|74739

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

14. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Composer: John Williams [composer]

Cast: Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton

Directors: Steven Spielberg|210355

Producer: Steven Spielberg|210355||Kathleen Kennedy|92606

Writer: Melissa Mathison|236978

Editor: Carol Littleton|210249

Cinematographer: Allen Daviau|236977

Production Company: Universal Pictures , Amblin' Entertainment

15. Out of Africa (1985)

Composer: John Barry

Cast: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer

Directors: Sydney Pollack|143849

Producer: Sydney Pollack|143849||Kim Jorgensen|374388

Writer: Kurt Luedtke|244541

Editor: Fredric Steinkamp|56093||William Steinkamp|156464||Pembroke Herring|244542||Sheldon Kahn|228502

Cinematographer: David Watkin|36924

Production Company: Universal Pictures , Mirage Enterprises

16. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Composer: Franz Waxman

Cast: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

Directors: Billy Wilder|22099

Producer: Charles Brackett|29073

Writer: Charles Brackett|29073||Billy Wilder|22099||D. M. Marshman Jr.|34806

Editor: Arthur Schmidt|16202||Doane Harrison|39117

Cinematographer: John F. Seitz|87507

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.

17. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Cast: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton

Directors: Robert Mulligan|132322

Producer: Alan J. Pakula|8979

Writer: Horton Foote|71139

Editor: Aaron Stell|7038||J. Terry Williams|74903

Cinematographer: Russell Harlan|136573

Production Company: Pakula-Mulligan Productions, Inc., Brentwood Productions, Inc.

18. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Cast: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter

Directors: Franklin J. Schaffner|54579

Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs|16435

Writer: Michael Wilson|112014||Rod Serling|133812

Editor: Hugh S. Fowler|71850

Cinematographer: Leon Shamroy|97555

Production Company: Apjac Productions, Inc.

19. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Composer: Alex North

Cast: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter

Directors: Elia Kazan|46252

Producer: Charles K. Feldman|30512

Writer: Tennessee Williams|145062||Oscar Saul|119638

Editor: David Weisbart|36931

Cinematographer: Harry Stradling|67250

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., Charles K. Feldman Group Productions

20. The Pink Panther (1964)

Composer: Henry Mancini

Cast: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner

Directors: Blake Edwards|22224

Producer: Martin Jurow|107994

Writer: Maurice Richlin|109861||Blake Edwards|22224

Editor: Ralph E. Winters|127275

Cinematographer: Philip Lathrop|124891

Production Company: Mirisch--G-E Productions

21. Ben-Hur (1959)

Composer: Miklos Rozsa

Cast: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet

Directors: William Wyler|156648

Producer: Joseph R. Vogel|205802||Sol C. Siegel|141275||Sam Zimbalist|138111||J. J. Cohn|74572

Writer: Karl Tunberg|92154

Editor: Ralph E. Winters|127275||John D. Dunning|204780||Margaret Booth|105099

Cinematographer: Robert L. Surtees|162275

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.

22. On the Waterfront (1954)

Composer: Leonard Bernstein

Cast: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb

Directors: Elia Kazan|46252

Producer: Sam Spiegel|138056

Writer: Budd Schulberg|24821

Editor: Gene Milford|57706

Cinematographer: Boris Kaufman|23593

Production Company: Horizon-American Pictures, Inc..

23. The Mission (1986)

Composer: Ennio Morricone

Cast: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally

Directors: Roland Joffé|264784

Producer: Fernando Ghia|229939||David Puttnam|227659

Writer: Robert Bolt|131338

Editor: Jim Clark|82601

Cinematographer: Chris Menges|31457

Production Company: Goldcrest, Kingsmere Productions , Enigma Productions

24. On Golden Pond (1981)

Composer: Dave Grusin

Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda

Directors: Mark Rydell|107475

Producer: Bruce Gilbert|251995

Writer: Ernest Thompson|251996

Editor: Robert L. Wolfe|133240

Cinematographer: Billy Williams|22101

Production Company: ITC Films , IPC Films

25. How the West Was Won (1963)

Composer: Alfred Newman

Cast: Spencer Tracy, Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb

Directors: John Ford|85693||George Marshall|59001||Henry Hathaway|69295

Producer: Bernard Smith|19493

Writer: James R. Webb|78740

Editor: Harold F. Kress|66219

Cinematographer: William H. Daniels|157018||Milton Krasner|113429||Charles Lang Jr.|29619||Joseph La Shelle|89486

Production Company: Cinerama, Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

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