Film scores. A key component to any great film – accompanying the audience as they go from the highest high, to the lowest low. What defines a good score? To me, a good score is something that stays with you well after you’ve left the theatre. It’s hum-able, or listenable on it’s own. What I’ve always loved about soundtracks is their ability to take you back to a scene or sequence and revisit them without any visual cues.
Unfortunately, often a wonderful score is lost in the mediocrity of the film itself – so with that in mind, lets take a look at our top 5 unforgettable film scores from truly forgettable movies.
Cutthroat Island (1995)
Lost in Space (1998)
John Carter (2012)
Man of Steel (2013)
Now, on to the countdown!
Off the back of James Horner‘s roaring score for Aliens, Elliot Goldenthal‘s score for Alien3, is much smaller – haunting, eerie and featuring a ton of choral accompaniments. The score plays alot into the religious overtones of the film. Say what you want about the film, but that music that accompanies Ripley as she falls into the smelter is heartbreaking and powerful.
Tron Legacy (2010)
Daft Punk and Tron is a perfect match. Whilst the film didn’t set the box office alight, Daft Punk’s music took everything we love about Daft Punk and orchestrated it into a wonderfully powerful score for our return to the Grid. The score is incredibly diverse featuring everything from moving cues for Sam and Flynn, to music you’d find in a club. Definitely a score that can be listened to on its own.
Spielberg’s first film to not break box office records, 1941 is a crazed mess of a film. Thankfully, John William’s returns to Spielberg’s side to create a score that is way more fun and wacky than the film itself. Unfortunately this track isn’t as well know as some of John Williams other work – but the ‘March from 1941’ gives even the great ‘Raiders March’ a run for its money. This score is infectious.
The Rocketeer (1991)
James Horner’s sweeping love letter to flight is an instant add to any film score playlist. From its elegant piano cue, to the full Horner effect – french horns turned up to 11- for the main Rocketeer theme – this is just one of those scores that is just perfect. It’s a shame the film didn’t live up to the majesty of its accompanying score. Lets hope this new ‘The Rockeeteers’ film doesn’t jettison this wonderful piece of music.
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Hardly any surprises here – John Williams score is a shining star among the mess that is The Phantom Menance. Whilst the score builds great themes for the queen, the droid army, and even Jar Jar, it’s ‘Duel of the Fates’ that binds it all together. An amazing piece that has lasted longer than the film in the pop culture zeitgeist, Duel of the Fates took Star Wars music to the next level – and truly elevated that final lightsabre battle to one of the highlights of the entire saga.
So that’s our countdown of our top 5 film scores better than the film. What are some of your favourite scores? Let us know in the comments below!