Calista’s Cinema Conversations: Movies with memorable film scores


What do you remember most about a film? Its unique and appealing plot? Its entertaining and multidimensional characters? Its creative and realistic visual effects? How about its musical score? A movie score can make or break a film: It has to match the theme of the film and aid the tone of the scenes. So, this week is dedicated to the most memorable and effective movie scores out there.

When I think of film scores, I automatically think of the iconic themes by John Williams, including those from the “Star Wars” films, Hedwig’s theme from the “Harry Potter” series and the music of “Indiana Jones.” Each of these films contains a fantastical body of music that reflects the film, from the adventurous atmosphere of the famed archeologist in “Indiana Jones” to the intergalactic environment from “Star Wars” and magical ambience of “Harry Potter.”

The theme to “Jurassic Park” by John Williams is a score that matches well with the prehistoric yet futuristic theme of the series. It gives off a sense of magnificence that the matches the film well. The theme was first introduced in the film when the dinosaurs of the park are presented to the main characters by the owner. The theme was composed to reflect the amazement of the characters upon seeing the ancient species.

I couldn’t talk about film theme songs without talking about “The Avengers” theme by Alan Silvestri. This theme is used in some of the most iconic Avengers moments, most notably in “The Avengers” when they all come together at the final fight scene. It is so ubiquitous that most films in the cinematic universe now begin with the theme.

A more fun, but still unforgettable, theme is that of “Back the the Future,” also by Alan Silvestri. The fast-paced tempo of the score is both catchy and innovative, which perfectly matches the crazy plot of the series. It is hard to hear the theme without thinking of the time-travelling Delorean driven by Marty McFly and Doctor Brown.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” score by Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer is a change from the more futuristic music that I have spoken about so far. Since the film is more of a period piece, the film score reflects that along with the swashbuckling tone of the series.

Films have so many components to them, and all of these components must work together in order for the film to be considered good. For a film to be considered iconic, everything has to come together seamlessly. Debatably, one of the most important aspects of a film is it’s musical score. I’m sure this week’s film conversation has you hearing these film scores in your head.

Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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