The "Music Trilogy" Chapter 3: Top 10 Film Scores


The unexpected "trilogy" of podcast topics comes to its logical conclusion with our original score picks.

So, put your headphones on, crank up the bass, and let the heavily-compressed youtube incantations of these classic selections whisk you away to monochrome Vienna, suspiciously Kiwi-reminiscent "Middle Earth", anamorphic Egypt, sun-baked Sicily, the 19th century American West by way of Southern Spain, and galaxies far far away.

Listen up. Listen Down. Listen Well.

Matt's List

10. Anton Karas - THE THIRD MAN
Behold the power of the ZITHER, and bask in the oft-ignored, quirky side of film noir.

9.  Cliff Martinez - SOLARIS
Who knew steel drums and xylophones could compliment nonlinear romance montages so effectively?


8.  Hans Zimmer - THE THIN RED LINE
Probably one of the heaviest scores ever recorded and certainly one of the most important and influential Zimmer ever composed. Last year it was so liberally "referenced" by Harry Escott's SHAME soundtrack that, for a moment, I was sure he was just "sampling" Zimmer.

7.  Howard Shore - THE LORD OF THE RINGS
Howard Shore will work the rest of his career attempting to match the level of achievement he reached during his tenure as the musical wizard of Middle Earth. He never will. But that's alright. His legacy is secured thanks to 3 scores that act as 1 complete opera.


6.  Jerry Goldsmith - CHINATOWN
The strongest, smoothest, most melancholy score in the history of Noir, period (sorry LAURA).


5.  Philip Glass - KOYAANISQATSI
Godfrey Reggio convinced Philip Glass to pair his music with the moving image and the world is better for it. But Glass's music has never reached the giddy, insistent, game-changing level as it did since he first worked with Reggio.

4.  John Williams - SCHINDLER’S LIST
In my opinion, Spielberg and Williams both did the best work of the careers on the film that I believe should be viewed as their mutual masterpiece.

3.  Nino Rota - THE GODFATHER
It's already been said and I agree with it all.

2.  Maurice Jarre - LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
The "biggest" score ever recorded? Probably. It's only appropriate as the film also boasts some of the biggest images ever committed to celluloid. This score should be heard from the biggest speakers possible while the images are projected on the largest screen available.


1.  Ennio Morricone - THE GOOD THE BAD & THE UGLY
Ennio Morricone is my favorite composer in the history of cinema. And this is his incontrovertible masterpiece. So there

Oscar's List

10. Howard Shore - THE LORD OF THE RINGS


9. Hans Zimmer - INCEPTION

8. Trent Reznor - THE SOCIAL NETWORK

7. The Dust Brothers - FIGHT CLUB




4. Ennio Morricone - THE GOOD THE BAD & THE UGLY

3. Jonny Greenwood – THERE WILL BE BLOOD


2. Nino Rota - THE GODFATHER

1. John Williams - STAR WARS