The 10 Most Iconic John Williams Scores Ever

"RARRR!": Composer John Williams during tracking sessions for the Jurassic Park score. Maybe.
"RARRR!": Composer John Williams during tracking sessions for the Jurassic Park score. Maybe.

Today John Williams turns 80 years old, and the prolific composer has packed in a lot of work in the past five decades as one of the most iconic movie music makers to lead an orchestra. No doubt you have been enthralled, enraptured and enfrightened (not a word) by his collaborations with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone.

He's sort of like a one-man Beatles of magic and majesty. Did you know that he also did the music for the first season of Gilligan's Island and wrote the theme song for television's Lost in Space?

Even his lesser known works, like his scores for Hook, Empire of the Sun and The Sugarland Express, have their cult followings.

Jurassic Park

Who else was going to write the music to go with dinosaurs brought back to life to kill us all and teach us a lesson about letting sleeping raptors lie?


Our suggestion is to put this on your iPod for when you go to the gym. It will give that extra push when you start running out of fuel. Cheaper than steroids.


The simple opening was enough to destroy the bathtub industry in the '70s.

Star Wars

This, along with "The Imperial March" written for Darth Vader, is now shorthand for awesome, and one of the most heard ringtones at sci-fi conventions and comic book shops. All of his work in the Star Wars universe is worth owning. Especially Phantom Menace stuff.


Williams's music helped us fall in love with a lovable alien from another world. Today, the little guy would have been sent to Gitmo and never seen again.

Indiana Jones

The man's knack for creating themes that match the ferocious heroism of the characters on screen is unmatched by anyone.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Sadly, this Spielberg flick gets lost in the shuffle, but it's worth another viewing if you haven't checked in in a few years.

Home Alone

If you are ever missing your folks around the holidays, DO NOT listen to the theme from this Macaulay Culkin classic.

Born On The Fourth Of July

One of the best roles of Tom Cruise's career, and one of Stone's most powerful films, Williams knocked this one out of the park, with seeming ease.

Harry Potter

What better way for one of the most popular film series to get their cinematic stamp of approval than by having Williams record the score for the first three flicks? Patrick Doyle took over on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005.


This score isn't super well-known, but for Kennedy assassination buffs like myself, it's become a November favorite.

Others worth checking out:

Schindler's List

Saving Private Ryan

Far And Away


The Terminal

Catch Me If You Can

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