Top 10 John Williams Scores, From ‘Indiana Jones’ To ‘Superman’

Composer John Williams is one of the hardest working individuals in Hollywood. Here are his ten best scores, from Indiana Jones to Superman.

Indiana Jones 5 Harrison Ford

John Williams is one of the hardest working individuals in Hollywood. Williams a brilliant masterminds behind legendary movie scores, that now live on in cinema history.

While Williams has already become a part of Hollywood history, he keep busy, working with long-time collaborator and friend Steven Spielberg. Williams will be returning to score Indiana Jones 5. Williams is the mastermind behind the Indiana Jones theme song, which has become a staple within classic movie scores.

Williams return was confirmed at the American Film Tribute by none other than Steven Spielberg. Spielberg is also returning to the now infamous franchise along side Harrison Ford. Spielberg and Williams have been working together for more than 40 years.

In addition to working on Indiana Jones, Williams also looks like he will be returning to another incredibly popular franchise, Star Wars. He confirmed to Variety that if his schedule allows he would be happy to work on the score for Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII.

In honor of his recent AFI Life Achievement Award, Heroic Hollywood is counting down the top ten most infamous scores from Williams. Comment below and let us know if you agree with your list!

10. Empire of the Sun 

Few relationships in Hollywood have stood the test of time, but Steven Spielberg and John Williams have been working together for years, creating some of the most iconic movie soundtracks of all time. Spielberg described Empire of the Sun as one of his most “profound works on the loss of innocence.” With such a complex plot and characters, the music had to amplify certain moments and provide emotion when silence fell. Williams creates more than just music, he adds another character to every film

9. Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List is a part of cinematic history. It appears on hundreds of must-watch lists and is one of the most powerful films in recent memory. Steven Spielberg directed this drama which focused on the horrific events of the Holocaust. Schindler’s List won seven Oscars, including best picture and best director.

With such high stakes going into this film and the importance of telling a honest, heartbreaking story, everything had to be perfect. Spielberg and Williams once again teamed up and Williams was able to score this film in a way that felt effortless, honest and emotional.

8. Close Encounters of The Third Kind 

Yet again another Spielberg, Williams partnership resulted in cinema and music history with Close Encounters of The Third Kind

7. Harry Potter

Williams is known for classic themes but has also made modern scores that are just as likely to become historical and memorable in their own right. Take for example, the Harry Potter theme, which can be heard throughout every movie in the series. This was not only a through-line throughout the films, it helped to transform audiences into a magical world, without limitations. The moment you hear the opening notes, Harry Potter instantly comes to mind.

6. E.T. 

John Williams was able to make audiences believes that bikes could fly and extra terrestrials were closer than ever. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial is pure imagination, exploration and love within cinema. Without the score, this movie wouldn’t have felt as grand as it does. The imagination element wouldn’t be as powerful. As with many of Williams’ themes, the E.T. score will on in cinema forever and reminds us all that anything is possible.

5. Superman 

Every superhero needs a theme song and John Williams didn’t dissapoint with the theme for Superman.

4. Jurassic Park 

I remember two things about my first viewing of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The first being that I was terrified yet memorized by the stunning visual effects and seeing the gates to the park open for the first time as Williams score swelled in the background. I forgot I was watching a movie, I felt like I was along for the ride and was a part of Jurassic Park. Williams score makes the distance between the audience and the screen disappear.

3. Indiana Jones 

The moment you hear the theme to Indiana Jones it transports audiences right back into that amazing, adrenaline filled action-adventure. That is the power of music, not only does it become a character within any movie, but it can remind you of just how you felt sitting in the theater, experiencing the movie for the first time.

2. Jaws 

It was only two notes, but the theme for Jaws forever changed movie soundtracks. Without the soundtrack, Jaws wouldn’t be the terrifying, edge of your seat thriller that has become a part of movie history. This is one of the best examples of how keeping something simple, is often the best. No one does a terrifying theme like Williams.

1. Star Wars

Star Wars is one of the most successfully and beloved franchises in the history of movies. So it should come as no surprise that the score for Star Wars has earned the top spot on this countdown. From the “Imperial March” to ” Binary Sunset” these songs are now instantly memorable.

Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis, TV division, joined Heroic Hollywood in 2016. Prior to joining the team at Heroic, she worked for covering everything from music to...