Discussion: Film Composers

Posted: June 24, 2012
Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann

Who is your favorite film composer?

Neal Gabler loves Oscar-winner Bernard Herrmann, who composed for films including Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, and Vertigo.

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  • rayban

    I, too, like Bernard Herrmann – I just watched on DVD “Beyond The 12-Mile Reef”, which had an early, excellent score by Herrmann – but I also like Max Steiner – who could forget his score for “A Summer Place”? – and Miklos Rozsa – who could forget his score for “Spellbound” or “El Cid”? – and I couldn’t possibly exclude Nino Rota, who added so much to Federico Fellini’s films.

  • Bill

    Michel LeGrand. Theme to “Summer of ’42” is the most emotional, poignant theme and in my opinion the greatest movie song of all.

  • Marcye

    Howard Shore – Lord of the Rings trilogy movies. Absolutely the best!

  • JC

    John Williams – just star wars would be enough but when you add on Superman, Indiana Jones, Jaws, E.T. and other classics, you can’t deny he’s one of the greatest ever

  • HE

    Maurice Jarre. The score to Lawrence of Arabia was perfect, capturing the bifurcated identity of Lawrence and the romance of the dessert. And then there was Jarre’s other David Lean movies as well.

  • Helene

    Bud Smith gets my vote for the variety of the films for which he’s composed, “The Exorcist” and “Flash Dance”, extremely divergent movies each with brilliant musical accompaniment.

  • Belinda

    I have several: Roy Webb, who scored all of Val Lewton’s masterpieces, Franz Waxman (The Bride of Frankenstein) Hans J. Salter (The Wolf Man, The Ghost of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein, Frank Skinner (Son of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man Returns) Bernard Herrmann, Dimitri Tiomkin and Max Steiner.

  • Nikki

    And not to be forgotten, is Saul Chaplin, who won Oscars for collaborating on the scores and orchestrations of An American in Paris,Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and West Side Story. He went on to become a producer, but those of us who knew Solly, and remember him well, remember him for his music, too.

  • Niel Shell

    favorite film composer: Nathaniel Shilkret (Oscar nomnee for Winterset score; scored hundreds of pictures)

  • laustcawz

    How about Alan Silvestri (“Back To The Future”, “Death Becomes Her”), Herbie Hancock (“Death Wish”), John Carpenter, who regularly scored or co-scored his own films, &, in case anyone hasn’t been paying attention for the last couple of decades, Danny Elfman, whose list of credits is practically endless.

  • Anna

    Georges Auric, composer of the film score to “La Belle et la Bete” (Beauty and the Beast). That’s the 1946 Jean Cocteau version, not the later, crappy imitators. I used to watch the film just to listen to the music sometimes. I found the film score on a CD several years ago on Amazon. The recording is by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Beautiful and haunting music.

  • Bettwe Majore

    Nino Rota the composer for most of
    Frederico Fellini’s movies.
    Lets not as well forget Duke Ellington for the
    great soundtrack for “Anatomy for a Murder”.
    For Robert Franks film “Pull My Daisy”
    David Amram and the flashes of music by
    Thelonious Monk.

  • Bettwe Majore

    correction: title
    Anatomy of a Murder”

  • B.A. Cretini

    Don’t forget one of the greatest soundtracks
    for “Midnight Cowboy” still being played as
    pop music by John Barry “Everybody’s Talking
    ’bout me”.

  • Janet Richardson

    Harold Arlen is my favorite composer. He won best song for “Over The Rainbow” from “The Wizard of OZ” He wrote for movies & Broadway shows & composed many songs along with Johnny Mercer. Many of his songs have become classics.

  • JKannry

    Jerry Goldsmith. Planet of the Apes, Capricorn One, Air Froce One, Total Recall, Alien eg