View Full Version : Who is your favorite film composer?

03-22-2009, 03:12 PM
I want to expand my breadth of knowledge so I have been asking everyone, who is your favorite film composer? What is your favorite score? Mancini? Hermann? Zimmerman? Elfman? John Williams? John Barry? Michael Kamen?

Just found out Michael J Lewis who is one of my favs and did the score for the animated The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is making his own movie and has samples of the score on his website definitely worth checking out. Wrote songs for it as well, can see music video here

Luke K
03-22-2009, 08:40 PM
I'm my favorite.

My favorite besides me (lol) would be Ennio Morricone or Basil Poledouris.

03-22-2009, 11:40 PM
who is your favorite film composer?

John Williams started my whole filmmaking endeavor. When I was 5 years old the first 45 I owned was the star Wars theme/cantina band b-side. After that, the first LP I ever owned was the 2 record Star Wars soundtrack.

I don't think it's fair to pick one. There are so many greats, but John Williams started the movement with 1975's JAWS and then 1977's twofer of STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, and all of today's composers owe John Williams the track on which every orchestral score is now based, regardless of the knowing nods to Wagner in his work.

What is your favorite score?

Ironically, my favorite single score is James Horner's STAR TREK II WRATH OF KHAN soundtrack. The brilliant idea of director Nicholas Meyer to use a nautical theme in the music created one of the most emotional and impactful melodic scores in cinema history. I loved the french horns and their oft imitated bellowing.

A very close second is Howard Shore's FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING score. The themes and melodies are more thought out and relevant to the movie than the other 2 Lord of the Rings soundtracks. I have the 5.1 surround version of this and it kicks my system up when I jam this loud whenever I do any writing. So many moods, styles, instrumentations, and variations to completely envelope the listener into JRR Tolkein's world with music.l

Mancini? Hermann? Zimmerman? Elfman? John Williams? John Barry? Michael J Lewis? Michael Kamen?

Henry Mancini - Pink Panther theme. Nuff said.

Hans Zimmerman - Gladiator score is his unsurpassed masterwork for me.

Danny Elfman - BATMAN's theme was never more apt, but the Simpsons theme and Midnight Run demonstrate his diversity. He was the lead singer of OINGO BOINGO after all...

Michael J. Lewis? I honestly have never heard of the guy.

Michael Kamen - I have mixed feelings on him. His scores are (were) usually adequate, but almost a-melodic. He relied on Bryan Adams and other pop stars to provide him the melodies so that he could create the endless orchestrations around them. His best score BY FAR was DON JUAN DEMARCO with the spanish and arabic themes, but one of the most memorable melodies he created. Also his BAND OF BROTHERS main themes were amazing too. LETHAL WEAPON owes more to David Sanborn and Eric Clapton, but it was Kamen's idea that the Saxophone represent Murough and the guitar represents Riggs...

Bear McCreary's scores for the TV series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA have been an amazing work of instrumentation and styles. Borrowing from the most imitated score of the last 20 years - Peter Gabriel's score for THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, released as a CD called PASSION, the middle eastern sounds and synth textures can be heard on GLADIATOR to BLACK HAWK DOWN, ancient to contemporary.

I used to be a composer and I still revere music, especially music for movies.

- Peter john Ross

03-23-2009, 03:37 AM
John Williams is indisputably amazing. 1941 has one of the best, liveliest scores I've ever heard, just to name a favorite.

Howard Shore's LOTR score is heavy and impressive. I love the way he develops little flourishes and themes based on the characters' personalities and origins, and calls them back whenever the characters are onscreen.

Mancini. Nothing more need be said.

John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus has an amazing soundtrack. No one talks about the score in reviews; they just talk about the sex. But the music is absolutely amazing.

03-23-2009, 10:49 AM
Clint Mansell. he composed for Smoking Aces, The Fountain And Requiem for a Dream (My all time favorite score)

03-23-2009, 11:06 AM
Thomas Newman is my favorite composer. His works are so emotionally resonant and I love his particular style and instrumentation choices. I particularly love his '90s works which are very sweeping - Meet Joe Black, Phenomenon, How To Make an American Quilt, Little Women, etc.

But I think my favorite work of his has to be Road to Perdition. Not the greatest movie, but outstanding score!

Leah Kardos
03-23-2009, 12:13 PM
Thomas Newman's work on American Beauty is magnificent :)

03-23-2009, 12:15 PM
I'm a big dork, but Vangelis' score for Blade Runner is my favorite film composition.

dangerous mermaid
09-11-2009, 07:57 PM
elfman and williams all the way!!

09-11-2009, 11:58 PM
The composer that most influenced me - John Carpenter. Because of him (and Jerry Goldsmith's synths in DAMIEN: OMEN 2), I gave up looking for composers and bought my own synths. While Carpenter is my biggest influence, John Williams' music has most touched my soul, since growing up on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and LOST IN SPACE. Unfortunately, I have not liked Williams as much, since THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. (I think around the time he got his hands full, taking over the Boston Pops.)

So, here is my list from of 10 favorite composers and a soundtrack that I personally liked the most.

John Williams - STAR WARS
John Carpenter - ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (extended edition)
Tangerine Dream - NEAR DARK
Giorgio Moroder - CAT PEOPLE
Alan Sylvestri - PREDATOR
Bernard Herrman - THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)
James Horner - STAR TREK 2

There is potential for the likes of John Murphy and Steve Jablonsky to be cracking my top ten, but I need to hear more from them. I had about 20 more composers listed, but that starts to convolute. I really need to stick with the guys who I have multiple recordings from. For example: I have more than 30 Tangerine Dream albums/CDs. I even forgot to put my SORCERER soundtrack in the picture.

09-23-2009, 07:43 PM
danny elfman is great, john carpenter did the score for halloween.

randy newman is pretty good too. He is a character of a musician

09-23-2009, 09:04 PM
Lately, I've been really enjoying Michael Giacchino (Star Trek, Lost). Also Angelo Badalamenti and Michael Kamen.

Lord of Light
09-23-2009, 10:02 PM
In no particular order:

Jerry Goldsmith. Love his scores for Alien, 13th Warrior, and The Mummy.
John Williams. Star Wars, Raiders, Jaws
James Newton Howard. Signs, I am Legend, Hidalgo, Unbreakable. Very underrated.
James Horner. Aliens, ST 2, Titanic.
Brad Fiedel. Got to love the scores for T-1 and T-2
Graeme Revell. Daredevil, Chronicles of Riddick, Sin City. Another very underrated composer
Alan Silvestri. The Mummy Returns, Predator, Back to the Future. One of the best action composers imo
Hans Zimmer. Gladiator, Crimson Tide, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Strange how most of their first names start with "J"...

09-24-2009, 07:07 AM
I'll admit I don't know the names of many...but I know I like:

* Vangelis (Bladerunner, my favorite score)
* LotR

That's all that somes to mind at the moment.

09-28-2009, 03:24 PM
Ennio Morricone is the office favorite! Best soundtrack was Once Upon a Time in the West, which is also the favorite western of the office.

Evol Productions
10-12-2009, 02:18 AM
Howard Shore (LOTR), John Williams (Star Wars, Jurassic Park) and Hans Zimmer (and his Oompa Loompa's also make great stuff. :)) I am also into game soundtracks, and if you like orchestral stuff, you should really check out the soundtrack for Shadow of the Colossus by Kō Ōtani.

10-28-2009, 10:22 PM
Even though the present day composers work(s) are outstanding; I would say that Franz Waxman (bet ya don't know who he is?) is one of my favorite film composers.

What he did to score the film "Sunset Boulevard,' is more then music can say. From thematic scores for each actor (Norma Desmond's being -- of course -- my favorite), to the feeling of each scene. The GREATS, like this are the master composers. They have their own sound. Danny Elfman is another; I know his music the moment I hear it.

05-01-2010, 01:06 PM
Like others have said, John Williams. Although, it seems lately even though his music is more refined, it's less memorable. Think of Superman, the original Star Wars trilogy, Jaws, E.T., Hook, Indiana Jones, etc. Then think of his more recent movies. How many people would know Battle of the Heroes (Star Wars Ep. III) if they heard it? I would say no where near as much as people recognizing The Imperial March.

I'm also a big fan of Danny Elfman, and I think Batman was an epic score.

I like the work of Hans Zimmer, James Horner, and the other big names out there, but Williams and Elfman are awesome.

05-01-2010, 01:29 PM
Danny Elfman

Alcove Audio
05-01-2010, 05:34 PM
In no particular order:

Franz Waxman

Elmer Bernstein

Alan Silvestri

John Williams

Dimitri Tiomkin

Danny Elfman

Leonard Bernstein

Bernard Herrmann

Randy Newman

Michael Giacchino

James Horner

Alfred Newman

Jerry Goldsmith

Maurice Jarre

Howard Shore

05-01-2010, 05:52 PM
Hans Zimmer and all his slaves he employs.

John Williams = one of the best of all time.

Danny Elfman = one of the best of all time.

How about the spaghetti western composer? He made the electric guitar's wah-wah pedal an essential part of what we immediately think as "western" and it didn't even EXIST back in that time period!

05-01-2010, 08:27 PM
Clint Mansell, John Williams, & Ennio Morricone

05-01-2010, 09:24 PM
james horner - the new world

05-01-2010, 10:30 PM
I'm really into Bruno Coulais (Microcosmos, Coraline) right now.

05-02-2010, 11:30 AM
Saying John Williams sounds cliche, but how can he not be my favorite?

He may plagiarize a bit, but whatever he writes is still unique and always completely perfect for the film and setting.

I simply cannot hear the melody from the Harry Potter theme without needing to see one of those movies, it was just so frickin perfect.

I also really love Yann Tiersen, who did the soundtracks to Amelie and Goodbye Lenin. I think he's just more of a musician who happened to score a couple films, but that still makes him a composer....right? :)

Apieron Co.
05-02-2010, 04:53 PM
Michael Giacchino, but not for his films, his Medal of Honour scores are phenominal!

Especially MoH:Frontline, that gets me nostalgic and teary eyed all the time

05-04-2010, 07:20 PM
Ennio Morricone. The Fist Trilogy had some of the best music and most memorable in my opinion. John Williams is second but close first. John Williams is Movie Music.

05-04-2010, 07:42 PM
nick cave and warren ellis - they did the proposition, the assassination of jesse james, the road