Best Movies of All Time + [War Horse]

John Williams

Today, we are celebrating the 80th birthday of five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams. Lauded as one of the greatest cinematic composers of all time, Williams has found a way to enter the collective public consciousness more often than any of his peers. While I could easily go through his list of work, I'd rather make this a more personal post. I've grown up listening to John Williams, and his work became a part of my life at an early age. I can remember listening to one of his "Greatest Hits" albums on family road trips, and it was from this particular CD that I garnered my initial appreciation for Williams's exceptional talent. My dad is just as taken by each John Williams score, so much so that he has associated a score with each of his three children. In his mind, I was given the score to the 1978 film, Superman, which has become one of my all-time favorites. The fact that this man has scored such iconic films as Jaws, Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series and, more recently, the start of the Harry Potter saga goes to show that he has quite a bit of range, and he is extremely well-respected throughout the Hollywood community. I mean, the man has nabbed a whopping forty-seven Oscar nominations in his career, bringing home the aforementioned five statuettes. There must be something brilliant about him, right? Most recently, we've heard his work in the 2011 films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, for both of which he received Oscar nominations. We'll next hear his work in the 2012 film, Lincoln. So, to celebrate his birthday, I've listed my ten favorite of John Williams's film scores, and I've provided a snippet of each for your listening pleasure. Once again, happy birthday, Mr. Williams. I look forward to hearing more of your work in the coming years.

10. War Horse

9. Schindler's List
1993

*****
8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
2001

*****
7. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
1982

*****
6. Superman
1978

*****
5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1977

*****
4. Jurassic Park
1993

*****
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
1981

*****
2. Star Wars
1977

*****
1. Jaws
1975

And now, for your added viewing pleasure, I've included a fan video entitled "Star Wars (John Williams Is the Man)" by Corey Vidal that became an overnight Internet sensation a few years back. I just love this video, and it truly serves as a real tribute to John Williams's composing prowess. Enjoy!