Friday Feature: The 7 Best Film Themes by @destroytheearth

In honour of the upcoming Star Wars concert at the O2, this week our Friday Feature is an homage to the greatest film themes. I could waffle on for hours about how much good theme music can enhance a film, but I'm sure you all know that. Instead, hit the jump to read my picks for the best film themes and see if you agree.

Star Wars

Star Wars Theme Song sound bite

John Williams' iconic Star Wars theme hits you like an orchestral explosion, before catching its breath, and progresses into a grand march that conveys a sense of pomp and circumstance to what could have been a simple space opera. I'm not saying Star Wars wouldn't be as culture-defining as it is without the theme, but imagining that opening refrain preceeding the never-before-seen effects of an Imperial Star Destroyer buzzing the audience's heads will go some way to explaining the film's impact.


James Bond Theme Song sound bite

It's campy, it's jazzy, it couldn't be more 60s and it fits the Roger Moore-style prattery to a T. Nonetheless, when the stoney, gravel-voiced, grimmer-than-grim Daniel Craig version spits out that immortal line and that theme kicks in, it has never felt more right.


It is the the mother of a thousand cheesy slasher film themes. Those orchestra strikes aping the knife strikes and then the tune kicks in again only to fade out like the blood dripping down the drain. Without it, that scene would simply be another dodgy horror death.

Pirates of The Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean Theme Song sound bite

The key word here is "swashbuckling". This rollocking theme is perfect for an all-action adventure film that just doesn't stop, but never even begins to take itself seriously. Drink up me hearties, yo ho!

Star Trek

star-trek-tos-theme sound bite

It opens with that eerie refrain while Shatner waffles on about the vastness of space, setting the scene, before launching into another rousing call to adventure. The campy 60s vocals thankfully disappeared by the time the films appeared, but the remixes provided by each new iteration can't remove from the simplicity of that legendary theme.


Jaws Theme Song sound bite

Close your eyes and you can almost imagine a neatly-presented conductor becoming more and more frantic until he finally descends into raving lunacy screaming: "Look out for the f**cking shark!!!!!!!" Of course, it also mirrors the swimming, naked lovely's panic as the shark stalks her... on later thought, that's probably more appropriate... yeah...

Friday 13th

Friday The 13th sound bite

It may only be a few people whispering the first syllables of the killer's name over and over, it barely qualifies as a theme, but there are few samples as atmospheric as the haunting backing to the Voorhees' killing spree.

So, opinions? Comments? Better ideas? List 'em below...


  1. Love these (good shout on PoTC, you ever heard the Jay-Z remix of Encore that uses it, bloody awesome).
    Few others I'd have my list...

    - Escape from New York - a perfect piece of music. I know Carpenter's style is a little obvious, but the main theme perfectly captures the nilistic tone of the film.

    - The Great Escape - never mind that it's been hijacked by England footballs fans, it's still perfection and one of Bernstein's finest scores.

    - Indiana Jones theme. Perfect, rollicking, Saturday morning pictures fare :D

    I may have used the word "perfect" too many times in this comment...

  2. All good choices.

    Personally I can't beat a bit of John Williams. Superman theme always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    Bullitt by Lalo Schifrin is classic.

    Flash Gordon is a cheesey guilty pleasure.

    Halloween, much like Friday 13th, simple but effective.

    Great post

  3. Ohh, Paul has just reminded me of 2 more:

    Get Carter
    Enter the Dragon