Genre Movie Scores Dominate Annual Hall of Fame Poll

Christopher Lee as Saruman.

Christopher Lee as Saruman.

Thirty genre films made this year’s Classic fM Movie Music Hall of Fame, voted on by thousands of Britons.

The iconic music for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings has topped the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame for the sixth year in a row – narrowly beating John Williams’ score for Schindler’s List and, in third place, Hans Zimmer’s music for Gladiator.

It’s a fun list, picked by people whose musical expertise clearly does not exceed my own. I deduced this from the appearance at #66 of the score for Where Eagles Dare (Ron Goodwin). That film literally has no score between the opening credits and the final 10 minutes, impressive as those parts may be. I admit that I know this fact because I once rented the movie to show to a professional musician as an example of a strong score and totally embarrassed myself…

Here are the sf/fantasy films in the top 100:

1. The Lord of The Rings, Howard Shore
5. Star Wars, John Williams
6. Harry Potter, John Williams
9. Jurassic Park, John Williams
10. Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, Klaus Badelt
17. Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End, Klaus Badelt
23. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, John Williams
25. Superman, John Williams
26. Raiders of the Lost Ark, John Williams
33. Inception, Hans Zimmer
35. The Hobbit, Howard Shore
37. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Alexandre Desplat
40. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, John Williams
41. Somewhere in Time, John Barry
43. Interstellar, Hans Zimmer
46. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Patrick Doyle
50. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Hans Zimmer
51. Blade Runner, Vangelis
53. War of the Worlds, John Williams
59. How to Train Your Dragon, John Powell
65. Star Trek, Michael Giacchino
68. Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Jerry Goldsmith
71. Edward Scissorhands, Danny Elfman
73. The Lion King, Hans Zimmer
74. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Michael Kamen
79. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Nicholas Hooper
82. The Adventures of Robin Hood, Erich Wolfgang Korngold
83. Avatar, James Horner
84. Back to the Future, Alan Silvestri
85. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Harry Gregson-Williams
99. Stardust, Ian Eshkeri

[Via Ansible Links.]

124 thoughts on “Genre Movie Scores Dominate Annual Hall of Fame Poll

  1. P.S. Having reminded myself about “Were the World Mine,” I’m re-listening to the soundtrack right now, for the umpteenth time. 🙂

  2. My seconding to Hampus’ list.

    Chitty Chitty bang Bang (1968)
    Conan The Barbarian (1982)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    Doctor Dolittle (1967)
    Fisher King (1991)
    Groundhog Day (1993)
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
    King Kong (1933) – I’d consider this sf, Hampus.
    Labyrinth (1986)
    Ladyhawke (1985) – one of mine
    Lord of The Rings (2001) – one of mine
    Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)
    Neverending Story (1984)
    Pans Labyrinth (2006)
    Pirates of the Carribean (2003)
    Shrek (2001)
    Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    Stardust (2007)
    The Adventures of Baron Münchausen (1988) – oooh, had forgotten this one.
    The Princess Bride (1987) – one of mine.
    The Sword In The Stone (1963)
    The Thief of Baghdad (1940)
    Willow (1988)
    Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
    Wizard of Oz (1939) – this was one of mine, too.
    Yellow Submarine (1968)

    OMGhu, I completely forgot a great one

    LIFE of Pi

    and ::tick:: because, I forgot…again.

  3. Now seconding others’ nominations.

    It’s A Wonderful Life
    Miracle on 34th Street
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    Willie Wonka and the Chocalate Factory – Gene Wilder
    The Crow
    Alice in Wonderland – Johnnie Depp
    The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
    Practical Magic

  4. Films.

    Field of Dreams
    The Princess Bride
    The Secret of NIMH
    Edward Scissorhands
    The Beastmaster
    The Craft
    Dark City (it is not scifi)
    The Flight of Dragons

    Bonus Bracket
    The Deed of Paksenarrion
    Green Rider
    (care to guess what my nutty nuggets are?)

  5. > “It’s been a while since I read & saw it, so it may be I’m confused when I think of Nausicaä as science fiction.”

    That’s why I put it in my “requires a ruling from the judge” section. I’ve seen it called “science fantasy” a few places, and Wikipedia called it a “fantasy adventure film”, I assume because of features like “the Ohm use their golden tentacles to heal Nausicaä. Nausicaä awakens and starts to walk on top of the hundreds of glowing golden tentacles as through golden fields, revealing Nausicaä as the saviour from the prophecy.”

    So I thought I’d put it on just in case, although honestly I tend to think of it more as science fiction myself. If it gets on one of the two brackets I’ll be cool with it. 🙂

    And while I’m here, adding to my list of nominees:


  6. @Iphinome

    I’ll second Dark City if the judges allow it, like Donnie Darko it comes over (to me anyway) more like a (dark) fantasy.

  7. Kyra, The Muppet Movie has talking animals fully integrated into human society. So I’d say so.

  8. Last Year at Marienbad takes place in a world where human beings cast shadows, but nothing else does. The grounds.

    Plus it has the Groundhog Day thing going on. That being said, if it is considered surreal but not fantasy for the brackets, so be it.

  9. Thanks to @Iphinome for mentioning this one – I want to add to my list:

    The Craft

    @Kyra: I feel a need to re-read Nausicaä. Now where did I stash them. . . . Also, re. The Muppet Movie, LOL – I recently bought “Movin’ Right Along” & “Can You Picture That?” (you don’t have to buy a fraaaame!) from iTunes. 😉 (cues up both songs) doo doo doo doo doo…

  10. Paprika isn’t fantasy, is it? It has a lot of freaky fantasy imagery, but it’s about technology that lets people interact with other people’s dreams.

  11. I just looked it up and I think you are right about Paprika. The images stuck with me, but the plot faded like a dream upon waking.

  12. Legend (1985)
    The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    Fantasia (1940)
    Tangled (2010)
    Robin Hood (1973)
    The Rescuers (1977)
    Beauty and the Beast (1991)
    Mulan (1998)
    Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
    Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    The Dark Crystal (1982)
    Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
    Legend (1985)
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    Night Watch (2004)
    Spirited Away (2001)
    The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec (2010)
    Time Bandits (1981)
    Yellow Submarine (1968)
    The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)
    Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
    The Sword in the Stone (1963)
    All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) (um… May be disqualified under the religion rule)
    Beetlejuice (1988)
    Clash of the Titans (1981)
    How to Train your Dragon (2014)
    The Mummy (1999)
    I’d second Paprika only I think it ought to be in the science fiction bracket
    The Land Before Time (1988)
    The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot (1998)
    Pokemon 2000
    The Secret of the Sword (1985)
    Enchanted (2007)
    Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

    I’m pretty sure My Age Is Showing. I’m afraid none of these have a Why note because I’m too tired.

    Bonus question:
    Temeraire NEEDS a film. Would also dearly love adaptations of almost everything Tamora Pierce has done.

  13. Lord of the Rings
    The Princess Bride
    The Matrix (not sure if this qualifies)
    The Phantom Tollbooth
    Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
    Flight of the Navigator (not sure if this qualifies)
    The Prestiege
    The Flight of Dragons

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie doesn’t count, right? *sigh*

    I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think right now….

    Fantasy books that should be movies:
    Dragonhaven, Robin McKinley
    The Thirteenth Child, Patricia Wrede
    Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede
    Dragon Bones/Dragon Blood duology, Patricia Briggs

    Wow, that’s all dragons isn’t it (well, except for Thirteenth Child)? I’m not overly invested in dragons, but I loved all of those books and wish they could be movies at some point.

  14. D’oh! Forgot:

    Prince Caspian (my favorite of the three movies)
    Um…does Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves count? It’s on the list in the original post….

  15. Adolescence of Utena/Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie* (1999)
    Beauty and the Beast (1946)(directed by Cocteau)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    The Dark Crystal
    How’s Moving Castle
    Kiki’s Delivery Service
    The Last Unicorn
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)
    The Muppet Movie
    The Neverending Story
    Porco Rosso* (1992)
    The Princess Bride
    Princess Mononoke
    Read or Die* (2001)
    Spirited Away
    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader* (2010)
    Yellow Submarine

    Of these, Utena and Read or Die are the ones I feel most strongly about, though I don’t understand why Porco Rosso is so unloved….

  16. If Nausicaä is Sci Fi, then Paprika is Sci Fi. And I will fangirl for it there most passionately.

  17. Migraine is scrambling my brains:
    Bubba Ho-Tep
    My Neighbor Totoro
    Troll Hunter

    And that might be the only time those 5 movies have ever appeared together on any list. Huh.

  18. A Chinese Ghost Story (HK 1987)
    A Matter of Life and Death
    Being John Malkovich
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Fantastic Planet (1973)
    Field of Dreams
    Groundhog Day
    La Belle et la Bete (Cocteau 1946)
    Les Visiteurs
    Lord of The Rings
    Lost Horizon (1937, NOT the musical remake, which is on my list of the worst films of all time)
    My Neighbor Totoro
    Porco Rosso
    Rouge (HK 1988)
    The City of Lost Children (or is this SF?)
    The Company of Wolves
    The Fisher King
    The Dark Crystal
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Prestige (if not counted as SF)
    The Purple Rose of Cairo
    The Seventh Seal
    Time Bandits
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    Yellow Submarine

    Seconding the Master Li stories
    Three Hearts and Three Lions
    Anything that has a good part for Maisie Williams

  19. I have most of the Miyazaki films recorded off the television (thank you, Film4 seasons) but due to my general difficulties watching films I haven’t seen most of them yet. Curses.


    I’ll be leaving from work soon. When I get home, I will close down the nominating and make a consolidated list from your choices and mine.

  21. And nomination period is closed. I will now create a new list based on your suggestions.

  22. I’m so sorry! I didn’t read the rules carefully enough…for the books I wish were filmed as movies, I want to go with these two (from my initial list of four):

    Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley
    Dragon Bones/Dragon Blood duology by Patricia Briggs.

    Again, my apologies!



    Being John Malkovich (1999)
    Big Trouble in Litte China (1986)
    Conan The Barbarian (1982)
    Brotherhood of the wolf (2001)
    Chitty Chitty bang Bang (1968)
    Coraline (2009)
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    The Dark Crystal (1982)
    Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    Excalibur (1981)
    Fisher King (1991)
    Groundhog Day (1993)
    Harry Potter – Series (2001 – 2011)
    Hellboy (2004)
    Highlander (1986)
    Jason and The Argonauts (1963)
    Jumanji (1995)
    King Kong (1933)
    Labyrinth (1986)
    Ladyhawke (1985)
    Legend (1985)
    Lord of The Rings – Series (2001 – 2003)
    Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)
    My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
    Neverending Story (1984)
    Night Watch (2004)
    Pans Labyrinth (2006)
    Pirates of the Carribean – The Black Pearl (2003)
    Pleasantville (1998)
    Princess Mononoke (1997)
    Shrek (2001)
    Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    Spirited Away (2001)
    Stardust (2007)
    The Adventures of Baron Münchausen (1988)
    The Chronicles of Narnia – Series (2005 – 2010)
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    The Sword In The Stone (1963)
    The Thief of Baghdad (1940)
    Time Bandits (1981)
    Troll Hunter (2010)
    Willow (1988)
    Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
    Wizard of Oz (1939)
    Yellow Submarine (1968)


    Fantasia (1940)
    The Purple Rose of Kairo (1985)
    Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)
    Howls Moving Castle (2004)
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
    The Last Unicorn (1982)
    Hogfather (2007)
    The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
    Kikis Delivery Service (1989)
    All of Me (1984)
    Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
    The City of Lost Children (1995)
    The Seventh Seal (1957)
    Reign of Fire (2002)
    Beauty and the Beast (1946)
    The Crow (1994)
    Big (1988)
    Beetlejuice (1988)


    A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
    Erik the Viking (1989)
    Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
    Peter Pan (2003)
    Vidocq (2001)
    Spiderwick (2008)
    Uproar in Heaven (The Monkey King) (1965)
    The Mask (1994)
    Doctor Dolittle (1967)
    Les Visiteurs (1993)
    Mary Poppins (1964)
    The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)
    The Lord of the Rings (1978)
    Cast a deadly spell (1991)


    Raiders of the Lost Ark


    Storm Riders
    Beauty and the Beast
    Monsters Inc
    The Thief of Baghdad
    Toy Story 3
    Bubba Ho-Tep
    A Midsummer Nights Dream
    The Magic Sword
    Rare Exports
    Van Helsing
    Pufnstuf (the Movie)
    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
    Clash of Titans
    How to train your dragon
    The Mummy
    Practical Magic
    Field of Dreams
    The Craft
    The Flight of Dragons
    The Muppet Movie
    The Prestige
    Porco Rosso
    The Brothers Grimm
    Allegro Non Troppo
    Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain
    Bride With White Hair
    The Babadook
    Dragon slayer
    Sinbad The Sailor
    Stranger Than Fiction
    The Tale of Princess Kaguya
    Corpse Bride
    The Little Mermaid
    Slayers The Motion Picture
    The 5,000 Fingers of Dr.T
    Into The Woods
    Mirror Mask
    Jack the Giant Killer
    The Hourglass Sanatorium
    Celine and Julie Go Boating
    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
    Angel’s Egg
    Donnie Darko
    Jacobs Ladder
    Ferngully: The Last Rainforest
    MacBeth (Orson Wells)
    Alice In Wonderland (Tim Burton)
    Sleepy Hollow
    The Holy Mountain
    Little Otik
    The Court Jester
    The 7 faces of Dr. Lao
    Peter Pan
    Manos: The Hands of Fate (MST3K version)
    Calamari Wrestler
    House of Flying Daggers
    Five Deadly Venoms
    The Heroic Trio
    Phantom of the Paradise
    Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
    Mulholland Drive
    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    The Mist
    The Sword and the Sorcerer (Lee Horsely!)
    Peter Pan (Robin Williams)
    Sinbald and The Eye of the Tiger
    Were The World Mine
    Life of Pi
    The Secret of NIMH
    Robin Hood
    The Rescuers
    Wreck-It Ralph
    All Dogs Go To Heaven
    The Land Before Time
    Pokemon 2000
    The Secret of The Sword
    Bill & Teds Bogus Journey
    The Phantom Tollbooth
    Flight of the Navigator
    Prince Caspian
    Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves
    Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie
    Read or Die
    A Chinese Ghost Story
    Lost Horizon
    Last year at Marienbad
    Life of Brian
    Dark City
    Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    Fantastic Planet
    The Company of Wolves
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    A Matter of Life and Death / Stairway to Heaven
    Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    The Shining
    Wings of Desire


    With taking all movies that had three or more nominations (including mine) and consolidating some movies into series, we now how exactly 64 items for the Fantasy Movie Bracket. Thank you all!

    I will return later with a list for the bonus bracket. You may still nominate to that one if you wish.

  24. It is now time for each of you to admonish others for not nominating your favourites and to add youtube trailers for them who haven’t seen them, so they know what they have missed.

  25. Amelie should also have been placed under “NOT ADDED BECAUSE RULES”. It is more surrealistic touches than supernatural or fantasy.

  26. > “It is now time for each of you to admonish others for not nominating your favourites …”

    Nah, looks pretty good to me.

  27. Wow! Lots of hard work. thank you!!

    You’ve got both Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and the entire Harry Potter series listed. I don’t think the whole series counts as “a movie” (though LOTR may so count). Remove the series and add just Azkaban? Remove Azkaban and leave the series?

  28. Aaron on November 12, 2015 at 11:50 am said:

    Which version of Clash of the Titans was excluded?

    I assume the Harryhausen version? I hope there weren’t any nominations for the more recent one …


    Ooooh, keep the series and leave space for ONE MORE movie.

    Aaron, Joe H:

    No idea, never asked because too few nominations. 😉

  30. My biggest surprise was that there was no more love for Spiderwick. I liked that movie. I had more or less resigned beforehand regarding the foreign movies.

    For all Lovecraft enthusiasts, I DO recommend Cast a deadly spell. You can find it on Youtube.

  31. Bonus bracket:

    God Stalk
    The Cloud Roads
    The Curse of Chalion
    Temeraire – not sure if a fantasy

  32. 1) I still think King Kong is SF

    2) Harvey – one of my picks, got so few votes that Hampus didn’t even list it as a reject! Here’s a little clip. The movie is a wonderful and virtuoso performance by Jimmy Stewart as a man who’s best friend is a pooka named Harvey.
    Harvey clip

  33. I actually think The Prestige is more SF too, so I’ll save it for that bracket. Gotta get it in someplace!

    (Also with Hugh Jackman, and it had one of the creepiest endings I have ever seen)

  34. Aside from the Harry Potter blip already noted, and a lack of How to Train Your Dragon, that looks like an excellent list. Even seeing all the movies I like in the ones that didn’t make it doesn’t especially change my mind.

  35. @ Kyra

    I think it’s a definition thing. Is alt history fantasy or science fiction? If species of dragons are postulated to have always existed in your alt history and everything in this alt history world, including the dragons, are explicable with what we consider recognizable science, then is it fantasy or science fiction?

    I think there’s room to argue both ways. The ultimate arbiter in this instance is Hampus, though.

  36. Most of my nominees that didn’t quite make are anime. Porco Rosso is an early Miyazaki film, about a WWI flying ace who was turned into a humanoid pig after an incident in his past. That’s the only supernatural element, and it isn’t explained. The rest of it is an adventure story, and a love story, and full of gorgeous flying animation.

    How have I not pushed Read or Die at all y’all before? Yomiko Readoman loves books, and lives in a flat filled with overstuffed bookcases and and giant, tottering piles of times. And paper loves her back, shaping itself to her desires… Which makes her a superb double-zero agent for the British Library. She has to stop a series of book thefts, leading to a sinister plot.
    I *love* Read or Die. Yomiko is engagingly nerdy, looking for a day job, brilliant at paper manipulation, and there are hints of a lesbian romance with her erstwhile ally, Miss Deep. The narrative plays with some well and not so well-known historical personages, and the combat sequences are madly inventive, as befits participants with unusual gifts. The soundtrack is also amazing.
    Here is the trailer

    Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie (sometimes called The Adolescence of Utena) doesn’t stand on its own quite as well as the other two, largely because it is trying to cram too much story into too little time. Still, I think it is worth watching on its own merits, if only for the sumptuous visuals. Just expect a lot of symbolism, a certain amount of surrealism,and a lot of visual in-jokes for devoted fans that can be written off as more surrealism.
    Each of the Utena mediums (manga, 39 episode show, movie, and movie manga) is probably best thought of as a reboot of the central myth. So Utena was visited in the past by someone she thinks of as a prince, who saved her somehow, and left her with a rose signet ring and the burning desire to become a prince herself. She enters Ohtori Academy, and discovers that some students duel to possess Anthy, the girl they call the Rose Bride. And Utena gets involved…
    Utena is primarily about interior journeys and struggles, questioning old narratives and frames, and searching for authenticity and connection. It is about women connecting with one another, and the relationship between Anthy and Utena is complex and beautiful. The symbolism of the movie can get downright bizarre, and it won’t work for everyone, but I am still am still awed by the beauty of certain scenes, and utterly engaged through the ending, each time I rewatch.
    Here is a trailer.

  37. Harvey is wonderful, and I am sorry that I did not read more closely. I would have seconded it if I had seen it.

  38. Read or Die was amazing. Though it’s not a movie, it’s a 3-episode miniseries. The ensuing series R.O.D -the- TV is even more amazing, but you have to see the miniseries first or certain things will not make much sense.

  39. Is alt history fantasy or science fiction?

    In and of itself, I would say no. It’s AH, a third thing all of its own. But it can be either; if it includes, say, a mission to Mars, it’s science fiction, and if it includes wizards it’s fantasy.

    If species of dragons are postulated to have always existed in your alt history and everything in this alt history world, including the dragons, are explicable with what we consider recognizable science, then is it fantasy or science fiction?

    Are the dragons ever explained? My sense was that they were just there; they are clearly a fantastic kind of dragon, given the way they form mental bonds with people, and if there’s no explicit indication that they can be explained scientifically (as there is in McCaffrey), I’d say that was fantasy. But I haven’t read the whole series, so perhaps there’s something I’m missing.

  40. DAMNIT I need to learn, apparently, to check File770 every day now.

    Thank God some of my favorites made it on, but I am going to protest vote the hell out of Dark City, Donnie Darko, Up, Corpse Bride, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (hugely, hugely underrated comedy) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

    And, apparently, the un-nominated Ratatouille and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (unless that’s SF). Brad Bird forever!
    I’m sure there’s a brilliantly obscure fantasy movie somewhere I loved that I’m not thinking of.

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