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

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

  1. I admonish The System for not getting The Rapture on here. It’s a brilliant movie, starring David Duchovny and Miriam Rodgers, that presumes the apocalypse that evangelicals imagine is predicted by the Book of Revelations* happens just that way, and asks the musical question, “Well, what would that mean?” Near as I can tell, it was disqualified by the “no religion, please” rule.

    I also admonish the system because tradition demands someone who didn’t take part in the nominations for a File 770 bracket complain about the line-up afterward.

    *The Book of Revelations does not predict any such thing.

  2. @ Andrew M.
    “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.”

    Oh yeah, the dragons are explained. There’s an appendix that has scientific monographs about the different species and how they can fly and carry loads, etc. Even within the story they are treated as completely natural animals, no magic abilities at all.

  3. Good grief, has no one seen “Were the World Mine”?! ARGH:

    And seriously, no one likes “The Mummy” or “Practical Magic”? Sigh. Why do you all hate me so. ;-(

    @Various: Temeraire is fantasy; the bracket alternative is SF, which seems like pushing it way too far, IMHO anyway. Especially since none of you voted for “Were the World Mine.” 😉

  4. To make a few of you less worried, I already had some of the nominees on my list for SF Movie bracket:

    Start Wars
    Dark City
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure
    Fantastic Planet

    For some reason, I had also placed City of Lost Children there. Agree with others that this was a much better place for it.

  5. I’ll add the trailer for Les Visiteurs just so you know what you have missed. It is a wonderful movie, sadly a bit forgotten now.

  6. I forgot to vote. I can’t believe there weren’t enough votes for:
    The Muppet Movie
    Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves

    Somehow I’ll survive. I’m not a big movie goer so I won’t be voting much.

  7. Also, for you who missed it, Uproar In Heaven (The Monkey King) is Chinas great animated movie, over 11 years in the making. A fantastic version of the epic tale Journey to the West with glorious battles, pure magic in the air and lots of cute little monkeys.

    It is a really great movie and you shouldn’t miss it. All of it is on Youtube.

  8. The Muppets give me a headache if I ponder them for too long. On the one hand, most of the text treats them as the animals and people depicted by the muppet rigs; it’s handled like just an alternative to CGI. On the other, if that’s the case, why do they call themselves The Muppets and why are there “human Muppets” like Beaker and the Swedish Chef? What’s the difference, in-universe, between Beaker and any of the people he encounters outside the lab? Why, in short, are they using a special effect instead of casting an actor?

    Perhaps the answer is that they’re strange examples of parallel felt-based evolution, but from here in 883, it all looks like witchcraft.

  9. Went through the nominations again and had counted wrong for The Mummy (1999). It will take the last place when all Harry Potter movies are consolidated to one nominee.

  10. Hunh. I would’ve expected The Mummy to fail the “horror trope” test. But then, I felt the same way about Rare Exports

  11. Rev. Bob:

    My main reason for the “horror trope” rule was to not get the list swamped with vampire and werewolf movies. Dracula was part of the fantasy book bracket and I did not want all Dracula movies here (I do think I have sufficient vampire knowledge to do a vampire movie bracket later, but horror movies are a bit out of my scope otherwise).

    In this case, I judged more on the feeling of the movie.


    Here are all the works listed by you. Not sure how these will work in a bracket, but we’ll give it a try. 31 works in all.

    The Shattered World, Michael Reaves
    The Man of Gold, M.A.R. Barker
    The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Barry Hughart
    God Stalk, P. C. Hodgell
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton
    War for the Oaks, Emma Bull
    Jack of Shadows, Roger Zelazny
    The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
    The Books of Magic, Neil Gaiman
    Death, The High Cost of Living, Neil Gaiman
    Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    Pegasus, Robin McKinley
    Gossamer Axe, Gael Baudino
    Deadhouse Gates, Steven Erikson
    The Myth Books, Robert Asprin
    Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
    Elric of Melniboné, Michael Moorcock
    Nightrunner, Lynn Flewelling
    Doctrine of the Labyrinth, Sarah Monette
    The Deed of Paksenarrion, Elizabeth Moon
    Green Rider, Kristen Britain
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik
    Dragonhaven, Robin McKinley
    The Thirteenth Child, Patricia Wrede
    Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede
    Dragon Bones, Patricia Briggs
    Three Hearts and Three Lions, Poul Anderson
    The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells
    The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold

    And my own two:
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch
    Zoo City, Lauren Beukes

  13. Aw, drat, I should have put The Phantom Tollbooth on my nomination list. I’m also sad about Enchanted, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, How to Train Your Dragon, and Clash of the Titans not making the grade.

    (Should I have picked a specific Tamora Pierce book for the bonus question, then? Hm… First Test. And then they can make the next three as sequels. Also, drat, Maisie Williams is already too old…)

  14. I’d quite like an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ Dalemark books. Also for them to released in ebook form in the UK.

    Oh! And Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence, which as we know has never been adapted. Ever.

    Alan Garner’s Weirdstone of Brisengamen would be pretty awesome.

    I don’t know if they could pull Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs off but if they could, wow.

    Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study would make good films, too.

    I’m pretty sure they’d ruin Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor so maybe not that one, because I’d cry. And then deny the adaptation exists forever more.

  15. Cassy B:

    Sorry, inside out was not shown 2014. Excluded because of rules.


    As I had only 31 nominations in total for the bonus bracket, I added Graceling. Happy to see that you approve of that. Will start this bracket in 8 hours or so (sleepy time for me now).

  16. @ Meredith
    The Goblin Emperor would be really hard to adapt because so much of the story is in Maia’s head – his character development is central. Plus the subtlety of manners, ear gestures, dress, protocol, etc. It could make for some glorious visuals, though, right? The palace, the dirigibles, the costumes, that bridge model…

    Now I need to go reread.

  17. @junego

    It would be stunning, and would also fail horribly on every other level unless they came up with a very clever solution. I can dream, though, right?

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