Let's be honest. You probably thought the answer to this question was probably all of them were directed by Steven Spielberg (which is true except Lucas's Star Wars). You also may have thought they were all adventure films, fantasy and science fiction (how does Schindler's List belong here?). But, there is only one true answer to this question: All of the music in the films was composed by the one and only king of film composers – John Williams.
John Williams is responsible for the music of over 150 films and series since the 50's all the way up to the new Star Wars movie "The Force Awakens". His hypnotic soundtracks will remain with us forever and when hearing them again, will bring us back to those moments when we first watched these all-time classic films.
So without further ado, here are 10 movies in which John Williams composed the music and why we love them oh so much!
1. Star Wars
First and foremost, Star Wars contains dozens of hours of music with memorable melodies. Of course, we're going to start with the opening theme:
Darth Vader's theme will forever be the most iconic villain music.
The "Force" Theme:
2. Jurassic Park
It's unbelievable how much emotion can be transferred in a movie about dinosaurs. From the most familiar action theme (starting from 1:30) to the film's tear-jerker main theme:
While working on Jurassic Park, John Williams was working on music for another film. Some say that you can identify themes and melodies that overlap between. This brings me to the next movie,
3. Schindler's List
The exciting violin playing is by none other than the famous violin player, Itzhak Perlman.
4. Indiana Jones
As the only composer who could tell adventure stories of every shape and kind, there is no one more suitable for Spielberg's Indiana Jones than Williams:
The music in E.T. could melt my heart in a second and bring me back to being a child again at the ripe age of 4 being exposed for the first time to the magic of this film. Try to see one of the many great scenes here without sound. The most exciting moment in the film is when the kid takes off with E.T. on the bike. How would this scene have sounded without music? You are welcome to try but it's not recommended 😉
And of course, the famous chase:
The music of the film's final scene was supposed to be played and recorded simultaneously with the orchestra for more than 20 minutes. It was very difficult to record such a big scene without stopping in the middle. Because of this, something very rare and unique happened that almost never occurs in film productions: Spielberg stopped the screening of the film while recording and gave Williams the freedom to just conduct the orchestra how he wanted while saying he would edit the film according to the music. This was a rare moment in the history of music for films!
6. Harry Potter
Williams proves again that he can still produce special and magical melodies:
7. Home Alone
You can hear the entire film's storyline from the music: childish, mysterious, Christmas bells, devious; just about everything in the film!
This has to be one of the most genius uses for leitmotif in soundtracks. A total of two repeated notes that create so much fear and tension! Ah, I love it!
If you listen closely, you can identify similarities between the themes of Superman, ET and Star Wars. I will dare to say that one of William's hallmarks of epic melodies was the extensive use of The Quinta interval which certainly creates a feeling of epicness.
Another example of the Quinta used by a completely different composer:
This theme is originally from a piece called "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss. (1896)
10. Many More From John Williams
Hook, Saving Private Ryan, Artificial Intelligence, The Patriot and many other! But by far, one Williams' less familiar melodies was the opening theme composed for the 1984 Olympics.
May we have a wonderful week, full of adventures! 🙂