The Top 10 Best Original Score winners
Films move us in many ways, whether it’s from incredible performances, striking cinematography or great storytelling. But there’s one component that strikes a chord in all of us: great music. From the looming danger of deep strings as a massive great white shark closes in, to the swelling chorus of violins as two lovers part on a runway in Casablanca, the film score has the power to move us, terrify us and even make us weep.
While the Oscar for Best Original Score has had a few name changes over the years, it’s always been about the same thing: recognising the movie industry’s best musical talent. Some winners might not be in your daily rotation, but their scores stand the test of time, and continue to enchant listeners generations over.
The Sound of Music (1965)
What’s more iconic than Julie Andrews as Maria twirling on a mountaintop? Maybe a family of singing children bidding you farewell, or perhaps a Do-Re-Mi lesson in the idyllic countryside? Released in 1965 to both critical and commercial acclaim, The Sound of Music quickly became a phenomenon – and it’s not hard to see why. The film is chock full of hit after hit thanks to the incredible songwriting of Rodgers and Hammerstein, along with the help of Irwin Kostal’s screen arrangements. Give it a watch and you’ll likely be humming the tunes for days to come.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
A lion, a scarecrow, a tin man and a girl from Kansas walk into Oz. This Technicolor wonder needs no introduction; from Dorothy’s dazzling red shoes to the terrifying flying monkeys and everything in between, it’s an established classic that’s ascended into a league of its own. While songs like “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” and “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” have edged their way into the cultural zeitgeist – even for those unfamiliar with the source material – composer Herbert Stothart’s score helps flesh out L. Frank Baum’s fantastical world. It’s a beautifully moving and unabashedly classic Hollywood score.