Star Wars named UK’s favourite movie theme

John Williams' iconic soundtrack earned nearly a quarter of the vote, beating off competition from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and West Side Story

John Williams’ Star Wars theme tune has trumped the competition in a vote by BBC Radio 3 listeners to decide the UK’s favourite film soundtrack.

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The Oscar-winning 1977 sci-fi theme took almost a quarter of the total vote, with Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, arranged by Sherlock composer David Arnold, coming in second place. Leonard Bernstein’s iconic West Side Story score completes the top three in a survey compiled as part of BBC’s Sound of Cinema season.

The theme for David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia claimed the fourth spot, with Bernard Hermann’s music to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo proving more popular than Psycho and sneaking into the top five.

Other notable inclusions on the list include Hans Zimmer’s music for 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises at number seven, Rogers and Hammerstein’s score for The Sound of Music in ninth and the Sherman brothers’ soundtrack to Mary Poppins at 13.

Voters were asked to pick their favourites from a shortlist compiled by film fans and experts, including Radio 2’s Simon Mayo and Radio 3’s Matthew Sweet. The results of the vote will be played live today (27 September) at 2pm on Radio 3 by the BBC’s Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Zeigler.

John Williams will also talk about his experience writing the Star Wars theme and other music every day next week on the station’s Composer Of the Week segment, from Monday to Friday at 12pm and 6:30pm.

Check out the full list below…

1.Star Wars Main Theme (John Williams)
2. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (Ennio Morricone, arr. David Arnold)
3. West Side Story (Leonard Bernstein)
4. Lawrence Of Arabia Main Theme (Maurice Jarre)
5. Vertigo (Bernard Herrmann)
6. The Third Man (Anton Karas arr. Cox)
7. Dark Knight Rises Suite (Hans Zimmer)
8. Grease (various)
9. Sound Of Music (Richard Rogers/Oscar Hammerstein II)
10. Apocalypse Now (Wagner)
11. Psycho (Bernard Herrmann)
12. Django Unchained (Bacalov/Morricone)
13. Mary Poppins (Sherman brothers)
14. Billy Elliot (Swan Lake music, Tchaikovsky)
15. The Wizard Of Oz (Harold Arlen, EY Harburg, Herbert Stothard)
16. There Will Be Blood (Jonny Greenwood)
17. Planet Of The Apes (Jerry Goldsmith)
18. 8 ½ ‘Otto e Mezzo’ (Nino Rota)
19. Sholay (RD Burman)
20. Bombay (AR Rahman)


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