John Williams' Star Wars Theme voted nation's favourite film soundtrack

Date: 27.09.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.01
Category: Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 will today reveal the nation’s favourite soundtracks in a live orchestral countdown, with John Williams' Star Wars Main Theme coming in at number one.

With almost a quarter of the audience votes, John Williams’ Star Wars Theme topped a list that spans 64 years of cinema soundtrack history. Williams' soundtrack remains to this day the highest-grossing orchestral film music recording of all time, and secured him his third Academy Award in 1977. John Williams will talk about writing Star Wars and other music every day next week on Radio 3’s Composer Of The Week, at 12noon and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The top three positions show the breadth of the Sound Of Cinema vote – with Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly missing out on the top spot, while Leonard Bernstein sits at number three with his score for West Side Story.

Surprisingly, Bernard Hermann’s renowned soundtrack to Hitchcock’s Psycho - including the notoriously terrifying shower scene - misses out on the top 10 to his other classic Hitchcock soundtrack, Vertigo. Meanwhile, family favourites Mary Poppins and The Wizard Of Oz remain further down the yellow brick road, ranked at 13 and 15 respectively in the vote, beaten to the top 10 by Rogers and Hammerstein’s Sound Of Music, which sits at number nine.

In a chart show-style countdown at 2pm on Friday 27 September, the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Zeigler, will play the top 20 Sound Of Cinema soundtracks live on BBC Radio 3 and to a studio audience, from the world-famous Air Studios in London.

The vote is part of the BBC’s Sound Of Cinema, a season dedicated to exploring the composers, songs and film scores that form the soundtrack to the big screen. BBC audiences were invited to choose their favourite film soundtrack, voting from a shortlist compiled by a panel of BBC radio’s biggest movie experts and enthusiasts. The panel included BBC Radio 1’s Rhianna Dillon, BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 3’s Matthew Sweet, Francine Stock from BBC Radio 4, Mary Anne Hobbs from BBC Radio 6 Music, Tommy Sandhu from Asian Network and film music conductor Robert Ziegler.

The BBC’s Sound Of Cinema Sound-track list is:

  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)

Notes to Editors

The BBC’s Sound Of Cinema season featured a three-part programme on BBC Four, Sound Of Cinema: The Music That Made The Movies, presented by Neil Brand, which is now available on BBC iPlayer. The series has been accompanied by three weeks of programming on Radio 3, with further programming on Radio 6 Music, Radio 1 & 1Xtra, Radio 2 and Asian Network. For further information visit:

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