Paris Blues. 1961. USA. Directed by Martin Ritt. Courtesy United Artists/Photofest

Keeping Score

Our playlist highlights some favorite Hollywood film music.
May 6, 2020

Whether it’s the melancholy blare of Miles Davis’s trumpet in Elevator to the Gallows, the perky irony of Anton Karas’s zither in The Third Man, or the otherworldly glissando of Mica Levi’s strings in Under the Skin, some scores affect us just as much as the films they accompany. We gathered some of our favorite scores from Hollywood films in a playlist for your listening pleasure. It covers a variety of cinematic and musical genres, yet each piece similarly amplifies the power of images, shapes our imagination, and appeals to our emotions. No list could be entirely comprehensive, but we hope that these works by great composers like Phillip Glass, Quincy Jones, and Angela Morley will bring some extra joy—or, in the case of John Carpenter, maybe some screams—to your day.