RIP James Horner.

james horner

The tragic news has swept the world that composer James Horner died earlier today in a plane crash. He will be sorely missed by the worldwide film community thanks to his immeasurable contribution to the art of film scoring. Our thoughts are with his friends and family as well as the friends and families of the other occupants of the plane. Without further ado, here are some of Horner’s more unforgettable film scores.

10 | Titanic (1997) dir. James Cameron

Horner would win his only two Academy Awards for his work on James Cameron’s Titanic – for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score and Best Music, Original Song (‘My Heart Will Go On’), contributing to that film’s total of eleven Academy Awards.

9 | A Beautiful Mind (2001) dir. Ron Howard

Horner would be nominated for another Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind, the film that would win Ron Howard his Best Director Oscar. Horner employed the voice of Charlotte Church to weave in and out of his score.

8 | Willow (1988) dir. Ron Howard

Another collaboration with Ron Howard, based on a story by George Lucas. There is a lot about the Willow score that doesn’t work, but when it works it’s rousing, energetic and has absolutely ripper action cues.

 7 | Iris (2001) dir. Richard Eyre

Horner’s score for Iris didn’t get the attention it deserved when the film was released, perhaps because of the melancholy subject matter.

 6 | Apollo 13 (1995) dir. Ron Howard

Horner was known for a number of ‘Hornerisms’ – quirks or motifs that he’d include in many of his scores to the delight of hardcore fans and the annoyance of his naysayers. The Hornerisms are on full display in his score for Apollo 13 but somehow work so wonderfully it’d convert even those naysayers.

 5 | Aliens (1986) dir. James Cameron

Horner’s score, like Jerry Goldsmith’s score for Alien, was butchered by the director and included in the final film heavily edited, causing a brief rift between Horner and James Cameron. Even in its edited state, the score remains one his Horner’s best works.

 4 | Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993) dir. Steven Zaillian

An oft forgotten classic score by Horner remains a fan favourites. Making chess exciting on screen is no easy feat, but Horner helps with his marvellous contribution.

 3 | Legends Of The Fall (1995) dir. Edward Zwick

A young, reckless Brad Pitt scored to the swelling strings of James Horner. What more do you want?

 2 | Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) dir. Nicholas Meyer

Just like Star Trek of old is often forgotten in favour of George Lucas’ Star Wars, Horner’s work on The Wrath of Khan is often shadowed in comparison to John William’s work on Lucas’ more prolific films. It’s just as fantastic.

 1 | Braveheart (1995) dir. Mel Gibson

One of the most unforgettable film scores of all time, Horner’s work on Braveheart almost carries Gibson’s film single handedly.

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