James Horner was one of Hollywood’s greatest composers. Having collaborated with directors including James Cameron and Ron Howard on some of the biggest movies of all earned him a credibility like few others. From huge orchestral epics to subtle compositions, the scores of James Horner were brilliant, compelling and masterfully created.
In memory of his work, here are the nine films that earned James Horner an Academy Award nomination and defined his career…
The eerie drones of this classic movie score earned itself a nomination. The film, and it music, is still regarded as one of the great horror classics.
Somewhere Out There from An American Tail (1986)
In the same year as Aliens, Cameron won a second nomination for his work on original song Somewhere Out There. With a sound reminiscent to that classic ballad from The Rescuers, it’s a charming song that has probably brought a tear to many eyes. But not this one. Nope. Not one bit.
Field of Dreams (1989)
He built it, and they came as Field of Dreams was Horner’s third Oscar nomination in four years. With a very different sound to Aliens, the grander orchestral piece with a mix of some classic 80s guitar was perfect for a feel good inspirational film about overcoming adversity.
FREEEEEDOOOOOMM! You don’t often get an Oscar nomination with bagpipes.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Opening with a very patriotic bugle solo, the soundtrack to Apollo 13 is another perfect goosebump-inducing score that takes the film to a whole new level of resonance. It’s a big American space adventure with a big American theme.
When most people think of music from Titanic their immediately thought will likely be the heart-wrenching scene as the ship band play one last time amid the chaos around them. But the entire film is underpinned by Horner’s phenomenal score. It won him two Oscars both for the score and for the original song sun by Celine Dion.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The film itself won Best Picture and numerous other Oscars, though James Horner missed out for this brilliant score.
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
One of his lesser known films was this starring Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley. The House of Sand and Fog was his penultimate Oscar nomination.
What a final bow, as James Horner’s last Oscar nominated score was for the biggest movie of all time. We will likely hear it again, albeit in a slightly new incarnation, in the three sequels, but for now just enjoy this.
RIP James Horner