Iconic Synth Movie Scores

by ElMaruecan82 | created - 1 month ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Midnight Express (1978) was the first synthesized movie score to win an Oscar, paving the way to a musical revolution without which many movies of the late 70s and early 80s wouldn't have been the classics they became.

Honoring such pioneers as Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Michael Gore and John Carpenter, this list includes the most memorable "synth" scores from that period. So here it goes...

Which of these 70s/80s synth scores strikes the most personal chord?

After voting, you might discuss the list here

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1. Midnight Express (1978)

R | 121 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli

Votes: 65,386 | Gross: $35.00M

GIORGIO MORODER

2. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

64 Metascore

A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher

Votes: 148,646 | Gross: $234.76M

Harold Faltermeyer

3. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 662,112 | Gross: $45.60M

Giorgio Moroder

4. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 204,765 | Gross: $47.00M

John Carpenter

5. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 49,183 | Gross: $58.97M

VANGELIS

6. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

A seemingly indestructible android is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 727,046 | Gross: $38.40M

Brad Fiedel

7. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

89 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 625,597 | Gross: $27.00M

Vangelis

8. Flashdance (1983)

R | 95 min | Drama, Music, Romance

39 Metascore

A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala, Sunny Johnson

Votes: 42,711 | Gross: $94.90M

Michael Gore

9. Fame (1980)

R | 134 min | Drama, Music, Musical

58 Metascore

A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Eddie Barth, Irene Cara, Lee Curreri, Laura Dean

Votes: 18,596 | Gross: $0.00M

MICHAEL GORE

10. Sorcerer (1977)

PG | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou

Votes: 14,750

Tangerine Dream

11. The Fog (1980)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

55 Metascore

An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Houseman

Votes: 57,058 | Gross: $21.38M

John Carpenter

12. American Gigolo (1980)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

57 Metascore

A Los Angeles male escort, who mostly caters to an older female clientèle, is accused of a murder which he did not commit.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo, Nina van Pallandt

Votes: 19,221 | Gross: $23.00M

Giorgio Moroder

13. Risky Business (1983)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.

Director: Paul Brickman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Masur

Votes: 73,417 | Gross: $63.50M

Tangerine Dream

14. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 111,888 | Gross: $25.24M

John Carpenter

15. Videodrome (1983)

R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky

Votes: 74,398 | Gross: $2.12M

Howard Shore

16. Thief (1981)

R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, Jim Belushi

Votes: 21,470 | Gross: $11.49M

Tangerine Dream



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