10 Awesome Musical Scores That Deserved Better Movies
10. The Phantom Menace
It would be quite easy to fill this list up with sequels (and prequels) where the discrepancy between the superb music and the otherwise lacklustre movie lies in part in the score maintaining the high standards of the original even as the rest of the production goes into standard sequel decline. It would in fact be too easy. So that's not what the rest of this list will be. Nevertheless, it would be remiss not to include the most egregious example of this trend.
Recent years have seen a perhaps overdue re-evaluation of the relative merits of the Star Wars prequels against the viscerally negative initial fan response. Nevertheless, it's probably still reasonable to see The Phantom Menace as largely a failure with its stronger moments more than balanced out by hugely misjudged elements like a racially dubious comedy sidekick.
One thing both detractors and apologists can all agree on, though, is the soaring brilliance of John Williams' score. From the start of Star Wars in 1977, Williams' rousing orchestral sound has delivered instantly classic and iconic themes and, even in the franchise's low point, he could still pull it out of the bag.
Williams earns his fee for the thrilling Duel Of The Fates alone, one of the best bits of Star Wars music.
He may have received his habitual Oscar nod that year for Angela's Ashes, but it's the music of The Phantom Menace that has really stood the test of time and the turbulent reputation of the movie it accompanies.