The most Oscar-nominated person alive has just turned 85. The world’s favorite composer, John Williams, has been writing movie scores and earning Academy nominations for six decades, and he doesn’t even like films that much. In 2012, he told the Financial Times that he couldn’t remember the last time he went to the movie theater. Even so, working in movies was written into his destiny from an early age and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Williams is responsible for providing film fans everywhere with soundtracks to live by but he remains a humble man to the core. He doesn’t employ anyone, not even an assistant, and he still works with just a pencil and manuscript paper. His profession is defined by a passion of the purest kind.
In honor of his birthday, let’s take a look back at ten of his most iconic soundtracks:
10Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Despite the context, Saving Private Ryan is one of John Williams’ more peaceful scores. The film united the age-old partnership of Spielberg and Williams, starred Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, introduced Matt Damon and won five Oscars including Best Director. The war epic stands to this day as one of the most raw and accurate depictions of combat that cinema has ever seen. The unforgettable story, a heart-warming tale of blind sacrifice, is reflected beautifully in the soaring soundtrack that is all at once melancholic and optimistic.