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Home Page
James Horner
$composer Photo
Filmtracks Statistics:
Average Filmtracks Rating: 3.17
Average Viewer Rating: 3.26
Number of Reviews: 103
Number of Votes: 194,059
Number of Comments: 2,574
Reviews in Filmtracks'
Top 100 Traffic Ranks:
#2. Braveheart
#4. Titanic
#18. The Mask of Zorro
#26. Legends of the Fall
#37. Apollo 13
#51. Troy
#53. Glory
#77. Willow
#78. The Land Before Time
#94. Enemy at the Gates
Reviews in Filmtracks'
Top 100 Voting Ranks:
#8.  Glory
#14.  Apollo 13
#21.  Legends of the Fall
#23.  Willow
#38.  Braveheart
#48.  The Mask of Zorro
#54.  Titanic
#57.  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
#69.  The Land Before Time
#77.  The Missing
Filmtracks Editor's Recommendations:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The Land Before Time
Legends of the Fall
Apollo 13
The Spitfire Grill
The Mask of Zorro
A Beautiful Mind
The Missing
The Legend of Zorro
The Amazing Spider-Man
Related Pages of Interest:
Horner Suites and Themes
(1998 bootleg)
Heart of the Ocean
(1998 Sonic Images compilation)
Titanic: The Essential James Horner Collection
(1998 Silva compilation)
Pas de Deux
(2014 concert)
Additional Quotes:
"I respect Jerry Goldsmith very much, but hope my music isn't too similar. One is always influenced by people one respects, and I'm very influenced by quite a few classical composers, and admire their work very much, so people always think they can pigeon hole my music by saying, well, it's this or that. Most of the films that I've been doing are, in fact, adventure, horror or whatever, and those are the kinds of films Goldsmith does." - 1982, on criticism that his music resembles Goldsmith's

"My trick is that the films are all so different. I have no high ambitions to win 35 Academy Awards. I just try to be the best at what I can be and work on the best movies I can and not get too wrapped up in the day-to-day ups and downs of it, which is difficult enough." - 1995, on his craft

"I learned long ago that the vagaries of the Academy are uncontrollable, and that you'll end up committing suicide if you think your fortune is made by them. It's very flattering to get nominated, and it means a lot to me. But the score has a deeper personal meaning to me than that." - 1997, on losing the Academy Award to Il Postino in 1996

"What appeals to me about writing film music is that each project is completely different from the other. I could have chosen to another Star Trek or two or three Star Treks because I was certainly asked, but I wasn't interested after doing a couple of them." - 1992, on film composers being chameleons

"I had been asked to do a couple of other big films, which I passed on, [including] Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, because I desperately wanted to do Ron's movie [A Beautiful Mind]. Those are movies that mean something to me on a very basic level. Those are really like art films as opposed to commerce films." - 2001, on choosing his assignments

"I'm a throwback. I know all about the machines, and I work with programmers I've worked with for years. They know my tastes and predilections. When I work with synths, I don't want what you think of it as synthetic sounds. I want very organic sounds that I can manipulate. The orchestral stuff, I write at a desk and orchestrate, and then send it off to the copyist. The synth stuff, I play ideas to myself on the piano, and notate ideas, but most of it happens by coloring in, like painting, at the actual recording session, because I play everything myself on a MIDI keyboard. I have an idea, I know how it's going to work in the timing. It's all mathematically perfect, but in terms of fine tuning it, it doesn't happen until I actually get there and I start playing in the parts myself." - 1998, on scoring without a state of the art studio

Decorative Nonsense
Primary Composer Picture
James Horner conducting Titanic in 1997

"I'm a fanatic about Irish music. I love its moody, modal and timeless quality. I'm different from some other composers, because I don't look at this as just a job. I think of music as art."

Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1953, James Horner developed a precocious interest in piano at the age of five when he began learning the instrument. After graduating high school, Horner decided to study music, and he attended the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, before returning to the United States to receive a degree at the University of Southern California. Horner went on to earn a graduate degree in Composition at University of California, Los Angeles, and he wrote a contemporary classical piece entitled "Spectral Shimmers," which was given its world premier by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Eager to find a larger audience for his work, Horner began seeking commissions to write film music and scored several short films for the American Film Institute.

Reviews Icon
(see legend below for abbreviations and codes)
 TitleFR VRVTCT RD TRDates Notes
The Magnificent Seven (co-wrote)****3.411580||||1,61612/16themes only
The 33****3.151493|||1,80403/16
Living in the Age of Airplanes***
Wolf Totem****3.963273|||1,32206/15 - 07/17
One Day in Auschwitz**
The Amazing Spider-Man****3.891,05220||||33607/12
First in Flight***
For Greater Glory (Cristiada)****3.242073||||1,41309/12
Black Gold****3.353696|||1,21402/12
The Karate Kid***3.245657|||1,15006/10
Avatar (AW)*****3.828,741157|||||13512/09
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas****3.3236513|||57902/09 - 05/18multiple albums
The Life Before Her Eyes**2.944831||1,01804/08
The Spiderwick Chronicles****3.3878920|||49001/08
All the King's Men***3.1570713||78210/06
The New World****3.591,26787|||30002/06
The Legend of Zorro*****3.971,49860||28111/05
The Chumscrubber**2.853904||1,06011/05
The Forgotten**2.7863713|||59310/04 - 10/11
Troy (co-wrote)***2.904,696431|||||5105/04 - 01/18multiple albums
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius**3.0376912||71505/04 - 10/11
House of Sand and Fog (AW)***3.141,07824||38812/03 - 03/09
The Missing*****4.051,41651|||23811/03 - 03/09
Beyond Borders***3.211,27914||39911/03 - 03/09
Radio**2.9561410||61511/03 - 03/09
The Four Feathers****3.421,96121||38109/02 - 01/09
Windtalkers***2.911,86584||38510/01 - 01/09
Iris***3.381,42112||87712/01 - 01/09
A Beautiful Mind (AW)****3.784,358146|||11712/01 - 01/09
Enemy at the Gates***3.536,602153|||9402/01 - 01/09
How the Grinch Stole Christmas***2.823,21923|||13611/00 - 11/07all albums
The Perfect Storm****3.613,41745||17006/00 - 06/08
Bicentennial Man ***3.713,22553|||27112/99 - 04/08
Mighty Joe Young**2.731,2473|34812/98 - 03/08
The Mask of Zorro*****4.138,81177|||1806/98 - 03/08
Deep Impact***3.362,1716||11305/98 - 03/08
Titanic (AW)*****4.1127,289163|||||411/97 - 06/18multiple albums
The Devil's Own***3.794504||44004/97 - 11/11
Ransom (co-wrote)**2.521553||76011/96 - 11/11
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday**2.812200||81409/96 - 11/11
The Spitfire Grill*****3.951,5947|||37109/96 - 08/08
Courage Under Fire**3.061,0995|37809/96 - 05/07
Jumanji**2.944058||46209/96 - 11/11
Jade*2.452664|||1,47808/09 - 01/11multiple albums
Braveheart (AW)****4.1727,731188|||209/96 - 03/16all albums
Balto****3.451,19515||17309/96 - 02/19all albums
Apollo 13 (AW)*****4.2910,34465||||3709/96 - 05/19all albums
Casper****3.572,5765|||14009/96 - 04/21all albums
Legends of the Fall (AW)*****4.249,77392||||2609/96 - 04/21all albums
The Pagemaster (AW)***3.458071||44509/96 - 03/16all albums
Clear and Present Danger***2.914147|||45606/98 - 06/13all albums
Swing Kids**2.831862||58306/98 - 11/11
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story***3.363032||47409/96 - 11/11
The Pelican Brief**2.912552||68006/98 - 11/11
Once Upon a Forest****3.393065||57108/98 - 08/08
Searching for Bobby Fischer***3.834734||68206/98 - 07/15all albums
Jack the Bear**2.811990||1,07812/01 - 08/20all albums
House of Cards***2.881190||1,76705/10limited
A Far Off Place***2.911762||73606/97 - 02/15all albums
Bopha!*1.953382|1,00501/00 - 08/06
The Man Without a Face****3.611,0620|66306/98 - 09/06
Thunderheart****3.112394||55106/98 - 11/11
Patriot Games**2.827723|||47706/97 - 07/13multiple albums
Sneakers****3.525583||63509/96 - 09/08
Unlawful Entry*2.301853||90406/98 - 02/19all albums
Class Action**2.691380||1,10206/98 - 11/11
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (AW)****3.351,0388||26207/98 - 01/08
The Rocketeer****3.962,66218|||20009/96 - 04/21multiple albums
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys***
Extreme Close-Up (TV)***2.88950||1,83105/10limited
I Love You to Death****
Once Around**2.6715510||97007/98 - 11/11
Another 48 Hrs.**
In Country****3.241961||76612/96 - 03/13multiple albums
Field of Dreams (AW)**3.7784816||24206/98 - 09/11
Glory (AW)*****4.3011,37461|||5308/97 - 07/06all albums
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids**2.931411||1,42108/09multiple albums
Tummy Trouble***animated short
Dad****3.1221714||80808/97 - 11/11
The Land Before Time*****4.074,48212||||7807/98 - 04/21multiple albums
Cocoon: The Return**3.071300||1,48508/09 - 03/16all albums
Willow*****4.225,83916||||7705/98 - 12/07
Red Heat*2.4819512||73707/98 - 11/11
Vibes**2.6519216||62609/96 - 02/14multiple albums
*batteries not included***2.941272||1,58108/09 - 08/20multiple albums
Project X***2.852433|||60610/97 - 09/20all albums
Off Beat
An American Tail (co-wrote) (AW)****3.804854||||1,05908/09 - 05/19multiple albums
Where the River Runs Black**2.631211||1,56708/09 - 04/16all albums
Aliens (AW)***3.461,52048|||17605/01 - 10/08all albums
The Name of the Rose**2.811295||1,38808/09multiple albums
Commando**2.7748125||29912/03 - 08/15multiple albums
In Her Own Time
The Journey of Natty Gann (co-wrote)****3.351300|||1,52608/09multiple albums
Cocoon****3.768333|||40110/97 - 12/13all albums
Heaven Help Us
The Stone Boy
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock***3.5686320|||49806/03 - 06/10all albums
Uncommon Valor***2.811131||1,76310/10all albums
Something Wicked This Way Comes (co-wrote)***3.061915||||1,29008/09 - 04/16multiple albums
Krull****3.541,0777|||26308/97 - 08/15all albums
Gorky Park***3.001210||1,54408/09 - 02/15all albums
Testament***2.901504|77012/96 - 03/13multiple albums
48 Hrs.*2.501163||1,57803/11limited
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan*****4.101,39236||||22206/03 - 06/18all albums
P.K. and the Kid
Rascals and Robbers (TV)***3.05884||1,75204/11limited
Wolfen***2.891573|||1,37808/09 - 08/12multiple albums
The Hand*
Deadly Blessing**2.891573|||1,37808/09 - 08/12multiple albums
The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper**
Humanoids from the Deep**2.56660||1,77611/11multiple albums
Battle Beyond the Stars****3.845074|||56909/01 - 11/11multiple albums
The Lady in Red
Up from the Depths
The Drought
(reviews listed with a "co-wrote" indicate that either the composer wrote the score with another person or that more than one composer worked separately to provide a score for the production)
- indicates a new review that has been published in the last 90 days
- indicates an older review that has been significantly revised in the last 90 days
Awards: AW - or a golden year indicates that the music won or was nominated for a major award
Ratings: FR - Filmtracks Rating ("Varied" indicates a split rating with no overall designation)
VR - Viewer Rating (overall average)
VT - Vote Total (for viewer ratings)
Comments: Comment Total (the number of messages posted in the review's comment area)
Review Depth: ||||| - Massive Review (over 4,000 words)
|||| - Very Long Review (between 2,200 and 4,000 words)
||| - Long Review (between 1,200 and 2,200 words)
|| - Average Review (between 800 and 1,200 words)
| - Short Review (under 800 words)
Traffic Rank: Popularity Rank (lower numbers indicate more cumulative reads; new reviews take time to climb the ranks)
Dates: 1st - indicates the month and year during which the review was first published
2nd - indicates the month and year of the review's most recent significant revision (if any)
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