The Nation's favourite soundtrack?

Few Hollywood films can match the heart-breaking climax of Titanic, where Kate Winslet tells Leonardo DiCaprio that she’ll “never let go” – and James Horner’s unforgettable music kicks in. Earlier this week, that classic, Oscar-winning score was named Britain’s favourite movie soundtrack of all time.

A poll, commissioned by the Royal Albert Hall as part of its celebration of Great Escape composer Elmer Bernstein, being staged in June, asked 2,000 respondents to choose their favourite film score. Titanic topped the charts beating out the likes of Chariots of Fire, Star Wars, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Lord of the Rings, to scoop the top spot.

The film got the full Royal Albert Hall treatment last night, with two sell-out, 20th anniversary-screenings in high-definition, featuring James Horner’s classic score played live and in full by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. It received a record-equalling 11 Oscars in 1998, including gongs for Best Score and Best Song.

The nation’s top 10 film soundtracks: 

  1. Titanic
  2. Chariots of Fire
  3. Star Wars
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 
  5. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  6. The Great Escape 
  7. The Magnificent Seven 
  8. Back to the Future 
  9. Gladiator 
  10. Jurassic Park 

In addition the survey asked the 2,000 respondents to reveal what music scores mean to them, and how important soundtracks are to films.

The research revealed that 20 per cent of Brits will tolerate a film they dislike, if they love the music. Equally, 59 per cent of the nation thinks a bad musical score can completely ruin a film.

A third (33 per cent) of Brits agree that music is their favourite part of a film, with a dramatic score being the nation’s preferred style for almost half (46 per cent).

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “You never forget a great film score: from the epic to the intimate, movie music has an unparalleled ability to evoke emotion. We asked film fans to pick their favourite, and there’s no doubt about the winner: James Horner’s sumptuous, heartbreaking score for Titanic."

Noble continued: “It’s great to see the love for The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape, two classics that will feature in our unique celebration of Elmer Bernstein’s life and legacy, hosted by movie legend John Landis.”

The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape and More! The Best of Elmer Bernstein, presented by John Landis is at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 18 June. 

Although it didn't make it into the Top 10 of soundtracks, the Royal Albert Hall is also presenting Brassed Off! Live - a 21st Anniversary concert featuring Grimethorpe Colliery Band and the Royal Pholharmonic Concert Orchestra on 9 May 2017.

Lucy Noble told BBW: “We’re delighted to present this unique celebration of one of the nation’s favourite movies, in the company of the stellar cast and featuring the band whose experiences made for such a funny, poignant and powerful real-life drama.”

Though the film is set at the Royal Albert Hall and features external shots of the famous venue, the interiors were filmed at Birmingham Town Hall after the makers struggled to get permission to shoot their then little-known project.

Producer Steve Abbott told BBW: “It’s a great honour to hold the world premiere of Brassed Off Live at Britain’s finest venue – we’re so thrilled that our story will finally get the Royal Albert Hall ending it deserves, 21 years on.”

Brassed Off was the surprise box-office hit of 1996 and was nominated for three BAFTAs, as well as winning nine international film awards, including a prestigious César award in France for Best Foreign Film. It regularly features in lists of the best British films ever made, including the BFI’s definitive top 100.

For all Royal Albert Hall events visit: / 020 7589 8212

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