Today marks John Williams’s 80th birthday. And what better way to celebrate it, than with two Oscar nominations for War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin.
No one needs to point out that John Williams is a legend. Say his name, and everyone around you–most likely, even the younger generations–are going to have at least heard his name, much less be aware of some of the famous compositions he’s created throughout his lifetime.
Right around the Oscar nominations announcement, many recognized and acknowledged that Williams, now with 47 nominations, is the second most nominated person following Walt Disney. Disney had 59 nominations in the bag and would be 110 years old today. I’m not sure whether Williams is aiming to top Disney’s number, but I would agree that with two nominations this year, that he’s well on his way if he continues to compose.
To break it down, Williams has won 5 Academy awards, 4 Golden Globes, 7 BAFTAs, and 21 Grammy awards. His Wikipedia and IMDB pages are deliciously long, making mention of each score he composed and/or conducted, received nominations for, and many of which he went on to win multiple awards for.
John Williams brought Superman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and E.T. to life, to name a few. “John Williams” is one of those names that will go down not only in film history, but also in U.S. history as a prestigious creative mind of sorts.
Perhaps Williams’s great collaboration in the film biz is his connection and friendship with Steven Spielberg. Williams has composed for all of Spielberg’s major feature films with the exceptions of The Color Purple (1985) and Duel (1971).
Everyone has their favorite John Williams’s soundtrack(s), be it one of his well-known or more obscure ones, not that many of his scores have hit the point of obscurity. My favorites are Superman and Star Wars. They both scream epicness in their ability to communicate themes that have been used and remixed throughout the years to give us parody videos and hilarious commercials and remakes (well, for Superman . . . definitely not Star Wars!)
Also, make sure to check out Ruth from Flixchatter’s excellent post commemorating John Williams on his birthday as well, offering a brief history of Williams and then including her top 10 Williams’s film scores.
Below are some videos of my favorite themes from the celebrated composer:
John Williams conducts the Superman theme:
London Symphony Orchestra performs the Star Wars theme:
What’s your favorite John Williams score?