MovieChat Forums > John Williams Discussion > Film scores you wish Williams had done

Film scores you wish Williams had done

No matter how you slice it, Williams has had an amazing career, but even so, there are a few scores I would like to have seen him do. Feel free to comment or add some of your own thoughts.

"Lost Opportunities" with Spielberg as Director

Duel (Williams and Spielberg hadn't started their partnership yet)

The Color Purple (Producer Quincy Jones did the music, but Williams could do "southern-sounding" music quite well, i.e. Sugarland Express, The Reivers, and Rosewood)

Bridge of Spies (Williams unavailable due to work on The Force Awakens, but he could be a very good suspense composer when the occasion called for it)

"Lost Opportunities" with Spielberg or Lucas Acting as Producer

Poltergeist (Goldsmith knocked it out of the park, so no biggee)

The Twilight Zone (ditto above)

Willow (although not a huge fan of James Horner, I must say he did good here)

Howard the Duck (Barry did a fine score, even the if film sucked. Still, if Williams can do Monsignor and Hearbeeps, he can do this)

"Lost Opportunities" with Alfred Hitchcock - before and after Family Plot (which he did)

Frenzy (a jazzy and suspenseful early Williams-style score would have been great)

The Short Night (an unmade spy film that might have starred Sean Connery)

"Lost Opportunities" with Robert Altman

McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Leonard Cohen did most of the music in the finished film, but Williams in his early years did some interesting "rustic" and "Western" scores and would have fit in nicely here. Williams did actually do three films with Altman - A Nightmare in Chicago, Images, and The Long Goodbye)

Gosford Park (Altman's later style wasn't usually conducive to traditional film scoring, but this late Altman film would have been a nice reunion for Williams and Altman)

"Lost Opportunities" with Mark Rydell

Williams did four films with Rydell - The Reivers, The Cowboys, Cinderella Liberty, and The River. In fact, The Reivers is the moment "Johnny" Williams became John Williams, and it was his first great score)

Harry and Walter Go To New York (it would have been interesting to see what Williams would have come up with in this comedic period piece)

On Golden Pond (Dave Grusin was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the score, but I think it would have been an interesting off-beat score for Williams also)

"Lost Opportunities" with The Lord of the Rings films

Peter Jackson's version was pretty good, but imagine a version with Sean Connery as Gandalf and John Williams as the composer!

Movies He Could Have Done in His Off Years

He took time off from feature films in 1985, 1994, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. What movies from those years would you like him to have done? I'll list a suggest a few possible candidates:

1985 (Cocoon, Ladyhawke, The Color Purple, Silverado, Witness, The Goonies)

1994 (Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Legends of the Fall, Wyatt Earp)

2006 (The Painted Veil, The Good Shepherd, World Trade Center, All the King's Men)

2007 (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Into the Wild, Beowulf, The Golden Age, In the Valley of Elah, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)

2009 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Public Enemies, Valhalla Rising)

2010 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Way Back, Unthinkable, The Wolfman, The Ghost Writer)


I've always been curious what he would have done with "The Dark Knight." Take the dark tones of music like "Imperial March," "Palpatine's Teachings" or "Snoke" and superimpose them on Batman. I bet it would chill your blood.

Any of the Cecil B. DeMille biblical epics. After hearing the temple music themes in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" I think he'd be a natural. Imagine "The Map Room" overlapping the Red Sea collapsing.

"Patton." 'Nuff said.


Why are some of this lost opportunities? Poltergeist, Willow, LotR and Patton are some of the greatest scores ever. Why would you rather have Williams doing them? While of course recognising his talent it's not guarantied that every score of his is a timeless masterpiece


Williams seemed to have the lion share of luck during most of the 70's and 80's. Obviously, an "opportunity lost" for Williams was an "opportunity gained" for Goldsmith, Horner, Barry, etc. I thought I indicated as much ("no bigee", "he did good", etc.) in my OP with Poltergeist, The Twilight Zone, and Willow. Never cared much for the LotR score, to be frank.


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