23. Jurassic Park
score by John Williams
John Williams’ score to Jurassic Park is one of just a few cinematic soundtracks able to evoke such immediate and accessible imagery. A single note of the score’s intrepid main theme doesn’t pass without visualizing the monolithic gates of Jurassic Park or Dr. Grant’s helicopter closing in on Isla Nubar. With Jurassic Park, John Williams created a collection of music that emphasizes both the science-fiction elements and action/adventure tropes that Steven Spielberg so deftly weaves into a cohesive whole. The great brass swells of the film’s main theme morph into whimsical and ethereal moments of quiet profundity (the egg-hatching) that, in turn, flatten out into low, stiff, worried notes that heighten and define the film’s most tense sequences (raptors in the kitchen).
In Jurassic Park, the power of man has surpassed that of god; it isn’t merely a creature-feature but an exploration of man at the pinnacle of invention. John Williams’ score is exciting and fast-paced, conforming to the film’s genre conventions but never losing the sense of grandeur and discovery that is inherent in Jurassic Park’s central theme.