7 Classic James Horner Movie Compositions From ‘Braveheart’ to ‘Titanic’ in Honor of Composer (Video)

Listen again to the best tracks by the Oscar-winning composer who died Monday in a plane crash at age 61

Last Updated: June 23, 2015 @ 5:25 AM

Over four decades, James Horner created some of the most memorable movie music in Hollywood history.

The Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer, who died Monday in a plane crash near Santa Barbara, California, at the age of 61, worked in a wide variety of genres, from serious dramas like “A Beautiful Mind” to popcorn and genre fare like “Aliens.”

Here are some of his most memorable compositions.


“Titanic” (1997)
Just the sound of that tin whistle sparks waves of nostalgia for a generation of moviegoers who made James Cameron‘s epic romance a cinematic classic.


“Aliens” (1986)
In his first collaboration with James Cameron, Horner effectively conveyed a sense of menace that seemed both military and out of this world.

“A Beautiful Mind” (2001)
In one of his richer, more orchestral scores, Horner evokes the majesty and seriousness of the subject matter: the life and trials of Nobel-winning mathematician John Nash.


“The New World” (2005)
Horner’s simple score for Terrence Malick’s drama evoked the quiet of an American landscape before the intrusion of Europeans.


“Braveheart” (1995)
An early example of Horner’s use of Celtic instruments and melodies, aptly employed for director-star Mel Gibson‘s Scottish epic.


“Avatar” (2009)
Horner’s ethereal score helped establish the otherworldliness of the planet Pandora at the heart of James Cameron‘s environmental allegory.

“Legends of the Fall” (1994)
The dramatic 1994 Western directed by Edward Zwick and starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond and Henry Thomas, took Horner’s music to the remote Montana wilderness of the early 20th century.

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