The score to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was selected by the American Film Institute as the greatest American movie score of all time--a pretty remarkable achievement.
What is even more remarkable to me, however, is the sheer number of memorable scores that Williams has written. It seems that he, perhaps more than any other single composer, has provided us with the music that we hear when we think of science fiction and fantasy.
Here's a quick list of some of the scifi/fantasy films that he has written the soundtracks for:
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Jurassic Park
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- War of the Worlds
- Minority Report
- A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
So, Happy Birthday, John Williams! And may you have many more years of music-making ahead of you.