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5 movie themes you can't resist humming along to #MissionImpossibleFallout


On 27th July, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of secret agents will return in the sixth Mission: Impossible film, titled Fallout.

The first trailer has just arrived during this year's Super Bowl, teasing another daredevil adventure involving helicopter stunts and lots more. And we're willing to bet the theme music has now started running through your head.

The iconic main theme was originally written by Lalo Schifrin for the 1960s TV show, and has subsequently been adapted for all of the movies. This energetic, jazz-inspired piece is perfect to accompany any form of espionage. Whether it's descending from the roof of a secured vault or sneaking to the fridge in the middle of the night without waking anyone up, this catchy tune is for you.

Schifrin's score has withstood the test of time and become firmly embedded in pop culture. However, Mission: Impossible isn't the only iconic film theme. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to try and resist humming the following movie tunes. (We've already tried it. It's, appropriately enough, impossible.)

1. James Bond – Monty Norman/John Barry

Although the face of this legendary British spy has repeatedly changed over the course of 26 films, there's one part of this series that's remained the same – and that's the thing you're humming right now.

First gracing our ears in Dr No in 1962, the James Bond theme was originally composed by Monty Norman and arranged by John Barry (who would go on to compose the music of eleven Bond films). Like Schifrin's original Mission: Impossible theme, the James Bond series gave us one of the catchiest and most recognisable tunes of all time.

With an effortlessly cool beat, screeching brass, and featuring one of the most memorable guitar riffs ever written, the Bond Theme is a musical personification of the suave super spy. Movie heroes don't get much bigger than Bond, and his swinging theme song proves it.

2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Ennio Morricone

What comes to mind when you think about the Wild West? An untamed frontier? Outlaw gun slingers duelling in lawless towns? Nameless heroes riding in on their horse to save the day before entering the nearest saloon to break up a brawl?

Many of these associations can be credited to Sergio Leone's legendary spaghetti western trilogy: A Fistful of Dollars in 1964, For a Few Dollars More in 1965 and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in 1966.

The latter film is arguably among the best of its kind and much of the impact is down to Ennio Morricone's magnificent score. Morricone's theme captures the unbridled spirit of the Wild West. When you hear that opening phrase, you know there's a showdown coming, and you know you can't help but whistle along.

3. The Godfather – Nino Rota

It's only fitting that Francis Ford Coppola's gangster classic, widely considered as one of the greatest films ever made, has theme music to match.

Composed by Nino Rota, 'The Godfather Waltz' opens each film, alluding to the Corleone family's Sicilian background and ruthless rise to power. Beginning with a haunting trumpet solo and blending with a larger orchestral ensemble, the beautiful theme is passed to different instruments with different variations, providing a sombre tone to a brutal crime story. This is one timeless tune.

4. Psycho – Bernard Herrmann

Alfred Hitchcock: the master of suspense, a cinema auteur, and the man who gave us numerous classics throughout his long career. Famously, Hitchcock collaborated with legendary composer Bernard Herrmann on all his films from The Trouble With Harry in 1955 all the way to Marnie in 1964.

Their collaboration was so influential, in fact, that there's even a 'Hitchcock Chord' (sometimes referred to as the 'Herrmann Chord') given to the trademark sound featured in the theme of their most well-known score: Psycho.

Is it even possible to think about Hitchcock (or showers) without getting this theme lodged in your brain? This frantic string piece comes when the ill-fated Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) meets her infamous demise at the Bates Motel, instantly giving rise to the 'stabbing hands' action that usually plays out along with the score itself. It's quite possibly the most famous piece of horror music ever composed.

5. Star Wars – John Williams

Of course, we couldn't finish this list without mentioning John Williams. Synonymous with films such as Jaws, Jurassic Park, the Indiana Jones series and much more, we could have made this list based on his music alone. But there's one film that's galaxies apart from the rest: Star Wars.

The fanfare that accompanies the opening crawl for each entry in the series is a quintessential example of soundtrack music. Quite simply, it doesn't get more epic than this. From the bold brass to the melancholic woodwind sections, Williams' theme captures the magic of everything about this series, grabbing the imaginations of people around the world. From the powerful opening chord, this theme really does take us to a galaxy far, far away.

As we approach the release of Mission: Impossible – Fallout on 27th July, we're undoubtedly going to be humming Lalo Schifrin's tune repeatedly. Let us know your favourite movie themes @Cineworld.

Andy Murray is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.