John Williams: Overrated or Underrated?

When you see a shark, can you hear any particular tune in your head? What does it sound like?

Well, of course:

Has any other film composer so successfully identified a living creature through music? There are some film fans, however, who find the legendary John Williams—whose credits include not only Jaws but all six Star Wars films, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Accidental Tourist, Schindler’s List, and many others—to be overrated. For them, the “Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade might as well be “To Scarborough” from Dracula or “The Mission Second Part”  from The Today Show.

So, is he one of the greatest film composers of all time, or has he been overly derivative of himself ever since “Johnny Williams” penned the theme song for TV’s Lost in Space…and stolen too much from Korngold? Here’s Movie Irv:


Now it’s time for you to, ahem, chime in. For some additional fun afterwards, see if you think Williams should perhaps have occupied every slot on our recent poll about ’70s soundtracks.