Alan Silvestri - Zemeckis reliable

Alan Silvestri - photograph Alan Silvestri started out doing TV work for the Series "CHIPS" and low-budget films. There is also reference to a "Wayne Cochran's Band" which presumably Silvestri played in at one time. He made the move to the larger Hollywood movies with Director Robert Zemeckis on "Romancing the Stone" and the hugely successful "Back to the Future" trilogy. Silvestri created a suberb set of themes and motifs for the original "Back to the Future" which were then re-used throughout the series, with the 3rd movie unleashing great musical tributes to the Western genre. Silvestri has continued his association with Zemeckis over the years and also produced a substantial quantity of scores for other directors. Perhaps having heard his excellent work for "Back to the Future III" with its occasional nod towards Ennio Morricone's western style, Sam Raimi chose Silvestri for his own "The Quick and the Dead" which pays a large homage to the movies of Sergio Leone.

Alan Silvestri - Back to the Future soundtrack CD cover Like many contemporary film composers Silvestri tends to re-use soundscapes from previous films, which then become identifiable as the composer's trademarks. Also like many other composers of today, he has scored the full range of genres from science fiction through to fast-paced thrillers. In Silvestri's case there have been a significant number of family movies, several including some kind of animation or specialist CGI effects. In fact animation is something he scored brilliantly in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" in the style established by the former Disney composers, Carl Stalling who went on to score most of the Warner Brothers cartoons and Scott Bradley who became the resident composer for Tom and Jerry. Although the cartoon music for Roger Rabbit is great the two Ducks, Daffy and Donald, in their routine to Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No.2" couldn't quite compete with Tom and Jerry in the original "Cat Concerto" story with the same music arranged by Bradley. Silvestri's contribution to the Roger Rabbit score was not only the authentic cartoonesque music for Roger's capers, but also the nicely contrasting slinky jazz for his girl friend Jessica and the film-noir jazz for Bob Hoskin's private detective.

Alan Silvestri - Forrest Gump soundtrack CD cover Silvestri has then gone from strength to strength with some major and sometimes ground-breaking movies. There was "Predator" which set set the scene for one of today's most-recognised movie aliens. There was then the underwater close encounter with strange aliens in The Abyss with a score which plays to the human story in addition the magical aspects of the aliens' powers. Silvestri then scored "Forrest Gump" and, though his music took second place on the soundtrack album to all those classic popular tracks, his music effortlessly captured the essence of the lead character with the "feather theme" (though only in the opening and closing titles) and helped to sell the movie in the popular consciousness. And there has been a string of interesting scores since then including "The Long Kiss Goodnight", "Contact", "Super Mario Brothers" and "The Quick and the Dead".

Alan Silvestri - The A-Team soundtrack CD cover Silvestri has continued his career with family films such as the "Stuart Little" films and the excellent songs from "Polar Express". There has been the occasional romantic comedy such as "Maid in Manhattan" and the fun "Night at the Museum" films. Darker films have included "The Mummy Returns", "Van Helsing" and the Zemeckis film Beowulf, while the composer has retained a thematic relationship with the ongoing "Predator" films including "AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem" scored by Brian Tyler and "Predators" scored by John Debney. Silvestri returned to musicals with Zemeckis' version of "A Christmas Carol" and then completed a score for the re-imaging of "The A-Team" complete with the original TV theme by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter.

Captain America: The First Avenger sees Alan Silvestri on top form, delivering a score that is nostalgic and heroic with great action music, and a main theme which is only hinted at until the hero is fully transformed into the first avenger. The soundtrack gets some help from Sousa, Wagner and Alan Menken. Now Silvestri's themes for Avengers Assemble have been adapted by Danny Elfman and Brian Tyler in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Then Silvestri returns to score "Avengers: Infinity War" using this accumulation of thematic material including the music composed by Ludwig Göransson for "Black Panther". The "Infinity War" score does a great job of following the plot twists and interacting characters and locations, and for the end titles excels in portraying the mood at the film's conclusion.

"Back to the Future: The Musical" has resurrected the vibe of this well-loved film, with songs by Alan Silvestri and lyricist Glen Ballard. The musical uses some music from the original film and plenty of new material. Hopefully you can catch this entertaining nostalgia trip at a theatre near you.

Trivia: Alan Silvestri's family run the Silvestri Vineyards in California.

Films by Alan Silvestri:

    Alan Silvestri - Beowulf soundtrack CD cover
  • Las Vegas Lady
  • The Amazing Dobermans
  • Romancing the Stone - a first Zemeckis collaboration, and Jack Nitzsche scored the sequel "Jewel of the Nile"
  • Fandango
  • Cat's Eye
  • Back to the Future 1, 2, 3 - number 3 introducing Western themes to this musically exciting series
  • Summer Rental
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear
  • The Delta Force
  • American Anthem
  • Flight of the Navigator - a family Sci-Fi movie
  • No Mercy
  • Critical Condition
  • Outrageous Fortune
  • Predator and Predator 2 - John Debney has picked up the batton with "Predators" retaining some of the familiar soundscape of Silvestri's original score
  • Overboard
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit - another Zemeckis one requiring some real cartoon music
  • My Stepmother is an Alien - not a huge amount of music, but a fun score nevertheless
  • She's Out of Control
  • The Abyss - more adult Sci-Fi and an excellent score
  • Young Guns 2 - but not 1
  • Father of the Bride 1, 2 - the main titles weave in recognisable parts of the traditional Bridal Chorus and Wedding March
  • Alan Silvestri - The Abyss soundtrack CD cover
  • Shattered
  • Ricochet
  • Dutch
  • Soap Dish - look out for wonderful Latin numbers
  • Death Becomes Her - Zemeckis again
  • Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest - more family entertainment
  • Stop or my Mum will Shoot
  • The Bodyguard - not the Whitney Houston songs but a melancholy love theme
  • Grumpy Old Men 1, 2 - the latter being "Grumpier"
  • Ritchie Rich
  • Forrest Gump - the introductory "feather theme" has just the right mix of simplicity and good humour, the soundtrack features many well-known popular tracks though the final track on the album at just under 9 minutes is a suite of Silvestri's music from the film
  • Judge Dredd
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight - scoring a lot of action sequences and a few more tender moments
  • Alan Silvestri - Who Framed Roger Rabbit? soundtrack CD cover
  • Eraser
  • Fools Rush In
  • Contact - and Zemeckis again
  • Mac and Me
  • Super Mario Brothers
  • The Quick and the Dead - Sharon Stone is a gunfighter to music that effortlessly captures all those western associations
  • Volcano
  • Sergeant Bilko
  • The Odd Couple 2
  • Practical Magic
  • Cast Away - little music while alone on the island, but a gentle hymn-like main theme emerges on strings and oboe when escape is in sight
  • Stuart Little - a family movie with cartoonish moments, but allowing Silvestri the opportunity to score a boat race, and provide a Jazz mood for the alley cats
  • What Lies Beneath - the music is required to stay suspenseful for much of the film, but turns into an overt homage to Bernard Herrmann and especially "Psycho" towards the end
  • What Women Want - among the many songs, Silvestri provides a suggestion of mysterious forces turning into standard romance
  • The Mexican - great homage to the spaghetti western style with a light comedic touch
  • The Mummy Returns - picking up from Jerry Goldsmith's original
  • Maid in Manhatten
  • Serendipity
  • Identity
  • Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life - sequel to the Computer Game spinoff
  • Van Helsing
  • The Polar Express - with several songs, co-written along with Glen Ballard
  • The Wild
  • Night at the Museum - big fun orchestral score, with moments of suspense and slapstick
  • Alan Silvestri - composer of Captain America
  • Beowulf - epic in nature with a period theme tune for brass instruments and drums
  • Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian - repeating the themes and fun of the previous movie
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
  • A Christmas Carol - with Robert Zemeckis based on the Dickens story
  • The A-Team - movie version, with the soundtrack using Mike Post and Pete Carpenter's TV Theme
  • Captain America: The First Avenger - a traditional film score with a theme, exactly what superhero film scores should be
  • Avengers Assemble - known simply as "The Avengers" in the US, the eagerly awaited movie where all the Marvel heroes come together
  • Flight
  • The Croods
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb - sequel
  • The Walk
  • Allied - for Robert Zemeckis again
  • Ready Player One - for Steven Spielberg (a rarity without John Williams), Silvestri providing excitement and warmth and even touches of Back to the Future
  • Avengers: Infinity War - continuing his association with the MCU and re-using various character themes
  • Welcome to Marwen
  • Avengers: Endgame - back in the MCU to complete this narrative
  • The Witches (2020) - latest Roald Dahl adaptation

TV work by Alan Silvestri:

  • Starsky and Hutch - one episode of this
  • The "CHiPs" series
  • Tales from the Crypt - several episodes of this series
  • Stuart Little - one episode of the short-lived animated series based on the film characters

Alan Silvestri - CD Recommendations:

Even if you go no further, check out the CDs of "Back to the Future" (which includes the well-known song "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News) and "Forrest Gump" (for which Silvestri was Oscar nominated). There is a comprehensive web-site dedicated to Silvestri at

Alan Silvestri - Sheet Music Recommendations

Among sheet music available of film music by Alan Silvestri are the following items, for piano (or piano/vocal). Since the song "Believe" was sung and recorded by Josh Groban you will often find the song under his name.

Alan Silvestri - Memorabilia:

Here are some CD covers signed by Alan Silvestri. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to use his collection of autographed CDs. Click any thumbnail below to see the image full size in a separate window.

Alan Silvestri: Dutch - signed CD Alan Silvestri: Back to the Future - signed CD Alan Silvestri: Eraser - signed CD Alan Silvestri: Father of the Bride - signed CD Alan Silvestri: Judge Dredd - signed CD Alan Silvestri: The Quick and the Dead - signed CD Alan Silvestri: Van Helsing - signed CD