Hans Zimmer: Gladiator - Suite

Gladiator uses a simple but great melody throughout and, as a result, joins the ranks of those movies for which the music is a vital part of its success.

Released: 2000
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris, Oliver Reed

The Film: Ridley Scott transports Hollywood to second-century Rome in the rousing historical epic Gladiator. Maximus (Russell Crowe), a Roman general, finds himself caught up in the battle for the throne when the Emperor chooses him over his son Commodus. When Maximus discovers that his family has been slaughtered he allows himself to be captured and thrown into the gladiator games in a bid to save not only himself but the future of the very empire that he loves and honours.

Composer: Despite starting off his career playing keyboards and synthesisers for the likes of Ultravox and Buggles, Hans Zimmer has become one of the biggest names in the film music world. Working in much the same way as Michelangelo – that’s not to say, on his back staring at the ceiling. He sometimes operates a collegiate system of writing music, whereby he will employ several composers to work in groups on certain movies, all the time retaining overall control. Zimmer himself had his first big hit with Rain Man – nominated for an Oscar in 1988 and the Gladiator soundtrack has gone on to achieve legendary status. Other contributors to the soundtrack include Lisa Gerrard, The Lyndhurst Orchestra and Gavin Greenaway.