In a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film soundtracks in cinematic history, including the Star Wars saga, Superman, Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the first two Home Alone films, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, Lincoln, Memoirs of a Geisha, and the first three Harry Potter films.
He has had a longtime collaboration with director Steven Spielberg since Jaws in 1975, and George Lucas since the original Star Wars in 1977. composing the music for all but five of Spielberg's major feature films (Duel, The Color Purple, Bridge of Spies, Ready Player One , and West Side Story). He did the score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker (where he also had a cameo as a bartender named Oma Tres).
He composed the theme "The Adventures of Han" for Solo.