The Tom Cruise helmed, auteur driven, action spy franchise has been an American cinema staple for over twenty years. Nearly every film in the series with a new filmmaker behind the camera, and nearly ever film a different composer on scoring duties. But before that became the expected standard, the first film was tasked with elevating the pulp television classic to Summer popcorn flick. Brian DePalma’s sleek, smooth and masterful first entry made waves with its approach to past characters from the series, but was not so carefree with its musical legacy, bringing on composer Danny Elfman to helm the score. Stepping out of the darkness of his iconic Tim Burton collaborations and into an adaptation of Lalo Schffrin’s earworm theme song, and motifs, Elfman’s score is one of the best of his career, and a high water mark that future composers have had to live up to with each subsequent chapter.