Other comments about William Wyler's finest film ("Ben-Hur" notwithstanding) cover the basics. To these I add my own personal comments about Hugo W Friedhofer's Oscar-winning original score, which, following the release of the film in 1946, was reviewed in several music publications at the time. This was unheard of for a Hollywood film score, particularly one by a composer who did not compose 'serious' music for the concert hall. Later, 'The Technique of Film Music', issued by Focal Press UK, carried a lengthy analysis of Friedhofer's score.
Friedhofer's score reflects the Americana style of Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter (particularly the 2nd-movement of his First Symphony) and, to a lesser extent, George Gershwin. There are several motives in the film, each of which identify the dramatis personae. This is one film score that demands the attention of the viewer. Watch the film first; then, play it again, listening only to the music. It will simply amaze you. To call Friedhofer's score a masterpiece would be an understatement. It stands quite alone. If not the finest American film score from the sound era, it holds pride-of-place as being among the top three, alongside Alex North's "Spartacus" and Bernard Herrmann's "Vertigo".