Amadeus (1984)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


Amadeus (1984) Poster

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporary composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

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8.3/10
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  • Constanze (ELIZABETH BERRIDGE) shows Mozart's music to Salieri (F. MURRAY ABRAHAM)
  • Mozart (TOM HULCE) composes music over a billiard table
  • Salieri (F. MURRAY ABRAHAM) with Baron Van Swieten (JONATHAN MOORE, in background)
  • Jeffrey Jones and Tom Hulce in Amadeus (1984)
  • Amadeus (1984)
  • Tom Hulce in Amadeus (1984)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Milos Forman

Writers:

Peter Shaffer (original stage play), Peter Shaffer (original screenplay)

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User Reviews


26 November 2006 | possumopossum
9
| The Movie That Made Me Appreciate Mozart
Before I saw this movie, I respected Mozart's genius, but his music wasn't my cup of tea. Beethoven was more to my taste, I tended more toward heavier classics. But this movie moved me to tears, especially at the end when they did Mozart's REQUIEM while he was working on what was to be his last piece of music. Now, I'm a Mozart fiend. This was a great movie. True, there are some historical inaccuracies. Anyone who has studied music history knows that Sallieri did not help Mozart with his Requiem. It was a student of his named Sussmayer. But it does make this story ironic, that the man who was so dedicated to the ruination of Mozart ended up helping him in the end. (I question the historical accuracy of that as well.) I recently bought the director's cut to this movie. Until I saw the director's cut, Sallieri seemed like a more sympathetic character, someone who just couldn't buy a break. Who can't identify with that? But after seeing the director's cut and seeing what I think is an important scene between Sallieri and Mozart's wife, he seemed more like a jerk. You also understand why Frau Mozart was so rude to Sallieri at the end of the movie, whereas before, you see the next to the last scene and you think, "Whoa! Where did this come from?" This was a great movie, for entertainment value only. If you want historical accuracy, watch a documentary or read a biography from the library or something. Because of this movie, I am now a rabid Mozart fan. If the movie can make Mozart converts, then it can't be bad at all.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mozart's middle name "Amadeus" for which the film is named, when translated from Latin means "love of God." This is a central theme of the film, as Salieri believes that Mozart's composition of music is so perfect that the only explanation is that Mozart is merely a vessel for God who is truly composing the music, or that God Himself bestowed this ultimate talent upon Mozart.


Quotes

Antonio Salieri: Mozart! Mozart, forgive your assassin! I confess, I killed you...


Goofs

Schikaneder has Mozart play the party theme in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach, which the Viennese party crowd clearly recognizes. Although Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was fond of Bach's work which he knew through his friendship with the composer's son, Bach's name and music would have been wholly unknown in the Vienna of the 1780s. Bach's music fell out of favor with performers, shortly after his death in 1750, and was revived only when Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy promoted and popularized his work around 1830.


Crazy Credits

"Amadeus" was originally a National Theater Production in London, then produced in America by The Shubert Organization, Elizabeth I. McCann/Nelle Nugent and Roger Berlind.


Alternate Versions

The director's cut (2002) adds the following scenes (twenty minutes in total):

  • When Salieri talks of his initial success in Vienna, a section has been added where Salieri describes how he believed God had accepted his vow, and how he honored it, working hard and often for free, while staying chaste.
  • When Salieri describes his first impression of Mozart's music to the priest, a shot has been added, where Salieri expresses his denial, saying that the music couldn't be anything but an "accident".
  • After the performance of "Die Entführung aus dem Serail", the scene has been extended after Caterina Cavalieri storms off of the stage, with Wolfgang getting a bucket of water and throwing over Frau Weber. After that a scene has been added where Salieri and Mozart visits Cavalieri in her lodge. Caterina throws some surly remarks about Constanze before she too comes and asks that she and Mozart go home. Mozart walks out on Caterina, and the scene goes to Salieri saying that he knew Mozart "had had her".
  • When Salieri asks "What was God up to?", the monologue has been extended, with Salieri speculating that it might be a test by God.
  • After Salieri admits to have started to hate Mozart, a shot has been inserted of Salieri praying, asking that Mozart be sent to Salzburg. This is immediately followed by the shot of the archbishop telling Leopold that he won't take Mozart back.
  • After Mozart refuses to submit his work for the royal appointment, a scene has been added showing Wolfgang and Constanze arguing. This establishes that the couple is in need of money.
  • When Constanze goes to visit Salieri in secret, the scene has been extended, starting with Salieri teaching a student.
  • The biggest addition comes after Constanze asks if Salieri will help them; instead of just walking out on her, he says says that she must come to his place, alone in the evening, strongly implying they must have sex for him to recommend Mozart's on the committee.
  • The scene switches to Salieri praying at his clavichord as Constanze arrives. She begins to undress, with Salieri looking shocked. When she is half-nude, Salieri calls in his valet and tells him to escort Constanze out. Humiliated and furious she throws a candelabra after him. Wolfgang finds Constanze crying in bed at home. This explains why Constanze is so eager to throw Salieri out of her home at the end of the movie.
  • Another large section is added where Salieri implies to the emperor that Mozart has been molesting young female students. This results in someone else getting the royal appointment. Mozart comes to see Salieri, receiving the news. Mozart asks Salieri for a loan, again establishing that he needs money. Salieri recommends Mozart give lessons to a Herr Schlumberg's daughter. The lesson however turns out a major frustration for Mozart, with Herr Schlumberg's dogs howling and causing a ruckus.
  • A scene has been added where Salieri and Baron Van Swieten discuss Mozart's financial difficulties. This is followed by a shot of a drunken Mozart again visiting Herr Schlumberg, asking if he may give lessons and - when denied - asks for a loan. That request is denied as well.


Soundtracks

Caro Mio Ben
(uncredited)
Written by
Giuseppe Giordani
Performed by The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Conducted by Neville Marriner
Sung by Michele Esposito

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Drama | History | Music

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