R | | Biography, Drama, History
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.
During filming in 1983, Czechoslovakia was under Communist rule. The production team was often followed around by the secret police, and Milos Forman and the cast spoke about their fears that a Fourth of July prank-the unfurling of the American flag in the concert hall and the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by the large cast and crew-would lead to their arrests for inciting rebellion. Many suspected that their hotel rooms had been bugged during the six months they spent filming the movie.
Forman, who was considered a traitor for becoming an American citizen and not returning to the Soviet-controlled area, had previously had one of his movies banned in the country (then called the Czech Socialist Republic). According to Twyla Tharp, in order to shoot in red territory, Forman had to make certain concessions. "Milos had to sign an agreement that he would go to his hotel every night for the year that he was there and that his driver would be his best friend from the old days," Tharp told The Hollywood Reporter. "And everybody knew what would happen to his best friend if something untoward politically happened around Milos, because Milos was a sort of local hero and he was dangerous to the authorities."
Mozart! Mozart, forgive your assassin! I confess, I killed you...
At the beginning of the film, Salieri plays for the priest on what looks like a harpsichord, yet the sound produced is of a piano. This is not a goof. The instrument is in fact a pianoforte, which is also played by both the Emperor and Mozart at their first meeting. The pianoforte bridged the gap between the harpsichord of the 18th century and the grand piano of the late 19th century.
The producer, screenplay writer and director thank the following for their boundless assistance in our effort to present the physical authenticity and aura you have seen and felt in "Amadeus": -The National Theatre of Czechoslovakia and Prague's Tyl Theatre management for allowing us to film in the Tyl sequences from the operas: "Abduction from the Seraglio," "The Marriage of Figaro," and "Don Giovanni." It was actually in this magnificently preserved theatre that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart conducted the premiere performance of "Don Giovanni" on October 29, 1787. -His Eminence Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek for his kindness in permitting us to use his beautiful residence headquarters in Prague as the Emperor's palace. -The Barrandov Studios and CS Filmexport for their help in filming "Amadeus" in Prague and in castles and palaces throughout Czechoslovakia.
The original theatrical version contains a brief moment that is absent from the director's cut. Just after Salieri is seen burning the crucifix, there is a cut back to old Salieri in which he finishes his monologue with "I will ruin your incarnation."
English, Italian, Latin, German
$86,764 (USA) (7 April 2002)
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