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Amadeus (1984)

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

Director:

Milos Forman

Writers:

Peter Shaffer (original stage play), Peter Shaffer (original screenplay)
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Popularity
1,250 ( 119)
Top Rated Movies #81 | Won 8 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
F. Murray Abraham ... Antonio Salieri
Tom Hulce ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Elizabeth Berridge ... Constanze Mozart
Roy Dotrice ... Leopold Mozart
Simon Callow ... Emanuel Schikaneder
Christine Ebersole ... Katerina Cavalieri
Jeffrey Jones ... Emperor Joseph II
Charles Kay ... Count Orsini-Rosenberg
Kenneth McMillan ... Michael Schlumberg (2002 Director's Cut)
Kenny Baker ... Parody Commendatore
Lisbeth Bartlett Lisbeth Bartlett ... Papagena (as Lisabeth Bartlett)
Barbara Bryne Barbara Bryne ... Frau Weber
Martin Cavina Martin Cavina ... Young Salieri (as Martin Cavani)
Roderick Cook Roderick Cook ... Count Von Strack
Milan Demjanenko Milan Demjanenko ... Karl Mozart
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Storyline

Antonio Salieri believes that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music is divine and miraculous. He wishes he was himself as good a musician as Mozart so that he can praise the Lord through composing. He began his career as a devout man who believes his success and talent as a composer are God's rewards for his piety. He's also content as the respected, financially well-off, court composer of Austrian Emperor Joseph II. But he's shocked to learn that Mozart is such a vulgar creature, and can't understand why God favored Mozart to be his instrument. Salieri's envy has made him an enemy of God whose greatness was evident in Mozart. He is ready to take revenge against God and Mozart for his own musical mediocrity. Written by Khaled Salem

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything you've heard is true. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France | Czechoslovakia

Language:

English | Italian | Latin | German

Release Date:

19 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amadeus: The Director's Cut See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$505,276, 23 September 1984

Gross USA:

$51,973,029
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (director's cut)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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." See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of "Amadeus", the dying Salieri hums the first bars of "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" to the confessor - probably the most immediately recognizable tune Mozart ever wrote. The joke is that the confessor, who knows nothing of Salieri's music, delights in knowing "Eine kleine", and continues humming the melody back to Salieri, to Salieri's disgust. But in 1823, even though Mozart had been dead over 30 years, this music was unknown to the public. It was only published in 1827, by Mozart's widow, who was then still alive. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Antonio Salieri: Mozart! Mozart, forgive your assassin! I confess, I killed you...
See more »

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. See more »

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Harmoniques: Mozart: A Quest for Freedom (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Don Giovanni, K527: Act II, Commendatore Scene
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of those movies that you'll never forget
16 November 2003 | by Smells_Like_CheeseSee all my reviews

I remember as a child, my sister told me to watch this film. That it was the best film she ever saw. I didn't watch it until I turned 10; finally I sat myself down and watched it. I fell in love with it.

Based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, played a terrific and hilarious performance by Tom Hulce. This also has the life of Antonio Salieri, a great and well deserved Oscar winning performance by F. Murray Abraham. Despite the story not being accurate, come on! This is a great movie that was a gigantic Oscar waiting to happen. Congrats to Amaudeus for bringing the beauty of classical music into out living rooms.

The story is that we start off with an older and more suicidal Salieri who blames himself for Mozart's death. When a priest comes to ask Salieri to plead forgiveness to the lord and wants to council him, Salieri describes who he was and how music inspired his life, he plays a few notes from his opera's that were masterpieces, the priest just looks at him not knowing the music. Salieri just looks at him with a smile and says "Ah, how about...?", he plays Mozart's most famous work and the priest gets excited saying "Oh, how charming! I'm sorry, I didn't know you wrote that!" smiling and knowing how it will please Salieri, Salieri just looks at him with a emotionless face "I didn't. That was Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart" and you see the priest's embarrassment. Just great and a perfectly played out performance by Abraham and Frank.

Tom Hulce gives Mozart this crazy and annoying yet nevertheless funny laugh that you can't help but laugh at it every time he does it. He brings such life to Mozart and an immaturity that I think some of us can relate too in being spoiled and always knowing you're the best at your talent. He marries Constanze played by Elizabeth Berridge and she does it remarkably well. Constanze is obviously the more mature one and is the only woman who can try to tame Mozart's crazy ways. When Salieri gets a little jealous that the emperor played by an under rated Jeffrey Jones, since he is the emperor's tutor, then the emperor demands more of Mozart and his music. Salieri vs. Mozart: on the next celebrity death match!

"Amadeus" is a fantastic movie that anyone could easily love and enjoy. It's definitely a must see for movie fans and anyone in general who is just looking for a good movie. This was the best picture of 1984 and it's well deserved, just trust me and the awesome reviews it's getting!

10/10


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