The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

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(original stage play), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lisbeth Bartlett ...
Papagena (as Lisabeth Bartlett)
Barbara Bryne ...
Martin Cavina ...
Young Salieri (as Martin Cavani)
Roderick Cook ...
Milan Demjanenko ...
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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:

The man... The music... The madness... The murder... The motion picture... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

19 September 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amadeus: The Director's Cut  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$86,764 (USA) (5 April 2002)

Gross:

$51,600,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (director's cut)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In preparation for some aspects of the title role, actor Tom Hulce studied footage of temperamental tennis star John McEnroe's on-court tennis tantrums. See more »

Goofs

There is one huge, musical and dramatic mistake, that seems to have been missed for all these years - even if it turns into nonsense an essential sequence of the movie. In the "ballet in Le Nozze di Figaro" affair (around 1h42'), the wrong scene of the opera is used. They play and show the March, where anonymous dancers dance with or without music. It should be the second dance, the Fandango, performed by the characters of the opera, where Susanna slips to the Count the "bigliettino", luring him into the nocturnal trap of the 4th act . This scene is dramatically crucial, its absence would ruin the plot (the March means nothing much and could have been easily cut - or performed without dancing!) and that was Mozart's argument in the situation we know from Da Ponte's Memoirs, and in the original Amadeus play. Since it couldn't be cut, without music it must have looked like a pantomime, making no sense - and that's the reason the Emperor ordered to put it back. Moreover, the Emperor had not forbidden ballet music, but dancing. Therefore the Kapellmeister Bonno's line ("Herr Direktor he has removed un balletto...") makes it all doubly absurd - since "un balletto" is exactly what we see on the screen, only without music. There is probably no way to correct this, but since no one seems to have been bothered by this blunder... See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Spoofed in Caffeine Madness (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) Act 2 - Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Papagena!
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Ravishing in sound and vision
1 April 2002 | by (Buckinghamshire England) – See all my reviews

The unseen star of this film is the Academy of St Martin's in the Field, London. Buy the soundtrack and you will be rewarded with some of the most stunning music you can hear. Mozart's music excells with brilliant treatment and dies with a bad performance. And that, after all, is what the film is about. Without his music, Mozart would be lost in time, a fate that the narrator of the story, the composer Salieri, saw as his own. Ironically, while Salieri has indeed been completely overshadowed by Mozart, his music still survives and has its followers.

But beyond the music this is an outstanding film. Set in the prettiest and most flamboyant century of the last millennium, it is visually stunning and the writer's portrayal of jealousy is perceptive. The casting of the Austrian King and courtiers, (indeed all the actors in this film) that Mozart needed to impress capture the gentility and courtesy of the time, and also subtly shows their growing indignation and impatience at Mozart's personality and behaviour; the presentation of Mozart as punk musician is probably the only failing in the film. As a theatrical device to show that genius can come in disastrous packages it succeeds well, but anyone with any historic sense of social ettiquette or manners will know that Mozart's sill y behaviour would be well wide of the truth, as might, perhaps, be the concept of Salieri as murderer-in-chief. Only in the final scenes is Mozart's brilliance as a composer truly explored in what amounts to a deconstruction of his final composition - his moving, uncompleted and poignant Requiem mass.

Another unintended star in this film are the candle lit sets and theatres of the 18th Century; their operas and drama ooze a magic that is lacking in the present world and which modern producers might well try to reintroduce; so lovely are these buildings with their flickering lights and theatrical techniques that one is left desperate to to seek out these rare theatres to experience them.

This film leaves one breathless from its visual beauty, its magnificent score and the choreography, indeed, of the two together. Mozart's life had the air of tragedy, and his undoubted genius speaks to us now and forever. This film is a monument to the skills of the writer, maker, performers and, of course, Mozart's music. If you have not yet done so, see it.


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