Up 11 this week

Amadeus (1984)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  5 April 1985 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 249,624 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 536 user | 130 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

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



(original stage play), (original screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Top Rated Movies #88 | Won 8 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Sting (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Follows a brilliant, flamboyant and controversial British military figure and his conflicted loyalties during wartime service.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman
Gandhi (1982)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The life of the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent protest.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen
Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds
The Apartment (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
Casablanca (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Set in Casablanca, Morocco during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
The Pianist (2002)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay


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


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


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:



Official Sites:




| | |

Release Date:

5 April 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amadeus: The Director's Cut  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$51,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Elizabeth McGovern, who had earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Milos Forman's previous film Ragtime (1981), screen tested for a role in this film. See more »


At the first meeting of Mozart, Emperor Josef II finishes playing the march for Mozart and as he stands, he picks up the parchment from the piano. As Mozart kneels to kiss the Emperor's hand, the parchment is still held by the Emperor. When Mozart stands, the parchment is back on the piano, remaining there until the Emperor turns and steps back to pick it up. See more »


[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 »


Featured in Pauw & Witteman: Episode #6.78 (2012) See more »


Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Abduction from the Seraglio), K384 Act I, Singt dem Grossen Bassa Lieder
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Amadeus Speaks for All Mankind
4 May 2004 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

In 1984, Saul Zaentz, Peter Shaffer and Milos Forman collaborated in bringing a truly remarkable life to the silver screen. The story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, through the eyes of rival composer, Antonio Salieri. The film is complete with an insightful script (courtesy of Mr. Shaffer), magnificent acting, wondrous sets and costume designs, incredible choreography (thanks to Twyla Tharp), and, above all, the glorious music of Mozart himself.

The movie of Salieri's life, through which Mozart played an integral part, is told in flashback mode, beginning in around the year 1822. An old and perhaps emotionally disturbed Antonio Salieri attempts suicide, and in doing so, apologizes for killing Mozart some 31 years earlier. He survives and is admitted to an insane asylum, where he tells a young priest his tale of jealousy and mediocrity.

The priest is fascinated and alternately troubled by the lengthy and emotional story. Salieri tells of growing up in Italy with a father who did not care for music; and how he rejoiced for the chance to go to Vienna after his father's untimely death. He tells of how he first had met the young Mozart, and how immature and dirty minded Mozart was. He also tells of how "The Creature" had an intimate relationship with the girl that Salieri had cared for. Most importantly, however, he confided in the priest that he had learned to hate God for giving him a deep love of music, only to deny him the talent to create truly memorable music. He thought God had given him Mozart to mock him. Salieri's heart filled with such rage, such hatred and such jealousy, that he had vowed to himself to make God an enemy and to kill the young Mozart.

As the movie moves along, carrying with it a deep sadness of the human condition, it also celebrates life by giving the audience joyous music, wonderful atmosphere and a general appreciation of humanity for not only eighteenth century Europe, but in any age where music speaks for our emotions.

The movie won eight Academy Awards in March of 1985. The only reason it did not win nine was that Tom Hulce was nominated for best actor instead of best supporting actor. He actually was in a supporting role, and in a strange twist of irony, F. Murray Abraham won the best actor statuette; citing probably the only time when Salieri beat out Mozart in anything.

The movie itself was shot in Prague where Milos Forman said "(It) is a gem because it's possible to pivot the camera a full three hundred and sixty degrees and never encounter a modern vision." Very few new sets had to be built, as the scenes and buildings they found were quite often apropos to their needs.

Amadeus works well on virtually every cinematic plane that exists. It is a masterpiece that must be viewed multiple times to receive what the film has to offer. The emotions of humanity, through the eyes of the troubled Salieri, indeed speak for all of mediocrity. He is their champion and their king.

166 of 211 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
That laugh and the accents paul-273-129025
Question about Salieri and the cross? bbomberr
Why is Amadeus Rated so Low marhefka
To those who incessantly criticize this movie for its historical inaccur kekoajadecastle
How did Salieri feel about Mozart towards the end? Manifest_12
Difference between Director's Cut and the original theatrical version? jonaskragviken
Discuss Amadeus (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page