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Amadeus (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Amadeus -- Based on a Viennese urban legend and hit Broadway play, recounts the downfall of 18th-century musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Amadeus -- Trailer for Amadeus
Amadeus -- The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback mode by Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.
Amadeus -- The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback mode by Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.


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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Peter Shaffer (original stage play)
Peter Shaffer (original screenplay)
View company contact information for Amadeus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 April 1985 (USA) See more »
The man... The music... The madness... The murder... The motion picture... See more »
The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 8 Oscars. Another 34 wins & 13 nominations See more »
(303 articles)
User Reviews:
A rare masterpiece See more (539 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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 ... Papagena (as Lisabeth Bartlett)
Barbara Bryne ... Frau Weber
Martin Cavina ... Young Salieri (as Martin Cavani)
Roderick Cook ... Count Von Strack
Milan Demjanenko ... Karl Mozart
Peter DiGesu ... Francesco Salieri
Richard Frank ... Father Vogler
Patrick Hines ... Kappelmeister Bonno
Nicholas Kepros ... Archbishop Colloredo
Philip Lenkowsky ... Salieri's Servant
Herman Meckler ... Priest
Jonathan Moore ... Baron Van Swieten

Cynthia Nixon ... Lorl
Brian Pettifer ... Hospital Attendant

Vincent Schiavelli ... Salieri's Valet

Douglas Seale ... Count Arco
Miroslav Sekera ... Young Mozart
Cassie Stuart ... Gertrude Schlumberg (2002 Director's Cut) (as Cassie Stewart)
John Strauss ... Conductor

Karl-Heinz Teuber ... Wig Salesman

Rita Zohar ... Frau Schlumberg (2002 Director's Cut)
Miro Grisa ... Figaro in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Helena Cihelnikova ... Countess in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Karel Gult ... Count Almaviva in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Zuzana Kadlecova ... Susanna in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Magda Celakovska ... Cherubino in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Slavena Drasilova ... Barbarina in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Eva Senková ... Marcellina in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Leos Kratochvil ... Basilio in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Gino Zeman ... Don Curzio in 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Janoslav Mikulín ... Dr. Bartolo in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (as Jarolsav Mikulin)
Ladislav Krecmer ... Antonio in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (as Ladislav Kretschmer)
Karel Fiala ... Don Giovanni in 'Don Giovanni'
Jan Blazek ... Commendatore in 'Don Giovanni'
Zdenek Jelen ... Leporello in 'Don Giovanni'
Milada Cechalova ... Queen of the Night in 'The Magic Flute'

John Carrafa ... Dancer
Sara Clifford ... Dancer
Richard Colton ... Dancer
Shelley Freydont ... Dancer
Anne Glasner ... Dancer
Barbara Hoom ... Dancer
Mary Kellogg ... Dancer
Raymond Kurshals ... Dancer
John Malashock ... Dancer
Jennifer Rawe ... Dancer
Tom Rawe ... Dancer (as Thomas Rawe)
William Whitener ... Dancer

Hana Brejchová ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Hana Brejchova)
Miriam Chytilová ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Miriam Chytilova)
Karel Effa ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Radka Fiedlerová ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Radka Fiedlerova)
Rene Gabzdyl ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Karel Hábl ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Karel Habl)
Atka Janousková ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Atka Janouskova)
Marta Jarolimkova ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Gabriela Krckova ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Vladimir Krousky ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Jirí Krytinár ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Jiri Krtinar)
Radka Kucharova ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Jan Kuzelka ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Jirí Lír ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Lenka Loubalová ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Lenka Loubalova)
Dagmar Maskova ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Dagmar Maskov)
Ladislav Mikes ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Jitka Molavcová ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Jitka Molavcova)
Jana Musilová ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Vojtech Nalezenec ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Pavel Nový ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Pavel Novy)
Jiri Opsatko ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Jan Pohan ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Therese Herz ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Tereza Pokorna)
Ivan Pokorny ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Milan Riehs ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Iva Sebkova ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Zdenek Sklenar ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Renata Vackova ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Jiri Vancura ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Dana Vávrová ... Czechoslovakian Actor (as Dana Vavrova)
Petra Vogelova ... Czechoslovakian Actor
Josef Zeman ... Czechoslovakian Actor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
June Anderson ... Queen of the Night in 'The Magic Flute' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Isobel Buchanan ... Susanna in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Michele Esposito ... Salieri's Student (uncredited)
Gillian Fisher ... Papagena in 'The Magic Flute' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Anne Howells ... Cherubino in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Brian Kay ... Papageno in 'The Magic Flute' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Robin Leggate ... Don Curzio in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Felicity Lott ... Countess in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Zdenek Mahler ... Cardinal (uncredited)
Suzanne Murphy ... Cavalieri in 'Axur' / Constanza in 'Abduction from the Seraglio' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Alexander Oliver ... Basilio in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Patricia Payne ... Marcellina in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Samuel Ramey ... Figaro in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Deborah Rees ... Barbarina in 'The Marriage of Figaro' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Richard Stilwell ... Count Almaviva in 'The Marriage of Figaro' / Don Giovanni in 'Don Giovanni' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Vladimír Svitácek ... Pope Clement (uncredited)
John Tomlinson ... Dr. Bartolo in 'The Marriage of Figaro' / Commendatore in 'Don Giovanni' (singing voice) (uncredited)
Willard White ... Antonio in 'The Marriage of Figaro' / Leporello in 'Don Giovanni' (singing voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Milos Forman 
Writing credits
Peter Shaffer (original stage play)

Peter Shaffer (original screenplay)

Produced by
Michael Hausman .... executive producer
Bertil Ohlsson .... executive producer
Saul Zaentz .... producer
Cinematography by
Miroslav Ondrícek (director of photography) (as Miroslav Ondricek)
Film Editing by
Michael Chandler (edited by)
T.M. Christopher (2002 director's cut)
Nena Danevic (edited by)
Production Design by
Patrizia von Brandenstein  (as Patrizia Von Brandenstein)
Art Direction by
Karel Cerný  (as Karel Cerny)
Costume Design by
Theodor Pistek (costume design)
Christian Thuri (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Frantisek Cizek .... makeup artist: Czechoslovakia
Vlasta Hajkova .... makeup artist: Czechoslovakia
Paul LeBlanc .... makeup designer
Paul LeBlanc .... wig designer
Jiri Simon .... makeup artist: Czechoslovakia
Dick Smith .... makeup: old Salieri
Karl-Heinz Teuber .... makeup assistant
Alena Sedova .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Bobo Sobotka .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
James Fee .... production manager: Italy
Ronald Jacobs .... post-production supervisor (as Ronald A. Jacobs)
Robert Marty .... post-production supervisor (2002 director's cut)
Václav Rouha .... production manager: Czechoslovakia (as Vaclav Rouha)
Jan Balzer .... production manager (uncredited)
Vaclav Eisenhamer .... unit manager (uncredited)
Katerina Schauerová .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Hausman .... first assistant director
Jan Kubista .... assistant director: Czechoslovakia
Petr Makovicka .... assistant director: Czechoslovakia
Tommaso Mottola .... second assistant director: Italy
Jan Schmidt .... second unit director: Czechoslovakia
Tomás Tintera .... assistant director: Czechoslovakia (as Tomas Tintera)
Zdenek Fiala .... assistant director (uncredited)
Mirek Lux .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Bedrich Cermák .... property master: Czechoslovakia (as Bedrich Cermak)
Jaroslav Cesal .... property master: Czechoslovakia
Francesco Chianese .... art director: Italy
Josef Hrabusicky .... set designer assistant: Czechoslovakia
Karel Koci .... property master: Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Lehman .... property assistant: Czechoslovakia
Vladimir Macha .... property assistant: Czechoslovakia
Boris Ondrusek .... set designer assistant: Czechoslovakia
Michael Ross .... property master
Josef Svoboda .... designer: opera sets
Sound Department
C.J. Appel .... sound effects editor
Sandina Bailo-Lape .... assistant sound editor (as Sandina Bailo)
Tom Bellfort .... sound effects editor
David Franklin Bergad .... dialogue editor: 2002 director's cut (as David Bergad)
Mark Berger .... supervising re-recording mixer
Jay Boekelheide .... sound effects editor
Todd Boekelheide .... sound re-recording mixer
Karen Brocco .... assistant sound editor
Tomas Cervenka .... sound department: Czechoslovakia (as Tomas Cervenze)
T.M. Christopher .... assistant sound editor
David Dresher .... assistant sound editor
Piotr Filipowski .... sound effects editor: 2002 director's cut
Jan Friedrich .... sound department: Czechoslovakia
Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam .... supervising dialogue editor
Chris Gridley .... assistant sound editor (2002 director's cut and remix) (as Christopher Gridley)
Nathan Gunn .... assistant sound editor: 2002 director's cut
Tim Holland .... sound effects editor
Danny Kopelson .... foley engineer
Victor Livingston .... dialogue editor
Laura Louis .... assistant sound editor
Barbara McBane .... dialogue editor
Marnie Moore .... foley artist: 2002 director's cut
John Morris .... apprentice sound editor
Christopher Newman .... sound recordist (as Chris Newman)
John Nutt .... supervising sound editor
John Nutt .... supervising sound editor: 2002 director's cut
Margie O'Malley .... foley artist: 2002 director's cut
Jesse Osborne .... foley engineer
David Parker .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Diana Pellegrini .... foley artist
Tomas Potucek .... sound department: Czechoslovakia
E. Jeane Putnam .... assistant sound editor (as Jeane Putnam)
Vaclav Reznicek .... sound department: Czechoslovakia
Frank Rinella .... foley recordist: 2002 director's cut
Philip Rogers .... 70mm sound restoration
Paige Sartorius .... apprentice sound editor
Thomas Scott .... sound re-recording mixer (as Tom Scott)
B.J. Sears .... sound editor
Milan Sodomka .... sound department: Czechoslovakia
Ivo Spalj .... sound department: Czechoslovakia
Karen Spangenberg .... dialogue editor
Stephen Sutter .... assistant sound editor (as Stephen J. Sutter)
Patti Tauscher .... foley editor: 2002 director's cut
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
Jaroslav Velim .... sound department: Czechoslovakia
Ken Weston .... boom operator
Gene Radzik .... Dolby consultant: 2002 director's cut (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Dave Case .... special effects rigger (as David Case)
Bill Cohen .... special effects
Ian Corbould .... special effects
Neil Corbould .... special effects
Paul Corbould .... special effects
Gordon Coxon .... special effects (as Gordon Coxen)
Steve Crawley .... special effects
Gary Evans .... special effects rigger
Ricky Farns .... special effects (as Rick Farns)
Dave Garrett .... special effects
Martin Gutteridge .... special effects
Jimmy Harris .... special effects (as Jim Harris)
Garth Inns .... special effects
Ian Lowe .... special effects rigger
Ian Luke .... special effects rigger
Kevin Mathews .... special effects rigger (as Kevin Matthews)
Kevin Mathews .... special effects (as Kevin Matthews)
Brian Smithies .... special effects
Kevin Welch .... special effects rigger
Alan Whibley .... special effects rigger
Visual Effects by
Thomas Baker .... motion control (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Bawden .... assistant camera operator (as J. Bawden)
Phil Bray .... still photographer
Robert Connors .... best boy (as Bobby Conners)
Trevor Coop .... camera operator
Miroslav Cvorsjuk .... camera assistant: Czechoslovakia
Malcolm Evans .... genny operator
Tom Gilligan .... key grip (as Thomas Gilligan)
John Gott .... electrician
James Halligan .... grip
Robert Horne .... assistant camera operator (as Bob Horne)
Kamil Kaderábek .... second cameraman: Czechoslovakia (as Emil Kaderabek)
Billy Kerwick .... grip (as William Kerwick)
Jaromír Komárek .... still photographer (as Jaromír Komarek)
Jirí Krejcík Jr. .... camera assistant: Czechoslovakia (as Jiri Krejcik)
Michal Krob .... third cameraman: Czechoslovakia
Antonin Marik .... focus puller: Czechoslovakia
René Michalicka .... gaffer: Czechoslovakia
Yves Nolleau .... steadicam operator
Tom Priestley Jr. .... first camera operator
Miroslav Ptack .... best boy: Czechoslovakia (as Miroslav Ptacek)
Richard Quinlan .... gaffer (as Dick Quinlan)
Lubos Simecek .... grip: Czechoslovakia
Jaroslav Sinkule .... grip: Czechoslovakia
Jirí Zavrel .... camera assistant: Czechoslovakia (as Jiri Zavrel)
Andy Arnautov .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Maggie Cartier .... casting: London
Mary Goldberg .... casting: New York and Hollywood
David Rubin .... casting associate
Bonnie Timmermann .... additional casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Fabrizio Caracciolo .... costume coordinator
Pauline Doran .... assistant costume coordinator
Zuzana Máchová .... wardrobe: Czechoslovakia
Iveta Trmalova .... wardrobe: Czechoslovakia (as Yveta Trmalova)
Alex Winslow .... assistant costume coordinator
Beth Zaentz .... assistant costume coordinator
Frantisek Zapletal .... wardrobe: Czechoslovakia
Sarka Zrostlikova .... wardrobe: Czechoslovakia
Vera Mirová .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Teresa Book .... assistant film editor
Rick Finney .... apprentice editor
Tim Fox .... assistant film editor (2002 director's cut)
Magdalena Hajkova .... assistant location editor: Czechoslovakia
Bob Hart .... negative cutter (2002 director's cut)
Aubrey Head .... color timer
Miroslav Hájek .... location editor: Czechoslovakia (as Miroslav Hajek)
Michael Magill .... assistant film editor
Debra McDermott .... associate film editor
Donald Ord .... assistant film editor (2002 director's cut)
Craig A. Patterson .... apprentice film editor (as Craig Patterson)
Bob Putynkowski .... color timer (2002 director's cut)
Jules Roman .... assistant film editor (as Julie Roman)
Josh Zaentz .... apprentice film editor (as Joshua Zaentz)
Music Department
Mark Adler .... music editor
Laszlo Heltay .... conductor: Academy Chorus of St Martin In The Fields
Ling Ling Li .... assistant music editor: 2002 director's cut
Zdenek Mahler .... special music consultant
Neville Marriner .... conductor (as Sir Neville Marriner)
Neville Marriner .... music supervisor (as Sir Neville Marriner)
John McCarthy .... conductor: Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Simon Preston .... conductor: The Choristers of Westminster Abbey
Robert Randles .... music editor: 2002 director's cut
John Strauss .... music coordinator
Jonas Thaler .... assistant music editor (as Jon Thaler)
Transportation Department
Jiri Bauer .... driver: Czechoslovakia
Jiri 'George' Fictum .... driver: Czechoslovakia (as Jiri Fictum)
Burkhardt Gaertke .... international air transportation
Jaroslav Kindl .... driver: Czechoslovakia
Pavel Turek .... driver: Czechoslovakia
Vladimir Vesely .... driver: Czechoslovakia
Other crew
James Austin .... staff: Film Center
Jerry Beasley .... staff: Film Center
Roger Berlind .... play producer: America, The Shubert Organization
John L. Brenneis .... staff: Film Center
Leon Briggs .... laboratory consultant (2002 director's cut)
Letizia Bucci-Casari .... production assistant: Italy
Loren Byer .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Alice B. Caldwell .... staff: Film Center
Frank Canonica .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Philip Carroll .... title design
Vince Casper .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Zdena Cerná .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia (as Zdena Cerna)
Amanda Chan .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Scott Chandler .... staff: Film Center
Luis Colina .... staff: Film Center
Nancy Eichler .... assistant: Saul Zaentz
Vaclav Eisenhamer .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia (as Vaclav Eisenhammer)
Paolo Fabbri .... location manager: Italy
Grant Foerster .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Zdena Fojtlova .... translator: Czechoslovakia
Milos Forman .... supervisor (2002 director's cut)
Anna Geyer .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Deborah Guardian .... assistant: Milos Forman
Anne Gyory .... script supervisor
Miloslav Halik .... piano coach: Czechoslovakia
Ruth Hasty .... staff: Film Center
Jana Hauserova .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia
Cathy Hausman .... production assistant
Pam Hausman .... production assistant
Zuzanna Jettmarova .... translator: Czechoslovakia
Daniela Jezkova .... translator: Czechoslovakia
Rick Kahn .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Michael Kelly .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Annamaria Kolarova .... translator: Czechoslovakia
Mirek Lux .... translator: Czechoslovakia (as Miroslav Lux)
Zdenek Mahler .... historical consultant
Robert Marty .... staff: Film Center
Elizabeth I. McCann .... play producer: America, The Shubert Organization (as Elizabeth McCann)
Iva Nesvadbova .... translator: Czechoslovakia
Nelle Nugent .... play producer: America, The Shubert Organization
Daniel Olmsted .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Dawn Oltman .... staff: Film Center
Vaclav Petr .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia
Lynda Redfield .... production assistant
Scott G. Roberts .... staff: Film Center (as Scott Roberts)
David Roesch .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Katerina Schauerová .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia (as Katerina Schauerova)
Roy Segal .... staff: Film Center
Peter Shaffer .... supervisor (2002 director's cut)
Steve Shurtz .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Daniela Staskova .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia
Simona Sternova .... translator: Czechoslovakia
Ewa Sztompke .... staff: Film Center
Twyla Tharp .... choreography
Twyla Tharp .... opera staging by
Viet Tran .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Ken Tuohy .... location manager
Joe Tysl .... staff: Film Center (as Joseph Tysl)
Vera Vlacilova .... script supervisor: Czechoslovakia
Frantisek Vlácil .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia (as Frantisek Vlacil)
Wayne Wagner .... staff: Film Center
Laurie Wentworth .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Michael Yoshida .... staff: Film Center (2002 director's cut)
Bernard Zaentz .... caterer
Josh Zaentz .... production assistant (as Joshua Zaentz)
Paul Zaentz .... production controller
Saul Zaentz .... supervisor (2002 director's cut)
Milos Zajdl .... production assistant: Czechoslovakia
Gita Zbavitelova .... translator: Czechoslovakia
Adam Samuelson .... louma crane technician (uncredited)
Nancy Seltzer .... public relations (uncredited)
Frantisek Tomasek .... the producer & screenplay writer and director thank: for his kindness in permitting his beautiful residence headquarters in Prague as the Emperor's palace (as His Eminence Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek)
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Amadeus: The Director's Cut" - USA (director's cut)
"Peter Shaffer's Amadeus: Director's Cut" - USA (director's cut)
See more »
Rated R for brief nudity (director's cut)
160 min | 180 min (director's cut)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby Digital (director's cut) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Argentina:16 (director's cut) | Argentina:13 (original rating) | Argentina:Atp (re-rating) | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:14A (Canadian Home Video rating) (director's cut) | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) (director's cut) | Czech Republic:15 (director's cut) | Finland:K-7 (2002) (director's cut) | Finland:S (1984) (theatrical version) | France:U | Germany:12 (director's cut) | Hong Kong:II | Iceland:L | Iran:(Banned) (director's cut) | Ireland:PG | Japan:G (director's cut) (2010) | Malaysia:(Banned) (director's cut) | Mexico:C (director's cut) | Netherlands:AL (director's cut) | Netherlands:12 (re-rating) | New Zealand:PG (director's cut) | Norway:15 (director's cut) | Norway:12 (original rating) | Peru:14 | Philippines:X (director's cut) | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG | Singapore:NC-16 (video rating) (cut) | South Korea:12 (director's cut) (re-rating) (2015) | South Korea:All (director's cut) (2002) | Spain:T (director's cut) | Sweden:7 (director's cut) | Sweden:11 (original rating) | Taiwan:PG-12 | UK:PG (also director's cut) | USA:PG (No. 27396) | USA:R (director's cut) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

The piece of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music with the oboe and clarinet themes, whose score Salieri so deeply admires in the early scenes, is the Adagio, or third movement, of the Serenade No. 10 in B-flat, KV361, also known as "Gran Partita".See more »
Anachronisms: At the beginning of "Amadeus", the dying Salieri hums the first bars of "Eine Keine 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 »
[first lines]
Antonio Salieri:Mozart! Mozart, forgive your assassin! I confess, I killed you...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Tootsie (1982)See more »
Six German Dances, K509: No. 1 in D MajorSee more »


Why is this film titled with Mozart's supposed middle name?
Is 'Amadeus' based on a book?
What is the music in the movie?
See more »
227 out of 281 people found the following review useful.
A rare masterpiece, 26 June 1999
Author: Alec Shaw ( from Taunton, Somerset, UK

Amadeus is an extremely well written story, covering the last ten years of Mozart's massively prolific yet unusual life. I have read much that it paints a rather inaccurate picture of the genius's life, and yet I am not dissuaded from ranking this film as one of the greatest made. The historical problem should be addressed first, because it draws the most criticism. I would advise anyone to shut out the self-righteous whining of those people who fancy themselves as Mozart experts, when they really have little solid evidence for their assertions. History is only seen by us in fragments, be they documents or eye witness accounts. These fragments certainly do not amount to a full picture of events, and so Milos Forman and Peter Schaeffer are perfectly entitled to form their own story of genius.

This issue aside, the picture is one of fantastic colour and scale, crammed with lavish costumes and wonderful architecture. This keeps the eyes occupied, but the ears get the biggest reward. The film uses a large amount of Mozart's music, and does so in a way which is carefully considered. For example, when the insane and enfeebled Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) reminisces on the sheer beauty of Mozart's compositions, we hear music to match his words, "And there... an oboe, high and unwavering... until a clarinet takes over, and forms a phrase of such longing..." The effect is deeply moving. Examples of this collaboration of music and picture are many; when Mozart (Tom Hulce) swaggers through the streets of Vienna taking swigs from a bottle of wine, we hear a jolly piano concerto; and he is hurled into a mass grave to the sorrowful Lacrimosa of his requiem mass. The music should move any viewer, however much they confess to hating anything classical. If you haven't seen this film, watch, or rather listen, for the scene where Salieri inspects samples of Mozart's music. The originality in switching the music as he turns the pages is profound. The acting is superb, particularly from Abraham. Hulce's cackle provides comic relief, and his wonderfully child-like mannerisms are testament not only to his acting skills, but to Forman's exceptional direction and vision. On the other hand, we are shown two moments of antithesis, namely when he is composing at his billiards table (his face taking on a look of such mature concentration), and when he is dictating his Confutatis to Salieri. Yes, we do get to see Mozart compose, and talk about tonic, dominant, second measures, etc. I would have preferred to have seen more of his thought processes though, because Forman's glimpse of how Mozart applied his genius is extremely exciting to watch, but short lived. Characterisations are brilliantly engineered. Salieri is scheming and yet outwardly indifferent to Mozart. We can see that he loves the music of his superior, and yet is torn apart by his own inadequacy. Inadequacy is a fitting word for Salieri's skill as portrayed by Forman, who wanted to give the greatest contrast possible in terms of the virtuosity of the two men, without making Salieri look like a complete cretin. He is, after all, known as maestro Salieri. Constanze Mozart (Elizabeth Berridge) is on first appearances a giggling girl, and yet through the course of the film we are shown that she is very shrewd, and is ruthless when dealing with finance. Roy Dotrice's Leopold Mozart has a masterful air, and maintains an oppressive paternal hold over his son even after his death, the analogy being the use of an enveloping cloak. The cloak is used as part of Leopold's street wear, but is also part of the costume of the statue in the first showing of Don Giovanni, where Salieri is certain that the imposing figure of the giant statue represents the recently deceased Leopold. In short, Forman presents us with a marvelous psychological essay on weakness and power, both superficial and real. This is obviously no average biographical motion picture, but a film conceived with an intelligence nearing that of it's subject. We are shown Mozart's virtuosity several times, which again provides wonderful excitement. He not only plays variations of his music thought up on the spot (at the party scene) but plays them in the styles of other composers, upside down. He infuriates Salieri by arranging a welcoming march actually written for Mozart (and taken to be wonderful by the Italian up to this point), showing off his outstanding skills whilst looking around at the assembled courtiers and cackling with glee. Those who have watched this scene with me have either laughed or smiled in sheer wonderment at a majestic combination of music, acting and direction. This film is a gem, combining sometimes ridiculous comedy with deep tragedy. On the negative side, it would benefit opera buffs more than concert goers, because opera is the dominant musical genre of the movie. (Specially designed opera productions have been woven into the film; greatly extending it's length but adding that extra colour and vibrancy). The film becomes heavy and slow moving as it nears its astonishingly refreshing conclusion at the lunatic asylum, noticeable largely due to the contrast with a lighter beginning. This may test the patience of some viewers, but once the credits roll, I guarantee that the majority of those who have watched Amadeus will be struck by the passing of such a wonderfully colourful and rewarding masterpiece, and will not want to move from their seats until the tranquil piano concerto fades away. The film deserves all its eight Oscars, and I give it 9 out of 10.

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