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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 contemporary 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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929 ( 289)
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

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, Limited Release

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

Milos Forman wanted Amy Irving to repeat her Broadway role of Mozart's wife. To his disappointment, she passed, unable to cope with six months in Prague. See more »

Goofs

When asked to play in the style of Handel, Mozart says "I don't like him." He also states that Christoph Willibald Gluck "boring." In fact Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart admired George Frideric Handel, played and listened to his works frequently, and even re-orchestrated a number of Handel's works including "Messiah." Mozart was also fond of Gluck's work and wrote a celebrated set of variations on a theme from one of Gluck's operas (K. 455). 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 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." See more »

Connections

Featured in Scope (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Ich Möchte Wohl Der Kaiser Sein (K539)
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Ravishing in sound and vision
1 April 2002 | by DRIAINCLARKSee 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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