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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:

Writers:

(original stage play), (original screenplay)
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1,305 ( 77)
Top Rated Movies #82 | Won 8 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Antonio Salieri
... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
... Constanze Mozart
... Leopold Mozart
... Emanuel Schikaneder
... Katerina Cavalieri
... Emperor Joseph II
... Count Orsini-Rosenberg
... Michael Schlumberg (2002 Director's Cut)
... 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
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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:

Official Facebook

Country:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

19 September 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amadeus: The Director's Cut  »

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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

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

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

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

Constanze really had three sisters, however at her wedding, her mother is flanked by two daughters. One of her sisters was Josepha Hofer, soprano and member of Emanuel Schikaneder's troupe. She was the original Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, however no mention of this is made in the film, and the actress playing the Queen of the Night is not one of the sisters seen at the wedding. See more »

Quotes

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

The producer, screenplay writer and director thank the following for their boundless assistance in our effort to present the physical authenticity and aura you have seen and felt in "Amadeus": -The National Theatre of Czechoslovakia and Prague's Tyl Theatre management for allowing us to film in the Tyl sequences from the operas: "Abduction from the Seraglio," "The Marriage of Figaro," and "Don Giovanni." It was actually in this magnificently preserved theatre that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart conducted the premiere performance of "Don Giovanni" on October 29, 1787. -His Eminence Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek for his kindness in permitting us to use his beautiful residence headquarters in Prague as the Emperor's palace. -The Barrandov Studios and CS Filmexport for their help in filming "Amadeus" in Prague and in castles and palaces throughout Czechoslovakia. See more »


Soundtracks

Don Giovanni, K527, A Cenar Teco, Da Qual Tremore Insolito...
(1787) (uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Performed by The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (as Academy of St Martin In The Fields)
Conducted by Neville Marriner
Excerpts from Act 2 sung by Richard Stilwell (Don Giovanni), John Tomlinson (Commendatore), and Willard White (Leporello)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A triumph of genius
9 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

"Amadeus", while historically inaccurate in numerous ways, is a brilliant film. Its central character is not a man but an attribute of man at his most remarkable: genius. Mozart's genius was at the highest level, on par with Shakespeare, Michelangelo and Balanchine. Forman knew this when he undertook translating Peter Shaffer's play. Although most of the acting is on a very high plane, the actors themselves are not top tier, not should they be. A famous, easily recognizable actor would have detracted from the central thesis that genius is greater than the one on whom it has been entrusted. Mozart was, of course, deeper than the character shown in the movie, but no personal life could equal the extent and depth of the musical genius that flowed from this little man. The letters he sent to his father show a remarkable sensitivity and depth of understanding. However, they are not paradigms of literary greatness. The immense contribution of W. A. Mozart lay in some of the most sublime music ever written. Fortunately, the film gave us snippets of some of the real gems in the Mozart canon: the great C Minor Mass, the Requiem and "Don Giovanni". Forman realized that no human being will ever be great enough or have the background to pen such masterpieces without intervention from elsewhere. This is certainly true of Shakespeare as well. So what we have here, ultimately, is a celebration of genius, that great gift to mankind that nearly always proves to be too much for the person who is chosen to manifest it to the rest of us. Many thanks to Milos Forman for the wisdom to keep out of the way and allow genius to shine through. In that sense, "Amadeus" is an exercise in humility. Few films come across as blessings for those who experience them. "Amadeus" is one such film.


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