Amadeus

Amadeus

4.5 51
Director: Milos Forman

Cast: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge

     
 

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For this film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's Broadway hit, director Milos Forman returned to the city of Prague that he'd left behind during the Czech political crises of 1968, bringing along his usual cinematographer and fellow Czech expatriate, Miroslav Ondricek.

Overview

For this film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's Broadway hit, director Milos Forman returned to the city of Prague that he'd left behind during the Czech political crises of 1968, bringing along his usual cinematographer and fellow Czech expatriate, Miroslav Ondricek. Amadeus is an expansion of a Viennese "urban legend" concerning the death of 18th-century musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From the vantage point of an insane asylum, aging royal composer Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) recalls the events of three decades earlier, when the young Mozart (Tom Hulce) first gained favor in the court of Austrian emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones). Salieri was incensed that God would bless so vulgar and obnoxious a young snipe as Mozart with divine genius. Why was Salieri--so disciplined, so devoted to his art, and so willing to toady to his superiors--not touched by God? Unable to match Mozart's talent, Salieri uses his influence in court to sabotage the young upstart's career. Disguising himself as a mysterious benefactor, Salieri commissions the backbreaking "Requiem," which eventually costs Mozart his health, wealth, and life. Among the film's many pearls of dialogue, the best line goes to the Emperor, who rejects a Mozart composition on the grounds that it has "too many notes." Amadeus won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for F. Murray Abraham. In 2002, the film received a theatrical re-release as "Amadeus: The Director's Cut," a version that includes 22 minutes of additional footage.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The most searing exploration of artistic jealousy ever put on screen, this magnificent adaptation of Peter Shaffer's award-winning play dramatizes the tempestuous relationship between Viennese court composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham in his Oscar-winning characterization) and brilliant upstart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). The starchily formal Salieri, an adroit court politician but a mediocre composer bitterly resents the irrepressible young Mozart -- not only because he's a vulgar hedonist and a buffoon but because he's a musical genius with whom the older musician is incapable of competing. The idea that God could bestow such a gift upon so inferior a being drives Salieri literally to madness. Hulce's Mozart has a primal drive and flair for showmanship -- an 18th century rock star -- and together, he and Abraham generate fireworks that more than justify the critical acclaim that helped the picture snag eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. A visually sumptuous production shot in Prague and expensively mounted with meticulous attention to period detail, Amadeus is a real treat for the eyes, and, of course, the music is celestial. Best of all, though, is the way director Milos Forman (Ragtime) turns Shaffer's literate, incisive script into a film bursting with raucous energy. Classical music was never less stodgy.
All Movie Guide
Amadeus is a rarity: a dramatic film made by people who understand music as much as filmmaking. A celebration of music and genius, the film exults over Mozart's seemingly divine creations even as it refuses to canonize the man behind them. Instead, the decision to tell the story from Salieri's point-of-view provides a justly critical portrait of Mozart, and in so doing so it provides a commentary on genius that mines trenchant insight from resolute objectivity. That Mozart's music is beyond reproach is never called into doubt; likewise, that the man himself could be utterly reproachful is also beyond question. Paradox is at the film's core, both in the presentation of Mozart and his music, and in the character of Salieri, who managed to be both Mozart's greatest fan and most punishing detractor. In making this sort of paradox its central theme, Amadeus is one of the most illuminating pictures of genius ever committed to celluloid. Part of its brilliance lies in its principal performances: in Tom Hulce's Mozart, we see a man equally un-self-conscious about his genius and his vulgarity, and in F. Murray Abraham's Oscar-winning Salieri, we see the tragedy that results from the inability of talent to live up to desire. These performances are lavishly complemented by the music in question, a forceful character in its own right. Part of Forman's great achievement as the film's director was bringing this music to millions who had never set foot inside of an opera house or a theater, with a passion and immediacy that could appeal to a much wider audience than just classical music enthusiasts.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/08/2008
UPC:
0883929001798
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:40:00

Special Features

Music-only audio track; Production notes; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
F. Murray Abraham Antonio Salieri
Tom Hulce Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Elizabeth Berridge Constance Mozart
Simon Callow Emanuel Schikaneder
Roy Dotrice Leopold Mozart
Christine Ebersole Katerina Cavalieri
Jeffrey Jones Emperor Joseph II
Charles Kay Count Orsini-Rosenberg
Kenny Baker Parody Comendatore
Lisbeth Bartlett Papagena
Barbara Byrne Frau Weber
John Strauss Conductor
Martin Cavani Young Salieri
Roderick Cook Count Von Strack
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
Karl-Heinz Teuber Wig Salesman
Gil Amelio Actor
Kenneth McMillan Actor
Dana Vávrová Actor
Neville Marriner Conductor

Technical Credits
Milos Forman Director
Patrizia Von Brandenstein Production Designer
Karel Cerny Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Michael Chandler Editor
Francesco Chianese Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Nena Danevic Editor
Dick Smith Makeup
Michael Hausman Asst. Director,Executive Producer
Paul LeBlanc Makeup
Neville Marriner Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Chris Newman Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Bertil Ohlsson Executive Producer
Miroslav Ondrícek Cinematographer
Theodor Pistek Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Shaffer Original Story,Screenwriter
John Strauss Musical Direction/Supervision
Twyla Tharp Choreography
Saul Zaentz Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Amadeus
1. "Forgive Me" [4:47]
2. Can't Name Tune [5:03]
3. Pray/Immortality [3:04]
4. Where Mozart Is [7:32]
5. Voice of God [3:15]
6. Emperor Decides [2:19]
7. Emperor and Mozart [4:36]
8. Make Music Work [5:55]
9. "Seraglio" Songbird [5:58]
10. Too Many Notes [2:01]
11. Had by Mozart [4:34]
12. An Absolute Beauty [7:52]
13. Enemies Now On [1:33]
14. Lepold Arrives [4:25]
15. Master at the Game [5:35]
16. A New Servant [3:22]
17. Inside Information [3:50]
18. Case For "Figaro" [6:36]
19. The Dance is Out [4:37]
20. The Dance is On [2:10]
21. A (Yawn) Miracle [3:04]
22. Music Say Salieri [4:24]
23. Leopold's Ghost [6:23]
Disc #1, Side B -- Amadeus
1. Mystery Commission [3:34]
2. How One Kills Man? [2:13]
3. Pop Entertainment [4:07]
4. Schikaneder Offer [2:06]
5. Unwritten Music [3:31]
6. "It's Killing Me" [5:27]
7. Constanze Leaves [2:36]
8. "The Magic Flute" [4:03]
9. Money From the Man [5:30]
10. Bedside Dictation [5:27]
11. "Forgive Me" [2:58]
12. Last Wishes [4:15]
13. Pauper's "Requiem" [3:21]
14. Saint/Mediocrities [2:08]
15. End Creditss [5:28]

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Amadeus 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To all those who hate this movie because it is not true. IT'S CALLED HISTORICAL FICTION FOR A REASON,IT IS NOT COMPLETELY TRUE BUT IS BASED ON FACT. Was Mozart a crazed sex maniac, probably not, was all his music perfectly written, probably not, was there hostility between Salieri and Mozart, a little, yes. The movie was entertaining, mysterious, interesting, with great cinematography and acting. It earned every Oscar it won and belongs on the shelves of Movie lovers. Historical accuracy has nothing to do with it. That's why they call it fiction.
Beirut768 More than 1 year ago
Music apart, and in so far as human behaviour is concerned; this movie describes, without a sense of annoyance, the vicious innovations of man's cunning and cleverness, consolidated mainly in the person of Antonio Salieri.
Interesting to see Salieri, in neat costumes and ingratiating in obvious feline way, set himself to captivate the emperor's attention and please `his friendly enemy' Mozart.
Perhaps the main source of competition between Mozart and Salieri was related to who would be able to win Da Ponte's librettos before the other. Of course the movie tells us that Salieri contrived to get rid of Mozart and blocked his advancement from becoming the Emperor's Kapellmeister.
Five main events are not shown in the movie:
1)Mozart's claim that Salieri tried to poison him (this was never proved).
2)The two notorious pupils Mozart taught, Beethoven and Sussmayr.
Beethoven was a great admirer of Mozart and later used him as a model (Piano concerto No 4 - G major - and Mozart's K503 - C major - is one example)
3)In his last days Mozart composed his unfinished masterpiece (and never will) `The Requiem' that he discussed with Sussmayr (not Salieri). However there is no proof that Sussmayr was actually able to complete Mozart's Requiem.
4)In Mozart's presence Salieri was brusque and even harsh in manner to Constanze (Mozart's wife), behaving like he was the only man in the Royal Family.
5)Mozart's friendship with Hayden (They both were members of the same Masonic Lodge)

Nevertheless, this movie inspires you with so many sentiments that one feels the loss of Mozart is like the loss of one's soul.
dragonsscape More than 1 year ago
The story of "Amadeus" provides the background colour, pomp, majesty and grandeur for its real star: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music. For it is when you hear Mozart's majestic music that "Amadeus" soars; it is a gem ~ postively rich in characterization, acting, script, set and scene detail, muscianship & artistry. Yet it is the music, majestic & soaring, that you'll treasure & remember. "Amadeus"introduces us to Mozart's music ~~~ music which is unlike any written before or since.
mockturtle More than 1 year ago
I love this movie, in particular, the performance of F. Murray Abraham as Salieri and the stunning sound track--you can't beat Mozart! The direction was masterful. I was a bit disappointed that this 'Director's Cut' version included a scene with partial nudity that added nothing to the film and seemed to cheapen the role of 'Stanzie', Mozart's wife, in offering herself to Salieri to promote her husband's work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike "mockturtle", I thought the extended version with Mozart's wife and Salieri was much better than the original cut version. I always wondered why Stanzie had such hatred for Salieri after that visit and the extended scene showed the reason; she had offered herself to him to further her husband's career and he turned her down. Until I saw that, I was quite perplexed.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Amadeus is well written and well directed, but this film also contains some of the most incredible preformances I've ever seen. It is also visually stunning with beautiful costumes. Perfect....Amadeus deserves every award it got.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great music, great acting, wonderful plot and scenery, just an overall epic movie that should be owned by all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I play the piano, so when I saw a movie about mozart, I thought I'd watch it. I was interested because I played some of mozart's music (of course. What musician HASN'T played Mozart's music?) I watched this movie again and again and I'm still not tired of it. The story was very convincing even though it's not very true. But what does it matter, it was an awesome movie! Mozart was truly a music genius. Like wow. There had never been and I doubt will ever be anyone else like him. When he died (in the movie) it made me cry. Before, when people asked me what movie was my favorite movie I always said I don't have one. I didn't...until now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As my headline states, this is a grudge film about Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Through the first few minutes of the film, Salieri is actually idolising Mozart and the way he composes music. However, upon first seeing him, he thinks that he is a pervert and must not be Mozart but an imposter only to discover, to his dismay, that he is the real Mozart. When Mozart then has an affair with the woman that Salieri loves, he goes ballistic and tries his best to ruin anything that Mozart composes. The music played an important part in the film and really got you thinking about its relation to what was going on in the film. Such as the scene were Salieri is read several different sections of Mozart's work, when he read a piece, you heard the music on the sound track, when he switched, so did the music. The operas also showed the way Mozart's popularity and creativeity fell. If you ever get A chance to watch this film, watch more than once.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the play for a class called ''Evil, Bad, and Naughtiness'' a few years ago and it is the best play I've ever read. The producers and director of the film version did a fantastic job transferring Shaffer's vision to the big screen. Pay attention to the amount of color in the screen, especially the costume ball. Abraham captures the silent torture felt by Salieri perfectly and the grudge against God seems full of conviction Absolutely amazing. Shaffer is a magnificent writer. It is almost as if you can hear the music while you are reading it. Read Shaffer's Equus also
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truely great movie! The music, scenery, costumes, and acting beyond par! Mischievious, vicious, sarcastic humor throughout. Great fun for the eyes, ears and mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hated it. Watched it once. Never wished to watch it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best movie ever. Saw it 19 times in the theatre before I was given the VHS as a gift. Music, acting and plot all telling..
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the only movies about something intelligent. This is a great movie, bad movies don't win 8 Academy Awards, especially best pictures. Cinematography is beautiful, costumes are great, and the acting is funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am constantly amazed by this movie. I saw it recently for the first time in ten years or so, and still cannot believe this was made in the 80s. The story is like none I've ever experienced; the deception, the betrayal, Salieri's grudging admiration of his hated rival. Tom Hulce was absolutely magnificent as Mozart. My favorite scene of all was when Mozart was dictating the Requiem to Salieri - how incredible to have a tiny glimpse of how that beautiful music must have sounded in his head as he created it! Fabulous, amazing, awe-inspiring - my number one favorite movie of all time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great way to show Mozart's humorous nature, but the authenticity of Salieri's attitude towards him is questioning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this film when it premiered and it was my first introduction to Mozart and his music. It was and is one of the most moving movie experiences I have had...watching the tragic neglect of such a great genius...and his divinely inspired music was almost rapturous and set me on a path to discover Mozart the man himself. But if you truly want to know who Mozart was, then this is NOT the movie to see! Depicting Mozart - one of the most high-minded men of his time, if you read his letters - as an egotistical immature bafoon with that irritating laugh is nothing short of character assassination. Mozart, of course, was NOTHING like the character in the film,he was profoundly religious and ethical and his depiction in this movie, retells the lies his enemies told of him during and after his life. In that resepect, this film is a disservice to the man! However, the film has great drama and introduces the world to his music and life. I can overlook the historical falsehoods and reprehensible distortion of Mozart's character therefore, because this film was THE breakthrough in making Mozart a MODERN cultural icon and making his music popular with contemporary audiences...something the play could never do. If you want to experience the dazzling brilliance of his music, this movie is a must...if you want to understand Mozart himself or the facts of his life, you're better off getting an historical book on the subject -or better yet- get a book of HIS correspondence with his family. Mozart's true noble character,as he reveals himself in his own words, will then stand in stark contrast to the cartoon of Mozart presented in this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first saw Amadeus I was shocked by Wolgang's immature behavior. Once I saw the movie again, I thought it was just comical. Amadeus deserves a spot in anyone's DVD collection (of course I say that about any movie). I also reccomend the play written by Peter Shaffer, which also bares the name Amadeus.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have looked into a lot of information about Mozart and find this movie to be completely false. False in the way of characterizing Mozart.The characterization of Mozart is ridiculous. Mozart in one way was the complete opposite of what the movie states. It states that Amadeus was a ridiculous child who liked to have sex and go to parties. Mozart was quite the opposite in my opinion. He didn't like parties and shunned sex. I believe that Amadeus had a very different side to him. The movie states that Salieri thought that God was playing through Amadeus. I believe that Mozart was a genius (unlike the movie states) and that Salieri didn't understand his beliefs and the way he was. It states that Amadeus drank all the time, like he was some raving drunk child. The movie eventually classifies Amadeus as a hard alchoholic. From what I understand I don't think that Amadeus drank that much and he definitly didn't drink the way the movie portrays him to. As far as Amadeus going crazy in the movie, which I think that it states (he is having a lot of troubles, and his wife tells him she thinks he is going mad). Mozart may have delt with some mental illness but not like the movie states. The movie is not good in my opinion either. It is like a fast pased journey only touching on short seconds on the life of Amadeus. I feel that it is horrible. These are just some of the things I can say about this movie, there is much more. In my opinion the characterization of Amadeus and the movie are ridiculous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie, while showing Mozart in an unrealistic light, conveys truths otherwise not easily conveyed. Mozart was a genius and quite different for his time. You get that point through the exaggeration of his character. To me it is a very religious movie. Even though Salieri feels the glory of God and wants to represent it, he wants to be famous for selfish reasons. He never repents of his selfishness and basically ruins himself (after all, he was very "famous" at the time but envied Amadaus so much that he couldn't thank God for it). Mozart, on the other hand, was gifted by God in a special way and the movie does show him becoming more humble through time, more humble than Salieri. Salieri couldn't accept that God would use this "creature," instead of himself, to be his instrument. The movie shows that we need to accept what gifts God gives us and not to envy others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't really care whether the movie accurately depicts Mozart's character and life. This movie tells a great story, and the main character, to me, is not Mozart but Salieri. Throughout the movie, you find yourself feeling so sad for Salieri, and although you think that what he's doing is immoral, you can't help but sympathize. And what great acting! Just watch Salieri's expressions! You can see the anguish, the hurt, the triumph, all in his face. Definitely added to the list of my all time favorites!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amadeus review Amadeus looks back in time to one of the greatest musicians and composers of all time Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The movie begins with another great composer Antonio Salieri played by F. Murray Abraham who in a mental institution for the murder of Mozart. He takes us back years earlier to explain what happened to Mozart and tells of his lifestyle and accomplishments. Mozart was a music prodigy from the time he was a mere child director Milos Forman has inquired Tom Hulce to the role as Mozart. He was successful in creating and composing music he had a wonder gift of audiation which simply means he can hear the music in his head and stay on beat and rhythm which takes years to accomplish this. Mozart was hurting for money and his lifestyle of indulging himself in recreational pleasures constantly and he lives in Germany which is rather cold and he will eventually he will become very ill. Salieri stays at his side and helps as he writes a piece of music his last piece of music. I would recommend this movie especially if musically influenced.