Amadeus

( 51 )

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 ...
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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.
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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/1/2013
  • UPC: 883929382378
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: Blu-ray

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
Kenneth McMillan
Dana Vávrová
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, Producer
Paul LeBlanc Makeup
Neville Marriner Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Chris Newman Sound Mixer, Sound/Sound Designer
Bertil Ohlsson Executive Producer, 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
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorites!

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Mozart

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    This new Directors cut should be avoided at any cost!

    This is just about the worst Directors cut I have ever seen. I cannot imagine what Mr Forman must have had in mind. The additional footage changes the main characters completely. Salierei is reduced to a demented villain. Mozart is reduced to a drunken beggar and is wife is reduced to the level of a whore.
    This is a disk to be avoided. I can only hope that a "original theatrical version" is put out on blue ray. Looking at this version of the movie is like seeing a Rembrandt after someone has splashed paint on it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Dissipated genius vs. righteous mediocrity

    "Amadeus" is a feast for the eye, ear and mind. It focuses on the heavily fictionalized relationship between the immortal Amadeus Mozart--a brilliant wastrel devoted both to his art and to sensuous pleasure--and Antonio Salieri, a model of rectitude and Mozart's rival for the Emperor's favor--whose music faded even before he died. Every aspect of this film is outstanding. The period recreation of late 18th century Vienna--its architecture, decor, costumes and hairstyles--is breathtaking. So is the acting. Director Milos Forman made the wise choice of avoiding A-list actors whose presence might have distracted from the experience of viewing this film. The final scene between Mozart and Salieri is especially striking. F. Murray Abrahams' portryal of Salieri won him a most well-deserved Oscar.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Impressive....,

    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. <BR/>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. <BR/>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. <BR/>Five main events are not shown in the movie: <BR/>1)Mozart's claim that Salieri tried to poison him (this was never proved). <BR/>2)The two notorious pupils Mozart taught, Beethoven and Sussmayr. <BR/>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) <BR/>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. <BR/>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. <BR/>5)Mozart's friendship with Hayden (They both were members of the same Masonic Lodge) <BR/><BR/>Nevertheless, this movie inspires you with so many sentiments that one feels the loss of Mozart is like the loss of one's soul.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A movie you'll never forget.

    Hauntingly beautiful. It teaches a great lesson on revenge. I was amazed how the music just flowed from Mozzart. I gave me a better appreciation of classical music and all the talent it takes to write what they did back then.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amadeus

    The conflict between creative forces and established art is unfurled in a most dramatic way in this movie about Mozart.
    When the movie came out, the unusual approach to Mozart persona was hotly debated. Musicians and music lovers were divided over the image of Mozart as a mischievous, bawdy, childlike character. Some found it lacked respect for Mozart and others were amused, deeply interested or attracted to its rebellious approach.
    Regardless, I find the conflict between Salieri and Mozart representing the established aspect of music and the creative rebellious form (contradictions which are still fought over today in many artistic disciplines) most vividly and psychologically described in this movie. The story line is very rich as well as the acting and settings. it is esthetically, musically and intellectually engrossing. A movie to enjoy and think about.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best

    One of my favorite movies ever. F. Murray Abraham is brilliant as Salieri, Hulce is a kick as Mozart. The music is gorgeous, as one would expect. This is is fresh every time I watch it. HIGHLY recommend!!!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "That is Mozart!"

    When Salieri asks a priest to identify a "few notes" and the composer the priest recognizes the music but can't remember the composer. Looking as if he was listening to angels Salieri is amazed and amused at the priest's confession. Salieri simply smiles and says to the priest "That IS Mozart!". "Amadeus" IS Mozart! 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 that "Amadeus" lives; it is a gem ~ postively rich in characterization, acting, script, muscianship & artistry. "Amadeus" introduces us to Mozart's music ~~~ music which is unlike any written before or since.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Classic

    First of all, this isn't meant to be realistic. The narrator is Salieri -- hardly an impartial narrator in any sense. The film is also not religious, nor is it meant to be a morality allegory. Instead, it is the portrait of a genius through the envious eyes of Salieri. Secondly, this takes place in Austria, not Germany. (Germany wasn't even a nation yet!) Mozart was born in Salzburg, but the period of this movie was set in Vienna. The film itself is brilliantly written, and the pacing is well done. F. Murray Abraham was brilliant as Salieri. . . The writing of the Requiem was breathtaking, with Hulce singing the dictation in pitch to Abraham (as Salieri.) Ultimately, this film isn't just for those who know classical music. It's just a great film. . . Mozart's death was premature, and it's been suggested that he was murdered. It's more likely, however, that he died from tuberculosis. Mozart didn't abstain from sex, either. (Who writes these reviews? 18th Century Europe was incredibly decadent. See The Libertine, or read some Voltaire, please.) Based on Mozart's self-medication with alcohol, lavish spending sprees, and promiscuity, he's considered to have probably been Bipolar (read Touched with Fire by Kaye Redfield Jamison). His father, Leopold, also a composer, was a miserable, overbearing, and rather abusive father, all traits highlighted in the film. The screenplay does an effective job at capturing some of what we know, and exaggerating these traits based on the views of Salieri.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A strick of musical genius

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great story, wonderful acting

    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!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Basic points of the movie

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The movie in my opinion is very false.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hearing Mozart's music was almost a religious experience

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    favorite movie of all time

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Funny!

    It was a great way to show Mozart's humorous nature, but the authenticity of Salieri's attitude towards him is questioning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Curlyfriez70@hotmail.com

    I read up on this before actually seeing it and it was listed as one of the greatest movies of all time. When I saw it I was honestly like 'Is that it?' I know that sometimes the word genius is used whenever someone does pretty good work but I do believe that genuis is not enough when it comes to describing Mozart. I was expecting to see more about his life and what made him 'tick'. I would have liked to see more about how the jealousy, that was the main focus of the story, began. But, I do believe that it had great acting and looked true to the time it was portraying and showed a lot of personality in Mozart's behavior (I loved the laugh) but I wanted a little more so on that note I wouldn't completely trash it because it didn't come close to sucking but I wanted to know more about Mozart's life through the movie.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews