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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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Top Rated Movies #80 | 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 »


Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France | Czechoslovakia

Language:

English | Italian | Latin | German

Release Date:

11 October 1984 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Амадей 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

Salieri says that Mozart composed his first concerto at the age of four, his first symphony at seven, and a full-scale opera at twelve. Modern scholarship believes that Mozart wrote his first symphony (Symphony No 1 in E flat, K16) at the age of eight, and his first concerto (Piano Concerto No 1 in F, K37) at eleven. As for opera, the term "Full-scale" is open to interpretation, but most would cite La Finta Simplice, K46a, written when Mozart was twelve. However, Mozart's father routinely lied about his son's age to make him seem even more of a prodigy, so Salieri's statement was quite possibly what was then believed. 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...
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

Referenced in Guarding Tess (1994) 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)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A triumph of genius
9 September 2000 | by tombewSee 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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