Rent Amadeus (1984)

4.1 of 5 from 314 ratings
2h 33min
Rent Amadeus (aka Amadeus: The Director's Cut) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
"Amadeus" triumphs as gripping human drama, sumptuous period epic, glorious celebration of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It's 1781 and Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) is the competent court composer to Emperor Joseph II. When Mozart (Tom Hulce) arrives at court, Salieri is horrified to discover that the godlike musical gifts he desires for himself have been bestowed on a bawdy, impish jokester. Mad with envy, he plots to destroy Mozart by any means. Perhaps, even murder.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , Martin Cavina, , Milan Demjanenko, Peter DiGesu, , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Saul Zaentz
Writers:
Peter Shaffer, Zdenek Mahler
Others:
Karel Cerny, Patrizia Von Brandenstein, Theodor Pistek, Peter Shaffer, Michael Chandler, F. Murray Abraham, Tom Scott, Chris Newman, Paul LeBlanc, Mark Berger, Theodore Pistek, Dick Smith, Miroslav Ondricek, Nena Danevic, John Nutt, Todd Boekelheide
Aka:
Amadeus: The Director's Cut
Studio:
Warner
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Music & Musicals
Awards:

1986 BAFTA Make-Up And Hair

1986 BAFTA Best Cinematography

1986 BAFTA Best Editing

1986 BAFTA Best Sound

1985 Oscar Best Actor

1985 Oscar Best Picture

1985 Oscar Best Costume Design

1985 Oscar Best Director

1985 Oscar Best Art Direction

1985 Oscar Best Sound

1985 Oscar Best Adapted Screen Play

1985 Oscar Best Makeup and Hairstyling

BBFC:
Release Date:
14/10/2002
Run Time:
153 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
Arabic, English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Production Notes
  • Trailer
  • Bonus: Alternate Music-Only Track Showcases
  • Sir Neville Marriner's Acclaimed Scoring of Mozart and Salieri Music
BBFC:
Release Date:
16/02/2009
Run Time:
180 minutes
Languages:
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles:
Brazilian, Castillian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Commentary by director Milos Forman and writer Peter Shaffer
  • The making of Amadeus documentary
  • Theatrical trailer

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Reviews (2) of Amadeus

A Dark & Stormy Night At The Opera - Amadeus review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert
31/07/2015

Stage plays and movies are very different beasts, and it takes a lot of adaptation to turn one into the other. Therefore a great deal of explanatory dialogue from the original play has been cut in favor of "show, don't tell", with the exposition they couldn't do without confined to framing sequences in which the aged Salieri tells the whole story in flashback. The decision to allow all the actors to use their normal accents when they're mostly supposed to be Austrian or German, and the modernization of some of the dialogue, is occasionally a little jarring, but it's better than having them adopt "ve haf vays of making you talk"-style German accents for the entire movie, or speaking in that stilted historical drama version of English that doesn't permit anyone to sound natural or relaxed. They do in fact talk this way sometimes, but only when they're in the Royal Presence and are required to be excessively formal.

Visually, it's stunning. Modern Prague stands in very well for 18th. century Vienna, and since Mozart divides much of his time between staging operas and going to lavish fancy dress parties, the set and costume designers have plenty of opportunities to let their hair down. Of course, it goes without saying that a movie about Mozart has no problems in the soundtrack department, especially when internationally renowned performers are involved. Where it falls down slightly is in the oversimplification of the characters. It's a historical fact that Mozart was a rather irresponsible man with a childishly scatological sense of humor, but Tom Hulce turns the irritating buffoon dial up to 11 and gives him a laugh like a dying hyena and borderline mental retardation in order to emphasize how different he is from the frigidly repressed Salieri, to the point where, on those occasions when Mozart gets wrapped up in his music and stops behaving like the Fourth Stooge, it's easy to see why Salieri can't comprehend how this moronic clown can possess such talent, since the viewer can't believe it either.

F. Murray Abraham is far better as Salieri, a vain egotist so utterly self-centered that he's incapable of realizing the extent of his own selfishness, whose tragedy is that he's a good enough composer to know how much better Mozart is, and simply cannot bear the idea that this potty-mouthed fool has the talent he, a clearly superior human being, deserves and has always longed for. However, the character is just a little bit too one-sided, as well as being wildly unfair to the real Salieri, who seems to have gotten along pretty well with Mozart, and certainly didn't murderously hate him, let alone actually murder him!

I also had a slight problem with certain unrealistic aspects of the story (which is, after all, supposed to be about real people and events). Naturally, the screenplay being based on a play by Peter Shaffer of "Eqqus" fame, it's no big surprise that the symbolic Freudian psychodrama is laid on with a trowel. But although the closing section is very powerful, partly because the physically and mentally shattered Mozart no longer has the energy to be annoying, I just didn't buy the idea that Salieri's suitably Freudian but extremely far-fetched method of destroying his rival would stand the slightest chance of succeeding.

So overall, not perfect, but very good indeed, to look at as well as to listen to. Though if you're just going to watch it for the musical numbers, you'd be better off with a few CDs so that you can hear them all the way through.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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