Amadeus (1984)

14 corrected entries

Corrected entry: Several times during the movie, there is a harp shown in the background of shots (i.e.- in Salieri's studio). The harp shown has pedals on the bottom and a space for pedal levers inside the neck. However, the pedal harp was not developed until around 1810 and Mozart died in 1791.

Correction: This is not a mistake. The single-action pedal harp was invented around 1720 and became a popular instrument in the 1700s partly due to the influence of Marie Antoinette. Mozart wrote his Concerto for Flute and Harp for this type of harp, and many examples survive today, including styles similar to the one seen in Salieri's room at around 00:57-00:59 (director's cut).

Corrected entry: At the grave, lime is shoveled over the bodies from a barrel. The shovel is put back in the barrel. But in the last shot, seen from above, there is no shovel in the barrel.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: The lime barrel shown in the overhead shot is a different empty barrel at the other end of the mass grave. You can see the wheel tracks from the hearse on the right and the lime dust is spreading from the far end.

Corrected entry: Mozart is asked to play in Handel's style. He waves dismissively, saying "I don't like him." In fact, Mozart greatly admired Handel, whose work had been a key part of his formative studies.


Correction: As this film is not a biography, but a retelling of some of his life mixed with total fiction (including making Salieri an enemy where he was not), the choice is artistic, not a mistake.


Corrected entry: Lorl the maidservant is played by a teenage Cynthia Nixon, from "Sex and the City."


Correction: Not exactly trivia, since she's listed in the cast.

Corrected entry: Many mistakes occur at the time close to Mozart's death. Salieri was not the person who helped Mozart complete the Requiem. That was Sussmayr. In Amadeus, Mozart died with open eyes. In real life, Mozart passed out a few hours before he died, so his eyes should have been closed. And finally, Constanze was not at Mozart's funeral as depicted in Amadeus, but she got sick as well and couldn't go.

Correction: There are many historical inaccuracies in this movie; nobody claims this to be a completely historically accurate movie. The movie itself takes many liberties with Mozart's life - you could say that Salieri even KNOWING Mozart to begin with was a "mistake" in the movie, as there is no evidence historically to show that they ever even spoke to each other. But it's a directorial decision, and not a mistake.

Corrected entry: Amadeus and Stanzi had six children, only two of whom would reach adulthood. We only see one child, a son, throughout the movie.

Correction: The film is more than two hours long - if it included every event in Mozart's life it would be, well, thirty two years long. Bit long for a film, methinks, like all film biographies we only see a small part of their life. The second child was simply not a part of the action.

Corrected entry: In his asylum cell, Salieri plays a phrase from 'Eine Kleine 'Nachtmusik', which the priest readily identifies. This piece was hardly known until revived in the 20th century, and has since become elevator music. The ordinary music lover of the period may have recognised Mozart's opera melodies, but not his symphonic or chamber music, because public concerts did not then exist.

Correction: The priesthood at the time was also the repository of virtually all knowledge, as they were the only literate people around. All written material was laboriously copied by them, so a priest knowing a piece of music he may have seen in written form would be nothing unusual.

Corrected entry: When Mozart performs his piano (clavier) concerto outdoors, we hear a passage for the horns, but the director shows a close up of the bassoons.

Correction: So? Where is it written that the camera must show the object making the sound in question? Haven't you ever heard of 'noises off' - something off camera makes a noise relevant to the plot?

Corrected entry: In the scene where Salieri assists Mozart with his requiem, Mozart changes the scale from F major to A minor. He decides to start with an A, he then goes up the scale to D sharp. But there is no D sharp in an A minor scale. Surely both Mozart and Salieri, who were two of the greatest musicians in their time, would've known that.

Correction: Mozart doesn't change the scale from F major to A minor, he changes the Key. He decides to start in an A minor key and then changes the key to D. As a music student, I know that the final piece used this and did change from the key of A minor to the key of D. It gives a sense of dissonance (clashing) which was very effective for a requiem piece and also showed that Mozart didn't write his pieces with set rules, he allowed strange changes of keys, this is one of the reasons why he was such a successful composer.

Corrected entry: During a game Mozart is dared to play a little tune in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. This is in fact an error, because nobody could remember Bach in the late 1780's. Bach was completely forgotten about when he died in 1750 and remained forgotten until Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy discovered some of his work in the early 1800's. It is possible that Mozart knew Bach, but it is very unlikely that normal people, without thorough musical training, knew his name.

Correction: Mozart was very well acquainted with several works of J. S. Bach. Baron van Swieten had introduced him to "The well-tempered Clavier" and some fugues (cf. Mozart's arrangements for string trio KV 404a ff.). Further on Mozart had met Johann Christian Bach (son to J. S.) in London. And as the submitter mentions, it's very unlikely other people would remember Bach, but not impossible.

Corrected entry: In the beginning, when Salieri first meets Mozart at the archbishop's residence, you hear him in the background saying "that night changed my life", but through the whole scene there is sunlight coming in through the windows.

Correction: During the summertime in Vienna it is often light until 9pm at least. It is also reasonable to say that the entertainments went on into the evening and night, as concerts often do and that he is refering to the day as a whole.

David Mercier

Corrected entry: In the scene where Salieri's servant is taking the mask which was worn by Leopold Mozart at the party, there is a sign at the house which says "Kostumen". This word is supposed to be german, but it isn't. "Kostüm" is the singular german word for costume and "Kostüme" is the plural

Correction: 'Mit Kostümen handeln' means 'to deal in costumes,' so Kostümen probably meant a costume dealer or shop. Language is ever evolving, so it could be a term not used today. Sort of like thee or thinkest in English.

Corrected entry: In expressing his delight when the production of Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" is doomed in Vienna after the Emperor yawns during the performance, old Salieri remarks to the priest that Mozart "was lucky the Emperor yawned only once." However, there are actually two yawns in the scene. Looking closely, we can see over Mozart's left shoulder the Emperor, sitting in the front row, yawning over a minute before the yawn that is noticed by Salieri and his cohorts.


Correction: It is perfectly clear that Salieri only sees the Emperor yawn once - he is looking away when the first yawn happens. From his point of view what he says is correct. Not a film mistake at all.

Corrected entry: Salieri was actually two years younger than Mozart in real life, not years older than the latter as depicted in the film.


Correction: Salieri was born in 1750, Mozart in 1756.




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During the scene where Mozart is being carried away in his coffin by horse and cart there is a brief shot where he is being taken down a muddy path and a farmer is seen with his cows. If you look closely to the left side of the screen you can see a large overhead power line. If you look even more closely you can even see the wires coming out of the pylon. The movie is set in the 18th century and obviously it obviously should not be there.



The producers purposely went with relatively unknown actors for the film, because they thought they'd be more believable than stars who people already identified in different roles.