Amadeus (1984)

Plot summary

(2 votes)

The life story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as told by Antonio Salieri. To be a bit more specific, Salieri always envied Mozart his musical talent and wished he could be like him. After Toni's father passes on, Toni moves to Vienna and becomes so prolific a musician that he is elevated to the rank of court composer. The Austrian Emperor hears of Mozart and decides to commission an opera from him. So Wolfy moves to Vienna, his opera (Abduction from the Seraglio, I believe) is so astounding that Toni's jealousy begins to grow. Mozart stays in Vienna, prolonging Salieri's agony, writing music so perfect that Salieri likens it to the very voice of God.

Eventually though, too many parties, too much hard work and not enough rest affects Wolfy's health and Salieri decides to make the most of his enemy's precarious condition by working him to death. Literally. Disguised as Mozart's father, Salieri commissions a requiem mass with the proviso that the sooner he finishes it, the more money he will get. Salieri plants a spy in Mozart's home in the form of a maid who reports back that Mozart is working like a madman, with his deteriorating health nudging him closer to the grave every day. Good news as far as Salieri is concerned. However, the piece Mozart is spending his time on is an Opera (Die Zauberflöte).

Visible crew/equipment: When Mozart and family visit a parody on several operas of his in a public theater, in one part of the show little people appear from all sides of the stage. When the last of the little people (carrying a model of horse) hops through a paper wall on the side of the stage, you can see a man in jeans walking behind the set.

More mistakes in Amadeus

Emanuel Schikaneder: Look, I asked you if we could start rehearsals next week and you said yes.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Well, we can.
Emanuel Schikaneder: So let me see it. Where is it?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Here. It's all right here in my noodle. The rest is just scribbling. Scribbling and bibbling, bibbling and scribbling.

More quotes from Amadeus

Trivia: 'Amadeus' is essentially an extended flashback. The composer Antonio Salieri, now old and embittered, recounts his life story to a young priest. He recalls how, as a young man, he dedicated his life to music by taking a vow of chastity. He became a successful and respected musician. Then his life was disrupted after the child prodigy, Mozart performed for the crowned heads of Europe, demonstrating incredible ability, and composing music that was much better than his. At times Mozart ridiculed Salieri's compositions as old fashioned and badly written. Jealous of Mozart's brilliance, Salieri worked to discredit Mozart and hasten Mozart's early death at 36. Much of these elements of the plot are highly fanciful. Salieri never lived a life of chastity: aged 25 he married Therese Hefferstorter, by whom he had eight children. The portrayal of Salieri as a mature, adult musician eclipsed by the young upstart Mozart is wholly inaccurate. Salieri was only six years older than Mozart: he was born in 1750; Mozart was born in 1756. Like Mozart, Salieri was a child prodigy, performing before the Emperor Joseph II when aged 16. Salieri and Mozart were attached to the Habsburg court in Vienna, here, far from being bitter rivals, they often collaborated. "Amadeus' is accurate in showing how Salieri outlived Mozart: while Mozart died in 1791, Salieri lived until 1825. But he did not harbour animosity to Mozart, instead he was something of a surrogate father to Mozart's youngest son, Franz Xavier Mozart, ensuring that Franz received a good musical (and general) education. Far from being alone and forgotten in his last years, Salieri became a highly regarded music teacher, whose pupils included Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert and Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Rob Halliday

More trivia for Amadeus

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