Amadeus

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: The actors in the film are never actually heard playing the keyboard instruments. The actors played the keyboards in time to recorded music being played on set or via earphone. However, in order to avoid mistake watchers noticing it, the actors had to learn the pieces, so that they are almost always playing the right keys for the music.

Trivia: In the scene where the dying Mozart is dictating his music to Salieri, Tom Hulce would deliberately skip parts of his lines which F. Murray Abraham needed to continue his part of the dialogue. Hulce didn't tell Abraham that he was going to do this, so when Salieri is scrambling to keep up and tells Mozart that he's going too fast it was a genuine reaction. Hulce has said that he did this partly to portray Mozart as delirious from his illness, and partly to portray Salieri as less talented. Confirmed on the director's cut DVD.

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

Trivia: Not until the director's cut of the movie do we understand why Constanze Mozart is so short with Salieri just before her husband's death, coldly demanding that he leave the house. For rating and length reasons, a nude scene of considerable length in which Constanze undresses, presumably to sleep with Salieri, only to have him show her the door, was not included in the theatrical version. That is because when Salieri is having his flashback, he prays that he will become a great composer and offers his chastity towards achieving that goal.

Trivia: Before the production crew decided on an American cast, a very young Kenneth Branagh was signed to play the title role. American actor Mark Hamill (who also portrayed Mozart in "Amadeus" on the stage) was rejected because of his close association to the role of Luke Skywalker.

Trivia: Mozart and Salieri are shown conducting standing in front of the pit. In their times however, they would have conducted from a harpsichord in the pit.

Trivia: 'Amadeus' had (and still has) the highest budget for wigs for the cast of any film in cinema history.

Rob Halliday

Trivia: Meg Tilly was originally cast as Constanze Mozart, but she broke her ankle right before filming started, and was replaced by Elizabeth Berridge.

Trivia: At the 1985 Academy Awards ceremony, 78-year-old Sir Laurence Olivier appeared onstage to announce the Oscar nominees and winner for Best Picture. Olivier had been ill for years and was suffering dementia at the time, and the ceremony producers immediately knew something was wrong when Olivier started opening the envelope as soon as he reached the podium. Sure enough, Olivier completely forgot to mention the four other nominated films and simply announced, "The winner for this is Amadeus." After a bit of embarrassed confusion, Olivier presented the Best Picture Oscar to "Amadeus" producer Saul Zaentz, who saved the day somewhat by spontaneously and graciously thanking the producers of the other four nominated films, by name.

Charles Austin Miller

Factual error: 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 should not be there. (02:50:50)

ItsGav
More mistakes in Amadeus

Antonio Salieri: But why? Why would God choose an obscene child to be His instrument? It was not to be believed! This piece had to be an accident. It had to be.
Antonio Salieri: ...It better be.

More quotes from Amadeus

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.