Amadeus

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Intergamer

Amadeus

Post by Intergamer » Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:45 am

One of the greatest misconceptions from the movie Amadeus is that Salieri poisons Mozart at the end. However Salieri never does, while he talks about killing Mozart at the start of the movie, Mozart dies before he has the chance. People still say how the film was wrong to show that Salieri poisoned Mozart. In reality the only thing you could say from the movie is that Salieri worked Mozart to death, by making him finish the Requiem.

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Post by Ralph » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:04 am

I don't think Mozart was worked to death. The evidence reveals multiple, chronic medical conditons and he belonged to a very inadequate Viennese HMO to boot.
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Re: Amadeus

Post by Opus132 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:50 am

Intergamer wrote:One of the greatest misconceptions from the movie Amadeus is that Salieri poisons Mozart at the end. However Salieri never does, while he talks about killing Mozart at the start of the movie, Mozart dies before he has the chance. People still say how the film was wrong to show that Salieri poisoned Mozart. In reality the only thing you could say from the movie is that Salieri worked Mozart to death, by making him finish the Requiem.
I think you missed the point here.

Everything you see in the film is Salieri's narration to his visitor. None of it is grounded in reality but it's merely a distorted fantasy from the old man which is a mix of half forgotten memories and his own delusions.

This is made more then clear by the preamble and the epilogue of the film.

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Post by Wallingford » Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:49 pm

Exactly--the one big out for this film is that the whole story is Salieri's hallucination.
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Re: Amadeus

Post by RebLem » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:03 pm

Intergamer wrote:One of the greatest misconceptions from the movie Amadeus is that Salieri poisons Mozart at the end. However Salieri never does, while he talks about killing Mozart at the start of the movie, Mozart dies before he has the chance. People still say how the film was wrong to show that Salieri poisoned Mozart. In reality the only thing you could say from the movie is that Salieri worked Mozart to death, by making him finish the Requiem.
First of all, Mozart did not finish the Requiem.

Actually, evidence is that Mozart was recovering when the doctors decided to ignore the first line of the Hippocratic Oath and bleed him. They thought it would hasten his recovery; instead, it hastened his death.

In my opinion, the most egregious aspect of the film Amadeus is the fact that it made no mention of Franz Josef Haydn.
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Re: Amadeus

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:06 pm

RebLem wrote:
Intergamer wrote:One of the greatest misconceptions from the movie Amadeus is that Salieri poisons Mozart at the end. However Salieri never does, while he talks about killing Mozart at the start of the movie, Mozart dies before he has the chance. People still say how the film was wrong to show that Salieri poisoned Mozart. In reality the only thing you could say from the movie is that Salieri worked Mozart to death, by making him finish the Requiem.
First of all, Mozart did not finish the Requiem.

Actually, evidence is that Mozart was recovering when the doctors decided to ignore the first line of the Hippocratic Oath and bleed him. They thought it would hasten his recovery; instead, it hastened his death.

In my opinion, the most egregious aspect of the film Amadeus is the fact that it made no mention of Franz Josef Haydn.
I'm sure that in Peter Schaeffer's bizarre psychology Haydn is incorporated into the persona of Leopold.

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Re: Amadeus

Post by lmpower » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:22 pm

RebLem wrote:
In my opinion, the most egregious aspect of the film Amadeus is the fact that it made no mention of Franz Josef Haydn.
I would have made a movie including Haydn, Leutgeb and many other important characters in Mozart's life. I would also start the action early enough to include his extraordinary childhood. I'm not too happy with Peter Shaffer's fantasy, but I must admit it was brilliantly executed on the screen.

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Re: Amadeus

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:56 pm

lmpower wrote:
RebLem wrote:
In my opinion, the most egregious aspect of the film Amadeus is the fact that it made no mention of Franz Josef Haydn.
I would have made a movie including Haydn, Leutgeb and many other important characters in Mozart's life. I would also start the action early enough to include his extraordinary childhood. I'm not too happy with Peter Shaffer's fantasy, but I must admit it was brilliantly executed on the screen.
At least in that one nobody got hypnotized (I think).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Amadeus

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:29 pm

Intergamer wrote:One of the greatest misconceptions from the movie Amadeus is that Salieri poisons Mozart at the end. However Salieri never does, while he talks about killing Mozart at the start of the movie, Mozart dies before he has the chance. People still say how the film was wrong to show that Salieri poisoned Mozart. In reality the only thing you could say from the movie is that Salieri worked Mozart to death, by making him finish the Requiem.
---------------
"Intergamer",

I wrote short article on Salieri on Jan. 7, 2007 and you may find it in the archives.

"Amadeus" is a regurgitation of Pushkin's play "The Murderer Salieri"
which was very popular and made into an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov.
With a few Hollywood touches it was modernised and, PRESTO!
We have "Amadeus" the play and film.

The idea was Pushkin's and it made good business sense for both Pushkin and Rimsky-Korzakov and ...Hey! Peter Shaffer did not suffer bancruptsy either. :lol:

Regards,
Agnes Selby.
--------------------------

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Post by ginosec » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:38 pm

Those in Hollywood never let the truth get in the way of a good story do they?

Amadeus is one of my favourite films. Ofcourse there are so many historical innacuracies that it's almost silly to discuss them. What I feel does come across is a real passion for Mozart's music.

The cast are amazing as well. Aside from F.Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce who are brilliant as the leading men, I adore the comedic performances from Jeffrey Jones as Emperor Joseph II as well the actors that portray Count Rosenberg and Kappelmeister Bonno.

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:35 pm

There are a few integral components to the film version of Amadeus that cannot be overlooked or minimized
1) The music of WAM
2) The Screen Presence of Beth Berridge




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Post by Ralph » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:52 pm

ginosec wrote:Those in Hollywood never let the truth get in the way of a good story do they?

Amadeus is one of my favourite films. Ofcourse there are so many historical innacuracies that it's almost silly to discuss them. What I feel does come across is a real passion for Mozart's music.

The cast are amazing as well. Aside from F.Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce who are brilliant as the leading men, I adore the comedic performances from Jeffrey Jones as Emperor Joseph II as well the actors that portray Count Rosenberg and Kappelmeister Bonno.
*****

Welcome to the board! We have a number of Australians posting here. Hope you do too and often.
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Post by ginosec » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:06 pm

Thank you for the welcome, Ralph. I have been reading the boards on and off for about a week and decided it was time that I contribute to the discussion.

Ted, I hope that the presence of Beth Berridge you refer to is her actual performance rather than the early moment of the film where she almost accidentally squeezes out of her costume, and a later scene where she deliberately does. :shock:

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Re: Amadeus

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:14 pm

Intergamer wrote:One of the greatest misconceptions from the movie Amadeus is that Salieri poisons Mozart at the end. However Salieri never does, while he talks about killing Mozart at the start of the movie, Mozart dies before he has the chance. People still say how the film was wrong to show that Salieri poisoned Mozart. In reality the only thing you could say from the movie is that Salieri worked Mozart to death, by making him finish the Requiem.
The movie was a confection. There're enough facts in it to make it dangerous for one to assume it is biographical, or even autobiographical. You should read a good bio on Mozart so you know which fact and which is fiction. Salieri had nothing to do with Mozart's death.
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:16 pm

ginosec wrote: The cast are amazing as well. Aside from F.Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce who are brilliant as the leading men, I adore the comedic performances from Jeffrey Jones as Emperor Joseph II as well the actors that portray Count Rosenberg and Kappelmeister Bonno.
I'm going to assume that the references in other posts to the "actress" who played Costanze with favorable connotations are facetious. However, the girl who played the housemaid is a bit of an unsung bit part, isn't she? Complete with bad teeth, which someone in her position would have had in those days. Not at all unlike the minor but exquisite part of Barbarina in Marriage of Figaro.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:49 pm

Ted, I hope that the presence of Beth Berridge you refer to is her actual performance rather than the early moment of the film where she almost accidentally squeezes out of her costume, and a later scene where she deliberately does.
First of all Elizabeth Berridge is home grown hailing from right here in Larchmont/Mamaroneck
My comment about her “screen presence” was an attempt to make a humorous observation about bustiers in general and hers in particular—No offense was intended, though I hope taken

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Post by ginosec » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:16 pm

Ted wrote:
Ted, I hope that the presence of Beth Berridge you refer to is her actual performance rather than the early moment of the film where she almost accidentally squeezes out of her costume, and a later scene where she deliberately does.
First of all Elizabeth Berridge is home grown hailing from right here in Larchmont/Mamaroneck
My comment about her “screen presence” was an attempt to make a humorous observation about bustiers in general and hers in particular—No offense was intended, though I hope taken
Do mean to say you hope to inadvertedly offend? Now, that's an angle!
I did not take offense, but I'll try to next time hehe.

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:21 pm

And BTW ginosec....Welcome!
t

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Re: Amadeus

Post by bricon » Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:51 am

Intergamer wrote:One of the greatest misconceptions from the movie Amadeus is that Salieri poisons Mozart at the end. However Salieri never does, while he talks about killing Mozart at the start of the movie, Mozart dies before he has the chance. People still say how the film was wrong to show that Salieri poisoned Mozart. In reality the only thing you could say from the movie is that Salieri worked Mozart to death, by making him finish the Requiem.
As has previously been mentioned, Amadeus is substantially a work of fiction. When pondering the Mozart/Salieri relationship, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Salieri was far bigger deal than Mozart at that time. If anything, it was Mozart who coveted Salieri’s status/position, rather than the other way around.

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Re: Amadeus

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:58 am

bricon wrote: If anything, it was Mozart who coveted Salieri’s status/position, rather than the other way around.
I don't think that was ever in doubt, even in the movie. The conflict in the movie centered around the envy of the statused mediocrity for the Godlike talent of the unrecognized genius.
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Post by Febnyc » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:26 am

Before the movie there was the stage play. I saw this and marveled at its emotional impact. The transition of the aged, infirm Salieri to the younger man was done in full view of the audience and was a coup de theater if ever there was one. The brilliance of the acting and the staging completely erased any thoughts about the authenticity of the story itself. It simply did not matter - the audience was mesmerized by the entertainment itself. And by the single issue of the jealousy of the cultured, striving, socially-graced Salieri. It was his questioning of his God - why was such talent given to such a crude adolescent - that was the only real point of the script.

I thought the film fell a long way short of instilling in its viewers the same all-encompassing power of the original play. Tim Hulce's broad characterization was, for me, too over the top - with the ever-present giggles and exaggerated clowning.

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Amadeus

Post by Agnes Selby » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:25 pm

Febnyc wrote:Before the movie there was the stage play. I saw this and marveled at its emotional impact. The transition of the aged, infirm Salieri to the younger man was done in full view of the audience and was a coup de theater if ever there was one. The brilliance of the acting and the staging completely erased any thoughts about the authenticity of the story itself. It simply did not matter - the audience was mesmerized by the entertainment itself. And by the single issue of the jealousy of the cultured, striving, socially-graced Salieri. It was his questioning of his God - why was such talent given to such a crude adolescent - that was the only real point of the script.

I thought the film fell a long way short of instilling in its viewers the same all-encompassing power of the original play. Tim Hulce's broad characterization was, for me, too over the top - with the ever-present giggles and exaggerated clowning.
--------------

Thank you for the above. Hulce's laugh got on my nerves and I wondered how anyone could present Mozart as a complete idiot savant.

My viewing of the film took place in Philadelphia. I took the old conductor Prof. Max Rudolf and his wife to see this much anticipated film. Max Rudolf thought that this film was a desecration of Mozart's true history.
He was proven right as most people now believe that the film is a true biography of the great composer.

Very few people are interested enough to research Mozart's life as some of us do on this Forum. Hence Hulce has become the true image of Mozart and the generous and successful Salieri has gone down in history
as Mozart's murderer.

Regards,
Agnes.

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Re: Amadeus

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:03 pm

Febnyc wrote:Before the movie there was the stage play. I saw this and marveled at its emotional impact. The transition of the aged, infirm Salieri to the younger man was done in full view of the audience and was a coup de theater if ever there was one. The brilliance of the acting and the staging completely erased any thoughts about the authenticity of the story itself. It simply did not matter - the audience was mesmerized by the entertainment itself. And by the single issue of the jealousy of the cultured, striving, socially-graced Salieri. It was his questioning of his God - why was such talent given to such a crude adolescent - that was the only real point of the script.

I thought the film fell a long way short of instilling in its viewers the same all-encompassing power of the original play. Tim Hulce's broad characterization was, for me, too over the top - with the ever-present giggles and exaggerated clowning.
I saw it first as a stage play as well. And I saw the movie 4 times in the theater and many more since its release on tape and dvd. If there was any substantive difference between the two for me, it was the ability of the film to overlay Mozart's music in far more scenes than the stage play would have been able to accommodate reasonably. In fact, I don't recall any music in the stage play except when a character was supposed to be playing on stage. The two most luminous scenes in the movie for me were 1) when Salieri was leafing thru the scores that Constanze brought and the music of each composition Salieri paused over could be heard, like a hint of Mozart's promise; 2) the scene in Mozart's appartment when he is absently rolling the orange over the billiard pitch while in the background the music of the Countess' forgiveness scene in Figaro, with it's gracious rising bassoon figure. Figaro has been my favorite opera for over 40 years now, but I had never really noticed the instrumentation of that moment before because the scene is so richly busy. It was another affirmation for me of Mozart's genius.
Agnes Selby wrote:I wondered how anyone could present Mozart as a complete idiot savant.
I've heard that complaint before, usually from people who know too much about Mozart to be excited by the yeoman job the expertly crafted film did in bringing Mozart to the masses. I heard a lot of Mozart before Amadeus, read a lot about him, and wasn't misled by the liberties. I loved the movie and the play anyway. Hulce's portrayal didn't strike me as that of an idiot savant but of a man who had some childlike qualities and in some respects was guileless, which is true of Mozart.
I took the old conductor Prof. Max Rudolf and his wife to see this much anticipated film. Max Rudolf thought that this film was a desecration of Mozart's true history.
Someday, Agnes, you must tell us who all you know in the music world. :lol:
most people now believe that the film is a true biography of the great composer. Very few people are interested enough to research Mozart's life as some of us do on this Forum.
That's not nearly as much a cause for lament as the wider familiarity with Mozart's music from Amadeus is a cause for celebration.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:07 pm

It is not odd that nothing I read about Mozart when I was a teenager in the 60’s (and I read several books) made even the slightest mention of nefarious components to his death
"The taste of death is upon my lips...I feel something, that is not of this earth."

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Amadeus

Post by Agnes Selby » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:58 am

Dear Corlyss,

Who did I know in the musical world? Not that many, really.
However, living in Philadelphia with Kathy studying at the
Curtis Institute and later at Juilliard, it was not possible to
avoid meeting teachers and performers. Lucky for Kathy
she had most wonderful teachers and some became our
friends. Many young performers came to our house.
Kathy was 14 years old when her studies at Curtis began
so she was not old enough to get around by herself.

However, we did enjoy our new found friends and many, who are still
alive, remain our friends.

Kind regards,
Agnes.

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Amadeus

Post by Daisy » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:34 pm

The thing about "Amadeus" that almost everyone forgets is that this is not a biography of Mozart, but a tale told by an old madman who is spinning his rambling fantasies. It is not at all unlike one of the many films about the legendary Sweeny Todd (who never in fact existed, but is an English urban legend) in which Todd's crimes are gorily depicted, only to be revealed at the end as the lurid fantasies of a mad barber who imagined everything and turned himself in for no crimes at all.

However, it may be worth noting that "Amadeus", taken a face value, is in fact the story of an 18th century Fan-from-Hell. He is a celebrity stalker, obsessed with envy, and the same kind of irrational reasoning that creates real celebrity stalkers, who end up killing the object of their adoration, dceciding that somehow the person they stalk is no longer "worthy". That's a message for our own times more than Mozart's.
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