YMMV / Amadeus


  • Adaptation Displacement: Alexander Pushkin's play Mozart and Salieri (and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's operatic adaptation) is little more than a footnote.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The scene from the director's cut in which Saliari calls his valet in to show out Constanze just as she's undressing for him. Does a crisis of conscious cause him to change his mind before going through with it, or was it an elaborate plan to blackmail her by threatening to tell anyone who might want to hire Mozart that his wife is a whore?
  • Awesome Music: Mozart was arguably the greatest composer in history, and Salieri was no slouch himself. Both of their music—but especially Mozart's—is featured throughout the film.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Talent and character are completely unrelated. A handful of rare individuals are born special, for no reason or merit, a few others are sharp enough to see talent in others but do not have it themselves and are doomed to carry the burden of mediocrity. And most people are just mindless morons.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Elizabeth Berridge is quite nice to look at, but the scene in which Constanze is topless is so humiliating for her that it's pretty hard to find it sexy.
    • Many viewers could have done without the scene at the beginning where a nude inmate of the asylum tries to accost Father Vogler.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In the movie, when Mozart calls for different composers to imitate at the keyboard. Mozart's reaction to someone shouting to play it like Gluck ("Bo-ring!") is all the more funny when you know that Salieri was one of C. W. Gluck's most prized pupils.
    • Emperor Joseph's quip about the silent ballet: "I don't understand. Is it modern?" John Cage's 4'33" was composed in 1952. It is often cited as an extreme example of "modern" music, as no instruments are played in it.
    • When Mozart is challenged to play the piano upside down, a close look shows that his left hand only plays a couple simple chords over and over, allowing him to concentrate entirely on what his right hand is doing.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Because your are unfair, unjust, unkind, I will block you." Did Saliari just unfriend God?
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Mozart. He's an obnoxious, vulgar nutjob with an annoying laugh, but you still can't help but feel bad for him. It helps that he has somewhat of a childish innocence about him too, and generally means well.
    • Hell, Salieri might even get points here too. A cold, snide, petty murderous bastard he may be but its clear that he absolutely hates himself and is reminded every day that there is someone better (who doesn't even appreciate their talent).
  • Most Annoying Sound: Mozart. Please. STOP. LAUGHING.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon plays Lorl, the Mozart family's maid secretly helping Salieri.
    • Mozart's father is played by Roy Dotrice, now probably best known as the narrator of the audiobooks for A Song of Ice and Fire, giving him the world record of playing the most characters in a single story.
    • Jeffrey Jones plays Emperor Joseph II, but he's probably best known as Dean Rooney.
  • Tear Jerker: The death of Mozart, scored to his own death requiem (The Lacrimosa, which he only composed 8 measures of): only a handful of people attend his funeral, and custom dictates they cannot follow the funeral cortege to the burial site. Which is just as well, as at the cemetery the body is unceremoniously thrown into a mass-grave, with lime dumped on top to aid decomposition. To this day, no-one knows exactly where the real Mozart is buried (there's a local legend that the nightingales sing more sweetly over his grave than anywhere else in Europe).
  • The Woobie:
    • Mozart's young maid who's in Salieri's service. She never really knew what was going on, but what happened will haunt her forever.
    • Constanze. The poor girl is so devoted and loving, and very young, and all she wants is to have a happy, loving family. She's willing to give Salieri sex if it will help her husband. When he sends her away, Mozart comes home to find her sobbing on their bed, with no explanation. Her husband's constant spending leaves them constantly broke despite the fact that works like a dog, and he dies mere minutes after she returns to him. In real life she was left with their debt after Mozart passed away.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Amadeus