Amadeus (Directors Cut)
“Amadeus” won eight Oscars®, including best picture in 1984. Now reappearing in select theaters before release to DVD, this restored director’s cut adds 20 minutes of unseen footage, pushing the viewing time over three hours. Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham portrays the 18th century composer Antonio Salieri. Confined to a mental hospital, the dying Salieri narrates this story of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, played by Tom Hulce.
Salieri, a mediocre composer, has allowed jealousy of the brilliant musician to consume his life. Seen through Salieri’s eyes, Mozart is presented as spoiled and childish, with obnoxious arrogance and crude behavior. Mozart dies before his 36th birthday and is buried in a pauper’s grave, while Salieri leads a miserable life, haunted by his betrayal of Mozart. Much too intense for preteens, but for mature viewers and classical music lovers, “Amadeus” is well worth the time and ticket price.
Salieri prays, “Lord, make me a great composer,” thinking himself so much more deserving than the immature, foolish genius. When that doesn’t work, the tormented Salieri denounces God by burning a crucifix and plots to kill Mozart. Unfortunately, Mozart has few redeeming qualities other than his exceptional musical talent. A womanizer and a drunk, he spouts out vulgar language and squanders money. His desperate wife humiliates herself by baring her breasts and offering sexual favors in return for a position for her husband. Originally rated PG, the agonizing death of Mozart, his pauper’s burial, and the film’s adult subject matter, are inappropriate for children. The re-release earns an R rating from the MPAA, based on sexually suggestive content, nudity and a few obscenities.