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Amadeus Winner of Eight Academy Awards – 1984
The movie Amadeus is based on the hypothesis that the Italian Court composer, Antonio Salieri tried to murder Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,who may have been the most gifted musician in history.This award-winning film swept the Academy Awards in 1984, earning Best Picture, Best Actor (F. Murray Abraham), and Best Director (Milos Forman). The movie is filled with the glorious music of Mozart, colorful period costumes, and was filmed in theaters and locations in Prague, on the very stages Mozart had frequented.
Here is the “teaser” from the Warner Brothers DVD jacket notes: “In 1781 Vienna, Austria, court composer Antonio Salieri (Abraham) is maddened with envy after discovering that the divine musical gifts he desires for himself have been bestowed on the bawdy, impish, Mozart (Tom Hulce), whom he plots to destroy by any means necessary.”
Left: Actor Tom Hulce as Mozart in Amadeus.
The script by playwright, Peter Shaffer, is fictional but many of the musical events and scenes describe actual historic facts in the live of Mozart. The film is accurate in describing the social position of a musician in 18th Century Europe; a servant to nobility but an elevated one, and includes scenes describing the creation of several of Mozart’s greatest works.
First, check out the film from Blockbuster, Netflix, or purchase a copy of the DVD. (Most city libraries will have a copy available and the North Lake College Student Resource Lab has several copies). I recommend the original 1984 version over the recent release the “Director’s Cut.” The new release restores 20 minutes of deleted scenes, which brings the total viewing time to nearly three hours. In my opinion, the deleted scenes should have remained “deleted” because they do not add anything to the impact of the film.
Note: The original Amadeus release was rated “PG” with brief profanity. The “Director’s Cut” includes an unnecessary nude scene which drops the rating to “R”.
Second, read the Amadeus Study-Guide below to prepare for the musical elements of the film that you will be tested on later.
Third, View the movie and take notes on dialogue and situations that will support your essay question.
Fourth, Compose and submit views on the essay question: ” What is the central conflict in the movie Amadeus:
Essay should begin with a clear topic statement: “I believe the central conflict in Amadeus is….”(3 points)
Then in words written in college-level sentence structure(5 points), explain which conflict(s) are the most important in the drama.(3 points) Give specific scenes, situations, and include direct quotes to support your conclusions(2 points)
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