I want to include a film that is well-known, not because I think it’s a great film, or even good particulary, but for another, special reason, which we will come to, 1984’s “Amadeus”, directed by Miloš Forman and starring Tom Hulce and F Murray Abraham.
As a plot summary, Mozart and Salieri are composers in the 18th century. Mozart is clearly talented, and jealous Salieri plans to kill him.
It’s based on the stage play by Peter Schaffer, who also wrote the screenplay.
As you would expect, there are many snippets of music by both composers, the best bits. Mozart is portrayed as a rather vulgar, almost punkish character, offensive to the court and immature. But talented.
Both lead actors are exceptional, and the photography is mostly stunning.
So, what is my problem with this film?
Well, Mozart, Salieri and the others in this story are real people. But the story is a made up story purporting to be true in some way. By all accounts, Salieri recognised Mozart’s talent, was not resentful, never plotted to kill him, only helped him. Salieri is portrayed as a loner and pious, not true as he was married with multiple children and mistresses. The story that he hated Mozart is just that, a story, put around long after they were dead.