Sunday, May 13, 2012
#53 on the 1998 AFI 100 Best American Films List
Amadeus is a 1984 period drama film directed by Miloš Forman and written by Peter Shaffer. Adapted from Shaffer's stage play Amadeus (1979), the story is a variation of Alexandr Pushkin's play Mozart i Salieri (Моцарт и Сальери, 1830), in which the composer Antonio Salieri recognizes the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but thwarts him out of envy. The story is set in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the 18th century.
The film was nominated for 53 awards and received 40, including eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four BAFTA Awards, four Golden Globes, and a DGA Award. In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked Amadeus 53rd on its 100 Years... 100 Movies list.
* F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri
* Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
* Elizabeth Berridge as Constanze Mozart
* Roy Dotrice as Leopold Mozart
* Simon Callow as Emanuel Schikaneder
* Richard Frank as Father Vogler
* Christine Ebersole as Caterina Cavalieri
* Jeffrey Jones as Emperor Joseph II
* Charles Kay as Count Orsini-Rosenberg
* Cynthia Nixon as Lorl, Mozart's maid
* Roderick Cook as Count Von Strack
* Jonathan Moore as Baron van Swieten
* Patrick Hines as Kappelmeister Bonno
In 1985, the film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including the double nomination for Best Actor with Hulce and Abraham each being nominated for their portrayals of Mozart and Salieri, respectively. The film won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Abraham), Best Director (Forman), Costume Design (Theodor Pištěk), Adapted Screenplay (Shaffer), Art Direction (Patrizia von Brandenstein), Best Makeup, and Best Sound. The film was nominated for but did not win Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Editing. Amadeus, The English Patient and The Hurt Locker are the only Best Picture winners to never enter the weekend box office top 5 after rankings began being recorded in 1982. Amadeus peaked at #6 during its 8th weekend in theaters. Saul Zaentz produced both Amadeus and The English Patient.
The film was nominated for six Golden Globes (Hulce and Abraham were nominated together) and won four, including awards to Forman, Abraham, Shaffer, and Golden Globe Award for Best Picture — Drama. Jeffrey Jones was nominated for Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Forman also received the Directors Guild of America Award for his work.
At the end of the Oscar ceremony, Laurence Olivier came on stage to present the Oscar for Best Picture. As Olivier thanked the Academy for inviting him, he was already opening the envelope. Instead of announcing the nominees, he simply read, "The winner for this is ‘Amadeus’." An AMPAS official quickly went onstage to confirm the winner and signaled that all was well, before Olivier then presented the award to producer Saul Zaentz. Olivier (in his 78th year) had been ill for many years, and it was due to suffering from amnesia that he forgot to read the nominees. Zaentz then thanked Olivier, saying it was an honour to receive the award from him, before mentioning the other nominees in his acceptance speech: The Killing Fields, A Passage to India, Places in the Heart and A Soldier's Story. Maurice Jarre won the award for best original music score for his scoring of A Passage to India. In his acceptance speech for the award, Jarre remarked "I was lucky Mozart was not eligible this year"