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Amadeus - Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,019 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amadeus: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)

Gripping human drama. Sumptuous period epic. Glorious celebration of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This marvelous winner of eight Academy Awards(R) portrays the rivalry between the genius Mozart (Tom Hulce) and the jealous court composer (Best Actor Oscar(R) Winner F.Murray Abraham) who may have ruined Mozart's career and shortened his life.

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A note-perfect cinematic event whose immortality was assured from its opening night, Amadeus is an unlikely candidate for the director's-cut treatment. Like one of Mozart's operas, the multiple Oscar-winning theatrical version seemed perfectly formed from the outset--ideal casting, costumes, sets, cinematography, lighting, screenplay, music, music, music--so the reinstatement of an extra 20 minutes simply risks adding "too many notes." Yet though this extended cut can hardly be said to improve a picture that needed no improvement, it does at least flesh out a couple of small subplots and shed new light on certain key scenes. Here we learn why Constanze Mozart bears such ill will towards Salieri when she discovers him at her husband's deathbed, and we see deeper into the reasons why Mozart has no students. The structure of the picture is otherwise unaltered.

The director's cut of Amadeus finally accords this masterful work the DVD treatment it deserves. The handsome anamorphic widescreen picture is accompanied by a choice of Dolby 5.1 or Dolby stereo sound options, and it's all contained on one side of the disc. Director Milos Forman and writer Peter Shaffer provide a chatty though sporadic commentary, but they're obviously still too mesmerized by the movie to do much more than offer the odd anecdote. The second disc contains an excellent new hour-long "making of" documentary, with contributions from Forman, Shaffer, Sir Neville Marriner, and all the main actors, taking in the scriptwriting, choice of music, casting, and problems involved in filming in Communist Czechoslovakia with half the crew and extras working for the Secret Police. --Mark Walker


Special Features

Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)Audio Commentary: by Director Milos Forman and Writer Peter Shaffer (disc one) Documentary: A 37-minute, Behind-the-Scenes Documentary "The Making of Amadeus" (disc two) Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights (disc two) Theatrical Trailer: (disc two)

Product Details

  • Actors: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Simon Callow, Roy Dotrice
  • Directors: Milos Forman
  • Writers: Peter Shaffer
  • Producers: Michael Hausman, Saul Zaentz, Bertil Ohlsson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,019 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006DEFA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,154 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Amadeus - Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Behuniak on January 30, 2003
Format: DVD
I first saw "Amadeus" around 1984 when it was first released. Besides being a visual and musical masterpiece of film making, it kick-started my life-long love of and appreciation for classical music.
I won't repeat the story synopsis as it's already been thoroughly described both by Amazon.com's critical review and multiple customers here already.
I will say though that this edition, 'The Directors Cut', is a major improvement over the first DVD release. First, (and finally!!), the movie is now a single-side DVD...gone is the annoying 2 sided 'flipper' that the first release was. You can now watch "Amadeus" from start to finish without having to get up and turn it over. For my money, that's reason enough alone to own this new version.
Secondly, 'The Directors Cut' now adds about 20-30 minutes of previously deleted scenes, placed back into where they were originally intended. Personally I find some of the newer stuff enhances the story overall and fills in some details that were left vague in the original theatrical release. I won't give away any details, but there is a new scene between Mozart's wife, Constanza, and Salieri, Mozart's chief musical rival (and secret arch-enemy) early in the movie that puts an whole new perspective of Salieri's twisted and battered psyche.
As for the DVD itself, the picture and sound quality are both exemplary. Included is a second disk with bonus material including interviews and making-of extras.
If you loved the original, you owe it to yourself to pick up this version. If you're new to classical music and Mozart, this is the best place to start.
lr** Jan 30,2003

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Format: DVD
If you're a fan of the original theatrical cut of "Amadeus" you'll have mixed feelings about the "Director's Cut". While I perfer the latter for a number of reasons, the feeling and flow of the original theatrical version differs somewhat from the "Director's Cut". The most important part are extended scenes that include Salieri agreeing to help Constanze if she has an affair with him. He ends up rejecting her when she shows that she so loves her husband that she would be willing to do so. A number of the opera scenes are extended as well with more business after the show between Mozart and his leading lady. There's also a longer sequence involving Salieri's visit to Mozart comissioning the "Requiem". Most of the material adds to the power of the film while a few sequences just give additional back story on various characters. The original theatrical version which won an 8 Oscars runs about 25 minutes shorter than the 3 hour "Director's Cut". Forman also provide a fascinating commentary track for the film along with writer Peter Shaffer ("Equus").

The image quality for the "Director's Cut" is superior to the original theatrical version. The film was restored to its original luster for re-release resulting in much more natural flesh tones and a sharper visual image as well. The colors which play in important part in conveying the themes of each sequence are more robust and vivid. The theatrical version looks quite good although it was first issued on DVD as a "flipper" (meaning you had to flip it over) DVD after roughly two hours to watch the last third of the movie. The big advantage for the theatrical version is Neville Mariner's score on an isolated track.

The second disc of the "Director's Cut" has one terrific extra, a brief talent list and the original theatrical trailer.
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Format: Blu-ray
I've purchased every disc release of this movie: the expensive LaserDisc collector's set, the original DVD release and the subsquent Director's Cut, and this new Blu-Ray of the Director's Cut. The Blu-Ray release stands head and shoulders above the rest for picture quality, color, and sound.

My only gripe is that the original theatrical cut is not available on Blu-Ray as a separate item or as an alternative viewing option on the Director's Cut. The theatrical cut is the one that most of us saw first and saw over and over again over the course of some 20 years before the Director's Cut was released on DVD.

The additional footage in the Director's Cut is interesting but, to me at least, seems intrusive. It interrupts the flow and tempo I am used to. There is also a brief scene of female nudity that seems a bit gratuitous. The scene does, though, lend some weight to a scene later in the film where you see Constanze's open hostility toward Salieri. Normally I'm not one to complain about a little female flesh being exposed, but I think the film works well enough without it.

Other "new" scenes follow pretty much the same description: they are interesting but their necessity is debatable.

There is one small addition that I did enjoy, though. Early in the film, during one of the scenes where the elderly Salieri is confessing (?) to the young priest, Salieri is recounting the episode when he first met the young composer Mozart he'd heard about for so many years. He was blown away by his talent but outraged and offended by his peurile behavior. He insisted to the priest that such talent (evident in one composition in particular) could not and should not exist in such a vile and vulgar child. That brilliant composition simply HAD to be an accident!
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