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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.]]>
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
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Top customer reviews
There are two stories really: The main story is about Mozart (Tom Hulce), but it is told by an aged Solieri (F. Murray Abraham), Mozart's envious nemesis, at an asylum where a priest comes to hear his confession. Bitter about life, Solieri rails against God Himself for feeling scorned by the eclipse of Mozart's talent. Every time we leave the narrative into the flashbacks of Solieri's telling recount, we often are shattered as we come back to the cell with the sympathetic but perturbed priest--so absorbing is the story. Amadeus is reckless and playful. Having a wealthy father who scorns his son's frivolousness, Amadeus evaporates his monetary resources through wine, women, and song. For the latter he only squanders through his venue. For if he weren't such a serious composer and gave lessons, he wouldn't be in such a financial bind. Considered an eccentric, he is, nevertheless, hired by the Emperor of Austria, to be a court composer in Vienna. Solieri, an admirer of Mozart, has a big hand to play, for he is in charge of all the court music. In the company of two other Italian composers, Solieri outnumbers and outpowers Amadeus in many ways. Solieri has a plot by which he thinks by vanquishing Mozart, he will perversely reek revenge on God.
'Amadeus' encompasses the genius of its subject matter. With eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Abraham, it is one of the greatest films assembled. The craftsmanship is marvelous. Neville Mariner's score makes the whole experience worthwhile by itself. Elizabeth Berridge's portrayal as Mozart's wife yields are sympathy, and Tom Hulce makes the whole affair an entertaining romp. Even the priest frames our interest with his facial expressions, accentuating the audiences' horror and fascination. Not to mention the scenery and costumes that have a splendour of their own. After almost twenty-five years, 'Amadeus' is an untarnished jewel for the eyes, ears, and heart.
But, no audio on DVD even though opening music plays and picture is fine. Tried on two DVD players & Bueray. Same results-no audio.
Boo! $5.49 wasted.
Most recent customer reviews
Unfortunately, from what I have read, Mozart was not a sleazy, sex obsessed degenerate, and Antonio...Read more