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Amadeus (Blu-ray Book) [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

Abrahams salieri declares war against the heavens for speaking through the genius of wolfgang amadeus mozart played by hulce. Flashbacks illuminate the mad energetic brilliance of mozart and salieris struggle with his own mediocrity. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 02/10/2009 Starring: F Murray Abraham Jeffery Jones Run time: 180 minutes Rating: Pg Director: Milos Forman

The satirical sensibilities of writer Peter Shaffer and director Milos Forman (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest) were ideally matched in this Oscar-winning movie adaptation of Shaffer's hit play about the rivalry between two composers in the court of Austrian Emperor Joseph II--official royal composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), and the younger but superior prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). The conceit is absolutely delicious: Salieri secretly loathes Mozart's crude and bratty personality, but is astounded by the beauty of his music. That's the heart of Salieri's torment--although he's in a unique position to recognize and cultivate both Mozart's talent and career, he's also consumed with envy and insecurity in the face of such genius. That such magnificent music should come from such a vulgar little creature strikes Salieri as one of God's cruelest jokes, and it drives him insane. Amadeus creates peculiar and delightful contrasts between the impeccably re-created details of its lavish period setting and the jarring (but humorously refreshing and unstuffy) modern tone of its dialogue and performances--all of which serve to remind us that these were people before they became enshrined in historical and artistic legend. Jeffrey Jones, best-known as Ferris Bueller's principal, is particularly wonderful as the bumbling emperor (with the voice of a modern midlevel businessman). The film's eight Oscars include statuettes for Best Director Forman, Best Actor Abraham (Hulce was also nominated), Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews:

  • Amadeus
    not impressed with the dvd not having a cover and coming in a plastic case with the only thing on the dvd to identify it was the small print on the disk....more info
  • Digital copy work only on non Mac computer!
    Just be aware that the digital copy does not work on Mac computer (it should be illegal to advertise the product as having digital copy but not let the consumer know that it does not work on Mac, without opening the product packaging). Another similar product is DIe Hard 4 which also advertise as having digital copy but until you open the product you would not know that it does not work on Mac computers....more info
  • Extra scenes are a bit racy, but great movie!
    Love this movie. One scene was particularly revealing, so be careful when watching with children....more info
  • This is the Original Theatrical Version
    This BluRay release of of the original theatrical version of the film. If you notice the playing time and film rating you can see that this is the case. The Director's Cut version is 180 minutes and is rated R (due to some added nudity).

    Personally I believe that they should have provided both versions. This is bluray after all and disc space is not a problem. I am pleased, however, that if they had to choose, they chose to go with the original. In my opinion, the added footage of the director's cut (although adding some context for understanding character motivations) detracted from the flow of the film. Moments of humor were lost because of where the extra scenes were added, and it made the pacing of the movie drag a bit at times....more info
  • Extraordinary. Legendary. Epic. Beautiful.
    What do you get when you combine the life story of one of the greatest classical composers, two terrific actors, and a musical score and soundtrack that rivals any of the past, present, or future? You get Amadeus. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the musical prodigy himself is brought to life by the masterful acting of Tom Hulce and featured in the flashback retelling of Antonio Salieri's confessions in a mad house. As a winner of 8 Academy Awards (including Best Picture) Amadeus crosses that border and achieves true greatness. Seeing it remastered on Blu-ray is simply a sight to behold.

    The story joins us after the great composer's death with Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) confessing to the supposed murder of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. To give the priest further insight into all that transpired he regales us with the story through the eyes of the once popular musician. While Salieri was at his prime as a court composer for the Emperor of Salzbourg, Mozart was a mere child prodigy composing masterpieces as early as the age of four. When Mozart "matures" and enters Salieri's Vienna, the battle of pomp versus prodigy begins. Despite Mozart's overwhelming talent, Salieri's experience in the city's musical arena gives him an edge. But such experience can only last for so long and in time Antonio finds himself outshone by his young adversary.

    Amadeus offers stellar performances by F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce which to this day define their careers in my eyes. Abraham's turn as Salieri owes no small part to Abraham's outstanding ability to convey multiple emotions across his face in mere seconds. The interactions between Abraham and Hulce make this film. Whether Salieri is criticizing Amadeus from afar or by voice over, the development of the two as equally revered musicians with different flaws sets the two at such stark contrast. One is carefree and successful and the other a chaste musician past his prime cursing God for his fall from the spotlight. Abraham and Hulce play the roles of their lifetimes and to see it with the additional 20 minutes of the Director's cut only enhances the experience.

    Actually, that deserves special mention. I've always loved Amadeus - though I've only ever seen it in its non-Director's cut incarnation. It was always beautiful but it did have pacing problems. I used to attribute the film's problems to it being overly long - after all, keeping a story going strong for almost three hours has to be an arduous task. Yet, it's the addition of an extra 20 minutes by director Milos Forman that fixes the problem. Where Amadeus once stretched a little too thin, the newly added scenes fill out the experience. I understand the hesitation to double-dip and buy the same movie in a new incarnation - but in this case the benefits are worthwhile.

    As it only seems proper, the soundtrack to Amadeus prominently features scores by Mozart and a few by the begrudging Salieri. The final scene of the movie between Salieri and Mozart features some of the most powerful music moments; the two are in a dark candlelit room as Salieri transcribes the dying notes of Mozart's fugue. With every narration of musical note we hear its echo as a choir sings the very piece he instructs Salieri to write. As I said, the music here is beautiful and powerful giving the film's final minutes a profound air.

    As far as supporting roles go, it would take forever to name them all. One especially worthy of mention is Jeffrey Jones (of Ferris Bueller principal fame) who plays the Emperor. Jones puts on such an amused air for most of the film that he's quite fun to watch. Roderick Cook and Jonathan Moore play two of the Emperor's closest advisors and add a good deal of comedic relief to the film. Elizabeth Berridge plays Constanze Mozart and does the flighty female support well. I mention these supporting roles because they're certainly well-done - but compared to the powerhouse performances of the two leads everyone else just pales.

    Milos Forman has directed a beautiful film from Peter Shaffer's screenplay; Amadeus deserves another look. Amadeus is a wondrous spectacle of filmmaking and to see the Director's cut in such beautiful definition is fantastic.

    Blu-ray Extra Features:

    The Blu-ray edition of the Amadeus: Director's Cut gives the various audio and subtitle features, an additional Digital Copy of the film and a theatrical trailer. The case features a full-color booklet detailing production, the cast and the story behind the film.

    Director and Writer Audio Commentary:

    Just wow. While I don't equate the commentary track to the audio track of the actual film, hearing Peter Shaffer and Milos Forman discuss the intricacies of Amadeus and the performances and the lavish sets in Prague rocks the socks off of any audio commentary I've heard so far.

    "The Making of Amadeus" Documentary"

    Many DVD and Blu-ray releases have a feature just like this one- only never this long or meaningful. It only seems right that the "Making of" documentary for Amadeus would be a full hour. Just like the film it's beautifully made and well worth watching. Even if you aren't swept away by the film, "The Making of Amadeus" documentary stands on its own legs. Watch it.

    Special CD Compilation:

    The Blu-ray version comes packaged with a third bonus disc with 8 audio tracks of Mozart's music. It's a nice compilation. It doesn't feature more than one or two epic Mozart tracks and works as a sort of introduction to Mozart's works....more info
  • Excellent Film For Classical Music Lovers! Too Bad About the DVD!
    This is not the Director's Cut version and hence clocks in at "only" 160 minutes but I found myself enjoying the film so much that I didn't really feel the time. I'm a big fan of all kinds of music and Classical music is among my favourite genres and although Handel, Bach, Vivaldi and Beethoven hold greater esteem for me than does Mozart, I'm still able to appreciate his genius and so a film like this is a real treat. Irrespective of whether or not Salieri really was behind Mozart's death in real life as it is depicted here in reel life you have to admit that this is a very good film that shows how much hypocrisy and envy can conspire to destroy the truly beautiful in life.

    The problem with this one-disc dvd version though is the picture quality which hasn't been restored and so you get imperfections such as black and white spots on many frames and the resolution isn't as sharp as I would like it to be. The sound quality, however, is very good having been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and is the aspect of this dvd that I enjoyed the most. There are no Special Features here worth mentioning such as interviews with cast and crew or making-of documentaries either.

    If you are not too fussed about picture quality and/or special features though, this one-disc dvd version is a bare bones non-Director's version of a very good film for classical music lovers. Believe me when it comes to this genre, very few performers can top Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and you get them here on Dolby Digital Surround sound too!

    As for me, I'll "upgrade" to the Blu-ray version of this film as soon as I come around to getting a Blu-ray player. Hopefully, the picture quality has been restored well in that version....more info
  • Embarrassing release
    This disc features a grain filtered transfer with no 1080p detail whatsoever, instead you get smeary textures everytime something moves. Completely unacceptable for a film of this stature. WB, show some respect and release a decent and film-like version of this film on Blu Ray, not this video travesty....more info
  • Rock me Amadeus on Blu Ray!!!
    This is one heck of a Blu Ray release!!! This is the best this film has ever looked on home video,It's very nice as it includes all of the content of the 2-DVD Set release of the Diretor's Cut(the same documentary and commentary now on one Blu Ray disc instaed of 2 DVD's) and much more,the much more meaning a nice 30 page book packaging,a companion CD,and a digital copy of the movie,a stellar release from Warner Bros! Very recommended for fans of the Oscar winning film! A+...more info
  • Gratuitous Nudity
    The music of Mozart is glorious. By itself, it has sufficient power to sustain the movie from the beginning to the end. Don't look for historical accuracy here (no scholars believe that Salieri poisoned Mozart) but this is entertainment, not a documentary. The nude scene where Elizabeth Berridge strips and bares her ample breasts is totally uncalled for and destroys the logic of the film. Without the scene, Constanza rightfully resents Salieri for his jealousy of Mozart's unsurpassed composition skills. With the scene, Constanze becomes a cheap slut spurned by Salieri. But if you like gorgeous naked breasts, she sure is a hottie! The theatrical release is much better. Too bad it is not on Blu ray....more info
  • amadeus
    I got the DVD at a very good price and prompt delivery. I was very satisfied with this product....more info
  • Worth Upgrading to Blu Ray
    I already owned the DVD version of the director's cut, but I had to get this because I'm such a huge fan. Now that I own it, I think it's clear that I made the right move. The improved picture quality is nice, and the book that it is packaged in actually has a few pages to it. Also - it comes with a CD that's got a few tracks of the film's music. I can't personally use the digital copy that comes with it since it's for Windows, but it's a nice gesture and 99% of the other viewers in the world won't have that problem....more info
  • Unique perspective on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    I saw this movie several times in the past and could not pass up the opportunity to see if Blu-ray would contribute much.

    This is a unique approach to the life and contributions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is told through the filter of an acquaintances' Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) of who struggle with god. In addition, we seeing the movie of course may miss some of the play but being a movie we have replaced them with visions of Prague, where the movie was filmed.

    The only thing that can be a bit annoying to some people is the laughing style they gave Mozart (Tom Hulce) in this production.

    Be sure to watch the extra information where the different actors and the director tell about the trials and tribulations of getting a film crew in to Prague 1984 and having to deal with the secret police.

    Get a different view of the play in Midsomer Murders: The Death of a Hollow Man

    Midsomer Murders: The Death of a Hollow Man
    ...more info