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. --Mark Walker
Oscar-winning biopic, based on the play by Peter Shaffer, which tells the story of the composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) and his relationship to the man he later claims to have murdered, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). Having already gained the confidence of the Emperor, Salieri is frustrated by the arrival of the genius Mozart, a man who quickly usurps his position in the court. His frustration is magnified by both his disapproval of Mozart's vulgar behaviour and by the fact that it is he, more so than anyone else, who can appreciate the true beauty of the young composer's work. When Mozart dies under mysterious circumstances, can it really be Salieri who is to blame?