Here we learn why Constanze Mozart bears such ill-will towards Salieri when she discovers him at her husband's deathbed: he has insulted and degraded her after she came to him for help. We also see deeper into the reasons why Mozart has no pupils: not only has Salieri poisoned the Emperor's mind against him, but the only promisingly lucrative teaching job he can find ends disastrously when he realises that the master of the house just wants music to quiet his barking dogs. In a humiliating coda to that episode, a drunk and desperate Wolfgang returns later to beg for money only to be coldly rejected. The structure of the picture is otherwise unaltered.
On the DVD: Amadeus--The Director's Cut 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 (the original single-disc DVD release was that crime against the format, a "flipper"). Director Milos Forman and writer Peter Shaffer provide a chatty though sporadic commentary, but they're obviously still too mesmerised by the movie to do much more than offer the odd anecdote. Disc 2 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
Feature length commentary by Director Milos Foreman and Writer Peter Shaffer
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Dolby Digital 5.1
The Making Of Amadeus Documentary
Cast/Director Career Highlights
Many special editions and director's cut offerings are little more than the addition of scenes that were dumped prior to the film's original release, and rarely have any fundamental impact on the story that is told. Fully one third of all the chapters in this film have new footage, and the changes have a very real impact on the film. Most of the new exposition is about Salieri and it makes him a much darker character, this Salieri is much more than a jealous admirer of Mozart. This man makes demands of persons and actively intervenes much more in the professional destruction of Mozart in Vienna.
One of the film's mysteries for me was why Mozart's wife held such hatred for Salieri at the close of the film. This question is answered, and it again makes for a major change in how you will view Constanze. And of course more insight is given to Mozart as well. If you are a devotee of the original film you may have trouble warming to this version, you may even be well advised to avoid it. For once you see this film you will never be able to watch the shorter version and confine your thoughts to what they were prior to seeing the additional 20 minutes of film.
There is a second disc that includes extended interviews with Milos Forman, Peter Shaffer, and many of the main characters. An interesting aspect that is shared is that this entire film was shot behind the Iron Curtain of the USSR when it was still the nemesis of The United States. The difficulties in filming in Prague were countless, and even fascinating, as the director, Milos Forman was returning to his homeland as a self-described traitor who had previously left.
I have always felt, "Amadeus", is one of the finest films ever produced, and at first I did not care for some of the additional expository material. Now that I have seen it and thought about it a bit, this version really is the complete film, and even if I were to watch the original, I believe I would enjoy it as much, or possibly even more.
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