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* Milos Fotman : Born in 1932 in Caslav, a small town outside of Prague, Forman lost both his parents in the Nazi death camps during World War II. In the early 1950s, Forman enrolled in the newly founded Film Institute at the University of Prague, where he worked with many of the major figures of the "Golden Age of Czech Cinema." It was there that he first began to form his unique visual style... When Soviet tanks rumbled into Prague in August 1968, Forman was in Paris negotiating for the production of TAKING OFF (1971), his first American film. Claiming that he was out of the country illegally, his Czech studio fired him, forcing Forman to emigrate to New York. TAKING OFF, a look at the youth protest movements of the late 1960s was a financial disaster, despite its critical acclaim. It was not until his later collaboration with producer Saul Zaentz, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST, that he firmly established his American reputation. The powerful film, adapted from Ken Keseys book of the same title, dealt with life inside an American mental institution. Considered one of the masterpieces of American film, it swept the Academy Awards, winning all five major Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay).

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Amadeus (1984) 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.
Amadeus - Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1984) 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.

Amadeus: Original Soundtrack Recording [SOUNDTRACK]


Amadeus : A Play by Peter Shaffer by Peter Shaffer -- 0riginating at the National Theatre of Great Britain, Amadeus was the recipient of both the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics Award. In the United States, the play won the coveted Tony Award and went on to become a critically acclaimed major motion picture winning eight Oscars, including Best Picture.
Now, this extraordinary work about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is available with a new preface by Peter Shaffer and a new introduction by the director of the 1998 Broadway revival, Sir Peter Hall. Amadeus is a must-have for classical music buffs, theatre lovers, and aficionados of historical fiction.

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Salieri finds absolute beauty in music and so asks God to grant him the gift of artistic inspiration m his compositions He came to appreciate the beauty of music at a young age, noting, "when I was ten a spray of sounded notes would make me dizzy almost to falling." Unfortunately, he finds this absolute beauty only in Mozart's compositions. When Mozart plays, he confesses that he hears the "voice of God," and he responds with such delight that it makes him tremble.

God and Religion

... for film study class:

* Define existentialism and discover how playwrights have incorporated this theme in their plays. What existential elements do you find in Amadeus?

* Read Shaffer's Equus and compare its themes to those of Amadeus. What differences do you find? What similarities do you find? Can you find a pattern in both plays?


Brustem, Robert, Review in New Republic, January 17, 1981.

Gelatt, Roland, "Peter Shaffer's Amadeus: A Controversial Hit," in Saturday Review, November 1980, pp. 11-14.

Gianakaris, C. J. , Review in Opera News, Vol. 46, February 27, 1982.

Hinden, Michael, "Trying to Like Shaffer," in Comparative Drama, Vol. 19, Spring 1985, pp. 14-29.

Huber, Werner, and Hubert Zapf, "On the Structure of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus," in Modem Drama, Vol. 27, No. 3, September 1984, pp. 299-313.


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