A Real Genius

        The movie Amadeus, directed in 1984 by Milos Forman, is the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a famous composer born in 1756. The film shows Mozart's life from the time he was a little boy playing piano for kings, to his untimely death in 1791. Some of the happenings in the movie are falsified, but the main plot is close to Mozart's life. The story of Mozart is narrated by Salieri himself (Amadeus).

        The movie shows only a small glimpse of Mozart's childhood. In real life, not only did Mozart's father, Leopold, drag his son to perform in front of royalty, but he also brought his daughter, Maria Anna, who was a really fine keyboardist. Leopold wanted to show off his children to everyone ("Wolfgang").

        In Amadeus, Mozart (Tom Hulce) has only one child with his wife, but in actuality he had more children than that. This is just one of the differences between the movie and the real life prodigy. Another example is that the movie makes it seem as if Mozart had little money, but he was really pretty rich. The movie does have scenes which explained how much Mozart liked to go out and party, but it does not really explain that he had a lot of money to go out and do that. Mozart kept up his partying habits until his death, which may have to deal with the reason he died (Amadeus).

        There has been debate on whether the composer Antonio Salieri had to do with Mozart's death. There has been speculation for many years, but it has now been confirmed to not be true. Mozart died from drinking too much alcohol, among other things. Salieri was committed to an asylum, as it mentions in the movie (Smeets). In the movie, Salieri tells the doctors at the asylum that he had killed Mozart. Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) has been put in the asylum because he had tried to commit suicide by slitting his throat, which never really happened (Amadeus). Salieri was actually committed to the asylum because his health was deteriorating. Salieri died on May 7th, 1825 at the age of seventy-five, about a quarter of a century after Mozart.

Works Cited

Amadeus. Dir. Milos Forman. Perfs. F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge. Film. Warner Home Video, 1984. 29 Apr. 2006 (http://w3.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/mozart.html).

Smeets, Joseph. “Antonio Salieri.” 2005. 30 Apr. 2006 (http://www.classical-composers.org/cgi-bin/ccd.cgi?comp=salieri).

“Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).” Classic Music Pages 1996. 29 Apr. 2006 .

Alaina Schroth

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