Amadeus

  • Review Date: February 24, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 158 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Great movie, but not quite true to history.
  • Review Date: February 24, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 158 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Between the talented but immature Mozart and the cultured but poisonous Salieri, the most admirable person onscreen is Mozart's sensible wife, powerless to save him.

Violence

The main character attempts suicide by slashing his wrists.

Sex

Mozart enjoys romps with his wife -- some kissing and groping shown. A naked backside and partial breasts shown.

Language

Some raunchy language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking, sometimes to excess.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this movie was rated R, because of some naked tush, a brief shot of breasts, and a bit of hanky panky, there's little else of concern for teenage viewers. One character attempts suicide by slashing his wrists. Parents should also know that there's no real evidence to back up this movie's plot.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

The aged Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) has just attempted suicide in an asylum and wants to confess his mortal sins to a tremulous young priest. Three decades previously, Salieri held an exalted position as the state composer in the Austrian Imperial palace of the 1700s. Into the royal court comes a potential rival in the form of music prodigy named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce), whose lively melodies, tossed off effortlessly by the 26-year-old, are far superior to Salieri's. But what really sends the older man seething is Mozart's mannerisms; he's a grinning goof with a high-pitched giggle and an adolescent's social skills, and he playfully mocks Salieri's stiff demeanor and formal, uninspired style of musicianship. Salieri embarks on an elaborate campaign to destroy a man-child on whom he believes God has unfairly bestowed creative genius.

Mozart has plenty of weak points; he gambles away his money and carouses with Viennese night life, then works feverishly on operas and symphonies to support his small household. Salieri's insinuations keep Mozart from enjoying a comfortable salary from the Emperor, and he discovers another way to mess with Mozart's head through the composer's troubled relationship with a demanding, disapproving father. All the while Salieri pretends to be Mozart's truest friend, and he's tremendously moved by Mozart's artistic output, even as he ensures his ailing victim won't live past his early 30s.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While the real Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was not the scruffy and impish "sk8er boi" type depicted here -- and there's no real evidence his jealous rival Salieri engaged in a conspiracy to murder him -- AMADEUS does rock as a morality drama using these real-life figures and their music in an ornate, if lengthy, tale of envy, talent and wicked manipulation. Some music scholars wince at the distorted images of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and lesser-known composer Antonio Salieri perpetuated by this multiple Oscar winner (and the Peter Shaffer play that inspired it). One of the movie's strongest images is an ominous Dr. Doom-masked figure (an agent of Salieri) pushing Mozart over the edge by hiring the struggling composer to write a funeral requiem. It really did happen, but this culprit was actually a notorious fraud who regularly commissioned pieces from down-on-their-luck composers, then passed the work off as his own. And, while Salieri's jealousy of Mozart is well-documented, there's no evidence he deliberately drove the upstart to an untimely grave.

Czech-born director Milos Foreman draws viewers in by having his largely-American cast speak with their own voices in plain English rather than performing a scale of out-of-tune accents and dialects.

Families can talk about...

  • Parents can talk about how historical movies and TV shows can distort the truth. What sources do you use to learn about history? When do you question the accuracy of a historical tale?

  • Are there any role models in this story?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 19, 1984
DVD release date:September 24, 2002
Cast:Elizabeth Berridge, F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce
Director:Milos Forman
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Drama
Run time:158 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:brief nudity

This review of Amadeus was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous April 15, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

NC-17 with the Edited TV Version or 1984 Film but still has that Sex Scene so R.

A Sex Scene then Female Nudity After = Not for kids. This film is for adults to see. I have say this Rating will need to be Rated NC-17 as will. I seen this at 15 Years old. Not a good film for kids or ban the film from being played in Schools.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written bynaturelovers October 8, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

perfect movie - kids won't appreciate

The acting is superb, the music heavenly and I don't really care it's not true to history. Most historic accounts aren't... It gets us to listen to beautiful music and appreciate his genius! This is one of my most favorite movies! In America only for kids over 16 because of the puritan fear of nudity!
Adult Written bysteven009 December 9, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
There is more than just "a naked backside". There is a scene when Mozart's wife goes to sleep with Salieri so he will let Mozart teach lessons to someone. It shows her stripping and makes no effort to hide her completely bare torso. I didn't finish the movie, so I don't know what else there is, but it is certainly worse than "Sex: Mozart enjoys romps with his wife. A naked backside."
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bysuper mello January 11, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

great movie

this is a great movie for musicians to watch, but my non musician friends really enjoyed it too. it was really an interesting perspective, and even though its a ficticious story, there were some really interesting bits of truth.

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