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A play and film written in 1979 by Peter Shaffer, Amadeus is loosely based on the life of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. These works were inspired by Mozart and Salieri, a short play by Aleksandr Pushkin.

Amadeus tells Mozart's story from the point of view of court composer Antonio Salieri, who is presented as a caricature of jealous mediocrity. The drama pins Mozart's untimely death on the machinations of Salieri, who is later driven insane with guilt and frustration.

It is reputed that there was a real antipathy between Mozart and Salieri, and that Mozart did at one point accuse Salieri of attempting to poison him. However, the story told in Amadeus is a work of dramatic fiction. The ending of the film differs considerably from the ending of the original play.

In 1984, Milos Forman directed the screen version of Amadeus, which featured F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce as Salieri and Mozart. The film won four Academy Awards that year, for Best Picture, Best Actor (F. Murray Abraham), Director (Milos Forman), and Art Direction (Patrizia von Brandenstein and Karel Cerny ). It was the inspiration for Falco's song by the same name.

Last updated: 11-06-2004 12:02:04