Movie Discussion: Amadeus

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My wife, Jennifer, and I sat down and watched the film Sunday night and I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts. I’m going to throw out a few things that jumped out at me and from there the floor will be open. Feel free to jump in and join the conversation. Let’s try to keep the discussion away from technical critique and aimed more toward an examination of story, character, and theme. Here we go:

1. The Prodigal Son – It’s really easy to see the parallels between Mozart as the prodigal son of the parable and Salieri as the elder brother. The movie, however, isn’t interested in the the resolution of the biblical parable, but focuses instead on the elder brother’s progression from envy to hatred and self-destruction.

2. Historicity – Neither Mozart nor Salieri are portrayed favorably, nor even particularly accurately. From what I can tell, Mozart wasn’t the buffoon he was portrayed as, and Salieri wasn’t a mediocrity. I think there are a wealth of artistic reasons for doing this, but I do wonder at what point a writer crosses a line and becomes irresponsible in his depiction of history.

3. The Love of God – The meaning of the name “Amadeus” is “The Love of God.” So the film essentially depicts the way in which one man’s self-righteousness and envy result in him doing everything in his power to destroy the “love of God.”

4. The Fool Who Shames the Wise – I think there’s a deliberate statement being made by the way Mozart is depicted as a fool. He’s cast as a sort of court jester who, in classic Shakespearian form, is the foil to the pseudo-wisdom of kings and wisemen.

5. The Hunt for God – This is considered one of the major themes of Peter Shaffer’s work and Amadeus certainly explores this frontier. In the case of Amadeus, what do you think Shaffer discovers about the nature of God?

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


41 Comments

  1. Peter B

    Does the parable of the two lost sons have a resolution? The younger son’s restoration doesn’t end the story; rather, Jesus closes with an invitation to the “older sons” who had initially prompted the telling with their criticism. That open-ended conclusion matches up with the film rather well, particularly after the younger son (WAM) is “welcomed home” and Salieri is left with his doubt.

    Re. historical accuracy, Shaffer says the following: “From the start we agreed upon one thing: we were not making an objective life of Wolfgang Mozart. This cannot be stressed too strongly.” (Click here for a moderate deconstruction) I would like to know what he actually wanted to make here. Was it a warning against harboring envy, or carelessness, or undue trust? The guesses could go on for quite a while.

  2. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    That’s a great point about the parable, Peter. It’s typical, I think, for us to focus on the prodigal son’s welcome and gloss over the rest of the story. There’s no mistaking, though, that Amadeus is firmly focused on the elder brother.

    For the record, I’m all for Shaffer’s “artistic” treatment of history in the film. I think it’s a shame, though, that so many people see it as a “biopic,” when it’s certainly not. I’ve also heard others say that in Mozart and Salieri, Shaffer is drawing caricatures (large and startling figures, as Flannery might put it), painting them in exaggerated strokes as Mozart might have in one of his own operas. I love that idea.

  3. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    As I re-read that comment, I realize that there is indeed mistaking the focus of the film, as I mention in the second paragraph. Always fun to instantly contradict oneself.

  4. Abe Goolsby

    One of my very favorite films. I love it especially for the way it highlights Mozart’s music, for F. Murray Abraham’s world-class performance, and for the drama—however you interpret it, the narrative, the visuals, and the music are artfully combined to gripping effect.

    I also think it’s a great example of a writer/director deliberately altering the facts of history for specific thematic purposes. Shakespeare did no less, after all, in pretty much all of his plays. As long as one keeps that firmly in mind so as not to mistake “Amadeus” for the actual, historical Mozart (which would indeed be tragic), I’m all for it.

    I think that thematically it represents, as has already been suggested, a rather delightfully ambiguous conundrum. (Is it TRAGIcomic or COMItragic?) I certainly know that, as an artist, envy is a constant temptation. There’s never any shortage of other folks upon whom the Lord seems to have poured out his blessings and talents with more liberality, some of whom clearly don’t “deserve” it, or haven’t worked nearly as hard to “earn” it. This film would seem to acknowledge and emphasize God’s sovereign providence in doing so, and to serve as a potent reminder to glorify the Giver and to demonstrate heartfelt appreciation and honor for those gifts, wherever they are manifested, carefully guarding against the bitterness of jealousy.

    I can’t say that I’m really familiar with Shaffer’s other work. Perhaps I should explore it some more, though I’ve heard some of his other stuff is pretty “out there”.

  5. Loren

    It was great to see this again–it’s been years. I love the points you drew out, Pete, particularly the parallel to the prodigal son.

    A few of the things that struck me in this viewing:
    1) Salieri’s shift in his view of God. It seems to be portrayed as a wrong shift–that despite how it seems God has neglected him and favored Mozart, Salieri’s response to it is definitely not healthy. I wonder if that angle would be as evident if the film were made today.
    2) I loved how right at the end Mozart asks for Salieri’s forgiveness. Salieri is clearly thrown by it because it flies in the face of all of his plans for Mozart’s demise. And after all, he’s rejected the God of forgiveness and chosen vengeance, so what can he do now? I’m sure this is one of the things that sends him over the edge.
    3) Maybe because I’m a mom and wife, I appreciated the portrayal of Mozart’s wife. She loves him best, and understands him more than most. It’s hard to see Mozart driving their family into poverty, and not seeming to truly listen to her.
    4) I love the way the music is described by Salieri and then woven into the soundtrack.

    One final note, that’s more on the technical aspect of things, but one thing that did bug me in this viewing is how very American Mozart, Stanzi and the emporor’s accents/conversational approach were. It jars every time, and I wonder if it’s because of when the movie was made. I’d love to have more insight on that from someone who’s got more cinematic understanding!

    So how does Shaffer do the stageplay differently?

  6. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    I definitely see Salieri’s tale as a cautionary one, a warning against worshipping the gift rather than the giver. And that final scene between the two of them is pretty incredible.

    On your final note, Loren, I agree that it’s distracting. (I thought the girl who played Constanze was pretty awful, no matter what she sounded like.) Early on in the movie I made the comment to Jennifer that if it had been made today, everyone would have been speaking in english accents. With the exception of F. Murray Abraham (who was amazing) the american often put me off as well. Not sure why unless we’re just so unused to hearing our own dialect in that context.

  7. yankeegospelgirl

    One scene that interests me is the moment at the end after Salieri has finished his tragic tale, and the priest is clutching his crucifix without saying a word. It’s as if he has no idea how to respond, he’s just dumbfounded.

    But would a real priest respond in that way—unable to speak any grace into Salieri’s darkness? Sure, we’re given to understand that the story takes a long time to tell, so one needs a bit of time to absorb it and organize a suitable response. But there are appropriate, non-cheesy things the priest could say at the moment. He could ask Salieri if he is truly penitent, and if yes, offer to pray for his forgiveness. Offer the cross. Offer the blood that can make the vilest sinner clean. But don’t just let sin and despair have the final word, as though it must by necessity sweep all before it.

  8. Bethany

    Yankeegospelgirl, I thought the end was really interesting too. My dad is a pastor and though he has this annoying habit of asking what you think instead of giving straight answers :), I can’t see him remaining silent in the face of such darkness. At first it upset me. But then, as Salieri went down the hall saying “I absolve you,” I began to wonder, was he actually penitent? I realized that when he said that God was merciful and let Mozart die, and made him live, he didn’t say he was was tortured by a life of guilt, but by a life of watching his own music fade into obscurity.His only moment of change was like you said Loren, when Mozart apologized. And in the horror of that realization, I like the priest’s reaction. In real life I agree he should have said something, but in his face, I see the horror of looking on an evil that is completely unrepentant, and the punch that gives you, to the point of robbing you of words. I thought he did that look perfectly. They don’t teach you for these situations in seminary, I think.

    As for the prodigal son, I’m always amazed and horrified at how much I see myself in the older son’s character. When the movie closed I was angry at Salieri for being so hateful. Later that night, I tried to do some writing. It was meant to be a form of worship, looking at a situation I was in and eventually turning it back to God through my writing. But the words wouldn’t come out like I wanted them to and I eventually put it down in frustration, and prayed sort of angrily that if God didn’t want to give me the words then I wouldn’t write Him the poem. It suddenly hit me what I was doing. How perfectly I was playing out Salieri’s part (minus murder of course!) Ugh. It’s so hard to see ourselves in the villain isn’t it? But at the same time very important if we don’t want to reach the low he did, I guess. So for that reason, I’m very glad for the movie.

    I can’t resist chiming in on the American accents situation- I kind of liked it. I felt like it gave the actors a chance to not be forced because they were focusing more on their character than the accent he or she should have been using. It did sound pretty weird, but I liked it.

  9. Laura Peterson

    I’m enjoying reading all these comments, folks. I tend to be a long-term processor so I’m still thinking about this, but one thing that struck me as I watched was the major internal battle that Salieri must have felt, between his obvious love and admiration for the music but the hatred he felt toward Mozart. I think it was Don Giovanni that Salieri says he blocked from being performed more than 5 times…but he himself went to see every performance! I think that tension more than anything else made me feel sorry for him. That’s quite a war, to have the most beautiful and most ugly things to you linked like that. It also made me think that maybe he would change his mind about Mozart. In the ending scene, Salieri seemed to thrilled to be part of the process, so in awe of the music. Even he seemed unsure if he was pushing Mozart to finish because he wanted more of the music or if it was because he was hoping to work him to death.

  10. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    Remember that Salieri says it wasn’t Mozart he was at war with, it was God. Mozart was only the vessel through whom he conducted his war. That’s so insidious that it gives me the shivers, and it’s what makes Salieri such a great character. He’s so simple, so complex, and so very, very lost.

    Like Bethany, I was a little horrified to hear Salieri praying in a way that I have myself at times (“Lord speak through me, etc.”). But it’s an important distinction that Salieri also prayed for fame, if only just a little, and that’s what unravelled him. He craved the recognition of having glorified God, rather than merely the skill and opportunity—which he certainly had.

    I think one of the most tragic aspects of this is that at any moment it’s clear that he could have accepted Amadeus and been a part of something beautiful, but because he coveted fame for himself, in his own way, he despised and destroyed what might have saved him. Transpose “Amadeus” for its meaning (“the love of God”) there and I think you have a primary theme of the film.

  11. Peter B

    Remember that Salieri says it wasn’t Mozart he was at war with, it was God.

    “That Sam-I-am! That Sam-I-am! I do not like that Sam-I-am!”

    It was never really about the green eggs and ham.

  12. Laura Peterson

    Hmm, good point Pete. Maybe that is really the tension I was seeing, the struggle to strike back at something that’s not concrete.

    The scene with Salieri praying as a little boy – yes, as soon as he prayed “make me immortal,” I thought “That’s gonna be trouble.”

  13. Kristi

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder how many of you are just seeing the movie for the first time. It’s been a part of my vernacular most of my life, so it’s hard for me to come up with memories of my first impressions.

  14. yankeegospelgirl

    I just saw it once, about a year ago. Any comments I make are just what I remember from that first viewing. Just couldn’t make the time to watch it again, and I have a pretty good memory so it’s still reasonably fresh.

  15. Loren Warnemuende

    I think it’s been at least fifteen years since I’ve seen it, too, so I’d forgotten a lot. But like you, Kristi, it’s been a part of my life for much longer, and the essence of it has left an impression over the years.

    Something in the discussion here concerning Salieri’s covetousness, and what that devolved into reminded me of an area where God has been convicting me lately. I’m doing a Bible study in Philippians, and in one lesson we were challenged to pray Philippians 1:9-11 for believers in our lives (“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ…”). It was easy at first, praying for ones I care for, but then I felt pressed to pray for some believers whom I am having a hard time with, because I feel they are drifting from the truth, or with whom I have a personality clash. Praying this was really eye-opening. I could literally feel my heart softened toward these folks. Kind of scary, to tell the truth, because I’d often rather pound into them what I see as the truth.

    So the connection: imagine how Salieri’s trajectory would have changed if he had truly sought Mozart’s best or longed for God to work in himself. …Of course, that would have destroyed the whole plot line of the movie, but it makes one think!

  16. Wes Driver

    Fascinating discussion here, especially as it pertains to our stage production. Much of what you’re talking about (particularly Prodigal Son angle) are things we first discussed in our approach to the material. Of course, there are so many other comparisons to draw from Scripture–consider the parallels to Cain and Abel. Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted by God (haunting thought), and so he destroys his brother, who was favored. The play echoes the biblical resonances even more.

    Of course, we, as Christians, often look to the element of salvation or hope implicit in the story–which I think is there though perhaps not fully intended to be seen that way by Shaffer. In particular, Pete, I think of your comment . . .

    “I think one of the most tragic aspects of this is that at any moment it’s clear that he could have accepted Amadeus and been a part of something beautiful, but because he coveted fame for himself, in his own way, he despised and destroyed what might have saved him. Transpose “Amadeus” for its meaning (“the love of God”) there and I think you have a primary theme of the film.”

    This is on-the-mark for some of the themes we hoped to pull out clearly in our production. I’m not convinced, though, that Shaffer intended that exactly.

    The issue with accents is a tricky one. Historically, they would all have such different accents–and do we really want to hear Mozart and Joseph speaking with strong German accents? The approach in the film, I think, is correct, but Tom Hulce and Jeffrey Jones and a few others have such flat voices that it comes off a little strange–whereas F. Murray Abraham, who has a more theatrical, classical approach to the American accent makes it work.

  17. Matthew Linder

    What I find interesting about Salieri’s engagement with God is that God did grant those musical gifts to him but not on the terms that Salieri desired. He thought that making music to glorify God would lead to his personal fame and this is why Salieri is continually expresses disappointment throughout the film. Instead of praising God in giving those same musical gifts to Mozart, he wonders why God did not lavish him with the same genius. He fails to understand that God was using him for a purpose but in a different manner than Mozart’s.

    It is that career/artistic jealousy that I can relate too since I have had those thoughts, “Why is so and so being utilized in this manner by God when I am not.” My failing is that I want the fame and attention when God has a specific purpose in using me for his glory that might not include any of that and probably for good reason too.

    Salieri’s complaint to God about choosing Mozart as his instrument, jives (not the complaint but who God chooses to act through) with the type of sinful people we see in the bible that God chooses as his agents. Time after time it is never the person we would expect: Saul of Tarsus (murderer), Abraham (pagan and adulterer), Lot (incest), Moses (murderer), Solomon (womanizer and serial adulterer), etc. All did horrible things in their lives yet they all believed on God and it was credited to them as righteousness.

    We tend to think that God could not act through sinful people and want to raise our self-righteous flag telling him, “I have been faithful so why don’t you bless me with those gifts and not that person who sinned against you.” In that attitude we miss the point of the cross as an undeserved gift, something that Salieri unfortunately could not wrap his mind around.

    The American accents did not really bother me. It would have bothered me if they were all English accents since whenever a film is set in any part of historical Europe the characters seem to always have that accent. That I think is pretty lame.

  18. yankeegospelgirl

    J. Vernon McGee said something humorous about Solomon once. As he was teaching through the OT and got to the part where David died, he said, “And then Solomon built the temple, and frankly it was about the only good thing he ever did.”

    I wouldn’t put Moses down as a murderer, the Bible makes it clear he was defending somebody innocent from brutal bodily harm. It doesn’t even specify whether Moses meant to kill the man or not—could have been technically manslaughter.

  19. Connie Cartisano

    About the historicity of the film. While I do not suggest contradicting established facts, who is to say that the historic record is not itself a little tainted?

    I remember realizing that “history” is not objective. I was a senior in college. I had grown up being taught “the facts” of history: dates, places, names. The manner of instruction left no need for conceptual analysis of their validity, let alone the teacher’s (or the textbook author’s) worldview.

    This savvy college professor pointed out that the one who reports historic events has seen them from a certain point of view, which inevitably shapes the record.

    This new thought opened up a whole different way of looking at reality, at what I merely assumed to be true.

  20. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    The most damaging effects of the elder-brother-consciousness are a studious goodness, a lack of humor and play. The real joy of creation is not in “I created it” but in the creation of it, and in the thing itself.

    I have a bass instruction video by Jaco Pastorius. When he is talking, he can seem very egocentric. But when he goes to play his bass, all disappears but the music. He is no longer self-conscious, at least for the moment.

    Salieri’s character in Amadeus seems to be so studiously self-conscious, so striving after greatness, that his very effort, seriousness, and lack of play and humor cripple him in his acts of creation, and even socially. He is really a study in living a fleshly life, even more so than Mozart. His self-righteousness, critical nature, and hatred are worse than all of Mozart’s sensualities. A parallel would be Les Miserables in the characters of Javert and Jean Val Jean, though Val Jean is redeemed early on. But still, in both stories, “the son of the bondwoman persecutes the son of the freewoman.” Religiously bound people hate when others are free.

    We can ask God to bless us in our desire to be great – spiritually, musically, or in any other way. But he won’t usually do it. “The desire to be known of men is destructive of all true greatness; nor is there any honor worth calling honor but what comes from an unseen source. To be great is to seem small in the eyes of men.” George MacDonald. We don’t like that, but it is fact. If we pray for God to work his will in our life no matter what the cost, he will always answer that prayer.

  21. Aaron

    First to weigh in on the accents, I think this was an attempt by Forman to “accent” (pardon the pun) the disparity between the greatness of Amadeus’s music and the commonness of his character. Salieri (and the people who surround him in the emperor’s court) speaks as a person in the upper class. Amadeus, despite his talent and acclaim, speaks as a plain commoner, as do the people who surround him. It adds another layer of striking contrast, though an almost subliminal one, between Salieri’s world and Mozart’s.

    I see much more of myself in Salieri than in Mozart. I see the same jealousies at play, or at least the same frustrations of knowing that my ability to create is so limited compared to so many others. What Salieri fails to do is celebrate his mediocrity. Or at least, accept it, embrace the Love of God, and join in His creative work, no matter how small or simple a part he may play. It is interesting to notice in the film that, while Mozart does tease him at times, nowhere is Salieri referred to as “mediocre” except by himself! The problem is with his own perception and self-obsession. None of us will be as great as we wish we could be, not in our art, our talents or vocations. We simply must be faithful, and do our best to co-create with our Creator. Because, “anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”

    Not everything has to be “great”, and in fact, there is incredible joy in the common. This was Mozart’s revelation at the vaudeville performance (complete with the horse that defecates doves!). The simple, uninhibited joy of a common singalong is in itself amazingly beautiful. Its very lowliness is what makes it so sublime.

  22. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    Aaron,

    I think the desire to be great sets up the fear of not being great.

    The fear of not being great induces self-consciousness and tension into the creative act. Instead of creating like a child, from sheer joy (like Mozart), we labor and strive.

    Not that there isn’t sometimes labor in making good art. But it comes out of the love of the thing itself, not out of the perceived future benefits of attaining the creation of good art. Salieri’s own perception of his mediocrity and his self-obsession shoot him in both feet and render him unable to be free in creating. He cannot get beyond rules which he thinks will make him great, into love of the thing. Even when he presents his piece to the king for Mozart’s arrival, he is self-conscious, flushed with his own desire to gain acclaim, especially from a king.

    Javert is much the same. His obsession with “not breaking the rules” leaves him unable to be free to break them in the interest and pursuit of loving God and others. Mozart is an intolerable insult and puzzle to Salieri; Val Jean sticks in the craw of Javert’s consciousness and drives him mad.

  23. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    Great discussion, guys. I’ve really looking forward to seeing the stage version. From what I can tell, it strips away a lot of the “fluff” of the movie and contains a lot more of Salieri’s actual thought process. Can’t wait.

  24. yankeegospelgirl

    If I can offer a little observation on Mozart’s character development, I find it interesting that he starts to become more likable after he becomes really miserable. It’s when Salieri begins pulling down his house of cards that Mozart begins to lose a little of that childishness and tries to take on the responsibility of caring for his family and meeting his obligations. It’s tragic, of course, and we feel for his character. But it’s almost as if he’s starting to actually become a man. Then, of course, he dies.

  25. Matthew Linder

    Yankee Gospel Girl that is a really interesting observation about Mozart. It is as if once he encounters the real world and he is in relationships with others that he can see the impact of his decisions. You could almost view his development as a character going from being man stuck in adolescence to being a man who takes on the responsibility of taking care of his family. But as you state he is unable to fully realize his manhood because his life is cut short.

  26. yankeegospelgirl

    Thanks Matt, I think I read a reviewer who said something similar—that Mozart changes from spoiled, foppish brat to tortured soul, and the performance takes on a certain darkness as a result.

  27. Nancy Rach

    (happy dancing in my seat) I am pleased to announce that the Lord blessed me today with a copy of the movie so that I can watch it. We are missionaries in Mexico and to find a copy here to watch is not going to happen, unless the Lord moves Walmart of Mexico to have it for sale today on a bin of past Oscar-winning flicks. Tadaaa!

    A couple of thoughts before I watch it, the struggle depicted in the movie (from what I am gathering from the comment section), is a common one. In the New Testament, Peter struggled with it too… check out the last chapter of John. Jesus had to remind Peter that he wasn’t to be concerned with what plan the Lord had for John – only his own path. As Aslan points out in Narnia, he is talking to us about our story, not someone else’s story.

  28. Jennifer Kennedy

    “Amadeus” has long been one of my favorite films for many of the reasons already outlined above. But one of the ideas that strikes me every time I watch it relate to God’s sovereignty – He does what He will with and through whom He will. I think Shaffer exacerbates this idea in the very act of making the character of Mozart so vulgar and immature. If he had depicted the recipient of God’s gift of virtuosity as he mostly likely was – a up-and-coming composer whose celebrity was based largely on having been a “child prodigy”, now grown-up and struggling to break into the Viennese musical circle by competing for patrons and commissions – well, it doesn’t make as exciting a premise for a story. It would be understandable why God might want to bless a young man whose only vices are youth and commonness. But one might share Salieri’s incredulity at His choice of a lascivious and irreverent clown of a boy to give abilities which superseded mere talent. Mozart at 14 transcribed the “Allegri Miserere”, a work performed in the Sistine Chapel which was forbidden to be copied or published, after one hearing (well, he went back to one more performance to make sure he got it right). He rarely edited his compositions, producing “finished” 1st manuscripts, as if, as Salieri puts it, he was “taking dictation” from God. Haven’t all of us at one time or another seen divine gifts in the oddest places and wondered like Salieri, “What was God up to?” It reminds me that I should heed the command that Salieri did not – “Mind thou thy own duty, the present duty, follow thou me.”

  29. Becca

    Oh, man. I’ve watched this over 20 times, and I almost never watch movies. In fact, I can’t think of any another film I’ve watched more than three times. As a kid, I would just play it over, and over, and over. Fascinated. Grieved. Drawn to the idea of genius/creativity being an undeserved gift.

    Some of the scenes that were deleted from the film are very important. They change the feeling of the movie entirely. Have you seen those?

  30. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    We watched the director’s cut, and while I don’t know exactly what was added, I definitely thought it ran long (it’s 30 mins longer). From what I have read of the stageplay, though, there’s a LOT more meaty Salieri vs. God action than the movie had. Cannot wait to see the play this weekend.

  31. Jennifer

    Well, the scene in the director’s cut that was a jawdropper for me was where Stanzi and Salieri slept together (well, I can’t remember if she actually goes through with it) but it changed the way I viewed Salieri (and, to a lesser extent, Constanza) entirely. I’ve never seen the stage version and I wonder if this is in it

  32. Loren

    Hmmm, I don’t think I saw a director’s cut, particularly if it included that scene with Stanzi and Salieri you’re describing, Jennifer.

    Becca, how did the extended version affect your take?

  33. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    They don’t do anything. She offers herself and Salieri rejects (humiliates) her. I can’t imagine how that scene could be cut. It has to be in both versions (though the theatrical is probably less explicit).

  34. Aaron

    I also saw the Director’s Cut. I think the scene being referenced is when Salieri promises Stanzi that he will help Mozart if she agrees to come to him secretly. In the scene, he ends up doing nothing with her, except to humiliate and shame her. It’s a brutal scene, and, I think, shows how self-righteousness can inflict great evil.

  35. Jennifer

    I guess the version to which I referred would be an extended version which included scenes that were absent from the original release. I’ve seen the movie about 15-20 times and only viewed the extended one once – when I ordered it from Netflix – I didn’t even realize it was an extended version until I started watching it. I really like the original version better…I found it hard to identify with Salieri in the extended…much more cruel.

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