Amadeus script
Amadeus (1984)
Synopsis: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) is a remarkably talented young Viennese composer who unwittingly finds a fierce rival in the disciplined and determined Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham). Resenting Mozart for both his hedonistic lifestyle and his undeniable talent, the highly religious Salieri is gradually consumed by his jealousy and becomes obsessed with Mozart's downfall, leading to a devious scheme that has dire consequences for both men.

INT. STAIRCASE OUTSIDE OLD SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT - 1823

Total darkness. We hear an old man's voice, distinct and in

distress. It is OLD SALIERI. He uses a mixture of English

and occasionally Italian.

OLD SALIERI:

Mozart! Mozart! Mozart. Forgive me!

Forgive your assassin! Mozart!

A faint light illuminates the screen. Flickeringly, we see

an eighteenth century balustrade and a flight of stone stairs.

We are looking down into the wall of the staircase from the

point of view of the landing. Up the stair is coming a

branched candlestick held by Salieri's VALET. By his side is

Salieri's COOK, bearing a large dish of sugared cakes and

biscuits. Both men are desperately worried: the Valet is

thin and middle-aged; the Cook, plump and Italian. It is

very cold. They wear shawls over their night-dresses and

clogs on their feet. They wheeze as they climb. The candles

throw their shadows up onto the peeling walls of the house,

which is evidently an old one and in bad decay. A cat scuttles

swiftly between their bare legs, as they reach the salon

door.

The Valet tries the handle. It is locked. Behind it the voice

goes on, rising in volume.

OLD SALIERI:

Show some mercy! I beg you. I beg

you! Show mercy to a guilty man!

The Valet knocks gently on the door. The voice stops.

VALET:

Open the door, Signore! Please! Be

good now! We've brought you something

special. Something you're going to

love.

Silence.

VALET:

Signore Salieri! Open the door. Come

now. Be good!

The voice of Old Salieri continues again, further off now,

and louder. We hear a noise as if a window is being opened.

OLD SALIERI:

Mozart! Mozart! I confess it! Listen!

I confess!

The two servants look at each other in alarm. Then the Valet

hands the candlestick to the Cook and takes a sugared cake

from the dish, scrambling as quickly as he can back down the

stairs.

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE SALIERI'S HOUSE - VIENNA - NIGHT

The street is filled with people: ten cabs with drivers,

five children, fifteen adults, two doormen, fifteen dancing

couples and a sled and three dogs. It is a windy night. Snow

is falling and whirling about. People are passing on foot,

holding their cloaks tightly around them. Some of them are

revelers in fancy dress: they wear masks on their faces or

hanging around their necks, as if returning from parties.

Now they are glancing up at the facade of the old house.

The window above the street is open and Old Salieri stands

there calling to the sky: a sharp-featured, white-haired

Italian over seventy years old, wearing a stained dressing

gown.

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Peter Shaffer

Sir Peter Levin Shaffer, CBE was an English playwright and screenwriter of numerous award-winning plays, several of which have been turned into films. more…

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