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script

soundtrack : music as character/hero

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Amadeus, Forman

---- from SCRIPT page :

1 INT. STAIRCASE OUTSIDE OLD SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT - 1823 1
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.


2	EXT.   THE STREET OUTSIDE SALIERI ‘S HOUSE - VIENNA - NIGHT	2

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 par-
ties.  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.

OLD SALIERI
Mozart!  Mozart!  I cannot bear it any longer!  I confess!  I confess 
what I did!  I'm guilty!  I killed you!  Sir  I confess!  I killed you!

The door of the house bursts open.  The Valet hobbles out, holding the sugared 
cake.  The wind catches at his shawl.

OLD SALIERI
Mozart, perdonami!  Forgive your assassin! Pietą!  Pietą!  Forgive 
your assassin!  Forgive me!  Forgive!  Forgive!

VALET
(looking up to the window)
That's all right, Signore!  He heard you!  He forgave you!  He 
wants you to go inside now and shut the window!

Old Salieri stares down at him.  Some of the passersby have now stopped and are 
watching this spectacle.

VALET
Come on, Signore!  Look what I have for you!  I can't give it to 
you from down here, can I?

Old Salieri looks at him in contempt.  Then he turns away back into the room, 
shutting the window with a bang.  Through the glass, the old man stares down at 
the group of onlookers in the street.  They stare back at him in confusion.

BYSTANDER
Who is that?

VALET
No one, sir.  He'll be all right.  Poor man.  He's a little unhappy, 
you know.


He makes a sign indicating ‘crazy,' and goes back inside the house.  The onlookers 
keep staring.

CUT TO:

3	INT.   LANDING OUTSIDE OLD SALIERI ‘S SALON - NIGHT	3

The Cook is standing holding the candlestick in one hand, the dish of cakes in the 
other.  The Valet arrives, panting.

VALET
Did he open?

The Cook, scared, shakes his head: no.  The Valet again knocks on the door.

VALET
Here I am, Signore.  Now open the door.

He eats the sugared cake in his hand, elaborately and noisily.

VALET
Mmmm - this is good!  This is the most delicious thing I ever 
ate, believe me!  Signore, you don't know what you're missing!  
Mmmm!

We hear a thump from inside the bedroom.

VALET
Now that's enough, Signore!  Open!

We hear a terrible, throaty groaning.

VALET
If you don't open this door, we're going to eat everything.  
There'll be nothing left for you.  And I'm not going to bring you 
anything more.

He looks down.  From under the door we see a trickle of blood flowing.  In horror, 
the two men stare at it.  The dish of cakes falls from the Cook ‘s hand and shatters. 
He sets the candlestick down on the floor.  Both servants run at the door franti-
cally - once, twice, three times - and the frail lock gives.  The door flies open.

Immediately, the stormy, frenzied opening of Mozart's Symphony No. 25 (the 
“Little G Minor) begins.  We see what the servants see.

4	INT.    OLD SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT	4

Old Salieri lies on the floor in a pool of blood, an open razor in his hand.  He has 
cut his throat but is still alive.  He gestures at them.  They run to him.  Barely, we 
glimpse the room - an old chair, old tables piled with books, a forte-piano, a 
chamber-pot on the floor - as the Valet and the Cook struggle to lift their old 
Master, and bind his bleeding throat with a napkin.

5	INT.   BALLROOM - NIGHT	5

Twenty-five dancing couples, fifty guests, ten servants, full orchestra.

As the music slows a little, we see a Masquerade Ball in progress.  A crowded room 
of dancers is executing the slow portion of a dance fashionable in the early 1820's.

6	EXT.   STREET OUTSIDE SALIERI'S HOUSE - NIGHT	6

As the fast music returns, we see Old Salieri being carried out of his house on a 
stretcher by two attendants, and placed in a horse-drawn wagon under the supervi-
sion of a middle-aged doctor in a tall hat.  This is DOCTOR GULDEN.  He gets 
in beside his patient.  The driver whips up the horse, and the wagon dashes off 
through the still-falling snow.

7-	MONTAGE:	7-
	EXT.   FOUR STREETS OF VIENNA AND
11	INT.   THE WAGON - NIGHT	11

The wagon is galloping through the snowy streets of the city.  Inside the con-
veyance we see Old Salieri wrapped in blankets, half-conscious, being held by the 
hospital attendants.  Doctor Gulden stares at him grimly.  The wagon arrives out-
side the General Hospital of Vienna.

CUT TO:

12	INT.   A HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - LATE AFTERNOON	12

A wide, white-washed corridor.  Doctor Gulden is walking down it with a priest, a 
man of about forty, concerned, but somewhat self-important. This is Father 
VOGLER, Chaplain at the hospital.  In the corridor as they walk, we note several 
patients -- some of them visibly disturbed mentally.  All patients wear white linen 
smocks.  Doctor Gulden wears a dark frock-coat; Vogler, a cassock.

DOCTOR GULDEN
He's going to live.  It's much harder to cut your throat than most 
people imagine.

They stop outside a door.

DOCTOR GULDEN
Here we are.  Do you wish me to come in with you?


VOGLER
No, Doctor.  Thank you.

Vogler nods and opens the door.

13	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON	13

A bare room - one of the best available in the General Hospital.  It contains a bed, 
a table with candles, chairs, a small forte-piano of the early nineteenth century.  As 
Vogler enters, Old Salieri is sitting in a wheel-chair, looking out the window.  His 
back is to us. The priest closes the door quietly behind him.

VOGLER
Herr Salieri?

Old Salieri turns around to look at him.  We see that his throat is bandaged ex-
pertly.  He wears hospital garb, and over it the Civilian Medal and Chain with 
which we will later see the EMPEROR invest him.

OLD SALIERI
What do you want?

[ ... ]

http://www.godamongdirectors.com/scripts/Amadeaaaus.txt


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