Peter Shaffer wrote the "Amadeus" screenplay based on his play, which is a quirky, fanciful vision of Mozart and Salieri, and how God gave Mozart the gift of musical genius despite his character flaws, but bypassed Salieri, who tried to strike a deal with the Almighty, vowing pious devotion, if He would only grant him brilliance and fame.
F. Murray Abraham is marvelous portraying Salieri's pride and envy, and having to suffer the indignity of mediocrity; the part garnered him a Best Actor Oscar and a Golden Globe, among other awards, and as Mozart, Tom Hulce is stupendous, with his high pitched raucous giggle, fluffy wigs, and energetic appeal.
Others in the cast of note are Elizabeth Berridge, excellent as Mozart's wife Constanza, and Roy Dotrice as his stern father Leopold.
The biggest star of the film however, is the music...the glorious sounds of Mozart's operas, and his magnificent Requiem. Many of my favorite scenes are depicted, from the ballet music from "The Marriage of Figaro", to "Don Giovanni a cenar teco", as well as portions of "The Marriage of Figaro", "The Magic Flute", and much more.
Some of the great voices heard are Samuel Ramey (Figaro), Richard Stilwell (Count Almaviva / Don Giovanni), June Anderson (Queen of the Night), Brian Kay (Papageno) and Gillian Fisher (Papagena), though the parts on screen are played by actors, and not those singing.
Twyla Tharp's choreography is fresh and exhilarating, Miroslav Ondricek's cinematography is exquisite, and Milos Forman's direction imaginative and well paced.
As well as Best Actor, the Academy bestowed Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Sound, all well deserved.
Total running time is 160 minutes.