Founded in 1981 by the Motion Picture Marketing Association of America, led by the late producer Andy Vajna, the American film market was dominated by a large number of genre films in its early years. Featured to sell VHS video rights abroad. But using Amadeus of 1984, AFM also proves that one can have more Home to a multi-prestige title – few of its offerings are more prestigious than Milos Foreman’s award-winning film about Austrian court composer Antonio Salieri and upstart musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Competition between Smozarts.
Recording executive and filmmaker Saul Zaentz is the driving force behind the production. By the time he set out to adapt Peter Shaffer’s film adaptation, he had already won a Best Picture Oscar for 1975’s Over the Cuckoo’s Nest . Tony Award for the stage play. F. Murray Abraham as the jealous Salieri and Tom Hulce as the giggling Mozart, the film was shot on a million-dollar budget on location in Prague and Kromeriz. Czech Republic. Orion Pictures became the film’s US distributor. When it opened in September 1984, the film was immediately hailed as one of the best films of the year. Film critic Roger Ebert called it “the riskiest gamble a filmmaker has made in a long time”, adding that it was a “brilliant film, full and tender, funny and charming”.
Amadeus will continue to earn more than 90 worldwide $1 million gross, and scored 11 Oscar nominations – ended up with eight trophies, including Best Actor for Abraham, Foreman’s Best Director and Schaeffer’s Best Adapted Screenplay. While accepting the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 57 Academy Awards, Zaentz acknowledged the international support he had given to make the film a reality, saying: “We Thanks to Orion Pictures and the distributors and theater owners around the world who endorsed Amadeus before it was released.”
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s November 3 issue of American Film Market Journal.