Amadeus - HD Theatrical Restoration (VERSION 2)
In 2002, Warner Bros and Milos Forman created an extended “Director’s Cut” of Amadeus, releasing it in theaters and later on DVD. This extended cut added 20 minutes of footage to the film (mostly in the first half) which expanded on just how far Antonio Salieri would go to ruin Mozart.
Reactions to the extended cut were mixed. Critics have called the additions extraneous, ruining the original editing and pacing of the film. Mozart’s two visits to the home of Schlumberg (the guy with the dogs) are the best example of that as they add nothing to the story and halt the narrative. While the theatrical cut showed Salieri sabotaging Mozart at every step, the director’s cut takes it to a needlessly vicious and mean-spirited extreme.
For Blu-ray in 2009, Warner Bros. released the director’s cut only, largely because that HD master was available and that there was no HD master of the theatrical cut in existence. With WB and Forman apparently disinterested in revisiting Amadeus, we may never see the original version released again. The last American release of the original version was a flipper disc DVD in 1997.
- To reconstruct the original 160 minute theatrical cut in high definition, editing out the added scenes, while using upscaled and color-adjusted DVD footage to restore brief scenes/shots not included in the director’s cut.
- Amadeus Director’s Cut Blu-ray from 2009
- Amadeus Theatrical Cut DVD from 1997
- Opening Orion Pictures logo from Dances With Wolves Blu-ray
- Software used: Adobe Premiere, Audacity, MakeMKV, MKVToolNix, mkvmerge
Entire scenes removed:
- Salieri visiting Katerina’s dressing room to confirm his suspicions
- Constanze pleading with Mozart to submit his samples for the teaching job
- Salieri training a student before Constanze arrives with Mozart’s samples
- Constanze’s late night visit to Salieri’s home, and her grief
- Salieri telling the Emperor that Mozart molested a student
- Mozart visiting Salieri to ask for help with pupils
- Mozart attempting to train the daughter of Schlumberg
- Salieri discussing with another that Mozart is beyond help
- Mozart visiting Schlumberg again to ask for money
- Extended cut ending credits
Several extended scenes were edited to their original length, most notably Salieri telling Constanze about “the price”. One minute thirteen seconds of upscaled DVD footage (plus ending credits) were used to replace shots either absent or shortened in the director’s cut. Overlays from the DVD were used to obscure the “Director’s Cut” title, as well as a castmember added to the credits in the director’s cut. One alternate shot from the director’s cut was retained due to poor quality on the DVD - Mozart writing Marriage of Figaro while his father and wife argue.
Technical specs (Version 2):
- Container: MKV
- Video: 2.35:1 1080p 23.976fps AVC @18Mbps VBR
- Audio 1: 5.1 Dolby Digital (1997 DVD)
- Audio 2: 2.0 Isolated score mix (1997 DVD)
- Length: 2:39:57
- Size: 22.3 GB
- Subtitles: None
- Chapters: 30
- English subtitles available separately by user ak47wong: http://members.optusnet.com.au/ak47wong/Amadeus.zip
Changes from Version 1:
- Additional trims to various shots to match theatrical cut
- Dropped Blu-ray sound mix in favor of original DVD mix
- Dropped single DVD shot for alternate shot from Blu-ray (mentioned above)
- Added 30 chapters
- Sized to fit BD-25 (including potential Laserdisc mix in the future)*
*Laserdisc PCM mix not currently available. If it becomes available, I will sync the audio and release the track separately for viewers to mux themselves.