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Amadeus (1984)

by Peter Shaffer.
Based on the play by Peter Shaffer.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com


FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY


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?

VOGLER
I am Father Vogler.   I am a Chaplain here.  I thought you might 
like to talk to someone.

OLD SALIERI
About what?

VOGLER
You tried to take your life.  You do remember that, don't you?

OLD SALIERI
So?

VOGLER
In the sight of God that is a sin.

OLD SALIERI
What do you want?

VOGLER
Do you understand that you have sinned?  Gravely.

OLD SALIERI
Leave me alone.

VOGLER
I cannot leave alone a soul in pain.

OLD SALIERI
Do you know who I am?  You never heard of me, did you?

VOGLER
That makes no difference.  All men are equal in God's eyes.

OLD SALIERI
Are they?

VOGLER
Offer me your confession.  I can offer you God's forgiveness.

OLD SALIERI
I do not seek forgiveness.

VOGLER
My son, there is something dreadful on your soul.  Unburden it 
to me.  I'm here only for you.  Please talk to me.

OLD SALIERI
How well are you trained in music?

VOGLER
I know a little.  I studied it in my youth.

OLD SALIERI
Where?

VOGLER
Here in Vienna.

OLD SALIERI
Then you must know this.

He propels his wheelchair to the forte-piano, and plays an unrecognizable melody.

VOGLER
I can't say I do.  What is it?

OLD SALIERI
I'm surprised you don't know.  It was a very popular tune in its 
day.  I wrote it.  How about this?

He plays another tune.

OLD SALIERI
This one brought down the house when we played it first.


He plays it with growing enthusiasm.

CUT TO:

14	INT.   THE STAGE OF AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	14

We see the pretty soprano KATHERINA CAVALIERI, now about twenty-four, 
dressed in an elaborate mythological Persian costume, singing on stage.  She's near 
the end of a very florid aria by Salieri.  The audience applauds wildly.

15	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON - 1823	15

OLD SALIERI
(taking his hands off the keys)
Well?

VOGLER
I regret it is not too familiar.

OLD SALIERI
Can you recall no melody of mine?  I was the most famous com-
poser in Europe when you were still a boy.  I wrote forty operas 
alone.  What about this little thing?

Slyly he plays the opening measure of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  The priest 
nods, smiling suddenly, and hums a little with the music.

VOGLER
Oh, I know that!  That's charming!  I didn't know you wrote that.

OLD SALIERI
I didn't.  That was Mozart.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  You 
know who that is?

VOGLER
Of course.  The man you accuse yourself of killing.

OLD SALIERI
Ah - you've heard that?

VOGLER
All Vienna has heard that.

OLD SALIERI
( eagerly)
And do they believe it?

VOGLER
Is it true?

OLD SALIERI
Do you believe it?

VOGLER
Should I?

A very long pause.  Salieri stares above the priest, seemingly lost in his own private 
world.

VOGLER
For God's sake, my son, if you have anything to confess, do it 
now!  Give yourself some peace!

A further pause.

VOGLER
Do you hear me?

OLD SALIERI
He was murdered, Father!  Mozart!  Cruelly murdered.

Pause.

VOGLER
(almost whispering)
Yes?  Did you! do it?

Suddenly Old Salieri turns to him, a look of extreme innocence.

OLD SALIERI
He was my idol!  I can't remember a time when I didn't know his 
name!  When I was only fourteen he was already famous.  Even in 
Legnago - the tiniest town in Italy - I knew of him.

CUT TO:

16	EXT.   A SMALL TOWN SQUARE IN LOMBARDY, ITALY - DAY - 1780's	16

There are twelve children and twenty adults in the square.  We see the fourteen-
year-old Salieri blindfolded, playing a game of Blindman's Bluff with other Italian 
children, running about in the bright sunshine and laughing.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
I was still playing childish games when he was playing music for 
kings and emperors.  Even the Pope in Rome!

CUT TO:


17	INT.   A SALON IN THE VATICAN - DAY - 1780's 	17

We see the six-year-old MOZART, also blindfolded, seated in a gilded chair on a 
pile of books, playing the harpsichord for the POPE and a suite of CARDINALS 
and other churchmen.  Beside the little boy stands LEOPOLD, his father, smirk-
ing with pride.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
I admit I was jealous when I heard the tales they told about him.  
Not of the brilliant little prodigy himself, but of his father, who 
had taught him everything.

The piece finishes. Leopold lowers the lid of the harpsichord and lifts up his little 
son to stand on it.  Mozart removes the blindfold to show a pale little face with 
staring eyes.  Both father and son bow.  A Papal Chamberlain presents Leopold 
with a gold snuff box whilst the cardinals decorously applaud.  Over this scene Old 
Salieri speaks.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
My father did not care for music.  He wanted me only to be a 
merchant, like himself.  As anonymous as he was.  When I told 
how I wished I could be like Mozart, he would say, “Why?  Do 
you want to be a trained monkey?  Would you like me to drag 
you around Europe doing tricks like a circus freak?  How could I 
tell him what music meant to me?

CUT TO:

18	EXT.   A COUNTRY CHURCH IN NORTH ITALY - DAY - 1780's	18

Serene music of the Italian Baroque - Pergolesi's Stabat Mater - sung by a choir 
of boys with organ accompaniment.  We see the outside of the 17th-century church 
sitting in the wide landscape of Lombardy:  sunlit fields, a dusty, white road, 
poplar trees.

19	INT.    THE CHURCH AT LEGNAGO - DAY - 1780's	19

The music continues and swells.  We see the twelve-year-old Salieri seated between 
his plump and placid parents in the congregation, listening in rapture.  His father is 
a heavy-looking, self-approving man, obviously indifferent to the music.  A large 
and austere Christ on the cross hangs over the altar.  Candles burn below his image.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
Even then a spray of sounded notes could make me dizzy, almost 
to falling.

The boy falls forward on his knees.  So do his parents and the other members of 
the congregation.  He stares up at Christ who stares back at him.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
Whilst my father prayed earnestly to God to protect commerce, I 
would offer up secretly the proudest prayer a boy could think of.  
“Lord, make me a great composer!  Let me celebrate your glory 
through music - and be celebrated myself!  Make me famous 
through the world, dear God!  Make me immortal!  After I die let 
people speak my name forever with love for what I wrote!  In re-
turn I vow I will give you my chastity - my industry, my deepest 
humility, every hour of my life.  And I will help my fellow man 
all I can.  Amen and amen!

The music swells to a crescendo.  The candles flare.  We see the Christ through the 
flames looking at the boy benignly.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
And do you know what happened?  A miracle!

19A	INT.   DINING ROOM IN THE SALIERI HOUSE - DAY - 1780's	19A

CU, a large cooked fish on a thick china plate.  Camera pulls back to show the 
Salieri family at dinner.  Father Salieri sits at the head of the table, a napkin tucked 
into his chin.  Mother Salieri is serving the fish into portions and handing them 
round.  Two maiden aunts are in attendance, wearing black, and of course the 
young boy.  Father Salieri receives his plate of fish and starts to eat greedily.  
Suddenly there is a gasp - he starts to choke violently on a fish bone.  All the 
women get up and crowd around him, thumping and pummeling him, but it is in 
vain.  Father Salieri collapses.

20	INT.    OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON - 1823	20

OLD SALIERI
Suddenly he was dead.  Just like that!  And my life changed for-
ever.  My mother said, “Go.  Study music if you really want to.  
Off with you!  And off I went as quick as I could and never saw 
Italy again.  Of course, I knew God had arranged it all; that was 
obvious.  One moment I was a frustrated boy in an obscure little 
town.  The next I was here, in Vienna, city of musicians, sixteen 
years old and studying under Gluck!  Gluck, Father.  Do you 
know who he was?  The greatest composer of his time.  And he 
loved me!  That was the wonder.  He taught me everything he 
knew.  And when I was ready, introduced me personally to the 
Emperor!  Emperor Joseph - the musical king!  Within a few 
years I was his court composer.  Wasn't that incredible?  Imperial 
Composer to His Majesty!  Actually the man had no ear at all, 
but what did it matter?  He adored my music, that was enough.  
Night after night I sat right next to the Emperor of Austria, 
playing duets with him, correcting the royal sight-reading.  Tell 
me, if you had been me, wouldn't you have thought God had ac-
cepted your vow?  And believe me, I honoured it.  I was a model 
of virtue.  I kept my hands off women, worked hours every day 
teaching students, many of them for free, sitting on endless 
committees to help poor musicians - work and work and work, 
that was all my life.  And it was wonderful!  Everybody liked me.  
I liked myself.  I was the most successful musician in Vienna.  
And the happiest.  Till he came.  Mozart.

CUT TO:

21	INT.    THE ARCHBISHOP OF SALZBURG'S RESIDENCE -	21
	VIENNA - DAY - 1780's

A grand room crowded with guests.  A small group of Gypsy musicians is playing 
in the background.  Thirteen members of the Archbishop's orchestra - all wind 
players, complete with 18th-century wind instruments: elaborate-looking bassoons, 
basset horns, etc. and wearing their employer's livery - are laying out music on 
stands at one end of the room.  At the other end is a large gilded chair, bearing the 
arms of the ARCHBISHOP OF SALZBURG.  A throng of people is standing, 
talking, and preparing to sit upon the rows of waiting chairs to hear a concert.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
One day he came to Vienna to play some of his music at the resi-
dence of his employer, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg.  
Eagerly I went there to seek him out. That night changed my life.

We see Salieri, age thirty-one, a neat, carefully turned-cut man in decent black 
clothes and clean white linen, walking through the crowd of guests.  We follow 
him.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
As I went through the salon, I played a game with myself.  This 
man had written his first concerto at the age of four; his first 
symphony at seven; a full-scale opera at twelve.  Did it show?  Is 
talent like that written on the face?

We see shots of assorted young men staring back at Salieri as he moves through the 
crowd.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
Which one of them could he be?

Some of the men recognize Salieri and bow respectfully. Then suddenly a servant 
bearing a large tray of cakes and pastries stalks past.  Instantly riveted by the sight 
of such delights, Salieri follows him out of the Grand Salon.

22	INT.   A PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780's	22

The servant marches along bearing his tray of pastries aloft.  Salieri follows him.  
The servant turns into:

23	INT.    BUFFET ROOM IN THE PALACE - DAY - 1780's	23

Salieri's POV:  several tables, dressed to the floor with cloths are loaded with many 
plates of confectionery.  It is, in fact, Salieri's idea of paradise!  The servant puts his 
tray down on one of the tables and withdraws from the room.

24	INT.    A PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780's	24

Salieri turns away so as not to be noticed by the servant.  As soon as the man disap-
pears, Salieri sneaks into the buffet room.

25	INT.   BUFFET ROOM IN THE PALACE - DAY - 1780's	25

Salieri enters the room and looks about him cautiously.  He is salivating with antic-
ipation as he stares at the feast of sweet things.  His attention is attracted in 
particular by a huge pile of dark chocolate balls arranged in the shape of a 
pineapple.  He reaches out a hand to steal one of the balls, but at the same moment 
he hears giggling coming toward him.  He ducks down behind the pastry table.

A girl - CONSTANZE - rushes into the room.  She runs straight across it and 
hides herself behind one of the tables.

After a beat of total silence, MOZART runs into the room, stops, and looks 
around.  He is age twenty-six, wearing a fine wig and a brilliant coat with the in-
signia of the Archbishop of Salzburg upon it.  He is puzzled;  Constanze has disap-
peared.  Baffled, he turns and is about to leave the room, when Constanze sud-
denly squeaks from under the cloth like a tiny mouse.  Instantly Mozart drops to 
all fours and starts crawling across the floor, meowing and hissing like a naughty 
cat.  Watched by an astonished Salieri, Mozart disappears under the cloth and ob-
viously pounces upon Constanze.  We hear a high-pitched giggle, which is going to 
characterize Mozart throughout the film.

CUT TO:

26	INT.    PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780's	26

The throng is mostly seated.  The musicians are in their places, holding their vari-
ous exotic-looking wind instruments; the candles are all lit.  A Majordomo appears 
and bangs his staff on the floor for attention.  Immediately COLLOREDO, 
Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg enters.  He is a small  self-important figure of fifty 
in a wig, surmounted by a scarlet skullcap.  He is followed by his Chamberlain, the 
Count ARCO.  Everyone stands.  The Archbishop goes to his throne and sits.  His 
guests sit also.  Arco gives the signal to start the music.  Nothing happens.  Instead, 
a wind musician gets up, approaches the Chamberlain and whispers in his ear.  Arco 
in turn whispers to the Archbishop.

ARCO
Mozart is not here.

COLLOREDO
Where is he?

ARCO
They're looking for him, Your Grace.

27	INT.   A PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780's	27

Three servants are opening doors and looking into rooms going off the corridor.

CUT TO:

28	INT.   PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780's	28

The guests are turning around and looking at the Archbishop.  The musicians are 
watching.  There is puzzlement and a murmur of comment.  The Archbishop 
tightens his lip.

COLLOREDO
(to Arco)
We'll start without him.

29	INT.   PALACE BUFFET ROOM - DAY - 1780's	29

Mozart is on his knees before the tablecloth, which reaches to the floor.  Under it is 
Constanze.  We hear her giggling as he talks.

MOZART
Miaouw!  Miaouw!  Mouse-wouse?  It's Puss-wuss, fangs-wangs.  
Paws-claws.  Pounce-bounce!

He grabs her ankle.  She screams.  He pulls her out by her leg.

CONSTANZE
Stop it.  Stop it!

They roll on the floor.  He tickles her.


CONSTANZE
Stop it!

MOZART
I am!  I am!  I'm stopping it - slowly.  You see!  Look, I've 
stopped.  Now we are going back.

He tries to drag her back under the table.

CONSTANZE
No! No! No!

MOZART
Yes!  Back!  Back!  Listen - don't you know where you are?

CONSTANZE
Where?

MOZART
We are in the Residence of the Fartsbishop of Salzburg.

CONSTANZE
Fartsbishop!

She laughs delightedly, then addresses an imaginary Archbishop.

CONSTANZE
Your Grace, I've got something to tell you.  I want to complain 
about this man.

MOZART
Go ahead, tell him.  Tell them all.  They won't understand you 
anyway.

CONSTANZE
Why not?

MOZART
Because here everything goes backwards.  People walk backwards, 
dance backwards, sing backwards, and talk backwards.

CONSTANZE
That's stupid.

MOZART
Why?  People fart backwards.

CONSTANZE
Do you think that's funny?


MOZART
Yes, I think it's brilliant.  You've been doing it for years.

He gives a high pitched giggle.

CONSTANZE
Oh, ha, ha, ha.

MOZART
Sra-I'm-sick!  Sra-I'm sick!

CONSTANZE
Yes, you are.  You're very sick.

MOZART
No, no.  Say it backwards, shit-wit.  “Sra-I'm-sick  Say it 
backwards!

CONSTANZE
(working it out)
Sra-I'm-sick.   Sick - “kiss  I'm - “my  “Kiss my!  Sra-I'm-
sick - “Kiss my arse!

MOZART
Em iram!  Em iram!

CONSTANZE
No,  I'm not playing this game.

MOZART
No, this is serious.  Say it backwards.

CONSTANZE
No!

MOZART
Just say it - you'll see.  It's very serious.  Em iram!  Em iram!

CONSTANZE
Iram - “marry  Em - “marry me!  No, no!  You're a fiend.  
I'm not going to marry a fiend.  A dirty fiend at that.

MOZART
Ui-vol-i-tub!

CONSTANZE
Tub - “but  i-tub - “but I  vol - “love  “But I love  ui - 
“you.  I love you!

The mood becomes suddenly softer.  She kisses him.  They embrace.  Then he 
spoils it.

MOZART
Tish-I'm tee.  What's that?

CONSTANZE
What?

MOZART
Tish-I'm-tee.

CONSTANZE
“Eat

MOZART
Yes.

CONSTANZE
Eat my - ah!

Shocked, she strikes at him.  At the same moment the music starts in the salon 
next door.  We hear the opening of the Serenade for Thirteen Wind Instruments, K. 
361.

MOZART
My music!  They've started!  They've started without me!

He leaps up, disheveled and rumpled and runs out of the room.  Salieri watches in 
amazement and disgust.

CUT TO:

30	INT.   PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780's	30

The music is louder.  Mozart hastens towards the Grand Salon away from the buf-
fet room, adjusting his dress as he goes.

31	INT.   GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780's	31

The opening of the Serenade is being tentatively conducted by the leader of the 
wind-musicians.  Guests turn around as Mozart appears - bowing to the 
Archbishop - and walks with an attempt at dignity to the dais where the wind 
band is playing.  The leader yields his place to the composer and Mozart smoothly 
takes over conducting.

Constanze, deeply embarrassed, sneaks into the room and seats herself at the back.


32	INT.   PALACE BUFFET ROOM - DAY - 1780's	32

The music fades down.  Salieri stands shocked from his inadvertent eavesdropping.  
After a second he moves almost in a trance toward the door; the music dissolves.

33	INT.   GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780's	33

Mozart is conducting the Adagio from his Serenade (K. 361), guiding the thirteen 
wind instrumentalists.  The “squeezebox  opening of the movement begins.  
Salieri appears at the door at the back of the salon.  He stares in disbelief at 
Mozart.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
So that was he!  That giggling, dirty-minded creature I'd just seen 
crawling on the floor.  Mozart.  The phenomenon whose legend 
had haunted my youth.  Impossible.

The music swells up and Salieri listens to it with eyes closed - amazed, trans-
ported - suddenly engulfed by the sound.  Finally it fades down and away and 
changes into applause.  Salieri opens his eyes.

The audience is clearly delighted.  Mozart bows to them, also delighted.  
Colloredo rises abruptly, and without looking at Mozart or applauding and leaves 
the Salon.  Count Arco approaches the composer.  Mozart turns to him, radiant.

ARCO
Follow me, please.  The Archbishop would like a word.

MOZART
Certainly!

He follows Arco out of the room, through a throng of admirers.

34	INT.   ANOTHER PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780's	34

Mozart and Arco walk side by side.  They pass Salieri who is staring at Mozart in 
fascination.  As they disappear, he steals toward the music stands, unable to help 
himself.

MOZART
Well, I think that went off remarkably well, don't you?

ARCO
Indeed.

MOZART
These Viennese certainly know good music when they hear it.

ARCO
His Grace is very angry with you.

MOZART
What do you mean?

They arrive at the door of Colloredo's private apartment.

ARCO
You are to come in here and ask his pardon.

Arco opens the door.

39	INT.   ARCHBISHOP'S PRIVATE ROOM - DAY - 1780's	39

The Archbishop is sitting, chatting to quests.  Among them are several ladies.  Arco 
approaches him obsequiously.

ARCO
Your Grace.

COLLOREDO
Ah, Mozart.  Why?

MOZART
Why what, sir?

COLLOREDO
Why do I have to be humiliated in front of my guests by one of 
my own servants?

MOZART
Humiliated?

COLLOREDO
How much provocation am I to endure from you?  The more li-
cense I allow you, the more you take.

The company watches this scene, deeply interested.

MOZART
If His Grace is not satisfied with me, he can dismiss me.

COLLOREDO
I wish you to return immediately to Salzburg.  Your father is 
waiting for you there patiently.  I will speak to you further when I 
come.


MOZART
No, Your Grace!  I mean with all humility, no.  I would rather 
you dismissed me.  It's obvious I don't satisfy.

COLLOREDO
Then try harder, Mozart.  I have no intention of dismissing you.  
You will remain in my service and learn your place.  Go now.

He extends his hand to be kissed.  Mozart does it with a furious grace, then leaves 
the room.  As he opens the door we see:

40	INT.   PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780's	40

A group of people who have attended the concert, among them Constanze, are 
standing outside the private apartment.  At sight of the composer they break into 
sustained applause.  Mozart is suddenly delighted.  He throws the door wide open 
so that the guests can see into the private apartment where the Archbishop sits - 
and he can see them.  Colloredo is clearly discomfited by this reception of his 
employee.  He smiles and bows uneasily, as they include him in the small ovation.

Mozart stands in the corridor, out of the Archbishop's line of sight, bowing and 
giggling, and encouraging the applause for the Archbishop with conducting ges-
tures.  Suddenly irritated, Colloredo signs to Arco, who steps forward and shuts 
the door, ending the applause.

41	INT.   PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780's	41

Salieri, in this vast room, is standing and looking at the full score of the Serenade.  
He turns the pages back to the slow movement.  Instantly, we again hear its lyrical 
strains.

CU, Salieri, reading the score of the Adagio in helpless fascination.  The music is 
played against his description of it.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
Extraordinary!  On the page it looked nothing.  The beginning  
simple, almost comic.  Just a pulse - bassoons and basset horns - 
like a rusty squeezebox.  Then suddenly - high above it - an 
oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took 
over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight!  This was no 
composition by a performing monkey!  This was a music I'd never 
heard.  Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had 
me trembling.  It seemed to me that I was hearing a voice of God.

Suddenly the music snaps off.  Mozart stands before him as he lays down the 
score.


MOZART
Excuse me!

He takes the score, bows, and struts briskly out of the room.  Salieri stares uncom-
prehendingly after the jaunty little figure.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
But why?

41A	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	41A

OLD SALIERI
Why?  Would God choose an obscene child to be His instrument?  
It was not to be believed!  This piece had to be an accident.  It 
had to be!

42	INT.   PALACE DINING ROOM - DAY - 1780's	42

At the table sits the EMPEROR JOSEPH II, eating his frugal dinner and sipping 
goat's milk.  He is an intelligent, dapper man of forty, wearing a military uniform.  
Around him but standing, are his Chamberlain, JOHANN VON STRACK: stiff 
and highly correct.  COUNT ORSINI-ROSENBERG: a corpulent man of sixty, 
highly conscious of his position as Director of the Opera.  BARON VON 
SWIETEN, the Imperial Librarian: a grave but kindly and educated man in his 
mid-fifties.  FIRST KAPELLMEISTER GIUSEPPE BONNO: very Italian, 
cringing and time-serving, aged about seventy.  And Salieri, wearing decorous 
black, as usual.

At a side-table, two Imperial secretaries, using quill pens and inkstands, write down 
everything of importance that is said.

JOSEPH
How good is he, this Mozart?

VON SWIETEN
He's remarkable, Majesty.  I heard an extraordinary serious opera 
of his last month.  Idomeneo, King of Crete.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
That?  A most tiresome piece.  I heard it, too.

VON SWIETEN
Tiresome?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
A young man trying to impress beyond his abilities.  Too much 
spice.  Too many notes.


VON SWIETEN
Majesty, I thought it the most promising work I've heard in years.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  Well then, we should make some effort to acquire him.  
We could use a good German composer in Vienna, surely?

VON STRACK
I agree, Majesty, but I'm afraid it's not possible.  The young man 
is still in the pay of the Archbishop.

JOSEPH
Very small pay, I imagine.  I'm sure he could be tempted with the 
right offer.  Say, an opera in German for our National Theatre.

VON SWIETEN
Excellent, sire!

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
But not German, I beg your Majesty!  Italian is the proper lan-
guage for opera.  All educated people agree on that.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  What do you say, Chamberlain?

VON STRACK
In my opinion, it is time we had a piece in our own language, sir.  
Plain German.  For plain people.

He looks defiantly at Orsini-Rosenberg.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  Kapellmeister?

BONNO
(Italian accent)
Majesty, I must agree with Herr Dirretore.  Opera is an Italian 
art, solamente.  German is - scusate - too bruta for singing, too 
rough.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  Court Composer, what do you say?

SALIERI
I think it is an interesting notion to keep Mozart in Vienna, 
Majesty.  It should really infuriate the Archbishop beyond mea-
sure - if that is your Majesty's intention.


JOSEPH
You are cattivo, Court Composer. (briskly, to Von Strack) I want 
to meet this young man.  Chamberlain, arrange a pleasant wel-
come for him.

VON STRACK
Yes, sir.

JOSEPH
Well.  There it is.

43	INT.   BEDROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1780's	43

A somber room which serves both as a bedroom and a study.  We see a four-poster 
bed.  Also, a marble mantelpiece above which hangs a handsome cross in olive-
wood, bearing the figure of a severe Christ.  Opposite this image sits Salieri at his 
desk, on which stands a pile of music paper, quill pens and ink.  On one side of 
him is an open forte-piano  on which he occasionally tries notes from the march he 
is composing, with some difficulty.  He scratches notes out with his quill, and ruf-
fles his hair - which we see without a powdered wig.  There is a knock at the door.

SALIERI
Si.

A servant admits LORL, a young lower-class girl, who appears carrying a basket in 
which is a box covered with a napkin.  She has just come from the baker's shop.

SALIERI
Ah!  Here she comes.  Fraülein Lorl, good morning.

LORL
Good morning, sir.

SALIERI
What have you got for me today?  Let me see.

Greedily he unwraps the napkin and lifts the lid on the box.

SALIERI
Ah-ha!  Siena macaroons - my favourites.  Give my best thanks 
to the baker.

LORL
I will, sir.

He takes a biscuit and eats.

SALIERI
Thank you.  Are you well today, Fraülein Lorl?

LORL
Yes, thank you, sir.

SALIERI
Bene!  Bene!

She gives a little curtsey, flattered and giggling and is shown out.  Salieri turns back 
to his work, chewing.  He plays through a complete line of the march.  He smiles, 
pleased with the result.

SALIERI
Grazie, Signore.

He inclines his head to the Christ above the  fireplace, and starts to play the whole 
march, including the phrase which pleased him.

44	INT.   A WIGMAKER'S SHOP - VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	44

The march continues on the forte-piano as we see Mozart, seated in front of a mir-
ror, wearing an extravagant wig.  On either side of him stands a SALESMAN, one 
of them holding another wig, equally extravagant.  Mozart takes off the first wig, 
to reveal his own blonde hair, of which he is extremely proud, and hands it back.

MOZART
And the other one?

The Salesman puts the second wig on his head.  Mozart pulls a face of doubt in the 
mirror.

MOZART
And the other one?

He takes it off and the other Salesman replaces it with the first wig on his head.

MOZART
Oh, they're both so beautiful, I can't decide.  Why don't I have 
two heads?

He giggles.  The music stops.

45	INT.   GRAND SALON - THE ROYAL PALACE - DAY - 1780's	45

A door opens.  We glimpse in the next room the Emperor Joseph bidding goodbye 
to a group of military officers standing around a table.

JOSEPH
Good, good, good.

He turns and comes into the salon, where another group awaits him.  It consists of 
Von Strack, Orsini-Rosenberg, Bonno, Von Swieten and Salieri.  The room con-
tains several gilded chairs dotted about, and a forte-piano.

JOSEPH
Good morning, gentlemen.

All bow and say, “Good morning, Your Majesty!

JOSEPH
(to Von Strack)
Well, what do you have for me today?

VON STRACK
Your Majesty, Herr Mozart -

JOSEPH
Yes, what about him?

VON STRACK
He's here.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  Well.  There it is.  Good.

SALIERI
Majesty, I hope you won't think it improper, but I have written a 
little March of Welcome in his honour.

He produces a paper.

JOSEPH
What a charming idea.  May I see?

SALIERI
(handing it over)
It's just a trifle, of course.

JOSEPH
May I try it?

SALIERI
Majesty.

The Emperor goes to the instrument, sits and plays the first bars of it.  Quite well.

JOSEPH
Delightful, Court Composer.  Would you permit me to play it as 
he comes in?

SALIERI
You do me too much honour, Sire.

JOSEPH
Let's have some fun. (to the waiting Majordomo) Bring in Herr 
Mozart, please.  But slowly, slowly.  I need a minute to practice.

The Majordomo bows and goes.  The Emperor addresses himself to the march.  
He plays a wrong note.

SALIERI
A-flat, Majesty.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha!

46	INT.   PALACE CORRIDOR - VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	46

Taking his instructions literally, the Majordomo is marching very slowly toward 
the salon door.  He is followed by a bewildered Mozart, dressed very stylishly and 
wearing one of the wigs from the perruqier.

47	INT.   ROYAL PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780's	47

Joseph finishes the march.  The door opens.

MAJORDOMO
Herr Mozart.

Mozart comes in eagerly.  Immediately the march begins, played by His Majesty.  
All the courtiers stand, listening with admiration.  Joseph plays well, but applies 
himself fiercely to the manuscript.  Mozart, still bewildered, regards the scene, but 
does not seem to pay attention to the music itself.  It finishes and all clap obse-
quiously.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Bravo, Your Majesty!

VON STRACK
Well done, Sire!

The Emperor rises, pleased with himself.  He snatches the manuscript off the stand 
and holds it in his hand for the rest of the scene.

JOSEPH
Gentlemen, gentlemen, a little less enthusiasm, I beg you.  Ah, 
Mozart.

He extends his hand.  Mozart throws himself to his knees, and to Joseph's discom-
fort kisses the royal hand with fervour.

MOZART
Your Majesty!

JOSEPH
No, no, please!  It is not a holy relic. (raising Mozart up) You know 
we have met already?  In this very room.  Perhaps you won't re-
member it, you were only six years old. (to the others) He was 
giving the most brilliant little concert here.  As he got off the 
stool, he slipped and fell.  My sister Antoinette helped him up 
herself, and do you know what he did?  Jumped straight into her 
arms and said, “Will you marry me, yes or no?

Embarrassed, Mozart bursts into a wild giggle.  Joseph helps him out.

JOSEPH
You know all these gentlemen, I'm sure.

Von Strack and Bonno nod.

JOSEPH
The Baron Von Swieten.

VON SWIETEN
I'm a great admirer of yours, young man.  Welcome.

MOZART
Oh, thank you.

JOSEPH
The Director of our Opera.  Count Orsini-Rosenberg.

MOZART
(bowing excitedly)
Oh sir,  yes!  The honour is mine.  Absolutely.

Orsini-Rosenberg nods without enthusiasm.

JOSEPH
And here is our illustrious Court Composer, Herr Salieri.

SALIERI
(taking his hand)
Finally!  Such an immense joy.  Diletto straordinario!

MOZART
I know your work well, Signore.  Do you know I actually com-
posed some variations on a melody of yours?

SALIERI
Really?

MOZART
Mio caro Adone.

SALIERI
Ah!

MOZART
A funny little tune, but it yielded some good things.

JOSEPH
And now he has returned the compliment.  Herr Salieri composed 
that March of Welcome for you.

MOZART
(speaking expertly)
Really?  Oh, grazie, Signore!  Sono commosso!  E un onore per mo 
eccezionale.  Compositore brilliante e famossissimo!

He bows elaborately.  Salieri inclines himself, dryly.

SALIERI
My pleasure.

JOSEPH
Well, there it is.  Now to business.  Young man, we are going to 
commission an opera from you.  What do you say?

MOZART
Majesty!

JOSEPH
(to the courtiers)
Did we vote in the end for German or Italian?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Well, actually, Sire, if you remember, we did finally incline to 
Italian.

VON STRACK
Did we?

VON SWIETEN
I don't think it was really decided, Director.

MOZART
Oh, German!  German!  Please let it be German.

JOSEPH
Why so?

MOZART
Because I've already found the most wonderful libretto!

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Oh?  Have I seen it?

MOZART
I - I don't think you have, Herr Director.  Not yet.  I mean, it's 
quite n - Of course,
I'll show it to you immediately.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
I think you'd better.

JOSEPH
Well, what is it about?  Tell us the story.

MOZART
It's actually quite amusing, Majesty.  It's set - the  whole thing is 
set in a -  in a -

He stops short with a little giggle.

JOSEPH
Yes, where?

MOZART
In a!  Pasha's Harem, Majesty.  A Seraglio.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
You mean in Turkey?

MOZART
Exactly.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Then why especially does it have to be in German?

MOZART
Well not especially.  It can be in Turkish, if you really want.  I 
don't care.

He giggles again.  Orsini-Rosenberg looks at him sourly.


VON SWIETEN
(kindly)
My dear fellow, the language is not finally the point.  Do you 
really think that subject is quite appropriate for a national theatre?

MOZART
Why not?  It's charming.  I mean, I don't actually show concu-
bines exposing their! their!  It's not indecent! (to Joseph) It's 
highly moral, Majesty.  It's full of proper German virtues.  I swear 
it.  Absolutely!

JOSEPH
Well, I'm glad to hear that.

SALIERI
Excuse me, Sire, but what do you think these could be?  Being a 
foreigner, I would love to learn.

JOSEPH
Cattivo again, Court Composer.  Well, tell him, Mozart.  Name 
us a German virtue.

MOZART
Love, Sire!

SALIERI
Ah, love!  Well of course in Italy we know nothing about that.

The Italian faction - Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno - laugh discreetly.

MOZART
No, I don't think you do.  I mean watching Italian opera, all those 
male sopranos screeching.  Stupid fat couples rolling their eyes 
about! That's not love - it's just rubbish.

An embarrassed pause.  Bonno giggles in nervous amusement.

MOZART
Majesty, you choose the language.  It will be my task to set it to 
the finest music ever offered a monarch.

Pause.  Joseph is clearly pleased.

JOSEPH
Well, there it is.  Let it be German.

He nods - he has wanted this result all the time.  He turns and makes for the 
door.  All bow.  Then he becomes aware of the manuscript in his hand.


JOSEPH
Ah, this is yours.

Mozart does not take it.

MOZART
Keep it, Sire, if you want to.  It is already here in my head.

JOSEPH
What?  On one hearing only?

MOZART
I think so, Sire, yes.

Pause.

JOSEPH
Show me.

Mozart bows and hands the manuscript back to the Emperor.  Then he goes to the 
forte-piano and seats himself.  The others, except for Salieri, gather around the 
manuscript held by the King.  Mozart plays the first half of the march with deadly 
accuracy.

MOZART
(to Salieri)
The rest is just the same, isn't it?

He plays the first half again but stops in the middle of a phrase, which he repeats 
dubiously.

MOZART
That really doesn't work, does it?

All the courtiers look at Salieri.

MOZART
Did you try this?  Wouldn't it be just a little more -?

He plays another phrase.

MOZART
Or this - yes, this!  Better.

He plays another phrase.  Gradually, he alters the music so that it turns into the 
celebrated march to be used later in The Marriage of Figaro, “Non Piu Andrai.  He 
plays it with increasing abandon and virtuosity.  Salieri watches with a fixed smile 
on his face.  The court watches, astonished.  He finishes in great glory, takes his 
hands off the keys with a gesture of triumph - and grins.

48	INT.   BEDROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1780's	48

We see the olivewood cross.  Salieri is sitting at his desk, staring at it.

SALIERI
Grazie, Signore.

There is a knock at the door.  He does not hear it, but sits on.  Another knock, 
louder.

SALIERI
Yes?

Lorl comes in.

LORL
Madame Cavalieri is here for her lesson, sir.

SALIERI
Bene.

He gets up and enters:

49	INT.   MUSIC ROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1780's	49

KATHERINA CAVALIERI, a young, high-spirited soprano of twenty is waiting 
for him, dressed in a fashionable dress and wearing on her head an exotic turban of 
satin, with a feather.  Lorl exits.

CAVALIERI
(curtseying to him)
Maestro.

SALIERI
Good morning.

CAVALIERI
(posing, in her turban)
Well?   How do you like it?  It's Turkish.  My hairdresser tells me 
everything's going to be Turkish this year!

SALIERI
Really?  What else did he tell you today?  Give me some gossip.

CAVALIERI
Well, I heard you met Herr Mozart.

SALIERI
Oh?  News travels fast in Vienna.

CAVALIERI
And he's been commissioned to write an opera.  Is it true?

SALIERI
Yes.

CAVALIERI
Is there a part for me?

SALIERI
No.

CAVALIERI
How do you know?

SALIERI
Well even if there is, I don't think you want to get involved with 
this one.

CAVALIERI
Why not?

SALIERI
Well, do you know where it's set, my dear?

CAVALIERI
Where?

SALIERI
In a harem.

CAVALIERI
What's that?

SALIERI
A brothel.

CAVALIERI
Oh!

SALIERI
A Turkish brothel.

CAVALIERI
Turkish?  Oh, if it's Turkish, that's different.  I want to be in it.

SALIERI
My dear, it will hardly enhance your reputation to be celebrated 
throughout Vienna as a singing prostitute for a Turk.

He seats himself at the forte-piano.

CAVALIERI
Oh.  Well perhaps you could introduce us anyway.

SALIERI
Perhaps.

He plays a chord.  She sings a scale, expertly.  He strikes another chord.  She starts 
another scale, then breaks off.

CAVALIERI
What does he look like?

SALIERI
You might be disappointed.

CAVALIERI
Why?

SALIERI
Looks and talent don't always go together, Katherina.

CAVALIERI
(airily)
Looks don't concern me, Maestro.  Only talent interests a woman 
of taste.

He strikes the chord again, firmly.  Cavalieri sings her next scale, then another one, 
and another one, doing her exercises in earnest.  As she hits a sustained high note 
the orchestral accompaniment in the middle of “Martern Aller Arten from Il 
Seraglio comes in underneath and the music changes from exercises to the exceed-
ingly florid aria.  We DISSOLVE on the singer's face, and she is suddenly not 
merely turbaned, but painted and dressed totally in a Turkish manner, and we are 
on:

50	INT.   OPERA STAGE - VIENNA - 1780's	50

The heroine of the opera (Cavalieri) is in full cry addressing the Pasha with scorn 
and defiance.

The house is full.  Watching the performance - which is conducted by Mozart 
from the clavier in the midst of the orchestra - we note Von Strack, Orsini-
Rosenberg, Bonno and Von Swieten, all grouped around the Emperor, in a box.  In 
another box we see an overdressed, middle-aged woman and three girls, one of 
whom is Constanze.  This is the formidable MADAME WEBER and her three 
daughters, Constanze, JOSEFA and SOPHIE.  All are enraptured by the spectacle 
and Madame Weber is especially enraptured by being there at all.  Not so, Salieri, 
who sits in another box, coldly watching the stage.

Cavalieri is singing “Martern aller Arten from the line Doch du bist entschlossen.

CAVALIERI
“Since you are determined,
Since you are determined,
Calmly, with no ferment,
Welcome - every pain and woe.
Bind me then - compel me!
Bind me then - compel me!
Hurt me.  Break me!  Kill me!
At last I shall be freed by death!

After a few moments of this showy aria, with the composer and the singer staring 
at each other - he conducting elaborately for her benefit, and she following his 
beat with rapturous eyes - the music fades, and Salieri speaks over it.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
There she was.  I had no idea where they met - or how - yet 
there she stood on stage for all to see.  Showing off like the 
greedy songbird she was.  Ten minutes of ghastly scales and 
arpeggios, whizzing up and down like fireworks at a fairground.

Music up again for the last 30 bars of the aria.

CAVALIERI
(singing)
Be freed at last by death!
Be freed at last by death!
At last I shall be freed
By!  Death!

BEFORE THE ORCHESTRAL CODA ENDS, CUT TO:

51	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	51

Through the window we see that night has fallen.

OLD SALIERI
Understand, I was in love with the girl.  Or at least in lust.  I was-
n't a saint.  It took me the most tremendous effort to be faithful 
to my vow.  I swear to you I never laid a finger on her.  All the 
same, I couldn't bear to think of anyone else touching her - least 
of all the Creature.

CUT BACK TO:


52	INT.   THE OPERA HOUSE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780's	52

The brilliant Turkish finale of Seraglio bursts over us.  All the cast is lined up on 
stage.  Mozart is conducting with happy excitement.

CAST OF SERAGLIO
(singing)
“Pasha Selim
May he
Live forever!
Ever, ever, ever, ever!
Honour to his regal name!
Honour to his regal name!

May his noble brow emblazon
Glory, fortune, joy and fame!
Honour be to Pasha Selim
Honour to his regal name!
Honour to his regal name!

The curtains fall.  Much applause.  The Emperor claps vigorously and - following 
his lead - so do the courtiers.  The curtains part.  Mozart applauds the singers who 
applaud him back.  He skips up onto the stage amongst them.  The curtains fall 
again as they all bow.  In the auditorium, the chandeliers descend, filling it with 
light.

53	INT.   OPERA HOUSE STAGE -  VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780's	53

The curtains are down, and an excited hubbub of singers in costume surround 
Mozart and Cavalieri, all excited and chattering.  Suddenly a hush.  The Emperor 
is seen approaching from the wings, lit by flunkies holding candles.  Von Strack, 
Orsini-Rosenberg and Von Swieten, amongst others, follow him.  Also Salieri.  The 
singers line up.  Joseph stops at Cavalieri who makes a deep curtsey.

JOSEPH
Bravo, Madame.  You are an ornament to our stage.

CAVALIERI
Majesty.

JOSEPH
(to Salieri)
And to you, Court Composer.  Your pupil has done you great 
credit.

54	INT.   BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR -  VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780's	54

MADAME WEBER
Let us pass, please!  Let us pass at once!  We're with the Emperor.

FLUNKY
I am sorry, Madame.  It is not permitted.

MADAME WEBER
Do you know who I am? (pointing to Constanze) This is my 
daughter.  I am Frau Weber.  We are favoured guests!

FLUNKY
I am sorry, Madame, but I have my orders.

MADAME WEBER
Call Herr Mozart!  You call Herr Mozart immediately!  This is 
insupportable!

CONSTANZE
Mother, please!

MADAME WEBER
Go ahead, Constanze.  Just ignore this fellow. (pushing her) Go 
ahead, dear!

FLUNKY
(barring the way)
I am sorry, Madame, but no!  I cannot let anyone pass.

MADAME WEBER
Young man, I am no stranger to theatres.  I'm no stranger to 
insolence!

CUT BACK TO:

55	INT.   OPERA HOUSE STAGE -  VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780's	55

All are applauding Cavalieri.  The Emperor turns to Mozart.

JOSEPH
Well, Herr Mozart!  A good effort.  Decidedly that.  An excellent 
effort!  You've shown us something quite new today.

Mozart bows frantically: he is over-excited.

MOZART
It is new, it is, isn't it, Sire?

JOSEPH
Yes, indeed.

MOZART
And German?

JOSEPH
Oh, yes.  Absolutely.  German.  Unquestionably!

MOZART
So then you like it?  You really like it, Your Majesty?

JOSEPH
Of course I do.  It's very good.  Of course now and then - just 
now and then - it gets a touch elaborate.

MOZART
What do you mean, Sire?

JOSEPH
Well, I mean occasionally it seems to have, how shall one say? (he 
stops in difficulty; to Orsini-Rosenberg) How shall one say, 
Director?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Too many notes, Your Majesty?

JOSEPH
Exactly.  Very well put.  Too many notes.

MOZART
I don't understand.  There are just as many notes, Majesty, as are 
required.  Neither more nor less.

JOSEPH
My dear fellow, there are in fact only so many notes the ear can 
hear in the course of an evening.  I think I'm right in saying that, 
aren't I, Court Composer?

SALIERI
Yes! yes! er, on  the whole, yes, Majesty.

MOZART
(to Salieri)
But this is absurd!

JOSEPH
My dear, young man, don't take it too hard.  Your work is inge-
nious.  It's quality work.  And there are simply too many notes, 
that's all.  Cut a few and it will be perfect.

MOZART
Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?

Pause.  General embarrassment.

JOSEPH
Well.  There it is.

Into this uncomfortable scene bursts a sudden eruption of noise and Madame 
Weber floods onto the stage, followed by her daughters.  All turn to look at this 
amazing spectacle.

MADAME WEBER
Wolfi!  Wolfi, my dear!

She moves toward Mozart with arms outstretched in an absurd theatrical gesture, 
then sees the Emperor.  She stares at him, mesmerized, her mouth open, unable 
even to curtsey.

MADAME WEBER
Oh!

Mozart moves forward quickly.

MOZART
Majesty, this is Madame Weber.  She is my landlady.

JOSEPH
Enchanted, Madame.

MADAME WEBER
Oh, Sire! such an honour!  And, and, and these are my dear 
daughters.  This is Constanze.  She is the fiancee of Herr Mozart.

Constanze curtsies.  CU, of Cavalieri, astonished at the news.  CU, of Salieri, 
watching her receive it.

JOSEPH
Really?  How delightful.  May I ask when you marry?

MOZART
Well - Well we haven't quite received my father's consent, Your 
Majesty.  Not entirely.  Not altogether.

He giggles uncomfortably.

JOSEPH
Excuse me, but how old are you?

MOZART
Twenty-six.


JOSEPH
Well, my advice is to marry this charming young lady and stay 
with us in Vienna.

MADAME WEBER
You see?  You see?  I've told him that, Your Majesty, but he won't 
listen to me.

Cavalieri is glaring at Mozart.  Mozart looks hastily away from her.

MADAME WEBER
Oh, Your Majesty, you give such wonderful - such impeccable - 
such royal advice.  I - I - May I?

She attempts to kiss the royal hand, but faints instead.  The Emperor contemplates 
her prone body and steps back a pace.

JOSEPH
Well.  There it is.  Strack.

He nods pleasantly to all and leaves the stage, with his Chamberlain.  All bow.

Cavalieri turns with a savage look at Mozart and leaves the stage the opposite way, 
to her dressing room, tossing her plumed head.  Salieri watches.  Mozart stays for a 
second, indecisive whether to follow the soprano or help Madame Weber.

CONSTANZE
(to Mozart)
Get some water!

He hurries away.  The daughters gather around Madame Weber.

56	INT.   CAVALIERI'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	56

Katherina sits fuming at her mirror.  A dresser is taking the pins out of her wig as 
she stares straight ahead of her.  Mozart sticks his head round the door.

MOZART
Katherina!  I'll tell you what I'm going to do.  I'm going to write 
another aria for you.  Something even more amazing for the sec-
ond act.  I have to get some water.  Her mother is lying on the 
stage.

CAVALIERI
Don't bother!

MOZART
What?


CAVALIERI
Don't bother.

MOZART
I'll be right back.

He dashes off.

57	INT.   OPERA HOUSE STAGE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780's	57

Constanze and Mozart make their way quickly through a crowd of actors in tur-
bans and caftans, and stagehands carrying bits of the dismantled set of Seraglio.  
We see all the turmoil of backstage after a performance. A fireman passes Mozart 
carrying a small bucket of water.  Mozart snatches it from him and pushes his way 
through the crowd to Madame Weber, who still lies prone on the stage.  Mozart 
pushes through the crowd surrounding her and throws water on her face.  She is in-
stantly revived by the shock.  Constanze assists her to rise.

CONSTANZE
Are you all right?

Instead of being furious, Madame Weber smiles at them rapturously.

MADAME WEBER
Ah, what an evening!  What a wise man we have for an Emperor.  
Oh, my children! (with sudden, hard briskness) Now I want you to 
write your father exactly what His Majesty said.

The activity continues to swirl around them.

MOZART
You should really go home now, Frau Weber.  Your carriage must 
be waiting.

MADAME WEBER
But aren't you taking us?

MOZART
I have to talk to the singers.

MADAME WEBER
That's all right; we'll wait for you.  Just don't take all night.

59	INT.   CAVALIERI'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	59

Cavalieri, still in costume, is marching up and down, very agitated.

CAVALIERI
Did you know?  Had you heard?

SALIERI
What?

CAVALIERI
The marriage!

SALIERI
Well, what does it matter to you?

CAVALIERI
Nothing!  He can marry who he pleases.  I don't give a damn.

She catches him looking at her and tries to compose herself.

CAVALIERI
How was I?  Tell me honestly.

SALIERI
You were sublime.

CAVALIERI
What did you think of the music?

SALIERI
Extremely clever.

CAVALIERI
Meaning you didn't like it.

Mozart comes in unexpectedly.

MOZART
Oh - excuse me!

CAVALIERI
Is her mother still lying on the floor?

MOZART
No, she's fine.

CAVALIERI
I'm so relieved.

She seats herself at her mirror and removes her wig.

SALIERI
Dear Mozart, my sincere congratulations.

MOZART
Did you like it, then?

SALIERI
How could I not?

MOZART
It really is the best music one can hear in Vienna today.  Don't 
you agree?

CAVALIERI
Is she a good fuck?

MOZART
What??

CAVALIERI
I assume she's the virtuoso in that department.  There can't be any 
other reason you'd marry someone like that.

Salieri looks astonished.  There is a knock on the door.

CAVALIERI
Come in!

The door opens.  Constanze enters.

CONSTANZE
Excuse me, Wolfi.  Mama is not feeling very well.  Can we leave 
now?

MOZART
Of course.

CAVALIERI
No, no, no, no.  You can't take him away now.  This is his night.  
Won't you introduce us, Wolfgang?

MOZART
Excuse us, Fraülein.  Good night, Signore.

Mozart hurries Constanze out of the door.  Cavalieri looks after them as they go, 
her voice breaking and rising out of control.

CAVALIERI
You really are full of surprises, aren't you?  You are quite extraor-
dinary, you little shit!

She turns and collapses, crying with rage, into Salieri's arms.  We focus on him.


OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
At that moment I knew beyond any doubt.  He'd had her.  The 
Creature had had my darling girl.

60	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1820's	60

The old man speaks passionately to the priest.

OLD SALIERI
It was incomprehensible.  What was God up to?  Here I was 
denying all my natural lust in order to deserve God's gift and 
there was Mozart indulging his in all directions - even though 
engaged to be married! - and no rebuke at all!  Was it possible I 
was being tested?  Was God expecting me to offer forgiveness in 
the face of every offense, no matter how painful?  That was very 
possible.  All the same, why him?  Why use Mozart to teach me 
lessons in humility?  My heart was filling up with such hatred for 
that little man.  For the first time in my life I began to know re-
ally violent thoughts.  I couldn't stop them.

VOGLER
Did you try?

OLD SALIERI
Every day.  Sometimes for hours I would pray!

61	INT.   SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY - 1780's	61

The young Salieri is kneeling in desperation before the Cross.

SALIERI
Please!  Please!  Send him away, back to Salzburg.  For his sake as 
well as mine.

CU, Christ staring from the Cross.

CUT BACK TO:

62	INT.   AUDIENCE HALL - ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE - SALZBURG -	62
	DAY - 1780's

We see Leopold kneeling now not to the Cross but to Archbishop Colloredo, sit-
ting impassively on his throne.  Count Arco stands beside him.  Leopold is a des-
perate, once-handsome man of sixty, now far too much the subservient courtier.

COLLOREDO
No!  I won't have him back.

LEOPOLD
But he needs to be here in Salzburg, Your Grace.  He needs me 
and he needs you.  Your protection, your understanding.

COLLOREDO
Hardly.

LEOPOLD
Oh sir, yes!  He's about to make the worst mistake of his life.  
Some little Viennese slut is trying to trick him into marriage.  I 
know my son.  He is too simple to see the trap - and there is no 
one there who really cares for him.

COLLOREDO
I'm not surprised.  Money seems to be more important to him 
than loyalty or friendship.  He has sold himself to Vienna.  Let 
Vienna look out for him.

LEOPOLD
Sir -

COLLOREDO
Your son is an unprincipled, spoiled, conceited brat.

LEOPOLD
Yes, sir, that's the truth.  But don't blame him.  The fault is mine.  
I was too indulgent with him.  But not again.  Never again, I 
promise!  I implore you - let me bring him back here.  I'll make 
him give his word to serve you faithfully.

COLLOREDO
And how will you make him keep it?

LEOPOLD
Oh, sir, he's never disobeyed me in anything.  Please, Your Grace, 
give him one more chance.

COLLOREDO
You have leave to try.

LEOPOLD
Oh, Your Grace - I thank Your Grace!  I thank you!

In deepest gratitude he kisses the Archbishop's hand.  He motions Leopold to rise.  
We hear the first dark fortissimo chord which begins the Overture to Don 
Giovanni: the theme associated with the character of the Commendatore.

LEOPOLD
(V.O.)
My dear son.

The second fortissimo chord sounds.

63	INT.   A BAROQUE CHURCH - DAY - 1780's	63

We see a huge CU, of Mozart's head, looking front and down, as if reading his fa-
ther's letter.  We hear Leopold's voice over this image, no longer whining and 
anxious, but impressive.

LEOPOLD
(V.O.)
I write to you with urgent news.  I am coming to Vienna.  Take 
no further steps toward marriage until we meet.  You are too 
gullible to see your own danger.  As you honour the father who 
has devoted his entire life to yours, do as I bid, and await my 
coming.

MOZART
I will.

The camera pulls back to see that he is in fact kneeling beside Constanze.  A 
PRIEST faces them.  Behind them are Madame Weber, Josefa and Sophie Weber, 
and a very few others.  Among them, a merry looking lady in bright clothes: the 
BARONESS WALDSTADTEN.

PRIEST
And will you, Constanze Weber, take this man, Wolfgang to be 
your lawful husband?

CONSTANZE
I will.

PRIEST
I now pronounce you man and wife.

The opening kyrie of the great Mass in C Minor is heard.  Mozart and Constanze 
kiss.  They are in tears.  Madame Weber and her daughters look on approvingly.  
The music swells and continues under the following:

64	INT.   A ROOM IN LEOPOLD'S HOUSE - SALZBURG - NIGHT - 1780's	64

There is a view of a castle in background.  Leopold  sits alone in his room.  He is 
reading a letter from Wolfgang.  At his feet are his trunks, half-packed for the 
journey he will not now take.  We hear Mozart's voice reading the following letter 
and we see, as the camera roves around the room, mementos of the young prodi-
gy's early life: the little forte-piano made for him; the little violin made for him; an 
Order presented to him.  We see a little starling in a wicker cage.  And we see por-
traits of the boy on the walls, concluding with the familiar family portrait of 
Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl seated at the keyboard with Leopold standing, 
and the picture of their mother on the wall behind them.

MOZART
(V.O.)
Most beloved father, it is done.  Do not blame me that I did not 
wait to see your dear face.  I knew you would have tried to dis-
suade me from my truest happiness and I could not have borne it.  
Your every word is precious to me.  Remember how you have al-
ways told me Vienna is the City of Musicians.  To conquer here is 
to conquer Europe!  With my wife I can do it.  I vow I will be-
come regular in my habits and productive as never before.  She is 
wonderful, Papa, and I know that you will love her.  And one day 
soon when I am a wealthy man, you will come and live with us, 
and we will be so happy.  I long for that day, best of Papas, and 
kiss your hand a hundred thousand times.

The music of the Mass fades as Leopold crumples the letter in his hand.

65	EXT.   THE IMPERIAL GARDENS - VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	65

Salieri stands waiting, hat in hand.  Beside him stands a royal servant.  Behind him, 
gardeners are glimpsed tending the shrubs and bushes along a grassy ride.  Down 
this ride are seen cantering two people on horseback: the Emperor Joseph and his 
niece, the PRINCESS ELIZABETH.  They are mounted on glossy horses.  The 
Princess rides side-saddle.  Running beside her is a panting groom.  The Emperor 
rides elegantly; his niece, a dumpy little Hapsburg girl of sixteen, like a sack of 
potatoes.  As they draw level with Salieri they stop, and the groom holds the head 
of the Princess' horse.  Salieri bows respectfully.

JOSEPH
Good morning, Court Composer.  This is my niece, the Princess 
Elizabeth.

SALIERI
Your Highness.

Out of breath, the Princess nods nervously.

JOSEPH
She has asked me to advise her on a suitable musical instructor.  I 
think I've come up with an excellent idea.

He smiles at Salieri.

SALIERI
Oh, Your Majesty, it would be such a tremendous honour!

JOSEPH
I'm thinking about Herr Mozart.  What is your view?

Salieri's face falls, almost imperceptibly.

SALIERI
An interesting idea, Majesty.  But -

JOSEPH
Yes?

SALIERI
You already commissioned an opera from Mozart.

JOSEPH
And the result satisfies.

SALIERI
Yes, of course.  My concern is to protect you from any suspicion 
of favouritism.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  Favouritism.  But I so want Mozart.

SALIERI
I'm sure there is a way, Majesty.  Some kind of a little contest.  I 
could perhaps put together a small Committee, and I could see to 
it naturally that it will select according to Your Majesty's wishes.

JOSEPH
You please me, Court Composer.  A very clever idea.

SALIERI
(bowing)
Sire.

JOSEPH
Well.  There it is.

He rides on.  The groom releases her horse's head, and runs on after the Princess.

CUT TO:

66	INT.   CHAMBERLAIN VON STRACK'S STUDY - DAY - 1780's	66

Von Strack sits stiffly behind his gilded desk.  Mozart stands before him, trem-
bling with anger.

MOZART
What is this, Herr Chamberlain?


VON STRACK
What is what?

MOZART
Why do I have to submit samples of my work to some stupid 
committee?  Just to teach a sixteen-year-old girl.

VON STRACK
Because His Majesty wishes it.

MOZART
Is the Emperor angry with me?

VON STRACK
On the contrary.

MOZART
Then why doesn't he simply appoint me to the post?

VON STRACK
Mozart, you are not the only composer in Vienna.

MOZART
No, but I'm the best.

VON STRACK
A little modesty would suit you better.

MOZART
Who is on this committee?

VON STRACK
Kapellmeister Bonno, Count Orsini-Rosenberg and Court 
Composer Salieri.

MOZART
Naturally, the Italians!  Of course!  Always the Italians!

VON STRACK
Mozart -

MOZART
They hate my music.  It terrifies them.  The only sound Italians 
understand is banality.  Tonic and dominant, tonic and domi-
nant, from here to Resurrection! (singing angrily) Ba-ba!  Ba-ba!  
Ba-ba!  Ba-ba!  Anything else is morbid.

VON STRACK
Mozart -


MOZART
Show them one interesting modulation and they faint.  “Ohime!  
Morbidezza!  Morbidezza!  Italians are musical idiots and you 
want them to judge my music!

VON STRACK
Look, young man, the issue is simple.  If you want this post, you 
must submit your stuff in the same way as all your colleagues.

MOZART
Must I?  Well, I won't!  I tell you straight:  I will not!

CUT TO:

67	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	67

The room is very small and untidy.  Constanze is marching up and down it, upset.  
Mozart is lying on the bed.

CONSTANZE
I think you're mad!  You're really mad!

MOZART
Oh, leave me alone.

CONSTANZE
One royal pupil and the whole of Vienna will come flocking.  
We'd be set up for life!

MOZART
They'll come anyway.  They love me here.

CONSTANZE
No, they will not.  I know how things work in this city.

MOZART
Oh yes?  You always know everything.

CONSTANZE
Well, I'm not borrowing any more money from my mother, and 
that's that!

MOZART
You borrowed money from your mother?

CONSTANZE
Yes!

MOZART
Well, don't do that again!

CONSTANZE
How are we going to live, Wolfi?  Do you want me to go into the 
streets and beg?

MOZART
Don't be stupid.

CONSTANZE
All they want to see is your work.  What's wrong with that?

MOZART
Shut up!  Just shut up!  I don't need them.

CONSTANZE
This isn't pride.  It's sheer stupidity!

She glares at him, almost in tears.

CUT TO:

67A	INT.   SALIERI'S MUSIC ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON - 1780's	67A

Salieri is giving a lesson to a girl student, who is singing the Italian art song, Caro 
Mio Ben.

There is a knock on the door.

SALIERI
Yes.

A SERVANT enters.

SERVANT
Excuse me, sir, there is a lady who insists on talking to you.

SALIERI
Who is she?

SERVANT
She didn't say.  But she says it's urgent.

SALIERI
(to the pupil)
Excuse me, my dear.

Salieri goes into the salon.

CUT TO:

68	INT.   THE SALON - LATE AFTERNOON - 1780's	68

Constanze stands, closely veiled, holding a portfolio stuffed with manuscripts.  
The singing lesson ends, with two chords on the instrument.  Salieri enters the sa-
lon.  Constanze drops him a shy curtsey.

CONSTANZE
Excellency!

SALIERI
Madame.  How can I help you?

Shyly, she unveils.

SALIERI
Frau Mozart?

CONSTANZE
That's right, Your Excellency.  I've come on behalf of my hus-
band.  I'm - I'm bringing some samples of his work so he can be 
considered for the royal appointment.

SALIERI
How charming.  But why did he not come himself?

CONSTANZE
He's terribly busy, sir.

SALIERI
I understand.

He takes the portfolio and puts it on a table.

SALIERI
I will look at them, of course, the moment I can.  It will be an 
honour.  Please give him my warmest.

CONSTANZE
Would it be too much trouble, sir, to ask you to look at them 
now?  While I wait.

SALIERI
I'm afraid I'm not at leisure this very moment. Just leave them 
with me.  I assure you they will be quite safe.

CONSTANZE
I - I really cannot do that, Your Excellency.  You see, he doesn't 
know I'm here.


SALIERI
Really?

CONSTANZE
My husband is a proud man, sir.  He would be furious if he knew 
I'd come.

SALIERI
Then he didn't send you?

CONSTANZE
No, sir.  This is my own idea.

SALIERI
I see.

CONSTANZE
Sir, we really need this job.  We're desperate.  My husband spends 
far more than he can ever earn.  I don't mean he's lazy - he's not 
at all - he works all day long.  It's just! he's not practical.  
Money simply slips through his fingers, it's really ridiculous, Your 
Excellency.  I know you help musicians.  You're famous for it.  
Give him just this one post.  We'd be forever indebted!

A short pause.

SALIERI
Let me offer you some refreshment.  Do you know what these 
are?

He indicates a dish piled high with glazed chestnuts.

SALIERI
Cappezzoli di Venere.  Nipples of Venus.  Roman chestnuts in 
brandied sugar.  Won't you try one?  They're quite surprising.

He offers her the dish.  She takes one and puts it in her mouth.  He watches 
carefully.

CONSTANZE
Oh!  They're wonderful.

He takes one himself.  We notice on his finger a heavy gold signet-ring.

CONSTANZE
Thank you very much, Your Excellency.


SALIERI
Don't keep calling me that.  It puts me at such a distance.  I was 
not born a Court Composer, you know.  I'm from a small town, 
just like your husband.

He smiles at her.  She takes another chestnut.

SALIERI
Are you sure you can't leave that music, and come back again?  I 
have other things you might like.

CONSTANZE
That's very tempting, but it's impossible, I'm afraid.  Wolfi 
would be frantic if he found those were missing.  You see, they're 
all originals.

SALIERI
Originals?

CONSTANZE
Yes.

A pause.  He puts out his hand and takes up the portfolio from the table.  He 
opens it.  He looks at the music.  He is puzzled.

SALIERI
These are originals?

CONSTANZE
Yes, sir.  He doesn't make copies.

CUT TO:

69	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	69

The old man faces the Priest.

OLD SALIERI
Astounding!  It was actually beyond belief.  These were first and 
only drafts of music yet they showed no corrections of any kind.  
Not one.  Do you realize what that meant?

Vogler stares at him.

OLD SALIERI
He'd simply put down music already finished in his head.  Page 
after page of it, as if he was just taking dictation.  And music fin-
ished as no music is ever finished.


70	INT.   SALIERI'S SALON - LATE AFTERNOON - 1780's	70

CU,  The manuscript in Mozart's handwriting.  The music begins to sound under 
the following:

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
Displace one note and there would be diminishment.  Displace 
one phrase, and the structure would fall.  It was clear to me.  That 
sound I had heard in the Archbishop's palace had been no acci-
dent.  Here again was the very voice of God!  I was staring 
through the cage of those meticulous ink-strokes at an absolute, 
inimitable beauty.

The music swells.  What we now hear is an amazing collage of great passages from 
Mozart's music, ravishing to Salieri and to us.  The Court Composer, oblivious to 
Constanze, who sits happily chewing chestnuts, her mouth covered in sugar, walks 
around and around his salon, reading the pages and dropping them on the floor 
when he is done with them.  We see his agonized and wondering face:  he shudders 
as if in a rough and tumbling sea; he experiences the point where beauty and great 
pain coalesce.  More pages fall than he can read, scattering across the floor in a 
white cascade, as he circles the room.

Finally, we hear the tremendous “Qui Tollis from the Mass in C Minor.  It seems 
to break over him like a wave and, unable to bear any more of it, he slams the port-
folio shut.  Instantly, the music breaks off, reverberating in his head.  He stands 
shaking, staring wildly.  Constanze gets up, perplexed.

CONSTANZE
Is it no good?

A pause.

SALIERI
It is miraculous.

CONSTANZE
Oh yes.  He's really proud of his work.

Another pause.

CONSTANZE
So, will you help him?

Salieri tries to recover himself.

SALIERI
Tomorrow night I dine with the Emperor.  One word from me 
and the post is his.

CONSTANZE
Oh, thank you, sir!

Overjoyed, she stops and kisses his hand.  He raises her - and then clasps her to 
him clumsily.  She pushes herself away.

SALIERI
Come back tonight.

CONSTANZE
Tonight?

SALIERI
Alone.

CONSTANZE
What for?

SALIERI
Some service deserves service in return.  No?

CONSTANZE
What do you mean?

SALIERI
Isn't it obvious?

They stare at one another: Constanze in total disbelief.

SALIERI
It's a post all Vienna seeks.  If you want it for your husband, come 
tonight.

CONSTANZE
But! I'm a married woman!

SALIERI
Then don't.  It's up to you.  Not to be vague, that is the price.

He glares at her.

SALIERI
Yes.

He rings a silver bell for a servant and abruptly leaves the roam.  Constanze stares 
after him, horrified.


The servant enters.  Shocked and stunned, Constanze goes down an her knees and 
starts picking up the music from the floor.

CUT TO:

71	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	71

CU, Father Vogler, horrified.

OLD SALIERI
Yes, Father.  Yes!  So much for my vow of chastity.  What did it 
matter?  Good, patient, hard-working, chaste - what did it mat-
ter?  Had goodness made me a good composer?  I realized it ab-
solutely then - that moment: goodness is nothing in the furnace 
of art.  And I was nothing to God.

VOGLER
(crying out)
You cannot say that!

OLD SALIERI
No?  Was Mozart a good man?

VOGLER
God's ways are not yours.  And you are not here to question Him.  
Offer him the salt of penitence.  He will give you back the bread 
of eternal life.  He is all merciful.  That is all you need to know.

OLD SALIERI
All I ever wanted was to sing to Him.  That's His doing, isn't it?  
He gave me that longing - then made me mute.  Why?  Tell me 
that.  If He didn't want me to serve Him with music, why im-
plant the desire, like a lust in my body, then deny me the talent?  
Go on, tell me!  Speak for Him!

VOGLER
My son, no one can speak for God.

OLD SALIERI
Oh?  I thought you did so every day.  So speak now.  Answer me!

VOGLER
I do not claim to unravel the mysteries.  I treasure them.  As you 
should.

OLD SALIERI
(impatiently)
Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!  Always the same stale answers! 
(intimately to the priest) There is no God of Mercy, Father.  Just a 
God of torture.

CUT TO:

72	INT.   SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	72

Salieri sits at his desk, staring up at the cross.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
Evening came to that room.  I sat there not knowing whether the 
girl would return or not.  I prayed as I'd never prayed before.

SALIERI
Dear God, enter me now.  Fill me with one piece of true music.  
One piece with your breath in it, so I know that you love me.  
Please.  Just one.  Show me one sign of your favour, and I will 
show mine to Mozart and his wife.  I will get him the royal posi-
tion, and if she comes, I'll receive her with all respect and send her 
home in joy.  Enter me! Enter me! Please! Te imploro.

A long, long silence.  Salieri stares at the cross.  Christ stares back at him impas-
sively.  Finally in this silence we hear a faint knocking at the door.  Salieri stirs him-
self.  A servant appears.

SERVANT
That lady is back, sir.

SALIERI
Show her in.  Then go to bed.

The Servant bows and leaves.  We follow him through:

73	INT.    MUSIC ROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - 1780's	73

The Servant crosses it and enters:

74	INT.   SALON IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - 1780's	74

Constanze is sitting on an upright chair, veiled as before, the portfolio of music on 
her lap.  Through the far door leading from the hall, another servant is peering at 
her.  The first servant joins him and shuts the door on the girl, leaving her alone.

We stay with her.  The clock ticks on the mantelpiece.  We hear an old carriage 
pass in the street below.  Nervously she lifts her veil and looks about her.

Suddenly Salieri appears from the music room.  He is pale and very tight.  They 
regard each other.  She smiles and rises to greet him, affecting a relaxed and warm 
manner, as if to put him at his ease.

CONSTANZE
Well, I'm here.  My husband has gone to a concert.  He didn't 
think I would enjoy it.

A pause.

CONSTANZE
I do apologize for this afternoon.  I behaved like a silly girl.  
Where shall we go?

SALIERI
What?

CONSTANZE
Should we stay here?  It's a charming room.  I love these candle-
sticks.  Were they here earlier?  I didn't notice them I suppose I 
was too nervous.

As she talks, she extinguishes the candles in a pair of Venetian candelabra and sub-
sequently other candles around the room.

CONSTANZE
Wolfgang was given some candlesticks by King George in 
England, but they were only wood.  Oh, excuse me.  Let's not 
talk about him.  What do you think of this?  It's real lace.  
Brussels.

She turns and takes off her shawl.

CONSTANZE
Well, it's much too good for every day.  I keep saying to Wolfi, 
“don't be so extravagant.  Presents are lovely, but we can't afford 
them.  It doesn't do any good.  The more I tell him, the more he 
spends.  Oh, excuse me!  There I go again.

She picks up the portfolio.

CONSTANZE
Do you still want to look at this?  Or don't we need to bother 
anymore?  I imagine we don't, really.

She looks at him inquiringly, and drops the portfolio on the floor; pages of music 
pour out of it.  Instantly we hear a massive chord, and the great “Qui Tollis from 
the Mass in C Minor fills the room.  To its grand and weighty sound, Constanze 
starts to undress, watched by the horrified Salieri.  Between him and her, music is 
an active presence, hurting and baffling him.  He opens his mouth in distress.  The 
music pounds in his head.  The candle flickers over her as she removes her clothes 
and prepares for his embrace.  Suddenly he cries out.

SALIERI
Go!  Go!  Go!

He snatches up the bell and shakes it frantically, not stopping until the two servants 
we saw earlier appear at the door.  The music stops abruptly.  They stare at the ap-
palled and frightened Constanze, who is desperately trying to cover her nakedness.

SALIERI
Show this woman out!

Constanze hurls herself at him.

CONSTANZE
You shit!  You shit!  You rotten shit!

He seizes her wrists and thrusts her back.  Then he leaves the room quickly, slam-
ming the door behind him.  Constanze turns and sees the two servants goggling at 
her in the room.

CONSTANZE
What are you staring at?

Wildly, she picks up the candelabrum and throws it at them.  It shatters on the 
floor.

75	INT.   SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	75

CU, Salieri standing, his eyes shut, shaking in distress.  He opens them and sees 
Christ across the room, staring at him from the wall.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
From now on, we are enemies, You and I!

CUT TO:

76	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	76

The old man is reliving the experience.  Vogler looks at him, horrified.

OLD SALIERI
Because You will not enter me, with all my need for you; because 
You scorn my attempts at virtue; because You choose for Your in-
strument a boastful, lustful, smutty infantile boy and give me for 
reward only the ability to recognize the Incarnation; because You 
are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block You!  I swear it!  I will hin-
der and harm Your creature on earth as far as I am able.  I will 
ruin Your Incarnation.

CUT BACK TO:

76A	INT.   SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	76A

CU, the fireplace.  In it lies the olive wood Christ on the cross, burning.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
What use after all is Man, if not to teach God His lessons?

The cross flames up and disintegrates.  Salieri stares at it.

CUT TO:

77	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	77

The front door bursts open.  Mozart stumbles in, followed by EMMANUEL 
SCHIKANEDER, three young actresses, and another man, all fairly drunk.  
Schikaneder (who appears everywhere accompanied by young girls) is a large, 
fleshy, extravagant man of about thirty-five.

MOZART
Stanzi!  Stanzi!  Stanzi-Manzi!

The others laugh.

MOZART
Sssh!

SCHIKANEDER
(imitating Mozart)
Stanzi-Manzi-Banzi-Wanzi!

MOZART
Sssh!  Stay here.

He walks unsteadily to the bedroom door and opens it.

SCHIKANEDER
(to the girls, very tipsy)
Sssh!  You're dishgrashful!

78	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	78

Constanze lies in bed, her back turned to her husband, who comes into the room 
and shuts the door.


MOZART
(playfully)
Stanzi?  How's my mouse?  Mouse-wouse?  I'm back - puss-wuss 
is back!

She turns around abruptly.  She looks dreadful; her eyes red with weeping.  Mozart 
is shocked.

MOZART
Stanzi!

He approaches the bed and sits on it.  Immediately she starts crying again, 
desperately.

MOZART
What's the matter?  What is it?  Stanzi!

He holds her and she clings to him in a fierce embrace, crying a flood of tears.

MOZART
Stop it now.  Stop it.  I've brought some friends to meet you.  
They're next door waiting.  Do we have anything to eat?  They're 
all starving.

CONSTANZE
Tell them to go away.  I don't want to see anybody.

MOZART
What's the matter with you?

CONSTANZE
Tell them to go!

MOZART
Sssh.  What is it?  Tell me.

CONSTANZE
No!

MOZART
Yes!

CONSTANZE
I love you!  I love you!

She starts crying again, throwing her arms around his neck.

CONSTANZE
I love you.  Please stay with me.  I'm frightened.

81	INT.   THE ROYAL PALACE - DINING ROOM - DAY - 1780's	81

Joseph sits eating.  A butler serves him goat's milk to drink.  Joseph is holding a 
memorandum from Salieri in his hand.  Salieri stands before him.

JOSEPH
I don't think you understand me, Court Composer.

SALIERI
Majesty, I did.  Believe me, it was a most agonizing. decision.  
But finally, I simply could not recommend Herr Mozart.

JOSEPH
Why not?

SALIERI
Well, Sire, I made some inquiries in a routine way.  I was curious 
to know why he had so few pupils.  It is rather alarming.

JOSEPH
Oh?

With a gesture Joseph dismisses the butler, who bows and leaves the room.

SALIERI
Majesty, I don't like to talk against a fellow musician.

JOSEPH
Of course not.

SALIERI
I have to tell you, Mozart is not entirely to be trusted alone with 
young ladies.

JOSEPH
Really?

SALIERI
As a matter of fact, one of my own pupils - a very young 
singer - told me she was - er - well!

JOSEPH
Yes?

SALIERI
Molested, Majesty.  Twice, in the course of the same lesson.

A pause.


JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  Well.  There it is.

81A	INT.   SALIERI'S HOUSE - STAIRCASE - VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	81A

Salieri has just returned from the palace and is coming up the staircase.  He is met 
by his servant.

SERVANT
Sir, there is a Herr Mozart waiting for you in the salon.

Salieri is plainly alarmed.

SALIERI
What does he want?

SERVANT
He didn't say, sir.  I told him I didn't know when you would be 
back, but he insisted on waiting.

SALIERI
Come with me.  And stay in the room.

He mounts the stairs.

82	INT.   SALIERI'S APARTMENT - SALON - DAY - 1780's	82

Mozart is waiting for Salieri, holding a portfolio.  Salieri approaches him nervously.  
Mozart stands not belligerently, but humbly.

SALIERI
Herr Mozart, what brings you here?

MOZART
Your Excellency, you requested some specimens of my work.  
Here they are.  I don't have to tell you how much I need your 
help.  I truly appreciate your looking at these.  I have pressures on 
me - financial pressures. As you know, I'm a married man now.

SALIERI
So you are.  How is your pretty wife?

MOZART
She is well.  She is - well, actually, I'm about to become a father!  
She only told me last night.  You are the first to know.

SALIERI
I'm flattered.  And congratulations to you, of course.


MOZART
So you see, this post is very important to me right now.

Salieri looks at him in distress.

SALIERI
Why didn't you come to me yesterday, Mozart?  This is a most 
painful situation.  Yesterday I could have helped you.  Today, I 
can't.

MOZART
Why?  Here is the music.  It's here.  I am submitting it humbly.  
Isn't that what you wanted?

SALIERI
I have just come from the palace.  The post has been filled.

MOZART
Filled?  That's impossible!  They haven't even seen my work.  I 
need this post.  Please, can't you help me?  Please!

SALIERI
My dear Mozart, there is no one in the world I would rather help, 
but now it is too late.

MOZART
Whom did they choose?

SALIERI
Herr Sommer.

MOZART
Sommer?  Herr Sommer?  But the man's a fool!  He's a total 
mediocrity.

SALIERI
No, no, no: he has yet to achieve mediocrity.

MOZART
But I can't lose this post, I simply can't!  Excellency, please.  Let's 
go to the palace, and you can explain to the Emperor that Herr 
Sommer is an awful choice.  He could actually do musical harm 
to the Princess!

SALIERI
An implausible idea.  Between you and me, no one in the world 
could do musical harm to the Princess Elizabeth.

Mozart chuckles delightedly.  Salieri offers him a glass of white dessert and a 
spoon.  Mozart takes it absently and goes on talking.

MOZART
Look, I must have pupils.  Without pupils I can't manage.

SALIERI
You don't mean to tell me you are living in poverty?

MOZART
No, but I'm broke.  I'm always broke.  I don't know why.

SALIERI
It has been said, my friend, that you are inclined to live somewhat 
above your means.

MOZART
How can anyone say that?  We have no cock, no maid.  We have 
no footman.  Nothing at all!

SALIERI
How is that possible?  You give concerts, don't you?  I hear they 
are quite successful.

MOZART
They're stupendously successful.  You can't get a seat.  The only 
problem is none will hire me.  They all want to hear me play, but 
they won't let me teach their daughters.  As if I was some kind of 
fiend.  I'm not a fiend!

SALIERI
Of course not.

MOZART
Do you have a daughter?

SALIERI
I'm afraid not.

MOZART
Well, could you lend me some money till you have one?  Then I'll 
teach her for free.  That's a promise.  Oh, I'm sorry.  I'm being 
silly.  Papa's right - I should put a padlock on my mouth.  
Seriously, is there any chance you could manage a loan?  Only for 
six months, eight at most.  After that I'll be the richest man in 
Vienna.  I'll pay you back double.  Anything.  Name your terms.  
I'm not joking.  I'm working on something that's going to ex-
plode like a bomb all over Europe!

SALIERI
Ah, how exciting!  Tell me more.

MOZART
I'd better not.  It's a bit of a secret.

SALIERI
Come, come, Mozart; I'm interested.  Truly.

MOZART
Actually, it's a big secret.  Oh, this is delicious!  What is it?

SALIERI
Cream cheese mixed with granulated sugar and suffused with 
rum.  Crema al Mascarpone.

MOZART
Ah.  Italian?

SALIERI
Forgive me.  We all have patriotic feelings of some kind.

MOZART
Two thousand, two hundred florins is all I need  A hundred?  
Fifty?

SALIERI
What exactly are you working on?

MOZART
I can't say.  Really

SALIERI
I don't think you should become known in Vienna as a debtor, 
Mozart.  However, I know a very distinguished gentleman I could 
recommend to you.  And he has a daughter.  Will that do?

84	INT.   MICHAEL SCHLUMBERG'S HOUSE - MORNING - 1780's	84

Hysterical barking and howling.  The hall is full of dogs, at least five, all jumping 
up and dashing about and making a terrific racket.  Mozart, dandified in a new 
coat and a plumed hat for the occasion, has arrived to teach at the house of a pros-
perous merchant, MICHAEL SCHLUMBERG.  Bluff, friendly and coarse-look-
ing, he stands in his hall amidst the leaping and barking animals, greeting Mozart.

SCHLUMBERG
Quiet!  Quiet!  Quiet!  Down there, damn you. (to Mozart) 
Welcome to you.  Pay no attention, they're impossible.  Stop it, 
you willful things!  Come this way.  Just ignore them.  They're 
perfectly harmless, just willful.  I treat them just like my own 
children.

MOZART
And which one of them do you want me to teach?

SCHLUMBERG
What?  Ha-ha!  That's funny - I like it.  Which one, eh?  You're a 
funny fellow. (shouting) Hannah!  Come this way.

He leads Mozart through the throng of dogs into a salon furnished with comfort-
able middle-class taste.

SCHLUMBERG
Hannah!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG appears:	an anxious woman in middle life.

SCHLUMBERG
(to Mozart)
You won't be teaching this one either.  She's my wife.

MOZART
(bowing)
Madame.

SCHLUMBERG
This is Herr Mozart, my dear.  The young man Herr Salieri rec-
ommended to teach our Gertrude.  Where is she?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Upstairs.

SCHLUMBERG
Gertrude!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
You can't be Herr Mozart!

MOZART
I'm afraid I am.

SCHLUMBERG
Of course, it's him.  Who do you think it is?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
I've heard about you for ages!  I thought you must be an old man.

SCHLUMBERG
Gertrude!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
It's such an honour for us to have you here, Herr Mozart.  And for 
Gertrude.

SCHLUMBERG
People who know say the girl's got talent.  You must judge for 
yourself.  If you think she stinks, say so.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Michael, please!  I'm sure you will find her most willing, Herr 
Mozart.  She's really very excited.  She's been preparing all 
morning.

MOZART
Really?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Ah, now!  Here she comes.

GERTRUDE SCHLUMBERG appears in the doorway: an awkward girl of fifteen 
in her best dress, her hair primped and curled.  She is exceedingly nervous.

MOZART
Good morning, Fraülein Schlumberg.

SCHLUMBERG
Strudel, this is Herr Mozart.  Say good morning.

Gertrude giggles instead.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
(to Mozart)
Perhaps a little refreshment first?  A little coffee, or a little choco-
late?

MOZART
I'd like a little wine, if you have it.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Wine?

SCHLUMBERG
Quite right.  He's going to need it. (calling and clapping his hands) 
Klaus!  A bottle of wine.  Prestissimo!  Now let's go to it.  I've been 
waiting all day for this.

He leads the way into:

85	INT.   MUSIC ROOM - DAY - 1780's	85

A forte-piano is open and waiting.  All the dogs follow him.  After them come 
Mozart Frau and Fraülein Schlumberg.  To Mozart's dismay, husband and wife 
seat themselves quite formally on a little narrow sofa, side by side.

SCHLUMBERG
(to the dogs)
Now sit down all of you and behave.  Zeman, Mandi, absolutely 
quiet! (to a young beagle) Especially you, Dudelsachs - not one 
sound from you.

The dogs settle at their feet.  Husband and wife smile encouragingly at each other.

SCHLUMBERG
Come on, then.  Up and at it!

Mozart gestures to the music bench.  Reluctantly, the girl sits at the instrument.  
Mozart sits beside her.

MOZART
Now, please play me something.  Just to give me an idea.  
Anything will do.

GERTRUDE
(to parents)
I don't want you to stay.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
That's all right, dear.  Just go ahead, as if we weren't here.

GERTRUDE
But you are here.

SCHLUMBERG
Never mind, Strudel.  It's part of music, getting used to an audi-
ence.  Aren't I right, Herr Mozart?

MOZART
Well,	yes! on the whole.  I suppose. (to Gertrude) How long 
have you been playing, Fraülein?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Just one year.

MOZART
Who was your teacher?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
I was.  But she quite outgrew the little I could show her.

MOZART
Thank you, Madame. (to Gertrude) Come on now - courage.  
Play me something you know.

In response the wretched girl just stares down at the keyboard without playing a 
note.  An awkward pause.

MOZART
Perhaps it would be better if we were left alone.  I think we're 
both a little shy.

Husband and wife look at each other.

SCHLUMBERG
Nonsense.  Strudel's not shy.  She's just willful!  You give into her 
now, you'll be sorry later.  Strudel - play.

Silence.  The girl sits unmoving.  Schlumberg bellows:

SCHLUMBERG
I said play!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Michael!

MOZART
Perhaps if I were to play a little first, it might encourage the 
Fraülein. (to the girl) Why don't you let me try the instrument?  
All right?

Suddenly the girl rises.  Mozart smiles at the parents.  They smile nervously back.  
Mozart slides along the bench, raises his hands and preludes over the keys.  
Instantly a dog howls loudly.  Startled, Mozart stops.  Schlumberg leaps to his feet 
and goes over to the beagle.

SCHLUMBERG
Stop that, Dudelsachs!  Stop it at once! (to Mozart) Don't let him 
disturb you.  He'll be all right.  He's just a little willful too.  
Please, please - play.  I beg you.

Mozart resumes playing.  This time it is a lively piece, perhaps the Presto Finale 
from the K. 450.  The dog howls immediately.

SCHLUMBERG
Stop it!  STOP!

Mozart stops.

SCHLUMBERG
No, not you.  I was talking to the dog.  You keep playing.  It's 
most important.  He always howls when he hears music.  We've 
got to break them of the habit.  Play, please.  Please!

Amazed, Mozart starts to play the Rondo again. The dog howls louder.

SCHLUMBERG
That's it.  Now keep going, just keep going. (to the beagle) Now 
you stop that noise, Dudelsachs, you stop it this instant!  This in-
stant, do you hear me?  Keep going, Herr Mozart, that's it.  Go 
on, go on!

Mozart plays on.  Suddenly the dog falls silent.  Schlumberg smiles broadly.

SCHLUMBERG
Good, good, good!  Very good dog!  Very, very good 
Dudelsachs. (to his wife, snapping his fingers) Quick, quick, dear, 
bring his biscuit.

The wife scurries to get a jar of biscuits.  A servant brings in an open bottle of wine 
and a full glass on a tray.  He puts it down beside Mozart as Schlumberg addresses 
the silent dog with deepest affection.

SCHLUMBERG
Now guess who's going to get a nice reward?  Clever, clever Dudi.

He gives the biscuit to the dog who swallows it greedily.  Mozart stops playing and 
stands up.

SCHLUMBERG
It's a miracle, Herr Mozart!

MOZART
(barely controlling himself)
Well, I'm a good teacher.  The next time you wish me to instruct 
another of your dogs, please let me know.  Goodbye, Fraülein, 
goodbye, Madame! goodbye, Sir!

He bows to them and leaves the room.  They look after him in puzzled 
astonishment.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
What a strange young man.

SCHLUMBERG
Yes.  He is a little strange.

86	EXT.   A BUSY STREET IN VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	86

A cheerful scene.  We see Mozart strutting and beaming, making his way through 
the crowd of porters, carriers and hawkers, sellers of sausages and pastries, vendors 
of hats and ribbons.  Horses and carriage clatter past him.  His mood is best ex-
pressed by a bubbling version of Non piu Andrai played on the forte-piano.

Still in the same mood, he enters the door of his own house.

87	INT.   MOZART'S HOUSE - HALLWAY -  DAY - 1780's	87

Suddenly, he stops.  He looks up the stairs.  The grim opening chords from the 
Overture to Don Giovanni cut across the march from Figaro.  What he sees, looking 
up the stairs, is a menacing figure in a long, grey cape and dark grey hat, standing 
on the landing.  The light comes from behind the figure so that we see only its sil-
houette as it unfolds its arms towards Mozart in an alarming gesture of possession.  
It takes a beat in which the air of sinister mystery is held before Mozart realizes 
who it is.  Then, as the music continues, he hastily sets down the bottle of wine and 
rushes joyfully up the stairs and hurls himself into the figure's arms.

MOZART
Papa!  PAPA!

Both men embrace.  The music slowly fades.

88	INT.   MOZART'S LIVING ROOM - DAY - 1780's	88

A cramped, low-ceilinged little room which nobody has tidied for ages.  We see 
music lying everywhere.  Also there are many empty wine bottles; musical instru-
ments - among them a mandolin, a viola, a forte-piano with the black and white 
keys reversed - books and abandoned plates of food.  Mozart clasps his father's 
arms.  Leopold is now seen as an aging, travel-stained man in clothes that need re-
pair.  His face is lined, and he is obviously not in perfect health.

MOZART
Why are you here?

LEOPOLD
Am I not welcome?

MOZART
Of course, welcome!  Welcome ten thousand times.  Papa! my 
Papa!

He kisses his hands.

LEOPOLD
You're very thin.  Does she not feed you, this wife of yours?

Mozart ducks away and fetches his father's bags from the landing.

MOZART
Feed?  Well, of course she feeds me.  She stuffs me like a goose all 
day long.  She's the best cook in the world.  I mean, since Mama.  
Just wait, you'll see.

LEOPOLD
Is she not here?

MOZART
I don't know.  Stanzi?  Stanzi!

Leopold looks about him at the mess in the room.

LEOPOLD
Do you always live like this?

MOZART
Oh, yes.  Oh, I mean no - not exactly like this.  I mean today - 
just today, Stanzi - I remember now.  She had to go - yes!  She 
had to help her mother.  Yes, she's like that.  Her mother's a very 
sweet woman, you'll see.

He carries the bag across the room and opens the door of the bedroom.  Constanze 
lies in bed.  She sits up, startled.

MOZART
Oh!  I didn't know you were home.  Stanzi, this is my father.

Constanze, who looks ill and tired, stares at Leopold.  Leopold stares back from 
the doorway.

MOZART
We'll wait, we'll wait.  Why don't you get up now, darling?

He closes the door again.

MOZART
She's very tired, poor creature.  You know me:  I'm a real pig.  It's 
not so easy cleaning up after me.

LEOPOLD
Don't you have a maid?

MOZART
Oh we could, if we wanted to, but Stanzi won't hear of it.  She 
wants to do everything herself.

LEOPOLD
How is your financial situation?

MOZART
It couldn't be better.


LEOPOLD
That's not what I hear.

MOZART
What do you mean?  It's wonderful.  Really,  it's - it's marvelous!  
People love me here.

LEOPOLD
They say you're in debt.

MOZART
Who?  Who says that?  Now that's a malicious lie!

LEOPOLD
How many pupils do you have?

MOZART
Pupils?

LEOPOLD
Yes.

MOZART
Yes.

LEOPOLD
How many?

MOZART
I don't know.  It's not important.  I mean, I don't want pupils.  
They get in the way.  I've got to have time for composition.

LEOPOLD
Composition doesn't pay.  You know that.

MOZART
This one will.

He picks up some pages of manuscript.

LEOPOLD
What's that?

MOZART
Oh, let's not talk about it.

LEOPOLD
Why not?

MOZART
It's a secret.

LEOPOLD
You don't have secrets from me.

MOZART
It's too dangerous, Papa.  But they're going to love it.  Ah, there 
she is!

Constanze comes into the room.  She is wearing a dressing gown and has made a 
perfunctory attempt to tidy her hair.  We see that she is clearly pregnant.

MOZART
My Stanzi - look at her!  Isn't she beautiful?  Come on now, con-
fess, Papa.  Could you want a prettier girl for a daughter?

CONSTANZE
Stop it, Wolfi.  I look dreadful.  Welcome to our house, Herr 
Mozart.

MOZART
He's not Herr Mozart.  Call him Papa.

LEOPOLD
I see that you're expecting.

CONSTANZE
Oh, yes.

LEOPOLD
When, may I ask?

CONSTANZE
In three months! Papa.

MOZART
Isn't that marvelous?  We're delighted.

LEOPOLD
Why didn't you mention it in your letters?

MOZART
Didn't I?  I thought I did.  I'm sure I did.

He gives a little giggle of embarrassment.

CONSTANZE
May I offer you some tea, Herr Mozart?

MOZART
Tea?  Who wants tea?  Let's go out!  This calls for a feast.  You 
don't want tea, Papa.  Let's go dancing.  Papa loves parties, don't 
you?

CONSTANZE
Wolfi!

MOZART
What?  How can you be so boring?  Tea!

CONSTANZE
Wolfi, I think your father's tired.  I'll cook us something here.

LEOPOLD
Thank you.  That'll be fine.  Don't spend any money on me.

MOZART
Why not?  Oh, come, Papa!  What better way could I spend it 
than on you?  My kissable, missable, suddenly visible Papa!

The jaunty tune of Ich Mochte Wohl Der Kaiser sein (K.539) sounds through all the 
following.  This is an alternate song from Il Seraglio:  a very extroverted tune for 
baritone and orchestra and a prominent part for bass drum.  The vocal part should 
be arranged for trumpet.

89	EXT.   STREET IN VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	89

Mozart and Constanze with Leopold between them.  We see couples shopping.

90	INT.   A COSTUME SHOP - VIENNA - DAY - 1780's	90

This is a shop where one can buy costumes for masquerades.  It is filled with ex-
travagant costumes of various kinds.  Wolfgang is wearing a costume, a mask 
pushed up on his forehead; Constanze is wearing a little white velvet mask.  Amidst 
the merriment, Leopold is helped by two assistants to put on a dark grey cloak and 
a dark grey tricorne hat, to which is attached a full mask of dark grey.  Its mouth is 
cut into a fixed upward smile.

He turns and looks at his son through this mask.

CUT STRAIGHT TO:

91	INT.   A LARGE PARTY ROOM - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780's	91

We are in the full whirl of a Masquerade Ball.  Couples are dancing around dressed 
in fantastic costumes.  The music of Ich Mochte Wohl Der Kaiser sein increases in 
volume and persists.  We see the musicians thumping it out on a balustrade above 
the dancers.  A steer is being roasted.  Through the bobbing crowd we see a group, 
headed by the figure of Bacchus:  this is Schikaneder in a Greek costume, wearing 
vine leaves in his hair.  He is accompanied by his usual trio of actresses and three 
other men.  Constanze as Columbine and Mozart as Harlequin are pulling Leopold 
by the hand of his dark cloak and smiling mask.  This whole group threads its way 
across the crowded room and disappears through a door.  As they go, they are 
watched by Salieri, standing alone in a corner, wearing ordinary evening clothes.  
He turns away hastily to avoid being seen by them.

As soon as they disappear into the far room, Salieri goes quickly to a lady in the 
corner who is giving guests domino masks off a tray.  He quickly takes a small 
black mask and puts it on.

CUT TO:

92	INT.   A GROTTO ROOM NEXT DOOR - NIGHT - 1780's	92

A fantastic room designed as a rocky grotto, lit by candles.  A forte-piano to one 
side is being played by Schikaneder:  the music of Ich Mochte Wohl Der Kaiser sein 
cross-fades to another tune.  This is Vivat Bacchus from Il Seraglio which 
Schikaneder, dressed as Bacchus, is humming as he plays.  The music is actually ac-
companying a game of Forfeits, which has begun.  Five couples (the group we have 
just seen) are dancing in the middle of a ring made by nine chairs.  When the mu-
sic stops they will each have to find a chair, and the one who fails must pay a 
forfeit.

Constanze is dancing with Leopold; Mozart is dancing with one of the actresses; 
the two other actresses are dancing with two other gentlemen; and two children 
dance together - a little boy and a little girl.  The scene is watched by a circle of 
bystanders; among them - from the doorway - is Salieri.

Schikaneder stops playing.  Immediately the couples scramble for the chairs.  
Leopold and Constanze meet on the same chair, bumping and pushing at each 
other to get sole possession of it.  To the amusement of the people around, the 
chair over-balances and they both end up on the floor.  Constanze immediately 
gets up again, sets the chair on its feet, and tries to pretend she was sitting in it all 
the time.  But Schikaneder calls out from the forte-piano.

SCHIKANEDER
No, no!  You both lost.  You both lost.  You both have to forfeit.  
And the penalty is! you must exchange your wigs.

People are delighted by the idea of this penalty.  The children jump up and down 
with excitement.  The three actresses immediately surround Leopold, reaching for 
his hat and mask and wig, whilst he tries to hold on to them.  Mozart takes off 
Constanze's wig - an absurd affair with side-curls.  Constanze laughingly surren-
ders it.

LEOPOLD
No, please!  This is ridiculous!  No, please!

Despite his protests an actress takes off his hat, to which the smiling mask is at-
tached, to reveal his outraged face showing a very different expression underneath.  
Another actress snatches off his wig to reveal very sparse hair on the old man's 
head.  The third actress takes Constanze's wig from Mozart and attempts to put it 
on his father's head.

LEOPOLD
No, really!

MOZART
(calling to him)
This is just a game, Papa.

Constanze echoes him with a touch of malice in her voice.

CONSTANZE
“This is just a game, Papa!

Laughingly, the bystanders take it up, especially the children.

BYSTANDERS
“This is just a game, Papa!

As Leopold glares furiously about him, the actress succeeds in getting Constanze's 
wig firmly onto his head.  Everybody bursts into applause.  Delightedly, 
Constanze puts on Leopold's wig, hat and mask:  from the waist up she now looks 
like a weird parody of Leopold in the smiling grey mask, and he looks like a weird 
parody of her in the silly feminine wig.  Schikaneder starts to play again, and the 
couples start to dance.  Leopold angrily takes off Constanze's wig and leaves the 
circle; his partner, Constanze, is left alone.  Seeing this, Mozart leaves his partner 
and catches his father entreatingly by the arm.

MOZART
Oh no, Papa, please!  Don't spoil the fun.  Come on.  Here, take 
mine.

He takes off his own wig and puts it on Leopold's uncovered head.  The effect, if 
not as ridiculous, is still somewhat bizarre, since Wolfgang favours fairly elaborate 
wigs.  He takes Constanze's wig from his father.  As this happens, the music stops 
again.  Mozart gently pushes his father down onto a nearby chair; the others 
scramble for the other chairs; and he is left as the Odd Man Out.  He giggles.  
Schikaneder calls out to Leopold from the keyboard.

SCHIKANEDER
Herr Mozart, why don't you name your son's penalty?

Applause.

MOZART
Yes, Papa, name it.  Name it.  I'll do anything you say!

LEOPOLD
I want you to come back with me to Salzburg, my son.

SCHIKANEDER
What did he say?  What did he say?

MOZART
Papa, the rule is you can only give penalties that can be performed 
in the room.

LEOPOLD
I'm tired of this game.  Please play without me.

MOZART
But my penalty.  I've got to have a penalty.

All the bystanders are watching.

SCHIKANEDER
I've got a good one.  I've got the perfect one for you.  Come over 
here.

Mozart runs over to the forte-piano, and Schikaneder surrenders his place at it.

SCHIKANEDER
Now, I want you to play our tune - sitting backwards.

Applause.

MOZART
Oh, that's really too easy.  Any child can do that.

Amused sounds of disbelief.

SCHIKANEDER
And a fugue in the manner of Sebastian Bach.

Renewed applause at this wicked extra penalty.  Mozart smiles at Schikaneder - it 
is the sort of challenge he loves.  He defiantly puts on Constanze's wig and seats 
himself with his back to the keyboard.  Before the astonished eyes of the company 
he proceeds to execute this absurdly difficult task.  His right hand plays the bass 
part, his left hand the treble, and with this added difficulty he improvises a bril-
liant fugue on the subject of the tune to which they have been dancing.  Attracted 
by this astonishing feat, the players draw nearer to the instrument.  So does Salieri, 
cautiously, with some of the bystanders.  Constanze watches him approach.  Only 
Leopold sits by himself, sulking.

The fugue ends amidst terrific clapping.  The guests call out to Mozart.

GUESTS
Another!  Do another!  Someone else.

MOZART
Give me a name.  Who shall I do?  Give me a name.

GUESTS
Gluck!  Haydn!  Frederic Handel!

CONSTANZE
Salieri!  Do Salieri!

SMASH CUT:  Salieri's masked face whips around and looks at her.

MOZART
Now that's hard.  That's very hard.  For Salieri one has to face the 
right way around.

Giggling, he turns around and sits at the keyboard.  Then, watched by a highly 
amused group, he begins a wicked parody.

He furrows his brow in mock concentration and closes his eyes.  Then he begins to 
play the tune to which they danced, in the most obvious way imaginable, relying 
heavily on a totally and offensively unimaginative bass of tonic and dominant, 
endlessly repeated.  The music is the very essence of banality.  The bystanders rock 
with laughter.  Mozart starts to giggle wildly.  Through this excruciating scene, 
Salieri stares at Constanze, who suddenly turns her head and looks challengingly 
back at him.

Mozart's parody reaches its coarse climax with him adding a fart noise instead of 
notes to end cadences.  He builds this up, urged on in his clowning by everyone 
else, until suddenly he stops and cries out.  The laughter cuts off.  Mozart stands 
up, clutching his behind as if he has made a mess in his breeches.  The momentary 
hush of alarm is followed by a howl of laughter.

CU, Salieri staring in pain.

93	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	93

CU, The old man is shaking at the very recollection of his humiliation.

OLD SALIERI
Go on.  Mock me.  Laugh, laugh!

CUT BACK TO:


94	INT.   GROTTO - NIGHT - 1780's	94

A repetition of the shot of Mozart at the forte-piano, wearing Constanze's wig and 
emitting a shrill giggle.

CUT TO:

95	INT.   SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	95

Salieri sits at his desk.  He holds in his hand the small black party mask and stares 
in hatred at the place on the wall where the crucifix used to hang.  Faintly we see 
the mark of the cross.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
That was not Mozart laughing, Father.  That was God.  That was 
God!  God laughing at me through that obscene giggle.  Go on, 
Signore.  Laugh.  Rub my nose in it.  Show my mediocrity for all 
to see.  You wait!  I will laugh at You!  Before I leave this earth, I 
will laugh at You!  Amen!

97	INT.   MOZART'S WORKROOM - DAY - 1780's	97

It is littered with manuscripts.  In the middle stands a billiard table.  The beautiful 
closing ensemble from Act IV of Figaro: Ah, Tutti contenti! Saremo cosi plays in the 
background.  Standing at the billiard table, Mozart is dreamily hearing the music 
and playing shots on the table.  From time to time he drifts over to a piece of 
manuscript paper and jots down notes.  He is very much in his own world of com-
position and the billiard balls are an aid to creation.  Presently, however, we hear a 
knocking at the door.

CONSTANZE
(outside the door)
Wolfi!  Wolfgang!

The music breaks off.

MOZART
What is it?

He opens the door.

CONSTANZE
There's a young girl to see you.

MOZART
What does she want?


CONSTANZE
I don't know.

MOZART
Well, ask her!

CONSTANZE
She won't talk to me.  She says she has to speak to you.

MOZART
Oh, damn!

99	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM -  DAY - 1780's	99

Mozart comes out.  Framed in the doorway from outside stands Lorl, the maid we 
noticed in Salieri's house.  From his bedroom Leopold peeps out to watch.  Mozart 
goes to the girl.  Constanze follows.

MOZART
Yes?

LORL
Are you Herr Mozart?

MOZART
That's right.

LORL
My name is Lorl, sir.  I'm a maidservant.  I was asked to come 
here and offer my services to you.

MOZART
What?

LORL
They'll be paid for by a great admirer or yours who wishes to re-
main anon - anonymous.

CONSTANZE
What do you mean?  What admirer?

LORL
I can't tell you that, ma'am.

MOZART
Are you saying that someone is paying you to be our maid and 
doesn't want us to know who he is?

LORL
Yes.  I can live in or out just as you wish.

Mozart turns to his father.

MOZART
Papa, is this your idea?

LEOPOLD
Mine?

The old man emerges from his bedroom.  His son looks at him delightedly.

MOZART
Are you playing a trick on me?

LEOPOLD
I never saw this girl in my life. (to Lorl) Is this a kind of joke?

LORL
Not at all, sir.  And I was told to wait for an answer.

LEOPOLD
Young woman, this won't do at all.  My son can't possibly accept 
such an offer, no matter how generous, unless he knows who is 
behind it.

LORL
But I really can't tell you, sir.

LEOPOLD
Oh, this is ridiculous.

CONSTANZE
What is ridiculous?  Wolfi has many admirers in Vienna.  They 
love him here.  People send us gifts all the time.

LEOPOLD
But you can't take her without reference.  It's unheard of!

CONSTANZE
Well, this is none of your business. (to Lorl) Whoever sent you is 
going to pay, no?

LORL
That's right, ma'am.

LEOPOLD
So now we are going to let a perfect stranger into the house?

Constanze looks furiously at him, then at Lorl.

CONSTANZE
Who is “we?  Who is letting who? (to Lorl) Could you please 
wait outside?

LORL
Yes, ma'am.

Lorl goes outside and closes the door.  Constanze turns on Leopold.

CONSTANZE
Look, old man, you stay out of this.  We spend a fortune on you, 
more than we can possibly afford, and all you do is criticize, 
morning to night.  And then you think you can -

MOZART
Stanzi!

CONSTANZE
No, it's right he should hear.  I'm sick to death of it.  We can't do 
anything right for you, can we?

LEOPOLD
Never mind.  You won't have to do anything for me ever again.  
I'm leaving!

MOZART
Papa!

LEOPOLD
Don't worry, I'm not staying here to be a burden.

MOZART
No one calls you that.

LEOPOLD
She does.  She says I sleep all day.

CONSTANZE
And so you do!  The only time you come out is to eat.

LEOPOLD
And what do you expect?  Who wants to walk out into a mess like 
this every day?

CONSTANZE
Oh, now I'm a bad housekeeper!

LEOPOLD
So you are!  The place is a pigsty all the time.


CONSTANZE
(to Mozart)
Do you hear him?  Do you?

Explosively she opens the door.

CONSTANZE
(to Lorl)
When can you start?

LORL
Right away, ma'am.

CONSTANZE
Good!  Come in.  You'll start with that room there. (indicating 
Leopold's room) It's filthy!

She leads the maid into Leopold's room.  Mozart steals back into his workroom 
and gently closes the door.  Leopold is left alone.

LEOPOLD
Sorry, sorry!  I'm sorry I spoke!  I'm just a provincial from 
Salzburg.  What do I know about smart Vienna?  Parties all night, 
every night.  Dancing and drinking like idiot children!

101	INT.   MOZART'S WORKROOM - DAY - 1780's	101

Mozart stands trying to blot out the noise of his father's shouting from the next 
room.

LEOPOLD
(O.S.)
Dinner at eight!  Dinner at ten!  Dinner when anyone feels like 
it! if anyone feels like it!

The ensemble of Ah, Tutti contenti! Saremo cosi from Act IV of Figaro resumes, 
coming to his aid and rising to greet the listener with its serene harmonies.  
Relieved, Mozart languidly picks up his cue and plays a shot on the billiard table:  
he is sucked back into his own world of sound.

102	INT.   SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT - 1780's	102

The music fades.  We see Lorl, dressed in a walking cloak, sitting before a desk, 
talking to someone confidentially.

LORL
They're out every night, sir.  Till all hours.

A hand comes into frame offering a plate of sugared biscuits.  On its finger we see 
the gold signet ring belonging to Salieri.

LORL
(taking one)
Oh, thank you, sir.

SALIERI
Do any pupils come to the house?

LORL
Not that I've seen.

SALIERI
Then how does he pay for all this?  Does he work at all?

LORL
Oh, yes, sir, all day long.  He never leaves the house until evening.  
He just sits there, writing and writing.  He doesn't even eat.

SALIERI
Really?  What is it he's writing?

LORL
Oh, I wouldn't know that, sir.

SALIERI
Of course not.  You're a good girl.  You're very kind to do this.  
Next time you're sure they'll be out of the house, let me know, 
will you?

Confused, the girl hesitates.  He hands her a pile of coins.

LORL
Oh, thank you, sir!

She accepts them, delighted.

103	EXT.   MOZART'S HOUSE - VIENNA STREET - AFTERNOON - 1780's	103

The final movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto in E-flat (K. 482) begins.  To its 
lively music, the door of the house bursts open and a grand forte-piano augmented 
with a pedal is carried out of it by six men, who run off with it down the street.  
Following them immediately appear Wolfgang, Constanze and Leopold, all three 
dressed for an occasion.  They climb into a waiting carriage which drives off after 
the forte-piano.  As soon as it goes, Lorl appears in the doorway, peering slyly 
around to see that they are out of sight.  Then she shuts the door and hurries off in 
the opposite direction.

CUT TO:


104	EXT.   AN ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - VIENNA - AFTERNOON - 1780's	104

An outdoor concert is being given.  Mozart is actually playing the final movement 
of his E-flat concerto with an orchestra.  Listening to him is a sizable audience, in-
cluding the Emperor, flanked by Strack and Von Swieten.  The crowd is in a 
happy and appreciative mood:  it is a delightful open-air scene.  We hear the gayest 
and most complex passage.  Leopold and Constanze listen to Mozart, who plays 
his own work brilliantly.  We stay with this scene for a little while and then

CUT TO:

105	EXT.   VIENNA STREET - AFTERNOON - 1780's	105

A carriage clopping through the streets.  Lorl is sitting up on the box beside the 
driver.  Inside the vehicle, we glimpse the figure of Salieri.

106	EXT.   AN ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - VIENNA - 1780's	106

We hear more of the concerto.  Perhaps the slow interlude in the last movement of 
K. 482.  Mozart is conducting and playing in a reflective mood. Abruptly we

CUT TO:

107	EXT.   MOZART' S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON - 1780's	107

Lorl is opening the door admitting Salieri.  They go in.  The door shuts.

108	INT.   MOZART'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON - 1780's	108

The room is considerably tidier as a result of Lorl's ministrations.  Salieri stands 
looking about him with tremendous curiosity.

LORL
I think I've found out about the money, sir.

SALIERI
Yes  what?

She opens a drawer in a sideboard.  Inside we see one gold snuff box: it is the one 
we saw Mozart being presented with as a child in the Vatican.

LORL
He kept seven snuff boxes in here.  I could swear they were all 
gold.  And now look there's only one left.  And inside, sir, look - 
I counted them - tickets from the pawnshop.  Six of them.

Salieri turns to look around him.


SALIERI
Where does he work?

LORL
In there, sir.

She points across the room to the workroom.  Salieri crosses and goes in alone.

109	INT.   MOZART'S WORKROOM - AFTERNOON - 1780's	109

Salieri enters the private quarters of Amadeus.  He is immensely excited.  He 
moves slowly into the ‘holy of holies' picking up objects with great reverence - a 
billiard ball; a discarded wig; a sock; a buckle - then objects more important to 
him.  Standing at Mozart's desk, strewn with manuscripts, he picks up Mozart's 
pen and strokes the feather.  He touches the inkstand.  He lays a finger on the 
candlestick with its half-expired candle.  He touches each object as if it were the 
memento of a beloved.  He is in awe.  Finally his eye falls on the sheets of music 
themselves.  Stealthily he picks them up.

CU, The pages.

We see words set to music.  Against each line of notes is the name of a character: 
“Contessa, “Susanna, “Cherubino.  Then another page - the title page - writ-
ten in Mozart's hand.


Le Nozze di Figaro

Comedia per musica tratta dal Francese in quattro atti

CU, The word “Figaro.

CU, Salieri.  He stares amazed.

CUT TO:

110	EXT.   ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - VIENNA - AFTERNOON - 1780's	110

Mozart is playing the cadenza and coda of Piano Concerto (K. 482).  He completes 
the work with a flourish.  There is loud applause.  The Emperor rises and all follow
suit.  Mozart comes down to be greeted by him.

JOSEPH
Bravo, Mozart.  Most charming.  Yes, indeed.  Clever man.

MOZART
Thank you, Sire!


VAN SWIETEN
Well done, Mozart.  Really quite fine.

MOZART
Baron!

He sees his wife and father standing by in the crowd.  Leopold is signaling 
insistently.

MOZART
Majesty, may I ask you to do me the greatest favour?

JOSEPH
What is it?

MOZART
May I introduce my father?  He is on a short visit here and return-
ing very soon to Salzburg.  He would so much like to kiss your 
hand.  It would make his whole stay so memorable for him.

JOSEPH
Ah!  By all means.

Leopold comes forward eagerly and fawningly kisses the royal hand.

LEOPOLD
Your Majesty.

Constanze curtsies.

JOSEPH
Good evening. (to Leopold) We have met before, Herr Mozart.

LEOPOLD
That's right, Your Majesty.  Twenty years ago.  No, twenty-
two! twenty-three!  And I remember word for word what you 
said to me.  You said - you said --

He searches his memory.

JOSEPH
‘Bravo?'

LEOPOLD
No! Yes, ‘bravo,' of course ‘bravo'!  Everybody always says 
‘bravo' when Wolfi plays.  Like the King of England.  When we 
played for the King of England, he got up at the end and said, 
“Bravo!  Bravo!  Bravo! three times.  Three bravo's.  And the 
Pope four!  Four bravo's from the Holy Father, and one 
‘bellissimo.'

All the courtiers around are looking at him.

MOZART
Father -

LEOPOLD
Hush!  I'm talking to His Majesty.  Your Majesty, I wish to ex-
press only one thing -  that you who are the Father of us all, 
could teach our children the gratitude they owe to fathers.  It is 
not for nothing that the Fifth Commandment tells us:  ‘Honour 
your Father and Mother, that your days may be long upon the 
earth.'

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.  Well.  There it is.

CUT TO:

111	INT.   ORSINI-ROSENBERG'S STUDY - DAY - 1780's	111

The Director sits at his table with Salieri and Bonno.

SALIERI
I've just learned something that might be of interest to you, Herr 
Director.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Yes?

SALIERI
Mozart is writing a new opera.  An Italian opera.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Italian?

BONNO
Aie!

SALIERI
And that's not all.  He has chosen for his subject, Figaro.  The 
Marriage of Figaro.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
You mean! that play?

SALIERI
Exactly.


ORSINI-ROSENBERG
He's setting that play to music?

SALIERI
Yes.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
You must be mad.

BONNO
What is this Marriage of Figaro?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
It's a French play, Kapellmeister.  It has been banned by the 
Emperor.

BONNO
Hah!

He crosses himself, wide-eyed with alarm.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Are you absolutely sure?

SALIERI
I've seen the manuscript.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Where?

SALIERI
Never mind.

CUT TO:

112	INT.   CHAMBERLAIN VON STRACK'S STUDY - DAY - 1780's	112

VON STRACK
I know we banned this play, but frankly I can't remember why.  
Can you refresh my memory, Herr Director?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
For the same reason, Herr Chamberlain, that it was banned in 
France.

VON STRACK
Oh yes, yes.  And that was?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Well, the play makes a hero out of a valet.  He outwits his noble 
master and exposes him as a lecher.  Do you see the implications?  
This would be, in a grander situation, as if a Chamberlain were to 
expose an Emperor.

VON STRACK
Ah.

CUT TO:

113	INT.   THE EMPEROR'S STUDY - DAY - 1780's	113

The Emperor stands in the middle of the room in close conversation with Von 
Strack, Orsini-Rosenberg, Von Swieten, and Bonno.  Salieri is not present.  A door 
opens and a lackey announces:

LACKEY
Herr Mozart.

They all turn.  Mozart approaches, rather apprehensively, and kisses Joseph's hand.

JOSEPH
Sit down, gentlemen, please.

They all sit, save Mozart.  The room suddenly looks like a tribunal.  Joseph is in a 
serious mood.

JOSEPH
Mozart, are you aware I have declared the French play of Figaro 
unsuitable for our theatre?

MOZART
Yes, Sire.

JOSEPH
Yet we hear you are making an opera from it.  Is this true?

MOZART
Who told you this, Majesty?

JOSEPH
It is not your place to ask questions.  Is it true?

MOZART
Well, yes, I admit it is.

JOSEPH
Would you tell me why?

MOZART
Well, Majesty, it is only a comedy.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
What you think, Mozart, is scarcely the point.  It is what His 
Majesty thinks that counts.

MOZART
But, Your Majesty -

JOSEPH
(motioning him to be silent)
Mozart, I am a tolerant man.  I do not censor things lightly.  
When I do, I have good reason.  Figaro is a bad play.  It stirs up 
hatred between the classes.  In France it has caused nothing but 
bitterness.  My own dear sister Antoinette writes me that she is 
beginning to be frightened of her own people.  I do not wish to 
see the same fears starting here.

MOZART
Sire, I swear to Your Majesty, there's nothing like that in the 
story.  I have taken out everything that could give offense.  I hate 
politics.

JOSEPH
I think you are rather innocent, my friend.  In these dangerous 
times I cannot afford to provoke our nobles or our people simply 
over a theatre piece.

The others look at their king solemnly, all save Mozart.

MOZART
But, Majesty, this is just a frolic.  It's a piece about love.

JOSEPH
Ah, love again.

MOZART
But it's new, it's entirely new.  It's so new, people will go mad for 
it.  For example, I have a scene in the second act - it starts as a 
duet, just a man and wife quarreling.  Suddenly the wife's 
scheming little maid comes in unexpectedly - a very funny situ-
ation.  Duet turns into trio.  Then the husband's equally scream-
ing valet comes in.  Trio turns into quartet.  Then a stupid old 
gardener - quartet becomes quintet, and so on.  On and on, sex-
tet, septet, octet!  How long do you think I can sustain that?

JOSEPH
I have no idea.


MOZART
Guess!  Guess, Majesty.  Imagine the longest time such a thing 
could last, then double it.

JOSEPH
Well, six or seven minutes! maybe eight!

MOZART
Twenty, sire!  How about twenty?  Twenty minutes of continuous 
music.  No recitatives.

VON SWIETEN
Mozart -

MOZART
(ignoring him)
Sire, only opera can do this.  In a play, if more than one person 
speaks at the same time, it's just noise.  No one can understand a 
word.  But with music, with music you can have twenty individu-
als all talking at once, and it's not noise - it's a perfect harmony.  
Isn't that marvelous?

VON SWIETEN
Mozart, music is not the issue here.  No one doubts your talent.  
It is your judgment of literature that's in question. Even with the 
politics taken out, this thing would still remain a vulgar farce.  
Why waste your spirit on such rubbish?  Surely you can choose 
more elevated themes?

MOZART
Elevated?  What does that mean?  Elevated!  The only thing a 
man should elevate is - oh, excuse me.  I'm sorry.  I'm stupid.  
But I am fed up to the teeth with elevated things!  Old dead leg-
ends!  How can we go on forever writing about gods and legends?

VON SWIETEN
(aroused)
Because they do.  They go on forever - at least what they repre-
sent.  The eternal in us, not the ephemeral.  Opera is here to en-
noble us.  You and me, just as much as His Majesty.

BONNO
Bello!  Bello, Barone.  Veramente.

MOZART
Oh, bello, bello, bello!  Come on now,  be honest.  Wouldn't you 
all rather listen to your hairdressers than Hercules?  Or Horatius?  
Or Orpheus?  All those old bores! people so lofty they sound as 
if they shit marble!

VON SWIETEN
What?

VON STRACK
Govern your tongue, sir!  How dare you?

Beat.  All look at the Emperor.

MOZART
Forgive me, Majesty.  I'm a vulgar man.  But I assure you, my 
music is not.

JOSEPH
You are passionate, Mozart! but you do not persuade.

MOZART
Sire, the whole opera is finished.  Do you know how much work 
went into it?

BONNO
His Majesty has been more than patient, Signore.

MOZART
How can I persuade you if you won't let me show it?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
That will do, Herr Mozart!

MOZART
Just let me tell you how it begins.

VON STRACK
Herr Mozart -

MOZART
May I just do that, Majesty?  Show you how it begins?  Just that?

A slight pause.  Then Joseph nods.

JOSEPH
Please.

Mozart falls on his knees.

MOZART
Look!  There's a servant, down on his knees.  Do you know why?  
Not from any oppression.  No, he's simply measuring a space.  
Do you know what for?  His bed.  His wedding bed to see if it 
will fit.

He giggles.

CUT TO:

114	INT.   OPERA HOUSE - DAY - 1780's	114

Mozart sits on stage at a harpsichord rehearsing the singers taking the parts of 
Figaro and Susanna in the opening bars of the first act of The Marriage of Figaro.  
We watch Figaro measuring the space for his bed on the floor, singing and Susanna 
looking on, trying on the Countess' hat.

CUT TO:

115	INT.   SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1780's	115

Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno are sitting with Salieri.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Well, Mozart is already rehearsing.

SALIERI
Incredible.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
The Emperor has given him permission.

BONNO
Si, si!  Veramente.

SALIERI
Well, gentlemen, so be it.  In that case I think we should help 
Mozart all we can and do our best to protect him against the 
Emperor's anger.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
What anger?

SALIERI
About the ballet.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Ballet?  What ballet?

SALIERI
Excuse me - didn't His Majesty specifically forbid ballet in his 
opera?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Yes, absolutely.  Is there a ballet in Figaro?

SALIERI
Yes, in the third act.

CUT TO:

116	INT.   THE OPERA HOUSE - DAY - 1780's	116

It is a full orchestral rehearsal.  Mozart is conducting from the harpsichord with his 
hands; he does not use a baton.  The singers are all in practice clothes, not cos-
tumes.  We are in the Act III and we hear the recitativo exchange just before the 
march begins.  Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno sit watching chairs.  Suddenly the 
march starts.  Peasants and friends start to dance in and at the same moment, 
Orsini-Rosenberg gets up and comes down to Mozart.  He is accompanied by an 
anxious Bonno.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Mozart!  Herr Mozart, may I have a word with you please.  Right 
away.

MOZART
Certainly, Herr Director.

He signals to the cast to break off.

MOZART
Five minutes, please!

The company disperses, curious.  The musicians look at Orsini-Rosenberg.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Did you not know that His Majesty has expressly forbidden bal-
let in his operas?

MOZART
Yes, but this is not a ballet.  This is a dance at Figaro's wedding.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Exactly.  A dance.

MOZART
But surely the Emperor didn't mean to prohibit dancing when it's 
part of the story.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
It is dangerous for you to interpret His Majesty's edicts.  Give me 
your score, please.

Mozart hands him the score from which he is conducting.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Thank you.

He rips out a page.  Bonno watches in terror.

MOZART
What are you doing?

He rips out three more.

MOZART
What are you doing, Herr Director?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Taking out what you should never have put in.

He goes on tearing the pages determinedly.

CUT TO:

117	INT.   SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1780's	117

A servant opens the door to announce.

SERVANT
Herr Mozart.

Mozart brushes past him straight towards Salieri, who rises to greet him.  The little 
man is near hysterics.

MOZART
Please!  Please.  I've no one else to turn to.  Please!

He grabs Salieri.

SALIERI
Wolfgang, what is it?  Sta calmo, per favore.  What's the matter?

MOZART
It's unbelievable!  The Director has actually ripped out a huge 
section of my music.  Pages of it.

SALIERI
Really?  Why?

MOZART
I don't know.  They say I've got to re-write the opera, but it's per-
fect as it is.  I can't rewrite what's perfect.  Can't you talk to him?

SALIERI
Why bother with Orsini-Rosenberg?  He's obviously no friend of 
yours.

MOZART
Oh, I could kill him!  I mean really kill him.  I actually threw  the 
entire opera on the fire, he made me so angry!

SALIERI
You burned the score?

MOZART
Oh no!  My wife took  it out in time.

SALIERI
How fortunate.

MOZART
It's not fair that a man like that has power over our work.

SALIERI
But there are those who have power over him.  I think I'll take this 
up with the Emperor.

MOZART
Oh, Excellency, would you?

SALIERI
With all my heart, Mozart.

MOZART
Thank you!  Oh, thank you.

He kisses Salieri's hand.

SALIERI
(withdrawing it; imitating the Emperor)
No, no, no, Herr Mozart, please.  It's not a holy relic.

Mozart giggles with relief and gratitude.

118	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	118

OLD SALIERI
I'm sure I don't need to tell you I said nothing whatever to the 
Emperor.  I went to the theatre ready to tell Mozart that His 
Majesty had flown into a rage when I mentioned the ballet, when 
suddenly, to my astonishment, in the middle of the third act, the 
Emperor - who never attended rehearsals - suddenly appeared.

119	INT.   OPERA HOUSE - DAY - 1780's	119

In the background the same recitativo before the March. The Emperor steals in sur-
reptitiously with Von Strack, his finger to his lips.  He motions everyone not to 
rise, and slips into a chair behind Salieri, Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno.

The three conspirators look at each other wide-eyed.

The recitativo summons up the march, but instead there is silence.  Mozart lays 
down his baton.  The musicians lay down their instruments.  The celebrants of 
Figaro's wedding come in with a few pitiful dance steps, in procession, only to 
come presently to a halt, lacking their music.  The singers try to go on singing, but 
they have no cues from their conductor or from the accompaniment.  Everyone on 
stage looks lost, though they attempt to go on with the story for a while.  
Consternation grows on the faces of the conspirators.  Mozart glances back at the 
group seated in the theatre.  Finally, the Emperor speaks, in a whisper.

JOSEPH
What is this?  I don't understand.  Is it modern?

BONNO
Majesty, the Herr Director, he has removed a balleto that would 
have occurred at this place.

JOSEPH
Why?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
It is your regulation, Sire.  No ballet in your opera.

Mozart strains to hear what they are saying but cannot.

JOSEPH
Do you like this, Salieri?

SALIERI
It is not a question of liking, Your Majesty.  Your own law decrees 
it, I'm afraid.

JOSEPH
Well, look at them.

We do look at them.  The spectacle on stage has now ground to a complete halt.

JOSEPH
No, no, no!  This is nonsense.  Let me hear the scene with the 
music.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
But, Sire -

JOSEPH
Oblige me.

Orsini-Rosenberg acknowledges his defeat.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Yes, Majesty.

Orsini-Rosenberg rises and goes down to where Mozart sits anxiously with the 
musicians, watching his approach.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Can we see the scene with the music back, please?

MOZART
Oh yes, certainly.  Certainly, Herr Director!

He looks back deliriously at Salieri, trying to indicate his gratitude.  Salieri ac-
knowledges with a slight and subtle nod.

Orsini-Rosenberg returns to his king.

MOZART
Ladies and gentlemen, we're going from where we stopped.  The 
Count: Anches so.  Right away, please!

The singers scatter offstage to begin the scene again.

JOSEPH
(to Orsini-Rosenberg)
What I hoped by that edict, Director, was simply to prevent 
hours of dancing like in French opera.  There it is endless, as you 
know.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Quite so, Majesty.

CUT BACK TO Mozart at the forte-piano, raising his hands.  The musicians raise 
their bows.  With a flourish the happy composer begins a reprise of the scene which 
had been cut out.  The music of the march begins faintly; the celebrants of Figaro's 
wedding start to enter as the Count and the Countess sit in their chairs.

In the theatre we see increasing pleasure on the Emperor's face, sullenness and de-
feat on the courtiers'.  Then, suddenly, without interruption, on a crescendo repeat 
of the march, we

CUT TO:

120	INT.  OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	120

The theatre is brilliantly lit for the first public performance of Figaro.  Everybody 
is there: the Emperor, Von Strack, Bonno  Orsini-Rosenberg, Von Swieten, even 
Madame Weber and her daughters in a box.  The musicians all wear imperial liv-
ery; the actors on stage are now in costume.  Mozart, conducting, wears his Order 
of the Golden Spur.  The company wheels in and around to the music of the re-
stored march, which reaches a triumphant climax.

CUT TO:

121	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	121

OLD SALIERI
(to Vogler)
So Figaro was produced in spite of me.  And in spite of me, a 
wonder was revealed.  One of the true wonders of art.  The re-
stored third act was bold and brilliant.  The fourth was a miracle.

The descending scale of strings in the final ensemble (Ah, Tutti contenti. Saremo 
cosi)  fades in.

122	INT.   OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	122

We see the tableau on stage with the Count kneeling to the Countess.  All are 
singing.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
I saw a woman disguised in her maid's clothes hear her husband 
speak the first tender words he has offered her in years, only be-
cause he thinks she is someone else.  I heard the music of true 
forgiveness filling the theatre, conferring on all who sat there a 
perfect absolution.  God was singing through this little man to all 
the world - unstoppable - making my defeat more bitter with 
each passing bar.

CU, Salieri in his box, tears on his cheeks.  He watches the ensemble and we listen 
to it for a long moment.  Finally it fades, but continues underneath the following:

123	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	123

OLD SALIERI
And then suddenly - a miracle!

CUT BACK TO:

124	INT.   OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	124

The ensemble reaches its climax, and fades away to the very quiet, slow chords 
immediately preceding the boisterous final chord.  Salieri becomes aware that 
some of the audience are asleep and many mare are apathetic.  In the near silence 
we see the Emperor yawn behind his hand.  Those nearby look at him.  Orsini-
Rosenberg smiles.

CUT BACK TO:

125	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	125

OLD SALIERI
Father, did you know what that meant?  With that yawn I saw 
my defeat turn into a victory.  And Mozart was lucky the 
Emperor only yawned once.  Three yawns and the opera would 
fail the same night; two yawns, within a week at most.  With one 
yawn the composer could still get -

CUT TO:

126	INT.   SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1780's	126

Mozart is pacing up and down.  Salieri is listening sympathetically.

MOZART
Nine performances!  Nine!  That's all it's had - and withdrawn.

SALIERI
I know; it's outrageous.  Still, if the public doesn't like one's work 
one has to accept the fact gracefully.

MOZART
But what is it they don't like?

SALIERI
Well, I can speak for the Emperor.  You made too many demands 
on the royal ear.  The poor man can't concentrate for more than 
an hour and you gave him four.

MOZART
What did you think of it yourself?  Did you like it at all?

SALIERI
I think it's marvelous.  Truly.

MOZART
It's the best opera yet written.  I know it!  Why didn't they come?

SALIERI
I think you overestimate our dear Viennese, my friend.  Do you 
know you didn't  even give them a good bang at the end of songs 
so they knew when to clap?

MOZART
I know, I know.  Perhaps you should give me some lessons in that.

SALIERI
(fuming)
I wouldn't presume.  All the same, if it wouldn't be imposing, I 
would like you to see my new piece.  It would be a tremendous 
honour for me.

MOZART
Oh no, the honour would be all mine.

SALIERI
(bowing)
Grazie, mio caro, Wolfgang!

MOZART
Grazie, a lei, Signor Antonio!

He bows too, giggling.

CUT TO:

127	INT.   OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	127

A performance of Salieri's grand opera, Axur:  King of Ormus.  Deafening ap-
plause from a crowded house.  We see the reception of the aria which we saw 
Cavalieri singing on the stage near the start of the film.  Cavalieri, in a mythologi-
cal Persian costume, is bowing to the rapturous throng; below her is Salieri.  We see 
the Emperor, Von Strack, Orsini-Rosenberg, Bonno and Von Swieten, all applaud-
ing.  We hear great cries of “Salieri!  Salieri! and “Bravo! and “Brava!

CU, Salieri looking at the crowd with immense pleasure.  Then suddenly at:

CU, Mozart standing in a box and clapping wildly.  Behind him, seated, are 
Schikaneder and the three girls we saw before in Mozart's apartment.

CU, Salieri staring fixedly at Mozart, then Mozart still clapping, apparently with 
tremendous enthusiasm.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
What was this?  I never saw him excited before by any music but 
his own.  Could he mean it?


128	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	128

OLD SALIERI
(to Vogler)
Would he actually tell me my music had moved him?  Was I re-
ally going to hear that from his own lips?  I found myself actually 
hurrying the tempo of the finale.

CUT BACK TO:

129	INT.   OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	129

Salieri conducting the last scene from Axur: King of Ormus.  On stage we see a big 
scene of acclamation:  the hero and heroine of the opera accepting the crown 
amidst the rejoicing of the people.  The decor and costumes are mythological 
Persian.  The music is utterly conventional and totally uninventive.

CU, Mozart watching this in his box, with Schikaneder and the three actresses.  He 
passes an open bottle of wine to them.  He is evidently a little drunk, but keeps a 
poker face.

The act comes to an end.  Great applause in which Mozart joins in, standing and 
shouting “Bravo!  Bravo!  Then he leaves the box with Schikaneder and the girls.

130	INT.   CORRIDOR OF THE OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	130

MOZART
(to Schikaneder)
Well?

SCHIKANEDER
(mock moved)
Sublime!  Utterly sublime!

MOZART
That kind of music should be punishable by death.

Schikaneder laughs.

CUT TO:

131	INT.   STAGE OF THE OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	131

A crowd of people rings Salieri at a respectful distance.  The Emperor is holding 
out the Civilian Medal and Chain.

JOSEPH
I believe that is the best opera yet written, my friends.  Salieri, you 
are the brightest star in the musical firmament.  You do honour to 
Vienna and to me.

Salieri bows his head.  Joseph places the chain around his neck.  The crowd claps.  
Salieri makes to kiss his hand, but Joseph restrains him, and passes on.  Cavalieri, 
smiling adoringly, gives him a deep curtsey, and he raises her up.

The crowd all flock to Salieri with cries and words of approval.  All want to shake 
his hand.  They tug and pat him.  But he has eyes for only one man - he looks 
about him, searching for him and then finds him.  Mozart stands there.  Eagerly 
Salieri moves to him.

SALIERI
Mozart.  It was good of you to come.

MOZART
How could I not?

SALIERI
Did my work please you?

MOZART
How could it not, Excellency?

SALIERI
Yes?

MOZART
I never knew that music like that was possible.

SALIERI
You flatter me.

MOZART
Oh no!  One hears such sounds and what can one say, but - 
Salieri!

Salieri smiles.

CUT TO:

132	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780's	132

Explosive laughter as Mozart and Schikaneder enter the apartment, very pleased 
with themselves and accompanied by the three actresses.  The front door opens, 
very gingerly.  Mozart, still rather drunk, sticks his head into the room, anxious not 
to make a noise.  He sees the strangers and breaks into a smile.

MOZART
Oh.  Everybody's here!  We've got guests.  Good.  I've brought 
some more.

He opens the door wide to admit Schikaneder and the girls.

MOZART
We'll have a little party.  Come in. Come in.  You know Herr 
Schikaneder? (to a girl) This is! a very nice girl.

CONSTANZE
(standing up)
Wolfi.

MOZART
Yes, my love?

CONSTANZE
These gentlemen are from Salzburg.

MOZART
Salzburg.  We were just talking about Salzburg. (to the two men, 
jubilantly) If you've come from my friend the Fartsbishop, you've 
arrived at just the right moment.  Because I've got good news for 
him.  I'm done with Vienna.  It's over, finished, done with!  Done 
with!  Done with!

CONSTANZE
Wolfi!  Your father is dead.

MOZART
What?

CONSTANZE
Your father is dead.

The first loud chord of the Statue scene from Don Giovanni sounds.  Mozart 
stares.

133	INT.   AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	133

The second chord sounds.  On stage we see the huge figure of the Commendatore 
in robes and helmet, extending his arms and pointing in accusation.

133A	INT.   AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	133A

The second chord sounds.

On stage we see a huge nailed fist crash through the wall of a painted dining room 
set.  The giant armoured statue of the COMMENDATORE enters pointing his 
finger in accusation at Don Giovanni who sits at the supper table, staring - his ser-
vant Leporello quaking with fear under the table.

THE COMMENDATORE
(singing)
Don Giovanni!

The figure advances on the libertine.  We see Mozart conducting, pale and deeply 
involved.  Music fades down a little.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
So rose the dreadful ghost in his next and blackest opera.  There 
on the stage stood the figure of a dead commander calling out 
“Repent!  Repent!

The music swells.  We see Salieri standing alone in the back of a box, unseen, in 
semi-darkness.  We also see that the theatre is only half full.  Music fades down.

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
And I knew - only I understood - that the horrifying apparition 
was Leopold, raised from the dead.  Wolfgang had actually 
summoned up his own father to accuse his son before all the 
world.  It was terrifying and wonderful to watch.

Music swells up again.  We watch the scene on stage as the Commendatore ad-
dresses Giovanni.  Then back to Salieri in the box.  Music down again.

134	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	134

OLD SALIERI
Now a madness began in me.  The madness of a man splitting in 
half.  Through my influence I saw to it Don Giovanni was played 
only five times in Vienna.  But in secret I went to every one of 
those five - all alone - unable to help myself, worshipping sound 
I alone seemed to hear.

135	INT.   AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780's	135

OLD SALIERI
(V.O.)
And hour after hour, as I stood there, understanding even more 
clearly how that bitter old man  was still possessing his poor son 
from beyond the grave, I began to see a way - a terrible way - I 
could finally triumph over God, my torturer.

Music swells.  On stage Don Giovanni is seized and gripped by the Statue's icy 
hand.  Flames burst from obviously artificial rocks.  Demons appear and drag the 
libertine down to Hell.  The scene ends.


CU, Salieri, staring wide-eyed.

CUT TO:

135A	EXT.   SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780's	135A

We see huge and attractive posters and billboards advertising Schikaneder's troupe.  
The camera concentrates on the one which reads as follows:


EMMANUEL SCHIKANEDER
Impresario de luxe

Presents

The Celebrated
SCHIKANEDER TROUPE OF PLAYERS

in
An Evening of
PARODY

Music!  Mirth!  Magic!

ALL SONGS AND SPEECHES WRITTEN
BY

EMMANUEL SCHIKANEDER
who personally will appear in every scene!

CUT TO:

136	INT.   SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1780's	136

Noise; smoke; the audience is sitting at tables for an evening of vaudeville.  Mozart, 
Constanze and their son Karl, now about two years old, and sitting on his mother's 
lap, are watching a parody scene by Schikaneder's troupe.  They are rowdy, bawdy 
and silly, incorporating motifs, situations and tunes from Mozart's operas which we 
have seen and heard.  Before them on the table are bottles of wine and beer, plates 
of sausages, etc.

THE PARODY

On stage we see a set which parodies the dining room in Don Giovanni's palace, 
shown before.

Schikaneder as Don Giovanni is dancing with the three actresses to the minuet 
from Don Giovanni (end of Act I), played by a quartet of tipsy musicians.  
Leporello is handing around wine on a tray.

Suddenly there is a tremendous knocking from outside.  The music slithers to a 
stop.  All look at each other in panic.  Leporello drops his tray with a crash.  All go 
quiet.  One more knock is heard.  Then all musicians, actresses, Don Giovanni and 
Leporello make a dash to hide under the table which is far too small to accommo-
date them all.  The table rocks.  Schikaneder is pushed out.  He is terrified.  He 
shakes elaborately.  Three more knocks are heard; louder.

SCHIKANEDER
Who is it?

One more knock.

SCHIKANEDER
C-c-c-come in!

In the pit a chromatic scale from the Overture to Don Giovanni turns into a antici-
patory vamp.  This grows more and more menacing until the whole flat represent-
ing the wall at the back falls down.  An absurd pantomime horse gallops in.  It has 
a ridiculous expression, and is manned by four men inside.  Standing precariously 
on its back is a dwarf, wearing a miniature version of the armour and helmet worn 
by the Commendatore.  He sings in a high, nasal voice:


COMMENDATORE
(singing)
Don Giovannnnnnnnnni!

He tries to keep his balance as he trots in, but fails. He falls off onto the stage.  He 
beats at the horse, trying to get back on.

COMMENDATORE
Down!  Down!

Bewildered, the horse looks about him, but cannot see his small rider who is below 
his level of sight.

COMMENDATORE
I'm here!  I'm here!

The horse, amidst laughter from the audience, fails to locate him.  Exasperated, 
the dwarf signals to someone in the wings.  A tall man strides out carrying a see-
saw; on his shoulders stands another man.  The dwarf stands on the lowered end of 
the see-saw.  There is a drum roll and the man above jumps down onto the raised 
end and the Commendatore is abruptly catapulted back onto the horse, only 
backwards so that he is facing away from Don Giovanni.  The two men bow to the 
applauding audience, and retire off-stage.  The Commendatore tries to extend his 
arms in the proper menacing attitude, and at the same time turn around to face 
Don Giovanni.  This he finds difficult.

COMMENDATORE
(singing)
Don Giovannnnnnnni!

SCHIKANEDER
Who the devil are you?  What do you want?

COMMENDATORE
(singing)
I've come to dinnnnnner!

SCHIKANEDER
Dinner?  How dare you?  I am a nobleman.  I only dine with 
people of my own height.

COMMENDATORE
Are you drunk?  You invited me.  And my horse.  Here he is.  
Ottavio!

The horse takes a bow.  The dwarf almost falls off again.

COMMENDATORE
Whoa!  Whoa!  Stop it!

The three girls rush to his aid and reach him just in time.  They sing in the manner 
of the Tree Ladies later to be put into The Magic Flute.

FIRST LADY
(running and singing)
Be careful!

SECOND LADY
(running and singing)
Be careful!

THIRD LADY
(running and singing)
Be careful!

ALL THREE TOGETHER
(close harmony)
Hold tight now!

They grab him.

COMMENDATORE
(angry)
Leave me alone!  Stop it!  I'm a famous horseman.

OTTAVIO
And I'm a famous horse!

He gives the ladies a radiant smile.  The three ladies sing, as before, in close 
harmony.

FIRST LADY
(singing)
He's adorable!

SECOND LADY
(singing)
Adorable!

THIRD LADY
(singing)
Adorable!

An orchestral chord.  The three ladies turn to Ottavio and sing to him.

THREE LADIES
(singing together)
Give me your hoof, my darling,
And I'll give you my heart!
Take me to your stable,
And never more we'll part!

OTTAVIO
(singing:  four male voices)
I'm shy and very bashful.  I don't know what to say.

THREE LADIES
(singing together)
Don't hesitate a second.  Just answer yes and neigh.

Ottavio neighs loudly, and runs at the girls.

COMMENDATORE
(speaking)
Stop it.  What are you doing?  Remember who you are!  You're a 
horse and they are whores.

Boos from the audience.

SCHIKANEDER
(speaking)
This is ridiculous.  I won't have any of it.  You're turning my 
house into a circus!

A trapeze sails in from above.  On it stands a grand soprano wearing an elaborate 
Turkish costume, like a parody of Cavalieri's in Il Seraglio.   She comes in singing a 
mad coloratura scale in the manner of Martern aller Arten.

SCHIKANEDER
(speaking)
Shut up.  Women, women, women!  I'm sick to death of them.

He marches off stage.

SOPRANO
(singing dramatically)
Dash me!  Bash me!  Lash me!  Flay me!  Slay me!  At last I will 
be freed by death!

COMMENDATORE
Shut up.

SOPRANO
(swinging and singing)
Kill me!  Kill me!  Kill me!  Kill me!  At last I shall be freed by 
death.  At last I shall be freed by dea -

The Commendatore pulls out his sword, reaches up and thrusts her through with 
it.  The soprano collapses on the bar of the trapeze.  The audience applauds.  At the 
same moment eight dwarves march in bearing a huge cauldron of steaming water.  
They sing as they march to the sound of the march that was cut from Act III of 
Figaro.  They are dressed as miniature copies of the chorus in that scene except that 
they are wearing cooks' hats.

EIGHT DWARVES
(singing)
We're going to make a soprano stew!
We're going to make a soprano stew!
And when you make a soprano stew!
Any stupid soprano will do!
Any stew-stew-stew-stew-stew!
Any stewpid soprano will do!

They set the giant pot down in the middle of the stage.  The trapeze with the dead 
soprano is still swinging above the stage.

We hear the chromatic scale from the Don Giovanni overture again, repeated and 
repeated, only now fast and tremolando.  To this exciting vamp Schikaneder sud-
denly rides in on a real horse, waving a real sword.  With this he cuts the string of 
the trapeze, and the soprano falls into the pot.  A tremendous splash of water.  
Schikaneder rides out.  More applause.

All the dwarves produce long wooden cooking spoons and climb up the sides of 
the pot.  The three girls produce labeled bottles from under their skirts.  The first 
is SALT.

FIRST LADY
(singing)
Behold!

PEPPER

SECOND LADY
(singing)
Behold!

She sneezes.

And SCHNAPPS

THIRD LADY
(singing)
Behold!

She hiccups.

They throw them into the pot.

COMMENDATORE
(speaking to the dwarves)
How long does it take to cook a soprano?

DWARVES
(all together)
Five hours, five minutes, five seconds.

COMMENDATORE
(speaking)
I can't wait that long.  I'm starving!

OTTAVIO
(speaking; four voices)
So am I.

Schikaneder marches in as Figaro.

SCHIKANEDER
(singing to the tune of Non piu ante)
In the pot, I have got a good dinner.
Not a sausage or stew, but a singer.
Not a sausage or stew but a singer.
Is the treat that I'll eat for my meat!

COMMENDATORE
Oh shut up.  I'm sick to death of that tune.

CU,  Mozart laughing delightedly with the audience.

THE THREE GIRLS
(singing again to the horse)
Give me your hoof, my darling, and I'll give you my heart.

COMMENDATORE
Shut up.  I'm sick of that one too.

All the dwarves climb up the rim of the pot.  As they climb, they all hum together 
the opening of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

COMMENDATORE
And that one, too!

The soprano rises, dripping with water in the middle of the pot.

SOPRANO
(singing)
Oil me!  Broil me!  Boil me!

All the dwarves beat her back down into the pot with their long wooden spoons.

SOPRANO
(from inside the pot)
Soil me!  Foil me!  Spoil me!

HORSE
I can't eat her.  Sopranos give me hiccups.  I want some hay!

FIRST LADY
(singing to Schikaneder)
Hey!

SECOND LADY
(singing to Schikaneder)
Hey!

THIRD LADY
(singing to Schikaneder)
Hey!

SCHIKANEDER
Hey what?

ALL THREE LADIES
(singing to La oi daram)
Give him some hay, my darling, and I'll give you my heart!

COMMENDATORE
Shut up.

SCHIKANEDER
Leporello!  We want some hay - prestissimo!  Leporello - where 
are you?

The table is raised in the air by Leporello sitting under it on a bale of hay.

FIRST LADY
(singing to horse)
Behold!

SECOND LADY
(singing to horse)
Behold!

THIRD LADY
(singing to horse)
Behold!

Ottavio the horse gives a piercing neigh and runs down to the hay.

COMMENDATORE
(holding on)
Hey!  Hey!  Watch out!

The vamp starts again vigorously.  The horse's rear-end swings around on a hinge 
to turn his hind-quarters straight on to the audience.  The rest of him stays side-
ways.  His tail springs up in the air to reveal a lace handkerchief modestly hiding 
his arsehole.

Schikaneder offers him a handful of hay.  The horse eats it, and out the other end 
comes a long Viennese sausage.  The audience roars with laughter.  Another hand-
ful of hay and out of the other end falls a string of sausages.  Then a large pie, crust 
and all.  Then a shower of iced cakes!  Suddenly - silence.  Schikaneder produces 
an egg from his pocket.  Ottavio the horse rears up in disgust.

COMMENDATORE
Whoa!  Whoa, Ottavio!  Whoa!

Leporello pries open the horse's mouth.  Schikaneder pops the egg into it.  A 
breathless pause as a drum roll builds the tension, up and up and up, and then sud-
denly out of the horse's rear-end flies a single white dove.

Wild applause.

It flies into the audience.  Immediately all the cast start humming the lyrical finale 
from Figaro: Tutti Contenti.  More and more doves fly out from the wings and fill 
the theatre.  Everybody picks up the sausages and cakes and begins to eat.  The end 
of the sketch is unexpectedly lyrical and magical, and then, suddenly, the tempo 
changes and the coarse strains of Ich Mochte wohl Der Kaiser take over and the 
whole company is dancing, frantically.  A general dance as the curtain falls.

It rises immediately.  The audience - including Mozart - is delighted.  They ap-
plaud vigorously.  Schikaneder takes a bow amongst his troupe.  Among much 
whistling and clapping, he finally jumps off the stage and strides through the audi-
ence toward the table where Mozart sits with his family.  On stage, a troupe of bag 
pipers immediately appears to play an old German tune.  Some of the audience 
joins in singing it.

SCHIKANEDER
Well, how do you like that?

Mozart is smiling; he has been amused.  Constanze has been less amused and is 
looking apprehensive.

MOZART
Wonderful! (indicating his baby son) He liked the monkey, didn't 
you?

SCHIKANEDER
Yes, well, it's all good fun.

MOZART
I liked the horse.

Schikaneder sits at the table, and drinks from a bottle of wine.

SCHIKANEDER
Isn't he marvelous?  He cost me a bundle, that horse, but he's 
worth it.  I tell you, if you'd played Don Giovanni here it would 
have been a great success.  I'm not joking.  These people aren't 
fools. You could do something marvelous for them.

MOZART
I'd like to try them someday.  I'm not sure I'd be much good at 
it.

SCHIKANEDER
‘Course you would.  You belong here, my boy, not the snobby 
Court.  You could do anything you felt like here - the more fan-
tastic the better!  That's what people want, you know:  fantasy.  
You do a big production, fill it with beautiful magic tricks and 
you'll be absolutely free to do anything you want.  Of course, 
you'd have to put a fire in it, because I've got the best fire ma-
chine in the city and a big flood - I can do you the finest water 
effects you ever saw in your life.  Oh, and a few trick animals.  
You'd have to use those.


MOZART
Animals?

SCHIKANEDER
I tell you I picked up a snake in Dresden last week - twelve foot 
long  - folds up to six inches, just like a paper fan.  It's a miracle.

Mozart laughs.

SCHIKANEDER
I'm serious.  You write a proper part for me with a couple of 
catchy songs, I'll guarantee you'll have a triumph-de-luxe.  Mind 
you, it'll have to be in German.

MOZART
German!

SCHIKANEDER
Of course!  What else do you think they speak here?

MOZART
No, no, I love that.  I'd want it to be in German.  I haven't done 
anything in German since Seraglio.

SCHIKANEDER
So there you are.  What do you say?

CONSTANZE
How much will you pay him?

SCHIKANEDER
Ah.  Well.  Ah, (to Mozart) I see you've got your manager with 
you.  Well, Madame, how about half the receipts?

MOZART
Half the receipts!  Stanzi!

CONSTANZE
I'm talking about now.  How much will you give him now?  
Down payment?

SCHIKANEDER
Down payment?  Who do you think I am?  The Emperor?  
Whoops, I have to go.

He rises in haste for his next number.

SCHIKANEDER
Stay where you are.  You're going to like this next one.  We'll 
speak again.  Triumph-de-luxe, my boy!

He winks at Mozart and disappears toward the stage.  Mozart looks after him, 
enchanted.

CONSTANZE
You're not going to do this?

MOZART
Why not?  Half the house!

CONSTANZE
When?  We need money now.  Either he pays now, or you don't 
do it.

MOZART
Oh, Stanzi.

CONSTANZE
I don't trust this man.  And I didn't like what he did with your 
opera.  It was common.

MOZART
(to Karl)
Well, you liked it, didn't you?  Monkey-flunki-punki.

CONSTANZE
Half the house!  You'll never see a penny.  I want it here, in my 
hand.

MOZART
(dirty)
Stanzi-manzi, I'll put it in your hand!

CONSTANZE
Shut up!  I'll not let you put anything in my hand until I see some 
money.

He giggles like a child.

CUT TO:

137	INT.   SCHLUMBERG HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY– 1780's	137

Dogs are barking wickedly.  Michael Schlumberg comes in from his salon.  Mozart 
stands there looking very unwell and bewildered.  He is also drunk, but making a 
careful attempt to keep his composure.

SCHLUMBERG
Herr Mozart.  What a surprise.  What can I do for you?

MOZART
Is my pupil still anxious to learn the art of music?

SCHLUMBERG
Well, your pupil is married and living in Mannheim, young man.

MOZART
Really?  Perhaps your dear wife might care to profit from my 
instruction?

SCHLUMBERG
What is this, Mozart?  What's the matter with you?

MOZART
Well.  Since it appears nobody is eager to hire my services, could 
you favour me with a little money instead?

SCHLUMBERG
What for?

MOZART
If a man cannot earn, he must borrow.

SCHLUMBERG
Well, this is hardly the way to go about it.

MOZART
No doubt, sir.  But I am endowed with talent, and you with 
money.  If I offer mine, you should offer yours.

Pause.

SCHLUMBERG
I'm sorry.  No.

MOZART
Please.  I'll give it back, I promise.  Please, sir.

SCHLUMBERG
My answer is no, Mozart.

CU,  Mozart.  His voice becomes mechanical.

MOZART
Please.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Please.

CUT TO:


138	INT.   THE IMPERIAL LIBRARY - DAY - 1790's	138

Von Swieten and Salieri stand close together.  Several scholars and students are ex-
amining scrolls and manuscripts at the other end of the room.

VON SWIETEN
(keeping his voice down)
This is embarrassing, you know.  You introduced Mozart to some 
of my friends and he's begging from practically all of them.  It 
has to stop.

SALIERI
I agree, Baron.

VON SWIETEN
Can't you think of anyone who might commission some work 
from him?  I've done my best.  I got him to arrange some Bach 
for my Sunday concerts.  He got a fee - what I could afford.  
Can't you think of anyone who might do something for him?

SALIERI
No, Baron, no.  I'm afraid Mozart is a lost cause.  He has man-
aged to alienate practically the whole of Vienna.  He is constantly 
drunk.  He never pays his debts.  I can't think of one person to 
whom I dare recommend him.

VON SWIETEN
How sad.  It's tragic, isn't it?  Such a talent.

SALIERI
Indeed.  Just a moment - as a matter of fact I think I do know 
someone who could commission a work from him.  A very appro-
priate person to do so.  Yes.

The opening measures of the Piano Concerto in D Minor steal in.

CUT TO:

139	INT.   THE COSTUME SHOP - VIENNA - DAY - 1790's	139

This is exactly the same shop which Mozart and Constanze visited with Leopold.  
Now Salieri's servant stands in it, waiting. We see a few other customers being 
served by the staff:  renting masks, costumes, etc.  One of the staff emerges from 
the back of the shop carrying a large box, which he hands to Salieri's servant.  The 
servant leaves the shop.  Through the window we see him hurrying away through 
the snowy street full of passers-by, carriages, etc.


139A	INT.   SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DUSK - 1790's	139A

The D Minor Concerto continues.  Salieri, alone, eagerly opens the box from the 
costume shop and takes out the same dark cloak and hat that Leopold wore to the 
masquerade, only now attached to the hat is a dark mask whose mouth is cut into a 
frown, not a laugh.  It presents a bitter and menacing expression.  He puts on the 
cloak, the hat and the mask and turns his back.  Suddenly we see the assembled 
and alarming image reflected in a full-length mirror.  The music swells darkly.

CUT TO:

140	EXT.   A SNOWY STREET IN VIENNA - DUSK - 1790's	140

As the tutti of the D Minor Concerto continues, we see Salieri, dressed in this men-
acing costume, dark against the snow, stalking through a street which is otherwise 
lively with people going to various festivities.  Some of them wear frivolous carnival 
clothes.

141	INT.   MOZART'S LIVING ROOM - DUSK - 1790's	141

Mozart sits writing at a table.  He appears now to be really quite sick.  His face ex-
presses pain from his stomach cramps.  There is a gentle knock at the door.  He 
rises, goes to he door and opens it.  Immediately there is a SHOCK CUT:

The dark, frowning mask stares at him and at us.  The violent D Minor chord 
which opens Don Giovanni is heard.  Salieri in costume stands in the doorway.

SALIERI
Herr Mozart?

The second chord sounds and fades.  Mozart stares in panic.

SALIERI
I have come to commission work from you.

MOZART
What work?

SALIERI
A Mass for the dead.

MOZART
What dead?  Who is dead?

SALIERI
A man who deserved a Requiem Mass and never got one.

MOZART
Who are you?

SALIERI
I am only a messenger.  Do you accept?  You will be paid well.

MOZART
How much?

Salieri extends his hand.  In it is a bag of money.

SALIERI
Fifty ducats.  Another fifty when I have the Mass.  Do you ac-
cept?

Almost against his will, Mozart takes the money.

MOZART
How long will you give me?

SALIERI
Work fast.  And be sure to tell no one what you do.  You will see 
me again soon.

He turns away.  Mozart closes the front door.  Instantly we hear the opening of the 
Requiem Mass (also in D Minor).  Mozart turns and looks up at the portrait of his 
father on the wall.  The portrait stares back.  Constanze opens the door from the 
bedroom.  She sees him staring up.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi?  Wolfi!

He looks at her with startled eyes.  The music breaks off.

CONSTANZE
Who was that?

MOZART
No one.

CONSTANZE
I heard voices.

He gives a strange little giggle.

CONSTANZE
What's the matter?

She sees the bag of money.


CONSTANZE
What's that?  Oh! (pouncing on it) Who gave you this?  How 
much is it?  Wolfi, who gave you this?

MOZART
I'm not telling you.

CONSTANZE
Why not?

MOZART
You'd think I was mad.

He stares at her.  She stares at him.

142 	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823	142

Old Salieri is now wildly animated, totally driven by his confession to Vogler.

OLD SALIERI
My plan was so simple, it terrified me.  First I must get the Death Mass and then 
achieve the death.

Vogler stares at him in horror.

VOGLER
What?

OLD SALIERI
His funeral - imagine it!  The Cathedral, all Vienna sitting there.  
His coffin, Mozart's little coffin in the middle.  And suddenly in 
that silence, music.  A divine music bursts out over them all, a 
great Mass of Death: Requiem Mass for Wolfgang Mozart, com-
posed by his devoted friend Antonio Salieri.  What sublimity!  
What depth!  What passion in the music!  Salieri has been touched 
by God at last.  And God, forced to listen.  Powerless - power-
less to stop it.  I at the end, for once, laughing at Him.  Do you 
understand?  Do you?

VOGLER
Yes.

OLD SALIERI
The only thing that worried me was the actual killing.  How does 
one do that?  How does one kill a man?  It's one thing to dream 
about it.  It's very different when you have to do it, with your 
own hands.

He raises his own hands and stares at them.  The raging Dies Irae from Mozart's 
Requiem Mass bursts upon us.

CUT TO:

143	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	143

Mozart sits working frantically at this demonic music.  His whole expression is one 
of wildness and engulfing fever.  He pours wine down his throat, spilling it, and 
grimaces as it hits his stomach.  All around him are manuscripts.  There is a bang-
ing at the front door.  Mozart does not hear it; the music raves on.  Another 
knocking comes, louder.  Constanze appears from the bedroom and stares at her 
distracted husband.  The knocking is repeated again, even more violently and 
insistently.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi.  Wolfi!

He looks at her.  The music breaks off.  Silence.  An enormous bang at the door 
startles him.

Constanze moves to open it.

MOZART
No.  Don't answer it!

CONSTANZE
Why?

Mozart springs up.  He is clearly terrified.

MOZART
Tell him I'm not here.  Tell him I'm working on it.  Come back 
later.

He runs out of he room, into his workroom, and shuts he door.  Now a little 
scared herself, Constanze goes to he front door and opens it cautiously.  
Schikaneder stands there, floridly dressed as usual.  Lorl is seen peeking out from 
the kitchen.

SCHIKANEDER
Am I interrupting something?

CONSTANZE
Not at all.

SCHIKANEDER
(peering into he room)
Where's our friend?

CONSTANZE
He's not in.  But he's working on it.  He said to tell you.

SCHIKANEDER
I hope so.  I need it immediately.

He pushes her into the room.

SCHIKANEDER
Is he happy with it?

He sees he manuscript on the table, and goes to it eagerly.

SCHIKANEDER
Is this it?

He picks up a page without waiting for a reply.

SCHIKANEDER
What the devil is this?  Requiem Mass?  Does he think I'm in the 
funeral business?

Mozart opens he workroom door.  We see him as Schikaneder sees him: wild-eyed, 
extremely pale and strange.

MOZART
Leave that alone!

SCHIKANEDER
Wolfi!

MOZART
Put it down!

SCHIKANEDER
What is this?

MOZART
Put it down, I said!  It's nothing for you.

SCHIKANEDER
Oh!  I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!  What have you got for me?  Is it 
finished?

MOZART
What?

SCHIKANEDER
“What?  The vaudeville, what'd you think?

MOZART
Yes.

SCHIKANEDER
Can I see it?

MOZART
No.

SCHIKANEDER
Why not?

MOZART
Because there's nothing to see.

He giggles triumphantly.  Schikaneder stares at him.

SCHIKANEDER
Look, I asked you if we could start rehearsal next week and you 
said yes.

MOZART
Well, we can.

SCHIKANEDER
So let me see it.  Where is it?

Mozart, with a bright, rather demented smile presents his head to Schikaneder.

MOZART
Here.  It's all right here, in my noodle.  The rest is just scribbling.  
Scribbling and bibbling.  Bibbling and scribbling.  Would you like 
a drink?

He giggles.  Schikaneder suddenly grabs his lapels.

SCHIKANEDER
Look, you little clown, do you know how many people I've hired 
for you?  Do you know how many people are waiting?

CONSTANZE
Leave him alone!

SCHIKANEDER
I'm paying these people.  Do you realize that?

CONSTANZE
He's doing his best.

SCHIKANEDER
I'm paying people just to wait for you.  It's ridiculous!

CONSTANZE
You know what's ridiculous?  Your libretto, that's what's 
ridiculous.  Only an idiot would ask Wolfi to work on that stuff!

SCHIKANEDER
Oh yes?  And what's so intelligent about writing a Requiem?

CONSTANZE
Money!  Money!

SCHIKANEDER
You're mad!  She's mad, Wolfi.

CONSTANZE
Oh yes, and who are you?  He's worked for Kings.  For the 
Emperor. (shouting) Who are you?

Schikaneder suddenly takes Mozart by the arms, and speaks to him with intense 
appeal.

SCHIKANEDER
Listen, Wolfi.  Write it.  Please.  Just write it down.  On paper.  
It's no good to anyone in your head.  And fuck he Death Mass.

144	INT.   SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1790's	144

A frightened and tearful Lorl sits before Salieri.

SALIERI
Now calm yourself.  Calm.  What's the matter with you?

LORL
I'm leaving.  I'm not working there anymore.  I'm scared!

SALIERI
Why?  What has happened?

LORL
You don't know what it's like.  Herr Mozart frightens me.  He 
drinks all day, then takes all that medicine and it makes him 
worse.

SALIERI
What medicine?

LORL
I don't know.  He has pains.

SALIERI
Where?

LORL
Here, in his stomach.  They bend him right over.

SALIERI
Is he working?

LORL
I'm frightened, sir.  Really!  When he speaks, he doesn't make any 
sense.  You know he said he saw - he said he saw his father.  And 
his father's dead.

SALIERI
Is he working?

LORL
I suppose so.  He sits there all he time, doing some silly opera.

SALIERI
(startled)
Opera?  Opera!

LORL
Please don't ask me to go back again.  I'm frightened!  I'm very, 
very frightened.

SALIERI
(insistently)
Are you sure it's an opera?

The Overture to The Magic Flute begins grandly.  To the music of the slow intro-
duction, we see:

145	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	145

The room, lit by a few candles, appears dirty.  The camera shows us again 
Leopold's portrait on the wall, looking down upon a scene of disorder.  Papers lit-
ter the table; dirty dishes are piled in the fireplace; on the forte-piano lies Mozart's 
Masonic apron, woven with symbols.  To the more lyrical passage of the introduc-
tion, we see Mozart take up a candle and enter:

146	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	146

We watch him stand beside Constanze, who lies asleep.  Mozart now looks very ill; 
his wife appears worn out.  Tenderly he touches her hair.  Then he moves to the cot 
where his son Karl lies asleep and kneels, pulls up the child's little blanket and for a 
moment lays his own head down beside the boy's.  Constanze opens her eyes and 
stares at him.  Mozart rises and returns to:


147	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	147

The Introduction ends and suddenly the brilliant fast fugue begins.  Instantly 
Mozart starts to dance to it, all alone: gleefully, like a child.  He looks up at his fa-
ther's portrait, and makes a silly, rude gesture at it.  He is, briefly, an irresponsible 
and happy boy again. Then suddenly there is a gentle knocking at the door.  The 
music fades down.  Warily, Mozart crosses and opens he door.  The familiar dark 
chords from Don Giovanni cut across the happy music.  It ends.  Before him stands 
the masked stranger.

MOZART
I don't have it yet.  It's not finished.  I'm sorry, but I need more 
time.

SALIERI
Are you neglecting my request?

MOZART
No, no!  I promise you, I'll give you a wonderful piece - the best 
I ever can!

He turns and looks.  Constanze has come into the living room.  Nervously, Mozart 
indicates her.

MOZART
This is my wife, Stanzi.  I've been sick, but I'm all right now.  
Aren't I?

CONSTANZE
Oh yes, sir.  He's all right.  And he's working on it very hard.

MOZART
Give me two more weeks.  Please.

Salieri contemplates them both.

SALIERI
The sooner you finish, the better your reward.  Work!

He turns and goes down the stairs.  Mozart shuts the door; he closes his eyes in 
fear.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi, I think you really are going mad.  You work like a slave for 
that idiot actor who won't give you a penny and here.  This is not 
a ghost!  This is a real man who puts down real money.  Why on 
earth don't you finish it?

He will not look at her or reply.

CONSTANZE
Give me one reason I can understand.

MOZART
I can't write it!

CONSTANZE
Why not?

MOZART
It's killing me.

He looks at her suddenly.

CONSTANZE
No, this is really awful.  You're drunk, aren't you?  Be honest - 
tell me - you've been drinking.  And I'm so stupid I stay here 
and listen to you!

Suddenly she starts to cry.

CONSTANZE
It's not fair!  I worry about you all the time.  I try to help you all I 
can and you just drink and talk nonsense and - and frighten me!  
It's not fair!

Her tears flow.  Mozart looks at her helplessly.

MOZART
Go back to bed.

CONSTANZE
Please! Let me sit here.  Let me stay here with you.  I promise I 
won't say all word.  I'll just be here, so you know no one's going 
to hurt you.  Please, please!

She sits down tearfully, staring at him.

We hear the Rex Tremendai Majestatis from the Requiem and see on the wall the 
portrait of Leopold Mozart looking down.  The camera pans slowly downward 
from it back to the table.  Mozart is writing the music.  He looks up and sees that 
Constanze is fast asleep in her chair.  Mozart gets up quietly.  He puts on his hat 
and cloak, takes a bottle of wine and tiptoes from the house.  Without stopping, 
the music changes from the heavy Requiem to the light-hearted patter of the Papa-
Papa duet from The Magic Flute.

CUT TO:

148	INT.   SCHIKANEDER'S SUMMER HOUSE - NIGHT - 1790's	148

This little wooden structure stands in a courtyard in the tenement by the Weiden.  
Inside, we see a table, chairs, a forte-piano, bottles and a chaos of papers.  Strewn 
about in the chairs are the three actresses, giggling.  Schikaneder and Mozart, both 
drunk, are singing the duet of the two bird-people.  The actor sings Papageno and 
the composer, in a soprano voice, sings Papagena at the keyboard.  Absurdly, they 
end up rubbing noses and fall on each other' s necks.

148A	EXT.   VIENNA STREET - NIGHT - 1790's	148A

Mozart, drunk and happy, staggers back through the snow.  There are a few people 
about.  He goes into his apartment building.

150	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1790's	150

He comes through he door and stares across the living room at an open bedroom 
door.  Puzzled, he crosses.

The bedroom is also empty.  We see Constanze's empty bed; Karl's empty bed; 
empty closets.

MOZART
Stanzi?  Stanzi-marini-bini?

He looks about him, puzzled.

151	INT.   FRAU WEBER'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY - 1790's	151

Frau Weber sits grimly talking.  Mozart sits also, completely exhausted and passive 
under the rain of her constant speech.

FRAU WEBER
She's not coming back, you know.  She's gone for good.  I did it 
and I'm proud of it.  “Leave, I said.  “Right away!  Take he child 
and go, just go.  Here's the money!  Go to the Spa and get your 
health back - that's if you can.  I was shocked.  Shocked to my 
foundation.  Is that my girl?  Can that be my Stanzi?  The happy 
little moppet I brought up, that poor trembling thing?  Oh, you 
monster!  No one exists but you, do they?  You and your music!  
Do you know how often she's sat in that very chair, weeping her 
eyes out of her head because of you?  I warned her.  “Choose a 
man, not a baby, I said.  But would she listen?  Who listens?  
“He's just a silly boy, she says.  Silly, my arse.  Selfish - that's all 
you are.  Selfish!  Selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish.

And with a scream Madame Weber's voice turns into the shrill packing coloratura 
of the second act aria of the Queen of the Night, in The Magic Flute.

DISSOLVE TO:

152	INT.   SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790's	152

On stage we see the QUEEN OF THE NIGHT fantastically costumed, furiously 
urging her daughter to kill Sarastro.  As she sings, we see the interior of the theatre, 
now re-arranged from when we last visited it to watch the Cabaret.  An audience of 
ordinary German citizens stands in the pit area, or sits:  they are rapt and excited.  
The theatre also possesses boxes; some of these show closed curtains - their inhabi-
tants presumably engaged in private intimacies.  In one of them sits Salieri.

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
(singing furiously)
A hellish wrath within my heart is seething!
Death and destruction
Flame around my throne!
If not by thee
Sarastro's light be extinguished.
Then be thou mine own daughter never more!
Rejected be forever!
So sundered be forever
All the bonds of kin and blood!
Hear! Hear! Hear God of Vengeance!
Hear thy Mother's vow!

Thunder and lightning.  She disappears amidst tremendous applause from the 
audience.

CUT TO:

153	EXT.   OUTSIDE THE THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790's	153

On the poster for The Magic Flute, the name Emmanuel Schikaneder should ap-
pear very, very large and the name of Mozart quite small:

I. & R. priv. Weiden Theatre

The Actors of the Imperial and Royal privileged Theatre of the Weiden
have the honour to perform

THE MAGIC FLUTE

A Grand Opera in Two Acts by Emmanuel Schikaneder

(The Cast List)

The music is by Herr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Herr Mozart out of respect for a gracious and honourable 
Public, and from friendship for the author of this piece, will today direct the orchestra in person.

The book of the opera, furnished with two copperplates, of which is engraved Herr Schikaneder in the 
costume he wears for the role of Papageno, may be had at the box office for 30 kr.

Prices of admission are as usual
To begin at 7 o'clock

154	INT.   STAGE, AUDITORIUM AND WINGS OF SCHIKANEDER'S	154
	THEATRE - NIGHT -1790's

We CUT TO the scene immediately before Papageno's song, Ein Madchen oder 
Weibchen.  Papageno, played by Schikaneder, dressed in his costume of feathers, is 
trying to get through a mysterious door.  A voice calls from within.

VOICE
Go back!

Papageno recoils.

PAPAGENO
Merciful Gods!  If only I knew by which door I came in. (to audi-
ence) Which was it?  Was it this one?  Come on, tell me!

VOICE
Go back!

Papageno recoils.

PAPAGENO
Now, I can't go forward and I can't go back.  Oh, this is awful!

He weeps extravagantly.

In the pit, Mozart indicates to the first violinist to take over as conductor.  He slips 
from his place and goes stealthily backstage.  We follow him.  Over the scene we 
hear Papageno being addressed by “the First Priest in stern tones.

FIRST PRIEST
(on stage)
Man, thou hast deserved to wander forever in the darkest chasms 
of the earth.  The gentle Gods have remitted thy punishment, but 
yet thou shalt never feel the Divine Content of the consecrated 
ones.

PAPAGENO
Oh well, I'm not alone in that.  Just give me a decent glass of 
wine - that's divine content enough for me.

Laughter.  An enormous goblet of wine appears out of the earth.

We follow Mozart into the wings.  Actors and actresses stand around in fantastic 
costumes.  We see a flying chariot and parts of a huge snake lying about.  Also the 
scenery door of a temple with the word “Wisdom inscribed on the pediment.  
Mozart walks to where there stands a keyboard glockenspiel with several manuals, 
and a musician waiting to play it.  Silently Mozart indicates that he wishes to play 
the instrument himself.

On stage Schikaneder is being addressed haughtily by the First Priest.

FIRST PRIEST
Man, hast thou no other desire on earth, but just to eat and drink?

PAPAGENO
(Schikaneder)
Well!

Laughter from the audience.

PAPAGENO
Well, actually I do have a rather weird feeling in my heart.  
Perhaps it's just indigestion.  But you know, I really would like - 
I really do want - something even nicer than food and drink.  
Now what on earth could that be?

He stares at the audience and winks at them.  They laugh.

Now Papageno's aria (Ein Madchen oder Weibchen) begins.  It is interpolated, as he 
pretends to play his magic bells, with the glockenspiel actually being played off-
stage by Mozart.  Schikaneder looks into the pit and does not see Mozart conduct-
ing.  He looks into the wings and realizes the situation with amusement.  He sings 
joyfully and the audience watches entranced.

PAPAGENO
(singing, lightly)
ANDANTE

A sweetheart or a pretty little wife is Papageno's wish.
A willing, billing, lovey dovey
Would be
My most tasty little dish.
Be my most tasty little dish!
Be my most tasty little dish!

ALLEGRO


Then that would be eating and drinking
I'd live like a Prince without thinking.
The wisdom of old would be mine -
A woman's much better than wine!

Then that would be eating and drinking!
The wisdom of old would be mine -
A woman's much better than wine.
She's much better than wine!
She's much better than wine!

ANDANTE
(encore, lightly, as before)

A sweetheart or a pretty little wife is Papageno's wish.
A willing, billing, lovey dovey
Would be
My most tasty little dish.

ALLEGRO

I need to net one birdie only
And I will stop feeling so lonely.
But if she won't fly to my aid,
Then into a ghost I must fade.

I need to net one birdie only
But if she won't fly to my aid,
Then into a ghost I must fade.
To a ghost I must fade!
To a ghost I must fade!

ANDANTE
(encore)

A sweetheart or a pretty little wife is Papageno's wish.
A willing, billing, lovey dovey
Would be
My most tasty little dish.

ALLEGRO

At present the girls only peck me.
Their cruelty surely will wreck me.
But one little beak in my own,
And I'll up to heaven be flown!


At present the girls only peck me.
But one little beak in my own,
And I'll up to heaven be flown.
Up to heaven be flown!
Up to heaven be flown!

At certain moments we see the stage from Salieri's point of view:  Schikaneder 
singing, then pretending to play; and then we see Mozart playing the glockenspiel 
with great flourishes in the wings.  Then, suddenly, the actor mimes playing, and 
no sound comes.  He mimes again, but still nothing comes.  He looks offstage in 
anxiety; there is evidently some commotion.  People are looking down on the 
floor.  The song comes to a near-halt.  Schikaneder stares.  Then the comedian sig-
nals to the deputy conductor to pick up the song and finish it.  At this moment 
Salieri gets up and hastily leaves his box.

CUT TO:

155	INT.   WINGS OF SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790's	155

We see the actress playing Papagena, wearing an old tattered cloak and about to tie 
a little painted cloth representing a hideous old woman over her face.  She is look-
ing worriedly down at Mozart, who is lying unconscious on the floor.  A few peo-
ple around him are trying to revive him.  One has put a wet handkerchief around 
his temples. Another is holding a small bottle of smelling salts.  There are voices 
saying, “Doctor!  Take him to a dressing room.  Someone call a carriage.  Take 
him home. etc.  Papagena is urged to go on stage by a distracted stage manager.  
Suddenly we hear the voice of Salieri.

SALIERI
I'll take care of him.

He steps forward.

SALIERI
I have a carriage.  Excuse me.

The actors step back respectfully.  He stoops and picks up the frail composer in his 
arms.  Mozart is quite limp and Salieri has to fling his arms around his own neck.  
All this is watched nervously by Schikaneder on stage whilst performing his scene 
with Papagena as an ugly old woman.

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Here I am, my angel.

PAPAGENO
(appalled)
What?  Who the devil are you?

UGLY OLD WOMAN
I've taken pity on you, my angel.  I heard your wish.

PAPAGENO
Oh.  Well, thank you!  How wonderful.  Some people get all the 
luck.

Audience laughter. The actress raises the little painted cloth with the ugly old face 
on it to show her own pretty young one to the audience.  More laughter.

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Now you've got to promise me faithfully you'll remain true to me 
forever.  Then you'll see how tenderly your little birdie will love 
you.

PAPAGENO
(nervous)
I can't wait.

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Well, promise then.

PAPAGENO
What do you mean - now?

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Of course now.  Right away, before I get any older.

Laughter.

PAPAGENO
Well, I don't know! I mean you're a delicious, delightful, 
delectable little bird, but don't you think you might be just a lit-
tle tough?

UGLY OLD WOMAN
(amorously)
Oh, I'm tender enough for you, my boy.  I'm tender enough for 
you.

Laughter.

156	EXT.   SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790's	156

A waiting sedan chair.  Mozart has recovered consciousness, but looks exceedingly 
ill.  Salieri has set him down in the winter's night.  Snow is falling.

MOZART
What happened?  Is it over?

SALIERI
I'm taking you home.  You're not well.

MOZART
No, no.  I have to get back.  I have -

He starts to collapse again.  Salieri helps him into the sedan.  The door is shut.  The 
chair sets off and Salieri strides beside it, through the mean street.  A lantern with a 
candle swings from the chair.

157	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	157

The door opens.  Salieri enters carrying the lantern from the sedan chair.  He is 
followed by Mozart, carried in the arms of one of the porters.  The room is now 
really in complete disarray.  The table is piled high with music: the pages of the 
Requiem lie amongst many empty wine bottles.  The porter carries Mozart into

158	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	158

This room is miserably neglected.  The bed is unmade, clothes lie about on the 
floor.  A sock has been stuck into the broken pane of one window.  The porter lays 
Mozart down on the bed as Salieri lights candles from the lantern to reveal plates 
of half-eaten food and other signs left by a man whose wife has departed.  It is ob-
viously very cold.  Another very small bed nearby belongs to the child, Karl.

SALIERI
(handing the porter the lantern)
Thank you.  Go.

The porter leaves the room.  Mozart stirs.

MOZART
(vaguely singing)
Papa!  Papa!

He opens his eyes and sees Salieri staring down at him.  He smiles.

SALIERI
Come now.

He helps him to sit up and takes off his coat and his shoes and puts a coverlet 
around him.

SALIERI
Where is your wife?

MOZART
Not here!  She's not well, either.  She went to the Spa.


SALIERI
You mean she's not coming back?

MOZART
You're so good to me.  Truly.  Thank you.

SALIERI
No, please.

MOZART
I mean to come to my opera.  You are the only colleague who 
did.

He struggles to loosen his cravat.  Salieri does it for him.

SALIERI
I would never miss anything that you had written.  You must 
know that.

MOZART
This is only a vaudeville.

SALIERI
Oh no.  It is a sublime piece.  The grandest operone.  I tell you, 
you are the greatest composer known to me.

MOZART
Do you mean that?

SALIERI
I do.

MOZART
I have bad fancies.  I don't sleep well anymore.  Then I drink too 
much, and think stupid things.

SALIERI
Are you ill?

MOZART
The doctor thinks I am.  But -

SALIERI
What?

MOZART
I'm too young to be so sick.

There is a violent knocking at the front door.  Mozart starts and looks around 
wildly.

SALIERI
Shall I answer it?

MOZART
No! No, it's him!

SALIERI
Who?

MOZART
The man.  He's here.

SALIERI
What man?

The knocking increases in loudness, terrifying Mozart.

MOZART
Tell him to go away.  Tell him I'm still working on it.  Don't let 
him in!

Salieri moves to the door.

MOZART
Wait!  Ask him if he'd give me some money now.  Tell him if he 
would, that would help me finish it.

SALIERI
Finish what?

MOZART
He knows.  He knows!

Salieri leaves the room.

159	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	159

Salieri goes to the front door and opens it to reveal Schikaneder, who has obviously 
come straight from the theatre.  He still wears his bird make-up and under his 
street cloak, his feathered costume is clearly seen.  He has with him the three ac-
tresses, also looking anxious and also in make-up as the three attendants in The 
Magic Flute.

SCHIKANEDER
Herr Salieri.

SALIERI
Yes, I am looking after him.

SCHIKANEDER
Can we come in?

SALIERI
Well, he's sleeping now.  Better not.

SCHIKANEDER
But he's all right?

SALIERI
Oh, yes.  He's just exhausted.  He became dizzy, that's all.  We 
should let him rest.

SCHIKANEDER
Well, tell him we were here, won't you?

SALIERI
Of course.

SCHIKANEDER
And say everything went wonderfully.  A triumph-de-luxe - say 
that!  Tell him the audience shouted his name a hundred times.

SALIERI
Bene.

SCHIKANEDER
I'll call tomorrow.

SALIERI
Yes. (to the actresses) And congratulations to all of you.  It was 
superb.

ACTRESSES
Thank you!  Thank you, Excellency!

Schikaneder produces a bag of money.

SCHIKANEDER
Oh, by the way, give him this.  This is his share.  That should 
cheer him up, eh?

SALIERI
Yes, indeed.  Goodnight to you all now.  It was perfection - 
truly!

ACTRESSES
(delighted)
Goodnight, Your Excellency.  Goodnight!

They bob and curtsey.  Schikaneder stares at Salieri, uneasily, vaguely suspicious.  
Salieri smiles back at him and shuts the door.  He stays for a moment, thinking.  
He contemplates the money.

160  INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	160

Mozart is sitting up in bed, staring at the door.  It opens.  Salieri returns.  He holds 
in his hand the bag of money.

MOZART
What happened?

Salieri pours the coins out of the bag onto the coverlet.

SALIERI
He said to give you this.  And if you finish the work by tomorrow 
night, he will pay you another hundred ducats.

Mozart looks at the coins astonished.

MOZART
Another?  But that's too soon!  Tomorrow night?  It's impossible!  
Did he say a hundred?

SALIERI
Yes.  Can I - could I help you, in any way?

MOZART
Would you?  Actually, you could.

SALIERI
My dear friend, it would be my greatest pleasure.

MOZART
But you'd have to swear not to tell a soul.  I'm not allowed.

SALIERI
Of course.

MOZART
You know, it's all here in my head.  It's just ready to be set down.  
But when I'm dizzy like this my eyes won't focus.  I can't write.

SALIERI
Then, let us try together.  I'd regard it as such an honour.  Tell 
me, what is this work?

MOZART
A Mass.  A Mass for the Dead.

CUT TO:

161	INT.   A SMALL DANCE HALL - BADEN - NIGHT - 1790's	161

Trivial dance music is playing.  Constanze is doing a waltz with a young 
OFFICER in military uniform.  At the moment we see her, she stops abruptly, as 
if in panic.

OFFICER
What is it?

CONSTANZE
I want to go!

OFFICER
Where?

CONSTANZE
I want to go back to Vienna.

OFFICER
Now?

CONSTANZE
Yes!

OFFICER
Why?

CONSTANZE
I feel wrong.  I feel wrong being here.

OFFICER
(laying a hand on her arm)
What are you talking about?

CUT TO:

162	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	162

Mozart is sitting up in bed, propped against pillows.  The coins lie on the coverlet;  
many candles burn in the necks of bottles.  Salieri, without coat or wig, is seated at 
an improvised worktable.  On it are blank sheets of music paper, quills, and ink.  
Also the score of the Requiem Mass as so far composed.  Mozart is bright-eyed with 
a kind of fever.  Salieri is also possessed with an obviously feverish desire to put 
down the notes as quickly as Mozart can dictate them.

MOZART
Where did I stop?


SALIERI
(consulting the manuscript)
The end of the Recordare - Statuens in parte dextra.

MOZART
So now the Confutatis.  Confutatis Maledictis.  “When the wicked 
are confounded.  Flammis acribus addictis.  How would you 
translate that?

SALIERI
“Consigned to flames of woe.

MOZART
Do you believe in it?

SALIERI
What?

MOZART
A fire which never dies.  Burning one forever?

SALIERI
Oh, yes.

MOZART
Strange!

SALIERI
Come.  Let's begin.

He takes his pen.

SALIERI
Confutatis Maledictis.

MOZART
We ended in F Major?

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
So now - A minor.  Suddenly.

Salieri writes the key signature.

MOZART
The Fire.

SALIERI
What time?

MOZART
Common time.

Salieri writes this, and continues now to write as swiftly and urgently as he can, at 
Mozart's dictation.  He is obviously highly expert at doing this and hardly hesi-
tates.  His speed, however, can never be too fast for Mozart's impatient mind.

MOZART
Start with the voices.  Basses first.  Second beat of the first mea-
sure - A. (singing the note) Con-fu-ta-tis. (speaking) Second mea-
sure, second beat. (singing) Ma-le-dic-tis. (speaking) G-sharp, of 
course.

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
Third measure, second beat starting on E. (singing) Flam-mis a-
cri-bus ad-dic-tis. (speaking) And fourth measure, fourth beat - 
D. (singing) Ma-le-dic-tis, flam-mis a-cri-bus ad-dic-tis. (speaking) 
Do you have that?

SALIERI
I think so.

MOZART
Sing it back.

Salieri sings back the first six measures of the bass line.  After the first two measures 
a chorus of basses fades in on the soundtrack and engulfs his voice. They stop.

MOZART
Good.  Now the tenors.  Fourth beat of the first measure - C. 
(singing) Con-fu-ta-tis. (speaking) Second measure, fourth beat on 
D. (singing) Ma-le-dic-tis. (speaking) All right?

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
Fourth measure, second beat - F. (singing) Flam-mis a-cri-bus 
ad-dic-tis, flam-mis a-cri-bus ad-dic-tis.

His voice is lost on the last words, as tenors engulf it and take over the soundtrack, 
singing their whole line from the beginning, right to the end of the sixth measure 
where the basses stopped, but he goes on mouthing the sounds with them.  Salieri 
writes feverishly.  We see his pen jotting down the notes as quickly as possible: the 
ink flicks onto the page.  The music stops again.

MOZART
Now the orchestra. Second bassoon and bass trombone with the 
basses.  Identical notes and rhythm. (he hurriedly hums the open-
ing notes of the bass vocal line) The first bassoon and tenor 
trombone -

SALIERI
(labouring to keep up)
Please!  Just one moment.

Mozart glares at him, irritated.  His hands move impatiently.  Salieri scribbles 
frantically.

MOZART
It couldn't be simpler.

SALIERI
(finishing)
First bassoon and tenor trombone - what?

MOZART
With the tenors.

SALIERI
Also identical?

MOZART
Exactly.  The instruments to go with the voices.  Trumpets and 
timpani, tonic and dominant.

He again hums the bass vocal line from the beginning, conducting.  On the sound-
track, we hear the second bassoon and bass trombone play it with him and the first 
bassoon and tenor trombone come in on top, playing the tenor vocal line.  We also 
hear the trumpets and timpani.  The sound is bare and grim.  It stops at the end of 
the sixth measure.  Salieri stops writing.

SALIERI
And that's all?

MOZART
Oh no.  Now for the Fire. (he smiles) Strings in unison - ostinato 
on all - like this.

He sings the urgent first measure of the ostinato.

MOZART
(speaking)
Second measure on B.

He sings the second measure of the ostinato.

MOZART
(speaking)
Do you have me?

SALIERI
I think so.

MOZART
Show me.

Salieri sings the first two measures of the string ostinato.

MOZART
(excitedly)
Good, good - yes!  Put it down.  And the next measures exactly 
the same, rising and rising - C to D to E, up to the dominant 
chord.  Do you see?

As Salieri writes, Mozart sings the ostinato from the beginning, but the unaccom-
panied strings overwhelm his voice on the soundtrack, playing the first six bars of 
their agitated accompaniment.  They stop.

SALIERI
That's wonderful!

MOZART
Yes, yes - go on.  The Voca Me.  Suddenly sotto voce.  Write that 
down: sotto voce, pianissimo.  Voca me cum benedictis.  “Call me 
among the blessed.

He is now sitting bolt upright, hushed and inspired.

MOZART
C Major.  Sopranos and altos in thirds.  Altos on C.  Sopranos 
above. (singing the alto part) Vo-ca, vo-ca me, vo-ca me cum be-
ne-dic-tis.

SALIERI
Sopranos up to F on the second ‘Voca'?

MOZART
Yes, and on ‘dictis'.

SALIERI
Yes!

He writes feverishly.


MOZART
And underneath, just violins - arpeggio.

He sings the violin figure under the Voca Me (Bars 7,8,9).

MOZART
(speaking)
The descending scale in eighth notes, and then back suddenly to 
the fire again.

He sings the ostinato phrase twice.

MOZART
(speaking)
And that's it.  Do you have it?

SALIERI
You go fast!

MOZART
(urgently)
Do you have it?

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
Then let me hear it.  All of it.  The whole thing from the begin-
ning - now!

The entire Confutatis bursts over the room, as Mozart snatches the manuscript 
pages from Salieri and reads from it, singing.  Salieri sits looking on in wondering 
astonishment.  The music continues right through the following scenes, to the end 
of the movement.

163	EXT.   A COUNTRY ROAD - WINTER NIGHT - 1790's	163

A carriage is driving fast through the night.  Snow lies on the countryside.

164	INT.   THE CARRIAGE  NIGHT - 1790's	164

The carriage is filled with passengers.  Among them Constanze and Karl, her 
young son.  They are sleepless and sway to the motion of the vehicle.

165	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	165

Mozart lying in bed exhausted, but still dictating urgently.  We do not hear what 
he is saying to Salieri, who still sits writing assiduously.  Mozart is looking very 
sick:  sweat is pouring from his forehead.

166	EXT.   A COUNTRY ROAD - WINTER NIGHT - 1790's	166

The carriage, moving through the night, to the sound of the music.

167	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	167

Mozart still dictating; Salieri still writing without stop.

168	EXT.   VIENNA STREET - DAWN - 1790's.	168

The carriage has arrived.  Constanze and her son alight with other passengers.  
Postillions attend to the horses.  She takes her boy's hand.  It is a cold wintry 
dawn.

The music stutters to a close.  End of the Confutatis.

166A	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790's	166A

MOZART
Do you want to rest a bit?

SALIERI
Oh no.  I'm not tired at all.

MOZART
We'll stop for just a moment.  Then we'll do the Lacrimosa.

SALIERI
I can keep going, I assure you.  Shall we try?

MOZART
Would you stay with me while I sleep a little?

SALIERI
I'm not leaving you.

MOZART
I am so ashamed.

SALIERI
What for?

MOZART
I was foolish.  I thought you did not care for my work - or me.  
Forgive me.  Forgive me!

Mozart closes his eyes.  Salieri stares at him.


168B	EXT.   VIENNA STREET - WINTRY DAWN - 1790's	168B

Constanze and Karl approach along the cobbled street, hand in hand toward their 
house.  Snow lies in the street.

168C	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAWN - 1790's	168C

Mozart lies asleep in the bed, holding the last pages of the manuscript.  Salieri lies 
across from him on Karl's small bed in his shirt sleeves and waistcoat.  The child's 
bed is obviously too small for him and he is forced in to a cramped position.

169	EXT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT HOUSE - DAWN - 1790's	169

Constanze and Karl arrive at the door.  They enter.

170	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAWN - 1790's	170

It is as disordered as before, save that the table, previously littered with pages, is 
now completely bare.  Constanze looks at it with surprise and enters the bedroom.

171	INT.   MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAWN - 1790's	171

Mozart is asleep in the bed.  Salieri is dozing on the nearby child's bed.  The room 
is full of the trailing smoke from guttering and guttered candles.  Startled by 
Constanze's entrance and her young son, Salieri scrambles up.  As he does so, he at-
tempts to button his waistcoat, but does it ineptly, so that the vestment becomes 
bunched up, making him look absurd.

CONSTANZE
What are you doing here?

SALIERI
Your husband is ill, ma'am.  He took sick.  I brought him home.

CONSTANZE
Why you?

SALIERI
I was! at hand.

CONSTANZE
Well, thank you very much.  You can go now.

SALIERI
He needs me, ma'am.

CONSTANZE
No, he doesn't.  And I don't want you here.  Just go, please.

SALIERI
He asked me to stay.

CONSTANZE
And I'm asking you -

She notices a movement from the bed.  Mozart wakes.  He sees Constanze and 
smiles with real joy.  Forgetting Salieri, she goes to her husband.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi, I'm back.  I'm still very angry with you, but  I missed you 
so much.

She throws herself on the bed.

CONSTANZE
I'll never leave you again.  If you'll just try a little harder to be 
nice to me.  And I'll try to do better, too.  We must.  We must!  
This was just silly and stupid.

She hugs her husband desperately.  He stares at her with obvious relief, not able to 
speak.  Suddenly she sees the manuscript in his hand.

CONSTANZE
What is this?

She looks at it and recognizes it.

CONSTANZE
Oh no, not this.  Not this, Wolfi!  You're not to work on this ever 
again!  I've decided.

She takes it from his weak hand.  At the same moment Salieri reaches out his hand 
to take it and add it to the pile on the table.  She stares at him, trying to under-
stand - suspicious and frightened and at the same time unable to make a sound.  
Mozart makes a convulsive gesture to reclaim the pages.  The coins brought by 
Salieri fall on the floor.  Karl runs after them, laughing.

CONSTANZE
(to Salieri)
This is not his handwriting.

SALIERI
No.  I! was assisting him.  He asked me.

CONSTANZE
He's not going to work on this anymore.  It is making him ill.  
Please.

She extends her hand for the Requiem, as she stands up.  Salieri hesitates.

CONSTANZE
(hard)
Please.

With extreme reluctance - it costs him agony to do it - Salieri hands over the 
score of the Requiem to her.

CONSTANZE
Thank you.

She marches with the manuscript over to a large chest in the room, opens it, throws 
the manuscript inside, shuts the lid, locks it and pockets the key.  Involuntarily 
Salieri stretches out his arms for the lost manuscript.

SALIERI
But - but - but -

She turns and faces him.

CONSTANZE
Good night.

He stares at her, stunned.

CONSTANZE
I regret we have no servants to show you out, Herr Salieri.  
Respect my wish and go.

SALIERI
Madame, I will respect his.  He asked me to stay here.

They look at each other in mutual hatred.  She turns to the bed.  Mozart appears to 
have gone to sleep again.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi? (louder) Wolfi?

She moves to the bed.  The child is playing with the coins on the floor.  Faintly we 
hear the start of the Lacrimosa from the Requiem.  Salieri watches as she touches her 
husband's hand.  As the music grows, we realize that Mozart is dead.

CU, Constanze staring wide-eyed in dawning apprehension.

CU, Salieri also comprehending hat he has been cheated.

The music rises.

CU,  The child on the floor, playing with the money.

CUT TO:

172	EXT.   STEPHEN'S CATHEDRAL - VIENNA - A RAINY DAY - 1790's	172

The Lacrimosa continues through all of the following: a small group of people 
emerges from the side door into the raw, wet day, accompanying a cheap wooden 
coffin.  The coffin is borne by a gravedigger and Schikaneder in mourning clothes.  
They load it onto a cart, drawn by a poor black horse.  All the rest are in black, 
also: Salieri, Von Swieten, Constanze and her son, Karl, Madame Weber and her 
youngest daughter Sophie, and even Lorl, the maid.  It is drizzling.  The cart sets 
off.  The group follows.

CUT TO:

173	EXT.   OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS OF VIENNA - RAINY DAY - 1790's	173

The group has already passed beyond the city limits following the miserable cart.  
The Lacrimosa accompanies them with its measured thread.  The drizzle of rain has 
now become heavy.  One by one, the group breaks up and shelters under the trees.  
The cart moves on toward the cemetery, alone, followed by nobody, growing 
more and more distant.  They watch it go.  Salieri and Von Swieten shake hands 
mournfully, the water soaking their black tall hats.  Schikaneder is in tears.  
Constanze is near collapse.  Salieri moves to assist her, but she turns away from 
him, seeking the arm of Cavalieri.  Madame Weber takes Karl's hand.

The music builds to its climax on Dona Eis Pacem!  We CUT back to:

174	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - MORNING - 1823	174

Morning light fills the room.  Old Salieri sits weeping convulsively, as the music 
stops.  Tears stream down his face.  Vogler watches him, amazed.

VOGLER
Why?  Why?  Why?  Why add to your misery by confessing to 
murder?  You didn't kill him.

OLD SALIERI
I did.

VOGLER
No, you didn't!

OLD SALIERI
I poisoned his life.

VOGLER
But not his body.

OLD SALIERI
What difference does that make?

VOGLER
My son, why should you want all Vienna to believe you a mur-
derer?  Is that your penance?  Is it?

OLD SALIERI
No, Father.  From now on no one will be able to speak of Mozart 
without thinking of me.  Whenever they say Mozart with love, 
they'll have to say Salieri with loathing.  And that's my immortal-
ity - at last!  Our names will  be tied together for eternity - his 
in fame and mine in infamy.  At least it's better than the total 
oblivion he'd planned for me, your merciful God!

VOGLER
Oh my son, my poor son!

OLD SALIERI
Don't pity me.  Pity yourself.  You serve a wicked God.  He 
killed Mozart, not I.  Took him, snatched him away, without 
pity.  He destroyed His beloved rather than let a mediocrity like 
me get the smallest share in his glory.  He doesn't care.  
Understand that.  God cares nothing for the man He denies and 
nothing either for the man He uses.  He broke Mozart in half 
when He'd finished with him, and threw him away.  Like an old, 
worn out flute.

175	EXT.   CEMETERY OF ST. MARX - LATE AFTERNOON - 1790's	175

The rain has eased off.  A LOCAL PRIEST with two boy acolytes is standing be-
side an open communal grave.  Mozart's body is lifted out of the cheap pine box in 
a sack.  We see that the grave contains twenty other such sacks.  The gravedigger 
throws the one containing Mozart amongst the others.  An assistant pours quick-
lime over the whole pile of them.  The acolytes swing their censers.

LOCAL PRIEST
The Lord giveth.  The Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of 
the Lord.

CUT BACK TO:

176	INT.   OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - MORNING - 1823	176

OLD SALIERI
Why did He do it?  Why didn't He kill me?  I had no value.  
What was the use, keeping me alive for thirty-two years of tor-
ture?  Thirty-two years of honours and awards.

He tears off the Civilian Medal and Chain with which the Emperor invested him 
and has been wearing the whole time and throws it across the room.

OLD SALIERI
Being bowed to and saluted, called “distinguished - 
“Distinguished Salieri - by men incapable of distinguishing!  
Thirty-two years of meaningless fame to end up alone in my 
room, watching myself become extinct.  My music growing 
fainter, all the time fainter, until no one plays it at all.  And his 
growing louder, filling the world with wonder.  And everyone 
who loves my sacred art crying, “Mozart!  Bless you, Mozart.

The door opens.  An attendant comes in, cheerful and hearty.

ATTENDANT
Good morning, Professor!  Time for the water closet.  And then 
we've got your favourite breakfast for you - sugar-rolls. (to 
Vogler) He loves those.  Fresh sugar-rolls.

Salieri ignores him and stares only at the priest, who stares back.

OLD SALIERI
Goodbye, Father.  I'll speak for you.  I speak for all mediocrities 
in the world.  I am their champion.  I am their patron saint.  On 
their behalf I deny Him, your God of no mercy.  Your God who 
tortures men with longings they can never fulfill.  He may forgive 
me:  I shall never forgive Him.

He signs to the attendant, who wheels him in his chair out of the room.  The priest 
stares after him.

177	INT.   CORRIDOR OF THE HOSPITAL - MORNING - 1823	177

The corridor is filled with patients in white linen smocks, all taking their morning 
exercise walk in the care of nurses and nuns.  They form a long, wretched, strange 
procession - some of them are clearly very disturbed.  As Old Salieri is pushed 
through them in his wheelchair, he lifts his hands to them in benediction.

OLD SALIERI
Mediocrities everywhere, now and to come:  I absolve you all!  
Amen!  Amen!  Amen!

Finally, he turns full-face to the camera and blesses us the audience, making the 
Sign of the Cross.  Underneath we hear, stealing in and growing louder, the 
tremendous Masonic Funeral Music of Mozart.

On the last four chords, we

FADE OUT
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