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FORGET MOZART (VERGEST MOZART)TV FILM (director: Miloslav Luther; screenwriter: Zdenek Mahler; cinematographer: Dodo Simoncic; editors: Peter Przygodda /Alfréd Bencic; music: Peter Breiner; cast: Armin Mueller-Stahl (Count Pergen), Winfried Glatzeder(Salieri), Max Tidof (Mozart), Catarina Raacke (Konstanze Mozart), Wolfgang Preiss (Baron Gottfried van Swieten), Uwe Ochsenknecht

(Emanuel Schikaneder), Katja Flint (Magdalena Demel); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Karel Dirka; Comienzo VHS; 1985-West Germany/Czechoslovakia-in German with English subtitles)


Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

German director Miloslav Luther(“King Thrushbeard”/”The Tango with Mosquitoes“/”A Step Into The Dark”) pays a lot of attention to the historical facts in this period piece costume thriller biopic. It was written by Zdenek Mahler. It’s filmed as if a Colombo murder mystery for Czech TV by a West German crew.

The great Austrian composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Max Tidorf), dies an untimely death at 35 on 12/5/1791. The Austrian police investigator Count Pergen (Armin Mueller-Stahl), serving the best interest of the monarch, suspects foul play and investigates by having all the six main suspects–among them his wife (Catarina Runcke), the head of the Freemasons (Wolfgang Preiss) and his main musical rival Salieri (Winfried Glatzeder)–locked in the dead man’s chamber to tell in detail the relationship they had with the musical genius. The investigation uncovers Mozart’s connection with the Freemasons and their revolutionary activities, with European monarchs and with the enmity of his rival, the court musician, Salieri.

In conclusion it says Mozart could be a difficult man to get along with, even with friends, and made many enemies. But it blames his death not on politics or rivalry, but on disease, heartbreak over a failed marriage, alcoholism and by being ignored by the government despite his musical achievements.

A well-perceived intellectual pic, that is stylish, understated and more reliable than the previous Hollywood versions. However, that it says we all murdered Mozart, leaves me feeling a little queasy.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”