Amadeus (1984)



Even though I realized it wasn’t true, a part of me wanted to believe that Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” was in the movie Amadeus. Why else would two things called Amadeus exist at essentially the same time? In the eighties and nineties, I learned practically everything about music and culture from MTV, which my mom kept onscreen constantly. Music eased its way into my pores via their accompanying videos; the visuals were the only way I could pay attention long enough to care.

And here I am, twenty-odd years later, watching three-hour biopics when all I needed was a synth-heavy remix to learn about Mozart. Amadeus is definitely one of those films that flies under the radar.  I, for one, haven’t even heard of most of the actors in it. It’s recent enough to expect that people may have watched it and yet I’m not aware of anyone who has ever seen it – let alone likes it. Which is kind of a shame, because it’s not a bad movie. A bit long and plodding in parts, suggesting plot threads that don’t do much but fray, but a decent enough movie. At least you can listen to music (though none of it is 80s-friendly). And I kind of love the idea that Mozart’s big rival, Salieri, basically spends the whole film hate-watching every one of Mozart’s concerts.

But all I really want to talk about is songs that should have been on the soundtrack to Best Picture films. Supposedly, Falco wrote “Rock Me Amadeus” after watching the movie. What other movies and songs could be connected (but obviously aren’t)?

  • Might The Hurt Locker have prompted REM’s “Everybody Hurts”?
  • Or perhaps Dave Matthews’ Band wrote “Crash into Me” for Crash.
  • 1963’s Tom Jones obviously inspired…. Well, a lot of songs. It’s not unusual.
  •  Little known fact: the theme song for Mad Men is titled “A Beautiful Mine,” presumably because it was originally rejected for A Beautiful Mind.
  •  And of course, Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” name-checks half the movies on the list. (Okay, only one. Remember which? It’s not British Beatlemania.)

Yeah, I don’t have much interesting commentary to offer for this one. I’d like to think that I’m living up to Salieri’s cry for mediocrity. We can’t all be geniuses.


Amadeus enters his New Wave phase.

Theme: Artistic Friendship

First Time Watching? Yes to the movie, no to Falco.

Final Verdict: It rocked me.



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