17 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK: How Amadeus Rocked Us Into Ignoring Crap Costumes

  1. The Casa Collection!!! *Snort*

    I will say that I love Amadeus as well. Incredible script, acting, storyline, and of course the music. But WOW, I had forgotten just how bad the costumes were. I mean I remember them being bad but WOW.

    1. It just goes to show you that when you take it all in as one big flashy spectacle, the costumes barely stand out against the rest of the scenery and music and acting. And I’m ok with that. It’s just… we knew better then. We know WAY better now. It’s still a mystery as to why so many of the costumes had zippers up the back, for crying out loud!

      1. Couldn’t get (any / enough) better rentals into Prague? Blame the Cold War!

        “Valmont” was filmed almost entirely in France, so it doesn’t have any excuses (KENDRA).

  2. I’ll have to send my baroque/classical music class to this page during Mozart Week! (Wait, every week is Mozart Week.)

    Anyway, I just wanted to offer an excuse for the “get this girl an aspirin” wig (and beauty mark) – because the character is an opera singer and that yellow yarn wig is part of her costume in the opera.

    But there’s no excuse for the rest of the wigs and costumes! They are atrocious and they haven’t aged well.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately her ‘off stage’ wigs are about the same. And period stage makeup wouldn’t have looked so straight-outta-1984, heh (I might resemble that eyeliner).

      But it’s such a good movie!

  3. We costumers with little to no budget, depend on the Casa collection and coupons for many of our stage costumes. We do the best we can with what we can afford. Many audiences don’t know the difference. Where would you suggest I find better fabrics that don’t cost a fortune to costume a cast of 40?

    1. I think we absolutely understand about limited budget, and know that that’s not YOUR decision! You’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got. It’s up to producers/the people with the money to decide whether costumes are important enough to spend money on.

  4. Random: I found that blue satin gown shown on the dress form, it’s worn in the party scene where everyone’s wearing masks, & those ARE wings for a masquerade costume in the background, seen for a few seconds!

  5. I think the main problem with these costumes is that (sadly) they are made to appeal to the 1984 audience: think of Mozart as an 80s popstar and BOOM, you have all this nonsense of wigs of satin gowns.

  6. I was rewatching the movie and I think the lace “cape” was just a half-baked attempt at a robe a la francaise.

  7. [Hollywood has] tremendous problems with [capturing historical details correctly]. When the main production designer flew in for a meeting, he was mixing up Romanesque with Roman culture. But they wanted to truthfully capture the atmosphere of Mozart’s time so they wanted to hire someone from Prague, which is connected with Mozart. That’s why Forman asked me.

    Why do they always complain about Hollywood productions, when making comments about filmmaking? I’ve come across non-Hollywood productions that featured historically inaccurate costumes.

  8. Being a general history nut and not a costume one… Amadeus…I was under the assumption from looking at many paintings of that time period that the wigs, at least for the men, were rather believeable. So…apparently I am either blind or not seeing the details correctly. For example, Joseph II, from his paintings, and Jeremy Jones look dead on…anyway…it would be helpful for someone like myself to maybe have a percentage for accuracy.

  9. Historically accurate down to the last detail? Perhaps not. Fucking fabulous and an absolutely over the top feast for the eyes? In my opinion, absolutely. Everything about this film is gorgeous to me. It just works. But…to each their own.

  10. Frankly, being Milos Forman’s and Teodor Pistek’s compatriot (I am Czech) I can understand another aspect of why they chose to make the 18th century costumes look cheap and vulgar or just “too much of frills”. I guess it’s a parody. It’s mocking. It’s all a visual joke. It’s like watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills today. It’s like Cyndi Lauper 1980s look turned into Mozart. Rich people often lack good taste. They are just rich, not always elegant or wise. They are often not really beautiful (just watch The Real Housewives of wherever – many of them are not “naturally” beautiful – they have been helped to various degrees of what they believe to be pretty).

    Some of the Amadeus costumes really look like Dolly Parton outfits (even the wigs). Not everybody in the 18th century had a good taste – actually only few did. Mozart was known for his music, not for his apparel. I don’t find the costumes of the movie historically accurate and I think it’s on purpose (who knows anyway what and why the people were wearing). I just find them funny and ironic. Music is what counts in that movie. Music is the quality there. Not fashion.

    Hollywood can sometimes make even Auschwitz look like a Christian Dior experience. And Forman, on the very contrary, wasn’t afraid to show lovely smooth elegant 18th century Vienna like the cheapest of the luxury of Beverly Hills.

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