Movie Goof (continuity error): When Stanze and Schikaneder argue about when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be paid to write an opera for Schikaneder, the position of Mozart's arm around Stanze changes from shot to shot.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is at the billiard table, the balls change position with each camera shot.
Movie Goof (anachronisms): In the first flashback scene with Mozart where he is conducting the opera, the singer comes down the stairs which is being covered in dry ice fog. CO2 was first solidified in 1834, but Mozart died in 1791.
Movie Goof (continuity error): The candles that Antonio Salieri holds when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is laid on his deathbed are shorter than they are when he returns from the door a few moments later.
Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): During comic opera, there is a crew member visible when the last of the small horses pops through the side wall. The person is wearing light colored modern day pants and is standing behind the paper wall.
Movie Goof (anachronisms): Several scenes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera productions show dry ice generated fog billowing over the stage. Dry ice was not discovered until 1834 by Charles Thilorier, 43 years after Mozart's death.
Movie Goof (anachronisms): Schikaneder has Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart play the party theme in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach, which the Viennese party crowd clearly recognizes. Although the historical Mozart knew of Bach's work through his friendship with the composer's son, Bach's name and music would have been wholly unknown in the Vienna of the 1780s. Bach was re-discovered only when Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy promoted and popularized his work, nearly forty years after Mozart's death.
Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Antonio Salieri implies to his confessor that Katerina won the role of Konstanze in "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" by sleeping with Mozart. In fact, there was no romance, and the part was written for her.
Movie Goof (continuity error): In the scene where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart goes into the bedroom late at night to check on his son (and Stanzi awakens and looks at him), the candles on the candelabrum that he's holding are shorter before he goes into the bedroom than when he's in the room.
Movie Goof (continuity error): At the first meeting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Emperor Jozef II finishes playing the march for Mozart and as he stands, he picks up the parchment from the piano. As Mozart kneels to kiss the Emperor's hand, the parchment is still held by the Emperor. When Mozart stands, the parchment is back on the piano, remaining there until the Emperor turns and steps back to pick it up.
Movie Goof (factual errors): In the deathbed scene, during transcription, Mozart asks Salieri to translate "Confutatis Maledictis." Whereupon Salieri says, "Consigned to flames of woe." Then a brief discussion of eternal punishment ensues. "Confutatis Maledictis" merely means "while the wicked are rebuked" and has nothing whatever to do with flames or punishment. It is the following clause "flammis acribus addictis" which means "doomed to woeful flames."
Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is conducting The Marriage of Figaro, the Emperor can be seen yawning in the background. He is shown yawning about two minutes later, and Antonio Salieri specifically states that the Emperor only yawned once during the performance.
Movie Goof (continuity error): In the scene near the end when the bed-ridden Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is dictating a movement of his Requiem to Antonio Salieri, he tells him to write the bass instruments' notes as the "tonic and dominant" pitches in the key of A minor. But the notes that play, and the notes that actually appear in the score, are the tonic and subdominant.
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): This film is not a biopic. It is a work of historical fiction. Many of the events shown did not occur exactly as portrayed in the film, or happened at different times. Some did not take place at all and are included purely for dramatic purposes.
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): Jozef II's title was Holy Roman Emperor, not Emperor of Austria as Antonio Salieri states. However, this was a meaningless title (the Holy Roman Empire was infamously not holy, not Roman, and not an Empire), and he was often called Austrian Emperor, rather than his official title.
Movie Goof (continuity error): During "The Abduction from the Seraglio" performance, we see Kappelmeister Bonno watching from the box seat with two ladies flanking him. Milos Forman had the actors, including the extras in the adjacent box seat, remain in their positions to film a brief shot for a scene later in the movie (during "The Marriage of Figaro" opera, where we see Kappelmeister Bonno tapping his nose and smiling because the Emperor yawned). The result of this economical use of equipment and actors is that Kappelmeister Bonno, flanking ladies and extras all appear to have attended both operas sitting in the same seats and wearing the exact same clothing, wigs, jewelery and makeup.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Before Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gives the outdoor concert, several men are seen carrying his piano through the streets. When Lorl lets Antonio Salieri into Mozart's apartment during the concert, you can see the piano behind him in the room.
Movie Goof (anachronisms): When the confessor is waiting to enter Salieri's door from the hallway of the asylum, there is a woman sitting with her back to him (and the camera) talking to a patient. She is wearing a red business suit jacket with obvious, 80's style, shoulder pads.
Movie Goof (revealing mistake): When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is taken to the mass grave, it is raining heavily. However, the powder that is thrown over his body is not wet and fogs through the air. The container it came from is left unsheltered from the rain.
Movie Goof (anachronisms): The dancers in the opera/ballet scene are wearing costumes with zippers clearly visible.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Towards the end when Antonio Salieri is speaking with Constanza, his hair frequently swaps from hanging back to over his shoulder and back again.