Luther

Luther

Director: Guy Green

Cast: Bruce Carstairs, John Gielgud, Malcolm Stoddard

     
 

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Stacy Keach stars in this screen adaptation of John Osborne's play Luther, produced as part of the ambitious but short-lived American Film Theater series, which comes to DVD in an edition featuring plenty of extras. Luther has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which has been enhanced for anamorphic

Overview

Stacy Keach stars in this screen adaptation of John Osborne's play Luther, produced as part of the ambitious but short-lived American Film Theater series, which comes to DVD in an edition featuring plenty of extras. Luther has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which has been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. The audio is mastered in Dolby Digital Mono; the dialogue is in English with no multiple language options included. Bonus materials include trailers for Luther and ten other AFT productions, an essay on the play by Michael Feingold of The Village Voice, a reproduction of the original AFT program for the film, a gallery of production stills, and interviews with AFT executive Edie Landau, and a promotional film for the series featuring founder Ely Landau.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Luther is a flawed but still very powerful adaptation of John Osborne's meditation on the 16th century religious leader whose condemnation of certain Catholic Church practices precipitated a revolution both religious and secular. The flaws are those common to many other entries in the American Film Theatre's productions -- mainly, it's an uneasy blend of cinema and stagecraft that falls between the two poles. It's not really satisfying as a straight-ahead filming of a stage play, nor does it satisfy as a cinematic adaptation. The stage-bound nature is perhaps more pronounced in Luther because it deals with a subject that had a profound effect upon the entire world; excluding that outside world from the film negates Luther's impact somewhat and makes him seem a bit smaller than the character warrants. If one can accept this flaw, however, Luther is a richly rewarding experience. Osborne's words have been diluted in a few cases by adapter Edward Anhalt, but they still maintain astonishing power. His portrait of Martin Luther is compelling yet disturbing, a finely detailed portrait that shows a man constantly in conflict with himself, with God, and with the actions he initiates in the name of faith. Stacy Keach's performance in the title role is nothing short of marvelous; he conveys the intense power of this darkly conflicted man yet doesn't resort to showboating. He underplays, he understates, and the character comes across as more powerful as a result. Yet he also lets the depths of his passions surface when necessary, to startling effect. Keach dominates the film, and the character he creates is overflowing with life -- and with bile. He is well supported by an excellent cast, with special mention for a superb Patrick Magee, an excellent Hugh Griffith, and an impressive Leonard Rossiter.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2003
UPC:
0738329027926
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
PG
Source:
Kino Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:51:00
Sales rank:
51,820

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; "John Osborne and Luther," an essay by Michael Feingold, Chief Theatre Critic, The Village Voice; The AFT cinebill for Luther; Stills gallery; An interview with Edie Landau, Executive in Charge, The American Film Theatre; "Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera" - AFT promotion reel (1974); The American Film Theatre trailer gallery - includes a complete list of the AFT films; The American Film Theatre Scrapbook; Enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bruce Carstairs Duke of Saxony
John Gielgud Actor
Malcolm Stoddard Emperor Charles V
Alan Badel Cardinal Thomas de Vio
Stacy Keach Martin Luther
Patrick Magee Hans
Hugh Griffith Tetzel
Robert Stephens von Eck
Judi Dench Katherine
Leonard Rossiter Weinand
Maurice Denham Staupitz
Julian Glover The Knight
Peter Cellier Prior
Thomas Heathcote Lucas

Technical Credits
Guy Green Director
Mort Abrahams Executive Producer
John Addison Score Composer
Edward Anhalt Screenwriter
Joan Bridge Costumes/Costume Designer
Malcolm Cooke Editor
Elizabeth Haffenden Costumes/Costume Designer
Ely Landau Producer
Peter Mullins Production Designer
Henry T. Weinstein Producer
Freddie Young Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Act I; Opening Titles [3:48]
3. A New Life [8:22]
4. "I Confess..." [11:03]
5. The Sacrament [3:48]
6. An Unruly Guest [7:05]
7. Father & Son [8:12]
8. "The Blasphemy Began..." [6:07]
9. The Vicar's Advice [7:44]
10. Act II; The Sermon [7:22]
11. The Pope's Ambassador [15:16]
12. "Breathe Into Me!" [2:43]
13. A Royal Inquisition [8:56]
14. "The Great Fire Is Spreading" [3:09]
15. "God Is the Butcher" [7:20]
16. "The Love of a Woman" [10:12]

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