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Luther

( 9 )

Overview

The life of one of the controversial figures in the history of modern religion is brought to the screen in this historical biography. Born in 1483, Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes) was an intelligent and principled young man who was studying law in early 16th century Germany when a close brush with death led him to follow a spiritual path and join a Catholic monastery. Under the guidance of Father Johann von Staupitz (Bruno Ganz), Luther became a valued member of the monastery's hierarchy, and as a sign of his ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Subtitled)
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Overview

The life of one of the controversial figures in the history of modern religion is brought to the screen in this historical biography. Born in 1483, Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes) was an intelligent and principled young man who was studying law in early 16th century Germany when a close brush with death led him to follow a spiritual path and join a Catholic monastery. Under the guidance of Father Johann von Staupitz (Bruno Ganz), Luther became a valued member of the monastery's hierarchy, and as a sign of his trust, Father Johann asked Luther to join him for a voyage to Rome as part of church business. Luther was appalled by the corrupt practices of the leading church officials, in particular the sale of "indulgences," in which the wealthy could purchase forgiveness for a wide variety of sins. Luther left the monastery to study theology in Wittenberg; a keen student, he later became a professor and won the support of King Frederick the Wise (Peter Ustinov), who also recognized the potential controversy of Luther's iron principles. When a new pope, Leo X, assumes the throne at the Vatican, he orders the construction of St. Peter's Basilica. To pay the costs, an ambitious monk, John Tetzel (Alfred Molina), was sent out to sell indulgences to both the wealthy and the poor, leaving his audiences with little doubt of the eternal consequences that awaited those who did not empty their purses. An infuriated Luther wrote an angry essay on the corruption of the church entitled "95 Theses," and thanks to the recent invention of the printing press, Luther's words were soon circulated throughout Europe, leading to an angry conflict with Catholic officials which threatened to tear the church in two. Luther also features supporting performances from Claire Cox as Katharina von Bora and Jonathan Firth as Girolamo Aleandro.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; English: 5.1 surround; English & Spanish language subtitles; Original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Joseph Fiennes is one of those rare actors who look so much better in period garb than in modern-day duds that one wonders if anyone recognizes them on the street in T-shirt and jeans. He’s in top costumed form here as Martin Luther, the rebellious priest who risks everything to defy the Roman Church and spearheads the Protestant Reformation. This picturesque biographical film follows Luther from his early career as a law student, through his religious awakening following a near-death experience, to his days as a brilliant Augustinian monk who becomes disillusioned when he visits Rome and witnesses the political maneuverings and open sale of benedictions by money-grubbing clerics. Upon returning to his native Germany, Luther becomes the prime mover in a revolt against the Church that becomes vicious and bloody. Fiennes plays the reformer as a tremulous neurotic, either unwilling or unable to fully grasp the implications of the movement started by his protests. His Luther is not the paragon of moral certainty normally seen in films like this one, and that redounds to the movie’s credit. Television veteran Eric Till directs, doing a wonderful job of re-creating the period, and elicits sharp performances from a distinguished supporting cast that includes Alfred Molina as a greedy prelate, Bruno Ganz as Luther’s admiring mentor, and the late Peter Ustinov as Germany’s Frederick the Wise. Adapted from a play by John Osborne, Luther doesn’t quite match Fred Zinnemann's similarly themed, Robert Bolt-scripted A Man for All Seasons. Yet, it provides intelligent, literate entertainment in an era dominated by inconsequential fluff -- and for that much we should be profoundly grateful.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/30/2004
  • UPC: 027616906540
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20Th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 2:04:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,383

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joseph Fiennes Martin Luther
Alfred Molina Johann Tetzel
Claire Cox Katharina von Bora
Peter Ustinov Frederick the Wise
Jonathan Firth Girolamo Aleander
Bruno Ganz Johann von Staupitz
Uwe Ochsenknecht Pope Leo X
Mathieu Carrière Cardinal Cajetan
Torben Liebrecht Charles V
Benjamin Sadler Spalatin
Herb Andress Gunter
Christopher Buchholz Von der Eck
Jeff Caster Matthew
Marco Hofschneider Brother Ulrick
Jochen Horst Carlstadt
Doris Prusova Grete
Lars Rudolph Melanchthon
Maria Simon Hanna
Anatole Taubman Otto
Technical Credits
Eric Till Director
Clive Barrett Editor
Robert Fraisse Cinematographer
Bart Gavigan Screenwriter
Ulla Gothe Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Harvey Score Composer
Kurt Rittig Producer
Brigitte Rochow Casting, Producer
Christian Schäfer Art Director
Ralf Schreck Art Director
Alexander Thies Producer
Camille Thomasson Screenwriter
Rolf Zehetbauer Production Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/"Spare Me!" [5:49]
2. In Fear of God [2:16]
3. The Steps to Rome [5:11]
4. Student and Preacher [8:36]
5. "I Was Wrong" [6:44]
6. Savior of the Church [3:57]
7. The Price of Salvation [5:44]
8. Papal Politics [8:18]
9. One Word for the Cardinal [9:55]
10. How to Say No to Rome [5:48]
11. Feeding the Fire [3:42]
12. A Hearing in Germany [5:10]
13. A Simple Reply [2:36]
14. Should Anything Happen... [6:38]
15. The Great Leveling [4:27]
16. 100,000 Dead Peasants [7:32]
17. The German Bible [6:40]
18. Music and Marriage [2:06]
19. Revolt of the Princes [5:11]
20. End Credits [9:02]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Cast Interviews
         Joseph Fiennes
         Sir Peter Ustinov
         Claire Cox
         Alfred Molina
      Theatrical Trailer
   Subtitles
      English
      Español
      Subtitles: None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    About Bible

    Very good movie about Luther. I suggested that anyone should watch that movie make them to understand about the bible is very important.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    God's Will Really God's Interest

    It was helpful for Luther to note that the understanding of God's will is incorrect when seen as will-power (tyrany), but instead he says the original Greek text better translates as God's passion or interest.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Luther Movie

    A person who writes so harshly on this movie obviously did not comprehend it or is too prejudice to understand it. Being a Lutheran and having a Catholic husband, this movie was an inspiration for both of us.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not bigotist

    I was raised Roman Catholic, but through personal study of the Bible found some descrepencies (I am not sure if I spelled that correctly!). Martin Luther was no biggot, and the Catholic church now admits that and has accepted most of his reformations. He was a genius, and a true believer at a time when the church was all money and politics. Anyone who can call protestants evil needs to re-examine his own self, after all the Bible says "Do not judge, for the measure by which you judge others shall be measured against you." Besides, I consider my self to be more catholic as a Lutheran than I ever did as a catholic, seeing how Luther pretty much didn't change anything that wasnt political in nature or forbade in the Bible.
    Besides my rebuttle to who ever posted the last review, I thought the film was great, only it could have done a better job highlighting Luther's sense of humor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The biggest bigot movie of all time

    LUTHER: the movie. based on the prod reformation. I saw this and I have some gripes on it. 1. it was way to anti-catholic 2. it blew a lot of stuff out of proportion 3.destroying statues of the V. Mary is not cool 4. destroying churches is not cool 5. was it really necessary to kill 500,000 or so catholics? 6. Martin Luther was a nut job(not a gripe but truth) things that were good 1.it showed the true evil of the prod faith. 2. indulgences were a dumb idea I'll give you that over all as a catholic I found this movie pretty pointless it was like the reformation itself it was pointless and insulting. I think if you want to see a truly one sided movie that bashes catholics see this movie if you are that narrow minded. If you are Catholic and want to see how bad we were treated see this movie otherwise I don't recommend this to anyone!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Monk for All Seasons

    Just finished viewing this film after passing it several times in the store... What a stirring piece of film-making! If you appreciate not only cinematic brilliance but finer aspects of character acting, you will thoroughly enjoy this film. More than an exploration of the religious dimensions of the 16th century split between Catholic and Protestant doctrine, this film highlights the social and political elements that made Luther's life so important in shaping our modern world. Secular-oriented viewers should not be put-off by the fact that this film portrays a religious figure of heroic proportions. Joseph Feinnes's Luther is full dimensional and engaging on many levels, whether in his expression of Luther's spiritual torments or his powerful intellectual reasoning. If you have seen Paul Scofield's portrayal of another man of deep conviction, Sir Thomas More, in A Man for All Seasons, you cannot help but be captivated by the similarities in subtlety and intensity that Fiennes brings to his performance in this film. Sir Peter Ustinov almost steals the film in his supporting role as Frederick the Wise, and Alfred Molina is a quintessential 'dark man' as the Pope's chief fund-raiser. However, viewers will also find strong supporting performances from the rest of this talented cast. I went on line after viewing this film to see what critics had to say when it was in theatrical release and was not surprised to see widely disparate ratings. However, if you can keep an open mind and judge this film without fear of the religious conflict which is an inherent part of the subject, you may be surprised as I was that such a gem is available for home viewing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not accurate; read the Marius biography

    Despite its production by a branch of the Lutheran church, 'Luther' the movie has only passing basis in Luther the man. We see the scandal of selling indulgences, which Luther rightly opposed. And we're told that many in the Church hierarchy agreed with Luther that the sales must be ended. The movie shows one of the first big results of Luther's new doctrines: the deaths of from 50,000 to 100,000 peasants (the numbers used in the film) who took Luther literally, read their Bibles as he advised, revolted, and were suppressed by the princes, including the Protestant ones, with the support of Luther. The movie doesn't show Luther's support of the suppression, nor that he wasn't about to go against the Protestant princes who had supported him. We see Philip of Hesse, but not Luther allowing Philip's bigamy because Luther again didn't want to oppose a political patron. We also don't see the German princes looting and burning the monasteries as would Henry VIII in England, acts of supreme vandalism and barbarism. The movie only hints at the real problems Rome had with Luther over the Mass, which he shelved, and their interpretations of original sin. The film also breaks off before Luther's bitter old age, especially his descent into extreme anti-Semitism and scatological attacks on the Catholic Church and the Pope, some of which is translated in the Marius biography. Finally, in 1517, almost everybody in Europe was Christian; today, less than 10% are. I doubt Luther quite expected things to turn out this way.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews