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Martin Luther

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Overview

Virtually every Lutheran in America has seen Martin Luther during a church-basement screening. Niall McGinniss plays the title role, while the rest of the cast is an adroit mixture of professional actors, clerics and Biblical scholars. The film recounts Martin Luther's 16th-century break from Catholicism, his posting of the 95 theses, and his ultimate creation of the Protestant Movement. The dramatic highlight is Luther's "Here I stand" speech, straightforwardly directed by Irving Pichel who also plays a ...
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Overview

Virtually every Lutheran in America has seen Martin Luther during a church-basement screening. Niall McGinniss plays the title role, while the rest of the cast is an adroit mixture of professional actors, clerics and Biblical scholars. The film recounts Martin Luther's 16th-century break from Catholicism, his posting of the 95 theses, and his ultimate creation of the Protestant Movement. The dramatic highlight is Luther's "Here I stand" speech, straightforwardly directed by Irving Pichel who also plays a supporting role. Filmed in West Germany, Martin Luther was a collaboration between Lutheran Productions Inc. and Louis de Rochemont associates. The film caused a minor brouhaha when its Chicago TV debut in 1956 was successfully blocked by the local Catholic Archdiocese.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Martin Luther wants so very badly to be a great film that one almost feels sorry for it that it comes up short. Whatever its failings, however, at least one can say that this is a biopic that is relatively faithful to the facts. Yes, a few things are fudged here and there, or incidents are combined or telescoped. But on the whole, Luther presents a mostly accurate portrait of its main subject. Unfortunately, it does so in a heavy handed and, it must be admitted, tedious manner. Historians or devout Lutherans will most likely not mind this too much, and will appreciate it for its historical value and pass over its dramatic shortcomings. Others will not be so generous. Part of the problem is that -- like its subject -- Martin Luther is very, very talky. Some of the talk is quite brilliant, but it bogs the film down terribly. And too little attention is paid to making all of this important talk cinematic. In the title role, Niall MacGinnis does all that is asked of him, and quite a bit more. It's a very detailed, well thought performance and quite a treat in terms of technique. But, because of the script and the manner in which the script is directed, MacGinnis is rarely able to really catch fire and light up the screen the way that he so clearly wants to. It's a shame that this actor and this character were not brought together in a project that would show what both were really capable of.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/29/2009
  • UPC: 089218591098
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:46:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 18,437

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Niall MacGinnis Martin Luther
John Ruddock Vicar von Staupitz
Pierre Lefevre Spalatin
Guy Verney Melanchthon
Alastair Hunter Carlstadt
David Horne Duke Frederick
Fred Johnson Prior
Philip Leaver Pope Leo X
Dr. Egon Strohm Cardinal Aleander
Alexander Gauge Tetzel
Irving Pichel Brueck
Leonard White Emissary
Annette Carell Katherine von Bora
Hans Lefebre
Technical Credits
Irving Pichel Director
Joseph Brun Cinematographer
Louis de Rochemont Producer
Robert E.A. Lee Executive Producer
Mark Lothar Score Composer
Paul Markwitz Production Designer
Fritz Maurischat Production Designer
Allan Sloane Screenwriter
Lothar Wolff Producer, Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Martin Luther
2. Chapter 1 [15:39]
3. Chapter 2 [16:58]
4. Chapter 3 [17:18]
5. Chapter 4 [17:03]
6. Chapter 5 [17:06]
7. Chapter 6 [20:16]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Martin Luther
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Martin Luther original movie

    This film (not the 2004 release) depicts a man who was searching for answers in scripture, and became convinced of what God expects of us. He was so much a scholar and so persistent, he translated the entire Bible into German so all the people could read it. He went on to write prolifically bout the scriptures and the church. The high point of this film is when he faces the judgment of the church and the Roman government and tells them that at whatever peril to himself, he cannot and will not recant any of his writings and statements.

    He was a model for all Christians. He stood on his convictions and with God's truth.

    Anyone interested in why the reformation took place should see this film. Luther was not the only reformer. There were others before and since, but Luther has his name branded on the Reformation. Calvin and others took Luther's lead and used his situation to further their own reformations. Luther broke the ice pack and opened the door!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews