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Martin Luther (1953)

Annette Carell , Alexander Gauge  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Annette Carell, Alexander Gauge, David Horne, Alastair Hunter, Fred Johnson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vision Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2002
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JDUS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,635 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Martin Luther" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The dramatic black and white classic film of Martin Luther's life made in the 1950's. This film was originally released in theaters worldwide and nominated for an Academy Award. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reforming efforts. This film traces Luther's life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Church. This film, in spite of its age, continues to be a popular resource to introduce Luther's life.

The making of the film and biographies of the actors
Includes Portuguese, Spanish, Korean and German tracks with English subtitles
Full color tour of Luther sites
Chapter titles for easy access

DVD Features:
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Korean
Subtitles: English
Viewing Format: Fullscreen, Black and White
Bonus Materials:
Biography of a Film with Robert E. A. Lee
Bios and photos of the actors and production personnel
Full-color tour of Luther sites
Chapter titles for easy scene access

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic April 9, 2004
This is the classic black and white movie on Luther's life, shown in nearly every Lutheran church basement! It takes the viewer from Luther's entry into the monastery to around 1530, when the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Emperor. For many years, this was the best film on Luther. Unlike Luther (1973, with Stacy Keach) which showed only Luther's struggles, this movie shows his triumphs and successes, and the support he had from others.
This DVD has several good features. Several languages are supported, Spanish, German, Korean, and a few others. Unfortunately, the film was not digitally remastered-- but the picture quality is still not that bad. An interesting documentary is included on how the movie was made and the reaction when it was shown. It also includes a slideshow of Luther sites.
This movie can't compare with the new movie (Luther, 2003 with Joseph Fiennes) as far as presentation is concerned. Yet it is still inspiring, and a faithful presentation of Luther's life.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up for Martin Luther! August 18, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
For those who prefer your history acted out on the screen rather than read from a book, I highly recommend Martin Luther. The movie stays painstakingly close to the actual historical record (at least the record in Protestant history books). It begins with Luther as a young man studying for the legal profession and ends with him as the embodiment of the Protestant Reformation. The movie contains many details of his life, including his days as an Augustinian monk and his great struggles of faith. The story goes on to detail Luther's eye opening trip to Rome, the nailing of the 95 Theses, the Diet of Worms, his protective custody in the Wartburg Castle, a happy marriage to Katherine von Bora, his opposition to the Peasant's Revolt and almost every other major events of his life. The motion picture concludes with his best-known hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." All of the major characters are depicted from Eck and Melanchton to the drunk who purchased his indulgences in advance. For those of us who know the history, it is a joy to watch it portrayed. To those unfamiliar with the story, get ready for a quality history lesson. As a history lesson, please note that Luther is seen in the very best light. His courage, intellect, and passion are clearly portrayed. Yet like most human heroes, Luther had his dark side. His overreaction to the Peasant's Revolt, anti-Semitic views, and fondness for beer are not depicted in this script. Still the movie it is a quality portrayal of the life and times of Martin Luther.
As for entertainment value, this black and white film may seem too slow moving and lacking embellished for today's "hyper stimulated" movie audiences. "Patriot" or "Braveheart" it is not. When released in 1953 it received 2 Academy Award Nominations. I feel actor Niall MacGinnis has given us an outstanding portrayal of Martin Luther. I highly recommend the movie. Running time 1 hour and 43 minutes.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall, a well done movie February 13, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This movie was a well done, reasonably accurate, portrayal of Martin Luther. It touches upon most, but not all, the major areas of his life. It does a good job of showing how he went from law school, to Augustinian monk, to a pilgrimage to Rome, to protesting the excesses of the Vatican. It captures his stormy personality well. To get some historical insight, it is an excellent movie. It is not Terminator, no buggy chases or bow/sword fights. I doubt seriously if Hollywood could make a film like this today that actually told a story without adding excessive violence, sex, or somehow making him a new age evangelist...
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides a good introduction to Reformation issues October 22, 1999
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this video. It doesn't paint either Martin Luther or the Catholic church as either a saint or a villain. It does show the corruption that all churches can sink to if they become self centered and self reliant. It also has a lot of insight into how believers should thoughtfully compare either their own life or current church practises with the scriptures.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historically accurate and spiritually challenging March 6, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The movie is consistent with written histories of Martin Luther and his times. It is rightfully an Academy Award Nominee, because the film is exceptionally moving and worthy as entertainment or education. The story explains the divide between Catholics and Protestants to any who are not sure, obviously from a Protestant perspective. Homeschoolers alert! Wonderful film.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black and white doesn't mean borning. May 5, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Originally, I saw this film on PBS years ago, and recently in a College Bible class on the Reformation. I just had to have it! Although an older black and white BBC film, this video reflects the intensity and sincerity of Luther. The British are natural actors, so there is no amateur stuff here. You will see where a salvation by works Catholic monk finds true salvation through Christ: "The just shall live by faith." Highly recommended!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars VCI Entertainment Release of Martin Luther January 1, 2011
This review only concerns the DVD released by VCI Entertainment. This is a good movie with an excellent performance by Niall MacGinnis. But I am bitterly disappointed by this DVD that is billed by VCI as having been digitally remastered. This leaves one with the impression that it is restored. I have two different video tape releases of this movie that are in better shape than this "remastered" DVD. This DVD is in miserable shape, with cracks, pops, and missing bits all over the place. In the most dramatic speech in the movie, which is also one of the most crucial speeches in history, when Luther gives his response to the charges against him at the Diet of Worms, the film is chopped to bits with parts of the speech missing! This is totally unacceptable. VCI is selling a DVD as digitally remastered that is in worse condition than the old VCR tapes of it. This DVD looks like it was made from a copy of the film that had been played many times, broken and spliced in many places, and then neglected in a church basement for many years. Don't waste your money on this DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Have seen this movie many times and it is stellar ...
Have seen this movie many times and it is stellar every time. The content is world shaking, and the acting matches it well. For Christian Believers, it is a must see.
Published 2 days ago by cneumer
5.0 out of 5 stars It is an excellent depiction of the Protestant Reformation era
This movie is historically accurate, It is an excellent depiction of the Protestant Reformation era, led my Martin Luther, and shows the powerful control and authority of the Roman... Read more
Published 2 months ago by TREEMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this older version on Luther.
I found this movie inspiring and well done. The newer version seem too dramatic --Hollywood style. Older sometimes seem more real.
Published 2 months ago by Gail A. Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars contrast to "Luther" 0f 1973
This work has much more scholarly objectivity due to narration throughout ; it provides much in historic content and a Luther character true to best historic... Read more
Published 3 months ago by 1966 Alex Cat
4.0 out of 5 stars A great film for its era
I think it is always important to consider the time period in which a movie is made. The overall quality of films has improved without question. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Westlund
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary
Even beyond the powerful theological message of this film, I was just floored by the sheer artistry of this black and white classic. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rob
2.0 out of 5 stars Get the newer Movie Luther, not this one.
Get the newer Movie Luther, not this one. I got both this and the new movie. This is quite slow and boring. The actor playing Luther is far too old for the part - ie. Read more
Published 4 months ago by James H. Folz
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Martin Luther
Great movie about a great man. Martin Luther is inspiring, informative, and liberating. Every Christian home should have a copy of this on their bookshelf - watch it with your... Read more
Published 4 months ago by S. D. Maples
4.0 out of 5 stars Martin Luther. History made live
This picture is a historic classic which excellently balances history with medium restraints. I recommend to any one with an interest in church history.
Published 6 months ago by Preston Kappes
5.0 out of 5 stars Best" Martin Luther"
Very good movie, based on the book, "Here I Stand" Luther's life was somewhat like an adventure movie, but lived for God. Man certainly had an abundance of courage. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Roy J. Trapp
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