Martin Luther (1953) NR CC

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(66) IMDb 7.1/10
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This biographical account of Martin Luther's actions that eventually created the Protestant and Lutheran religions was filmed in conjunction with the Lutheran Church.

Starring:
Niall MacGinnis, Annette Carell
Runtime:
1 hour 47 minutes

Martin Luther (1953)

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Martin Luther (1953)

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Irving Pichel
Starring Niall MacGinnis, Annette Carell
Supporting actors Pierre Lefevre, Guy Verney, Alastair Hunter, David Horne, Fred Johnson, Philip Leaver, Heinz Piper, Leonard White, Egon Strohm, Annette Carell, Alexander Gauge, Henry Oscar, Irving Pichel, Ronald Adam, Joss Ambler, William Abney, Michael Maick, Wolfgang Oelze
Studio Synergy Ent
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

For me, it is a good heart warming movie.
Christian
Yet it is still inspiring, and a faithful presentation of Luther's life.
Paul C. Stratman
It is historical accurate and very informative.
Carlo Guarneri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Paul C. Stratman on April 9, 2004
Format: DVD
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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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Todd Hudnall on 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 By Frank Webster on 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 By Laurence on 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 By A Customer on March 6, 2000
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 By Glen Morris on 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By ThingiReviews on January 1, 2011
Format: DVD
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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