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Martin Luther (1953)

Niall MacGinnis , John Ruddock  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Niall MacGinnis, John Ruddock, Pierre LeFevre, Guy Verney, Allastair Hunter
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alpha Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,948 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The story of Martin Luther's break from Catholicism and his founding of the Protestant movement.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 106 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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49 of 50 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This old, black and white movie comes to life with no need of color or pro-logic sound. It is the story of a monk who would one day change the future of Western Civilization.
Luther stands against all odds to profess his faith, and stand for freedom to believe, freedom to love, and freedom to com to God without mortal fear. This movie chronicles the life of Luther over time, and is very close to historical fact.
If you read "Here I Stand" or are a history fan in general, this is a good buy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 29 days 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 1 month ago by Roy J. Trapp
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked every bit of it.
I chose this rating because it contained not only the movie but many extra bits of information about the movie, including it's producers, the place where it was filmed, and it's... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bonnie Urban
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Luther
I showed this several times in the 50's when it was on 16mm. It is still as good today as then. I wish it would have mentioned how God's timing with Gutenberg's movable type... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Phil Roth
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Video Biography of Martin Luther and the Early Years of the...
A video classic, at least in Lutheran circles. Perhaps a bit melodramatic and at the same time sanitized, compared to more recent attempts to cover the same ground.
Published 2 months ago by GuyMontag
1.0 out of 5 stars Where is film about this insane and cruel guy?
martin luther was a Catholic monk.

martin luther split from Roman Catholic Church and started protestant church. Read more
Published 2 months ago by polaroid seeker
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this movie, hands down!
Really opened my eyes to what it must have been like for Martin Luther! great movie! I recommend this movie, hands down. The knowledge you get from this film is amazing!
Published 2 months ago by Kendra Frees
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough portrayal of the Reformation
This classic film gives viewers an understanding of the historic Christian faith from the perspecitive of one who "discovered" it had lost its roots.
Published 3 months ago by James Vehling
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Saw this movie years ago. This is a must watch for anyone interested in Martin Luther's life and his impact on the Christian world. Hope to see it in Blu-ray one day soon.
Published 3 months ago by James B.
1.0 out of 5 stars Good film but bad video quality.
Good film but terrible quality. A friend downloaded it and I compared them and the downloaded version has better quality. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Arnar Styr Björnsson
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