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- Original theatrical trailer
Top Customer Reviews
Luther was and is an ambiguous figure to many, and this movie doesn't try to simplify anything. We see Luther (Joseph Fiennes) in the most productive and tumultuous years of his life, with the movie ending abruptly after the Augsburg Confession. The character of Luther's sponsor, Philip the Wise (Sir Peter Ustinov), is cut down, making him a friendly figure where he was in fact a shrewd politician who tried to use Luther's opinions as a way to enrich state coffers. The figure of Karlstadt (Jochen Horst) is real and receives comment, but the film doesn't really permit Luther to endorse or condemn his rebellion. Luther's wife and sometime foil, the sharp and witty Katerina von Borg (Claire Cox), doesn't even appear until near the end of the film. And Johann Tetzel (Alfred Molina), whose abuses spurred Luther's greatest accomplishments, is treated like a straw man.
This movie seems structured at times like a Cliffs Notes of Luther's life and work. Perhaps it's intended to encourage the viewing public to read the books themselves and find out who Luther was. It's certainly not a technical tour-de-force. The opening is cut together with the same abruptness as a trailer, Luther's conversions (he had three, each more profound than the last, like stairsteps) are compressed, the camera is usually unmoving, like a portable stage.Read more ›
The scope of the movie is impressive. It begins in 1505 with a young Luther running and crawling through a field, trying desperately to escape a fierce storm, all the while crying out to Saint Anne to save him. It ends twenty five years later, again with Luther in a field, though this time has is rejoicing, for he has just received the news that Emperor Charles V has given in to the German princes and has allowed Protestantism to survive. The movie ends at the beginning of religious tolerance in Germany.
The initial pace of the move is frantic. We see Luther giving his life to the service of the church and then nervously performing his first mass. We see him wrestling with his sinfulness and with his perception of an angry, vengeful God. He is assigned a task which takes him to Rome and there his disillusionment with the church grows as he sees brothels for priests and finds that the papacy is little more than a money-making institution. The poorest people in society give the little they have to the church to ransom their loved ones from purgatory. At this point the movie begins to slow its pace.Read more ›
First of all, the film is not anti-Catholic as some critics have said. It was made in Germany with the cooperation of the Catholic and Lutheran churches there. It is fact based and tells the truth about what happened. It may portray them in a bad light, but calling the film anti-Catholic would be like calling a film about the Holocaust anti-German.
This film shows the brutality of the Spanish inquisition and their notoriously anti-Prosestant attacks. Another early Protestant, William Tyndale, was executed for heresy. His 'crime' was translating the Bible into English. Though the Catholic Church did do these things, they have apologized for it.
The film has stunning performances by Joseph Finnes (Ralph Finnes' brother)and Peter Ustinov in his last film role before his death.
On October 31, 1517 A.D. the door of the Wittenberg church had Luther's 95 theses nailed on it, and with that the door to religious freedom was opened. This film should be seen even by secular people because if it were not for Luther, there may have been no seperation of Church and state until many years later.
The film is an absolute must-see for those interested in the Protestant Reformation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie could have been titled, "Who, little old me?" Whereas the movie portrays Luther as almost sweet and gentle, the actual letters of Martin Luther (saved on file... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Thomas Bush
Luther (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)In retrospect, it is hard to believe that it took until 2003 for a movie about Martin Luther (1483-1546) and the Lutheran Reformation to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by N. De Sapio
The Historical setting for this film is accurate. The acting is great. I learned a lot about Martin Luther, his trials and tribulations, and the historical era in which he lived. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Annette N. Hauth
A well acted, well written, genuinely moving story about the man, his doubts, his failings, his world changing works, and his faith in the grace and love of his Christ rather than... Read morePublished 1 month ago by H. Ross
It could have been a 5 but there are some parts that were not clear due to editing. As a catholic I realize that the Catholic Church did a grave disservice to Martin Luther and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Herb Pena
After reading a biography of Martin Luther, I saw this DVD and thought it would be interesting. I thought the sound was kind of muddy - unless there is something amiss with my DVD... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lesley Sifers