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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.
SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION includes:
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
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Korean
Viewing Format: Fullscreen, Black and White
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
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The Luther depicted here may be a little softened, as befits the 1950's; the real Luther was more rough-hewn and even, at times, scatological (although not to the degree of, say, an unexpurgated Sir Thomas More, who also extended the practice to the sexual realm). The physical risk to Luther (and his wife), while briefly mentioned, also may not receive all the attention it deserves. Both were effectively under a sentence of death had they gone to unsympathetic regions of the empire.
An interesting side issue is that the director, Irving Pichel, was originally Jewish and a Communist, to the point where he was blacklisted (this may partially explain why this movie and the next one, a biography of Christ entitled Day of Triumph, were made in Europe and not the US, and may also provide one motivation for the usually nonChristian Hollywood moguls to give Martin Luther two Academy award nominations). At the time Mr Pichel made Martin Luther, he was a Christian socialist. Incidentally, he can be seen towards the end of the movie, where he introduces the representatives presenting the Augsburg Confession.
Finally, contrary to the mantra, this movie was not shown in church basements. Our family drove 100 miles to see it in a theater that would show it in 1953 and it was broadcast by local TV in Mason City, Iowa, regularly thereafter on Reformation Day. But in the 1950's and 1960's, churches did not have movie projectors. Now let's see if Turner, AMC, etc, will show it on cable.
After watching the movie a couple of times now, I can honestly say I think it does a fair job of presenting both sides of the issue (concerning Catholics and Protestants) fairly. For those who are looking for a deeper understanding into the life of Martin Luther, I would suggest the PBS documentary on him. It gives a better profile into what made the man "tick."
for the German nobility, town merchants, and peoples disgust
with paying indulgincies to Rome. They felt it was just a TAX on them a way to
pluck money from the faithful for the interests primarily of the centre in
the Roman -Vatican led church.
But also society was growing anew into towns, small cities,
meerantilism and trade on goods , services was growing as these new Burghers, etc
felt THEy would not submit to to the autocratic Catholic imperial authority still hanging
over them That is the roots of the Reformation revolts themselves.
Martin Luther . very brave, was a key as politics then had to have a RELIGIOUS justification
to be heard out and accepted more widely! ,Luther was shown as eloquent in his knowledge of
Church doctrines, contradictions and hypocrisy .
Proof f this was how the struggle quickly spread as it had supporters n other European states.
Luther was lucky to have obtained the escort support of the princes at Worms for sure !
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of " Catholics " in 1500.