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Martin Luther

NR CC

The dramatic black and white classic film of Martin Luther's life made in the 1950s.

Starring:
Niall MacGinnis, John Ruddock
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Irving Pichel
Starring Niall MacGinnis, John Ruddock
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 Louis De Rochemont Associates
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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