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Martin Luther (1953)

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"Martin Luther" provides the first motion picture portrayal of the incendiary beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.



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Title: Martin Luther (1953)

Martin Luther (1953) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Niall MacGinnis ...
John Ruddock ...
Pierre Lefevre ...
Guy Verney ...
Alastair Hunter ...
David Horne ...
Duke Frederick
Fred Johnson ...
Philip Leaver ...
Heinz Piper ...
Dr. Eck
Leonard White ...
Egon Strohm ...
Cardinal Alexander
Annette Carell ...
Katherine von Bora (as Annette Carrell)
Alexander Gauge ...
Henry Oscar
Irving Pichel ...


"Martin Luther" provides the first motion picture portrayal of the incendiary beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.

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Martin Luther's protest changed the course of Western history See more »


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Release Date:

25 October 1954 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Martin Luther  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Version of Luther (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

By Faith Alone
1 January 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This reverential biographical film of the founder of the Lutheran Church by the Lutheran Church would hardly have been anything else. The many flaws of Martin Luther, his sexism, his anti-Semitism, get no mention here. His contributions to theology and to the German culture the good ones are discussed at great length.

Martin Luther is not THE founder of Protestantism, he's the founder of one of the Protestant denominations. There was a fellow over in Switzerland named John Calvin, a guy later on in Scotland named John Knox, and even that wife slaughtering monarch in England Henry VIII all founded various Protestant denominations.

Yet Luther, a priest who originally wanted to be a lawyer and who attacked the ruling Roman Catholic Church, certainly showed a lawyer's training. His famous 95 questions nailed to the church door in Wittemberg was nothing less than an indictment.

The great contribution theologically speaking that Luther made was the notion that no one, not even a Pope intercedes for man in his relationship with the Deity. One is saved by faith alone in the fact that Jesus is the Messiah who sacrificed himself for the sins of man.

It should not be forgotten that at this time the Catholic church was very engaged in the geopolitics of Europe and the world as a temporal power as well as a center of faith. The Pope as a temporal ruler had temporal needs like the ruler of any other state, maybe more so with his dual function. Hence the sale of indulgences which according to the Lutheran versions were dispensations for sins to come. I'm sure Catholics will differ, but they didn't produce this film.

Niall McGinniss makes a fine and upstanding Martin Luther. The film was shot on location in West Germany in the places mentioned in the story. The film also got Oscar nominations for Art&Set Design and black and white cinematography in its very graphic depiction of medieval Germany.

It's not my view of Martin Luther, but it certainly is the view that Lutherans certainly have of him.

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