IMDb > Luther (1974)

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Edward Anhalt (screenplay)
John Osborne (play)
View company contact information for Luther on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
April 1976 (UK) See more »
In 1525 the world was rocked by a powerful explosion. His name was Luther.
A man's views cause a rift between peasants and the church. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Insufferably paced, finely crafted character study See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Stacy Keach ... Martin Luther

Patrick Magee ... Hans

Hugh Griffith ... John Tetzel

Robert Stephens ... Johan Von Eck

Alan Badel ... Thomas De Vio

Julian Glover ... The Knight

Judi Dench ... Katherine

Leonard Rossiter ... Brother Weinand
Maurice Denham ... Johann Von Staupitz
Peter Cellier ... Prior
Thomas Heathcote ... Lucas
Malcolm Stoddard ... King Charles
Bruce Carstairs ... Duke of Saxony
Matthew Guinness
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Tom Baker ... Pope Leo X (uncredited)

Directed by
Guy Green 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Edward Anhalt  screenplay
John Osborne  play

Produced by
Mort Abrahams .... executive producer
Ely A. Landau .... producer (as Ely Landau)
Henry T. Weinstein .... executive producer: The American Film Theatre
Cinematography by
Freddie Young 
Film Editing by
Malcolm Cooke 
Casting by
Maude Spector 
Production Design by
Peter Mullins 
Costume Design by
Joan Bridge 
Elizabeth Haffenden 
Makeup Department
Biddy Chrystal .... hairdresser
Tom Smith .... makeup artist
Production Management
William Kaplan .... production supervisor (as Bill Kaplan)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kip Gowans .... first assistant director
Art Department
Charles Hammerton .... construction manager
Sound Department
Derek Ball .... sound mixer
Stan Fiferman .... dubbing editor (as Stanley Fiferman)
Nolan Roberts .... dubbing mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Kelvin Pike .... camera operator: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
James Smith .... wardrobe (as Jimmy Smith)
Rita Wakely .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Chris Kelly .... first assistant editor (as Christopher Kelly)
Music Department
John Addison .... conductor
John Addison .... music arranger
Other crew
Edward Anhalt .... story consultant: AFT
Pamela Davies .... continuity
Neil Landau .... production associate
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
UK:112 min | USA:110 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | UK:PG (DVD rating) | UK:A (original rating) | USA:PG

Did You Know?

Sir John Gielgud was booked to play a major extended cameo but dropped out.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Luther (1968) (TV)See more »


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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Insufferably paced, finely crafted character study, 2 February 2005
Author: Joshua Morrall (the_usual_suspect) from United Kingdom

Luther Film Review by Joshua Morrall

The problem with directing history is that history, when reflected honesty, is often slow and cumbersome, in many ways like the Exchequer system of financial management used in the 1480s. Luther, another small budget 70s offering from the American Film Theatre, is a factually correct film, and unfortunately suffers for it.

The title role of Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk who was an integral part of the reformation, is painstakingly recreated by Stacy Keach. In a film so devoted to the character development of Luther, Keach copes masterfully, handling the intense and intruding close ups with the greatest of ease - although that is not to say that his performance looks effortless. Quite the opposite. Part of the package with screen adapted plays is that you get all-out devotion from the actors involved. With such long scenes and very little action, the actors are put through the ringer and have little choice but to embody the role. Whilst this serves to deliver stunning performances (look out for Judi Dench as Katherine) the scenes drag out in a manner that modern movies would never allow.

Small budget entails limited set quality, but in this film it serves to compliment the gritty 1500s atmosphere. Script, obviously, is without fault, coming from an intelligent play by John Osborne, who first wrote Luther ten years before this adaptation was made.

What remains insufferable is the pace. The film is directed with an air of dignity and the performances are deserving of eternal praise, but as a child of the movies, I was sucked helplessly into a comatose state of boredom. My fascination with the reformation begins and ends with Henry VIII, who was commended by the Pope for slating Luther's ideas in a book. That sort of conflict is one I would enjoy seeing captured on film. Here, however, I am faced with a triumph of fact over fiction, which, although refreshing and honest, is nonetheless almost impossible to watch in one sitting.

Rating: 2.5

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