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Biography of Martin Luther, the 16th-century priest who led the Christian Reformation and opened up new possibilities in exploration of faith. The film begins with his vow to become a monk, and continues through his struggles to reconcile his desire for sanctification with his increasing abhorrence of the corruption and hypocrisy pervading the Church's hierarchy. He is ultimately charged with heresy and must confront the ruling cardinals and princes, urging them to make the Scriptures available to the common believer and lead the Church toward faith through justice and righteousness. Written by
Co-produced by 'Thrivent Financial for Lutherans', an American company affiliated with Lutheran church organizations, primarily the two largest national U.S. Lutheran Church organizations (The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod). Thrivent is a component of the "Fortune 500," the 500 largest companies headquartered in the United States, but it is the only not-for-profit organization/company which is a component of the Fortune 500 because it is a members only company, serving the congregants of Lutheran churches in the U.S., operating much like a members only credit union or mutual (meaning owned by its members) insurance company. See more »
When Frederick the Wise is directing Spalatin on how to respond to the summons for Luther from the Cardinal, he talks about letting the "inertia" of the situation take its course. Presumably this conversation takes place on, or around, 1518 (and certainly before the Diet of Worms in 1521), however, the term "inertia" was first used by Johannes Kepler in works published from 1618 to 1621 nearly 100 years later. See more »
So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know one who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, son of God, and where He is, there I shall be also!
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Wow, here's an oddity: a modern-day film faithful to theological history, an uncompromising biography of Martin Luther.
Knowing the film world, I doubt this film was made to glorify God. It probably was made more to make the Roman Catholic church look bad, or to glorify a rebel and a man of the people: "the peoples' liberation" as the back cover of the DVD states.
Whatever the motive, it stays true to history and it's nice to see that for a change. To those unfamiliar with Luther, he was the founder of the Protestant denomination. Luther was monk who saw and heard things he thought were unscriptural and broke off from the Catholic Church in "protest." Hence, the "Protestant" church was formed.
Anyway, not only was the story done well, so was the cinematography. This is one gorgeous movie to ogle, well-filmed with high production values. The scenery, sets and costumes are all first-rate.
Joseph Fiennes (Luther) is a bit wimpy-looking but his character certainly isn't. As the subject of indulgences and other practices begin to transform Luther's ideas of what Jesus' church should be, the story grows in intensity as Luther gets pressured by the Catholic hierarchy as his protest issues become public.
What happens to him and to the masses because of his actions are revealed in pretty dramatic form. Obviously the story is far more complex than two hours can give it but the filmmakers did a pretty good job condensing it to make the time constriction.
Notes: This was Peter Ustinov's last movie. On the DVD, being that is was a fairly expensive one, I am surprised there were no "extras." In all, however, a solid film but it will definitely offend Roman Catholics.
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