Martin Luther (1953) Poster

(1953)

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9/10
A realistic view of Luther & his times in the 16th century.
john5505 October 2002
This movie is a must see for student wishing to gain a more detail knowledge of Martin Luther and his environment in the 1500's, than can be gained from only reading a book. The focus is simply on Luther and his philosophy rather than on alot of the side elements that make todays movies popular. With very good acting and a straightforward time-line, Martin Luther's story is told. The movie begins with a quick steeing of both the history of the times and the prevelant religious attitudes. After that it segues into Martin Luther as a successfull law student. Because Luther's life developed one major event after another, so the movie builds the story. A lot of history was unfolding during Luther's time (the middle of the Renaissance) and some interesting historical facts can be gleaned from the movie. Good direction, very good acting, and stark lighting all add to the historical significance of this work.
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9/10
School learning brought to life
Wolfi-1019 September 2003
Of course, Martin Luther is treated in considerable depth at German high schools, but the resulting knowledge consists of a somewhat puzzling series of events and dates. This film shows the atmosphere of the times, the mindset of the people, and particularly Luther's own mental anguish about the condition of the Christian church at that time, and his thoughts and feelings as the driving force of a major religious and political upheaval. Very illuminating is the seriousness with which personal beliefs are taken, not only by the "little people", but by their worldly leaders as well, in contrast to the callousness of the church leaders around the pope. It is also interesting how Luther benefited from the relatively fair and tolerant attitudes and practices of the 16th century, which were completely wiped out a hundred years later.

The acting in the movie is excellent, as are the scenery and costumes, shown in stark black and white photography. The producers spared no expense to present the wide range of political and religious figures with whom Luther interacted. The dialogs are poignant and always clearly understandable over any background music. Unfortunately, my CD exhibits a rather poor video quality, considering that it is based on a post-WW2 b/w movie. Still, the film is fascinating to watch from beginning to end and, if shown in high school, would successfully replace a week of dry learning.
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9/10
Wonderfully-acted and produced masterpiece!
faaus7211 December 2005
This excellent film brings to life Luther's growing realization that the religion, to which he had dedicated his life, was flawed. His character is shown to mature in believable stages, culminating in acts of ferocious courage.

The costumes, sets and hairstyles were authentic and help transport the viewer to the past very effectively.

Luther's message and wisdom are amply portrayed and serve as a basis for anyone to examine their beliefs.

The film does not suffer from dating, even though it was made over 50 years ago. The black and white imagery imparts a sense of timelessness, worthy of the subject matter. The acting is, almost without exception, very natural and believable.
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Extremely well done, important story
inshalla12 August 2003
McGinnis' performance is stellar; he was very much like I imagined the real Martin Luther to be; unmovable in his personal beliefs, but compassionate to individuals; enthusiastic about bettering mankind, but merciless about his own weaknesses. The on-location shooting for this movie is wonderful, and the black-and-white cinematography concentrates attention on the actors facial expressions. Supporting actors were very well selected for their characters. Period costumes, activities and dialogue were well-researched and very-well done. The copy of the movie I saw was not restored...so to get the most out of it, you need to give it your full concentration, but you'll be well rewarded. It portrays one of the most pivotal individuals in history, and does it well. As with all the best movies, you wish it didn't have to end...
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The Great Heretic
theowinthrop6 November 2004
In 1517 a young monk nailed a long paper to the door of Wittenberg's Cathedral containing 95 thesis - they were 95 different questions that the current Roman Catholic Church failed to settle in it's accounting of the Christian faith. When Martin Luther did his act he started more than a personal dilemma of the might of the Church (and much of the state) against one lone monk, but he also shook that mighty Church and created the greatest schism it faced in five hundred years (the last one being the split with the Eastern/Greek Orthodox Church about 1050 A.D.). Luther never envisioned his questions would lead to the Protestant Reformation, but once it got beyond the initial query of the 95 thesis - when he was faced with either knuckling under or facing death by burning as a heretic - Luther proved himself the man to continue leading his reformation.

He was not a flawless figure. He was self-centered, and resented rival "heretics" (Zwingly, John of Munster, Calvin), and he would become really vicious towards the Jews for failing to follow his leadership into "true Christianity". In fact his diatribes against the Jews would become the true foundation of modern German anti-Semitism. But he remains the founder of Protestantism.

His flaws do not appear in this film, which was made by the Lutheran Church.

However the film is a pretty faithful account of his conflict with the organized Church, and how it led to the creation of Protestantism (and, in particular, Lutheranism). It gave Niall MacGinnis the best straight dramatic lead role in his career (the closest second is his Karswell, the villain in NIGHT OF THE DEMON). MacGinnis always was a superior supporting actor in small parts, so it is worth noting that when he was given an important part like Luther he did the part well.
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7/10
MARTIN LUTHER (Irving Pichel, 1953) ***
Bunuel197620 March 2008
This was included in a budget 3-Disc Set comprising ten religious-themed efforts which have fallen into the Public Domain; indeed, it was the most desirable title of the lot and it turned out to be pretty good. Incidentally, four other small-scale films found on this collection were produced by various evangelical groups and, in fact, so was this biopic. Though compromised in this edition by the softness (and slight damage) of the available print, the handsome production afforded the film itself resulted in two Academy Award nominations (uncommon for an independently-made effort) – best cinematography and best black-and-white art direction/set decoration.

MARTIN LUTHER is a curious collaboration between three countries – the U.S., Germany (from where Martin Luther himself emanated) and the U.K.; in fact, while the director (and bit-part actor) Irving Pichel is an American, the lead here is played – superbly, I might add – by the Irish character actor Niall MacGinnis (perhaps best-known for his chilling portrayal of Karswell, the occult-practicing villain of Jacques Tourneur’s CURSE OF THE DEMON [1957]). His thoughtful performance is very effective in illustrating the various facets of Luther’s personality: his initial inner conflicts, the laying-down of (and firm conviction in) his own beliefs, as well as the strength necessary for opposing the power of the Church (facing disrepute from both his peers and his congregation, not to mention an eventual excommunication). Furthermore, we’re also shown the build-up of support to his particular credo where it attracts people from all walks of life…and even lands him a wife!

The script does quite well in delineating the essential difference between the doctrine of the Catholic Church (in its most oppressive state, back when it was still a political force to be reckoned with) and Luther’s pragmatic but no less steadfast approach to religion: the latter favors a strict adherence to Scriptures in the face of the Church’s fire-and-brimstone teachings (resorting to the deception of ignorant parishioners by proposing the worship of worthless holy relics and the offer of money in order to obtain indulgences in the afterlife, or the callous bestowing of titles upon non-clerical albeit aristocratic subjects).

When I was in Hollywood in 2005, I had caught LUTHER (1974) on TV: directed by Guy Green from a stage rendition by John Osborne and featuring Stacy Keach in the title role, it’s been released on DVD by Kino as part of “The American Film Theater Collection”. While that version, too, was undeniably interesting and effective, the earlier cinematic i.e. less stagey treatment was perhaps the more satisfactory; by the way, there’s been an even more recent biopic of the famous religious figure starring Joseph Fiennes, which is readily available from my local DVD rental outlet.
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10/10
Pure genius
Chief-112 January 1999
An amazing movie I have seen several times. If only there was a movie done this good on John Calvin. Nevertheless, from story line to directing, this movie retains value for repeated watching.
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9/10
Looking at the life of Luther from a very Lutheran perspective
MartinHafer15 March 2012
There are quite a few films about Martin Luther, though this one is unusual because it was produced by the Lutheran Church--not Hollywood or some other secular group. Not surprisingly, when I grew up a Lutheran, this is the version they occasionally showed at church functions. Also, not surprisingly, it's filled with church doctrine and other teachings that you won't get in a Hollywoodized version of the life of this church leader.

At times the film is very much like a documentary in style--with narration and explanation of Luther's inner torments when he began having doubts about his Catholic faith. You see a slightly less human side to Niall MacGinnis' characterization of Luther--more the authoritarian and scholarly in nature and fewer insights into his personal life. Considering the film's goal is to elevate this made to greatness as the leader of the faith, it does a very good job in inspiring the masses and putting across many of the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. Very well made and well worth seeing.
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7/10
By Faith Alone
bkoganbing1 January 2008
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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9/10
THE BEST DVD VERSION. . .
blue-718 August 2004
While there are several VHS and DVD issues of this title, most of them leave a lot to be desired in the way of doing justice to pictorial quality of this fine 1953 release. I'm glad to report that there is at last a decent copy available on DVD -- the 50th Anniversary Edition issued by Gateway Films(their phone number is 610-584-3500). This version comes from the original negative material and is by far the finest you will see of this title -- However, the film does not survive in pristine form. It is in need of a restoration. Until this happens (if it ever does), you will find this issue to be quite fine, with a number of little "Extras" that give some insight into present day sites of events in Martin Luther's life, an interesting biography of how the film came to be made and the special way that it was brought to theatres, as well as bios and photos of the actors and production crew. This films was nominated for two Oscars in 1953, picked by the New York Times as one of the 10 best films of the year, and generally acclaimed by most Christian groups (except the Catholic Church, of course, who considers Martin Luther to be a heretic). I know the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought a number of 16 mm prints for use in their seminary programs. The power of this film in depicting the reformation period helped influence the LDS Church into starting its own motion picture department.

To me, Luther's story is an important key needed in preparing the way for the restoration of the restored gospel in these latter-days (which I believe happened when God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to the young Joseph Smith), for others it will have a different effect -- but the exciting thing about this film is that it tells its story accurately, with great fairness, and has power in performances, words and images. HIGHLY RECOMENDED!
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6/10
Acceptable Luther biography based on true events about the reformer monk
ma-cortes12 July 2020
The film is a biopic concerning the Agustinian monk (1483-1546) Luther and mostly set in Germany during the Holy Roman Empire in which takes place the confrontation among Martin Luther and Pope Leo X along with emperor Charles I of Spain and V of Germany . Luther attempts to reconcile his desire for sanctification with his sour denounce against corruption and hypocrisy pervading the Catholic Church's hierarchy . His life and the famous deeds from how was orchestrated the Protestant Reform are the following ones : Martin becomes a good priest and he goes Rome . There he sees how the people buy indulgences for themselves , but he watches the reality , a corrupt Rome with the selling the indulgences to finance the basilica of Saint Pedro built by Pope Leo X and previously begun by Clemente VII and Julius II . He returns Germany where his preceptor sends him to Wittemberg to doctorate himself in theology studies . There preaches John Tetzel , a dreadful inquisitor . But his point of view about the Catholicism has changed and he rebels and nails himself the 95 Thesis on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany . Luther's Theses argued that the sale of indulgences was a gross violation of the original intention of confession and penance, and that Christians were being falsely told that they could find absolution through the purchase of indulgences . He rejected the Pope authority , the Saints cult , the celibacy and to practice mass . Luther , along with Melanchton , starts the Protestant Reform . The printing press has been recently invented by Guttemberg and the Luther's ideas are quickly printed and spread everywhere as the written books titled ¨The captivity of Babilony¨, ¨The freedom of Christians¨ and ¨ The confession of Ausburg (1530)¨. Pope Leo X threatens Luther on ex-communion , but he refuses to recant . He ultimately gets the ex-communion and labelled as a heretic by Bulla ¨Exsurge Domine¨ , but he burns it at the public square of Wittemberg , where the Ninety-Five Theses famously appeared . He is appointed in Worms (1521) with the presence of the emperor Charles V , but he doesn't regret . Prince Frederick of Xaxony keeps him protected in his castle of Wartburgo . There Martin translates the Bible into German language for ordinary people to understand the New Testament . The common people follow the Martin's lectures and accuse to Catholic Church of their penury , burning churches and palaces . Luther is finally charged as a heretic priest and has to face off the ruling Cardinals and some Catholic Princes, urging them to make the Scriptures available to the common believer and lead the Church toward faith through justice and righteousness . Meanwhile , Luther meets an ex-nun named Katherina Von Bora and marries her . The emperor summons all the German princes for confronting the Luthero's doctrine . The princes encourage and contend the great emperor of the Holy Roman-German Empire , as they stand up against Charles V . The Luther's thesis have won in spite of the princes were defeated in Mulberg (1547) and they signed the treatise of Ausburg . The Man Who Changed the World - Forever! Martin Luther's protest changed the course of Western history . "No man can command my conscience!"

In the film concerns his life between 1505 and 1530 A.D., and the birth of the Protestant Reformation movement that shook the foundations of the traditional church , narrating it an unnecessary voice-in-off , being shot in conjunction with the Lutheran Church , that's why it results to be an extremely academic rendition. Here appears famous historical characters as Luther, Charles V , Pope Leo X , Melanchthon , John Tetzel, Duke Frederick of Xaxony , Katherine von Bora , who are well performed by a plethora of British and German actors such as Niall MacGinnis delivering a nice acting , Henry Oscar , Alastair Hunter , Ruddock , Heinz Piper, David Horne , Fred Johnson , Philip Leaver , director Irving Pichel himself as Brueck and uncredited Peter Ustinov as Duke Francis of Luneberg . There is a better version (2003) ¨Luther¨ by Eric Till with Joseph Fiennes , Bruno Ganz , Alfred Molina , Liebrech and in his last film again Peter Ustinov . The motion picture gets an adequate cinematography in black and white by Joseph Brun , as well as an atmospheric , evocative musical score by Mark Lothar, performed by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and being alrightly directed by Irving Pichel who also played a short role . Devotees of the history will love this movie which is a decent tribute to Martin Luther .
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7/10
Martin Luther (1953)
aizhanrakhmetova13 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
In this movie review, the film biography of Martin Luther that was released in 1953 will be discussed. Overall, the film is about the life of Martin Luther who was enrolled in law in accordance with his father's wishes but left this study due to the motivation to enter monastic life. He had a keen interest in theology and philosophy. On the other hand, he could not find spiritual peace in his new life despite the regimen of ascetic piety. Nowadays, Martin Luther is known as a man who changed the world by making reformations to the Catholic Church. In this essay, the changes that Martin Luther made to the Catholic Church as well as the life of Martin Luther and the decisions he made will be considered. The film begins with an overview of the time and the place of the life of Martin Luther. Storyteller John Wiggin indicated that power was in the side of the Roman Catholic Church and the Emperor of the Holy Roman. He makes emphasis the teachings of the church on that time by specifying: "the church had largely forgotten the mercies of God and, instead, it emphasized God's implacable judgments". At that time, Christianity was mixed with paganism, it represented "the world as it is filled with evil spirits", and the church could give absolute obedience of the people for protection from eternal damnation. Further, this specification told by narrator John Wiggin made clear Luther's conflict with the church of that time. Despite the wishes of his father, Luther left the study of law and decided to enter St. Augustine's Monastery. Even though he entered into monastic life and followed the regimen of ascetic piety very strongly, he could not feel the spiritual peace that he attempted to find. On the way to spiritual peace, he realized that he cannot love God. He thought that it would be easier to find God for laypeople by having the Holy Scriptures in their native language. However, he was scolded by his prior for this opinion. After receiving a degree of Doctor of Theology at Wittenberg, he still had an internal struggle in accepting the religious practice. He did not stop to search for something that he was looking for and came up with a thought that only faith in Jesus Christ is needed for salvation. This "reformatory discovery" was reached via studying the Epistle to the Romans. When he tells his thought to mentor Staupitz, he remained unconvinced. On the other hand, Luther used the word "sola" which means alone in the margin of his Latin Bible. This was written to represent his strong belief in the doctrine of justification by faith to Jesus Christ alone. Martin Luther denied many teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Particularly, he rejected the indulgence which is a way to diminish punishment due to sins. According to the lecture, indulgence was in the form of money and, in the later Middle Ages, growth of abuses happened. More specifically, professional pardoners did the unlimited sale of indulgences, and the Church gave permission to use indulgences as funding for the projects of that time. In the course of the film, in 1517, Archbishop Albert promulgated a special jubilee indulgence in Germany with the permission of Rome Pope Leo X. During the celebration, Luther met one drunken parishioner who was convinced with the idea that there is no need to go to confession for him anymore since he has bought an indulgence. After that, Martin Luther sermonized against the abuse of indulgences appealing: "Beloved, you cannot buy God's mercy". Then, he posted his the Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the church. Other Luther's publications including the Ninety-Five Theses made the pope furious. In addition to those publications, his refusal and answer, ending with, "Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." resulted in ex-communication by the pope and recognition as an outlaw by the Emperor. Despite the difficulties from the Catholic Church and the Emperor, he did not change his way of thinking. Martin Luther believed that salvation and eternal life are not earned by good deeds but those can be attained as the gift from God via the belief in Jesus Christ. He taught that people cannot buy God's grace. He emphasized that scriptures are promises and instructions given by God, and lay people should have access to the scriptures in their native language. The film represents how Luther prays and expresses gratitude to God for his loyalty at the end. Knowing the fact that at that time the body of those who rejected the teachings of Church could be burnt, it is important to mention the bravery of Martin Luther. It is also important to mention that at the time of Martin Luther other people also contributed to the birth of reformation. One of them is Huldrych Zwingli who was the "third man of Reformation" and agreed with the point that only scriptures are the law. However, they could not agree with the justification. Particularly, Zwingli believed that good works are a precondition for justification while Luther taught people are justified by God's grace. Finally, the film represents Martin Luther's contribution to the emergence of the Protestant Reformation. It shows the life of a man who wanted to find spiritual peace in religion and could not do that by practicing in the Catholic Church. However, he did not give up and found the answer by studying many books. I think one of the meanings of the film might be about learning and checking by yourself before believing to someone. He is represented as hardworking man who came up with his thought through studying several scriptures, and wanted everyone could have access to study the religion.
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7/10
Interpretation of Martin Luther's route
asselmukhanova22 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is the version of the story of how Martin Luther, the German scholar of theology, affected the split of the church in the 16th century. It is a great piece if you want to view the history behind the Protestant Reformation. The style is simple, and plot is easy to follow for a viewer. The dialogues are not over-complicated and there are no redundant fragments in the story. The narrator's voice helps to understand the main historical progresses during the movie. It, however, shows the story form the protestants' prospective. Therefore, the plot can be biased, and its accuracy of some details is questionable. Nevertheless, it is still an irreplaceable point on the cause of protestant move and its split from the Roman Catholic Church. It is for sure different from the modern films which have more actions and twists, despite of this, it is a great way to show a historical plot. The movie gives some information on the biography of Martin Luther such as his educational background and marriage as well as his philosophical thoughts. From these, we can see Luther was a knowledgeable man, who had a degree in law and then doctorate in theology. He followed the Catholic church and studied the Bible. The directors illustrate us these facts to show that he was an educated man who was able to influence the public. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the Luther's character in-depth but rather his superficial ideas. The main character's motive was not fully revealed throughout the story. The movie focuses more on the Church's and people's reactions to his revolutionary ideas and changes he brought to beliefs in Christianity and structure of government, as well. The movie supports the idea that during Martin Luther's lifetime religious places held more power and influence in comparison to the rulers and kings. It was the epoch of rise of Christianity and Pope's rulership. Luther was the one who started to oppose Roman Catholic Church's ideas. He questioned the authority and righteousness of the Pope. When he was a follower of Catholic church, he did not like monks' viewpoints on following the Christianity. He believed that their interpretations of the Bible might not be right and needed to change. "If everybody could interpret the Bible in their own way, there would be more Christians" he said to his teacher in church. The idea that he questioned the most was the way to redemption. During that time, similar to the Max Weber's concept, people were supposed to work hard and save money and spend it so that they can get rid off their sins. Monks from the Catholic church abused this idea and made people believe they could buy their indulgences. The Pope and his people gained wealth with the help of the those who wanted clean their souls. The priests claimed they did not have to confess anything but give some silver. Martin Luther argued this idea and thought that redemption can only be achieved by faith. In the movie, he says "You cannot buy God's mercy". He went against the Catholic church and posted his "95 Theses", which was then widespread among common people. As the time passed, he gained his followers and people started the revolt against the Church. As it was mentioned in the film, half of the Germany was on his side short after he started his own teachings. Additionally, he taught small children his interpretation of the Bible. The Christian church was divided into two and new era of Christianity begun with Martin Luther as an initiator. Luther's speech, when the court interrogated him, was very powerful. He proclaimed that layman with scripture was better than a Pope without it. Thus, the lines of characters were very effectively written. As I've mentioned above, the dialogues and speeches are the strongest side of the movie. They give a good clarity to people's believes and Martin Luther's standpoint. Overall, the sets, where the scenes were filmed, were very beautiful and realistic. They quite accurately represent cathedrals, churches, the court and lively Roman streets of that time. Additionally, there are many scenes which include Christian religious rituals and prayers. The directors filmed these parts very carefully with all the details. The actors, in my opinion, did a good job in portraying their characters considering the time the movie was filmed. The black and white colors and low quality, of course, might cause some inconveniences for a viewer, however, again this is quite a good product for the film industry of that time. Moreover, these challenges do not lower the quality of understanding the plot. The movie is worth watching in order to see the protestant's view on the way Martin Luther influenced the big change in Christian religion and weakening the Roman Catholic Church's rulership.
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9/10
Worth watching for basic understanding of Reformation
anelbatayeva22 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Anel Batayeva Introductions to World Religions Prof. Daniel Beben Movie Review for Martin Luther (1953) In Western Europe of the medieval world, Christianity split between Protestants and Catholics. The religious history depicted in this movie unearths the dramatic events of Reformation. The movie "Martin Luther" shows the life of a humble German monk named Martin Luther who could no longer bear and opened up about the corruption and wealth of his church. His contentious teaching and delivering of sermons such as "how dare you" led to a serious disagreement with the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor. This brave stand by Martin Luther brought into the showdown that gave a rise to a century of conflict observed by the whole of Europe. Initially began as a war of words, it soon turned into a real war which transformed Europe and Christianity eternally. It is important to mention that in the society of his time the church was the richest and biggest architectural structure in every town. The movie starts with a scholastic summary of a place and time of Luther's life. Instead of continuing his studies as a lawyer, Martin enrolled into a St. Augustine's Monastery as his safe career path was suddenly sidetracked by an event that seemed to him like destiny. He took a vow of chastity, poverty and obedience and became a monk. He set out to become an exemplary monk and did everything possible to please God: studied Hebrew and ancient Greek in order to be able to read old manuscripts of the Bible, spent hours at a time in confession and meditated on his faith. After 2 years after entering the monastery brother Martin was ordained a priest, said his first mass at the church and now had a power to consecrate bread and wine. However, in spite of being a dedicated priest in a Roman Catholic Church and on the fast track to a distinguished career as a professor of theology, he suffered from the feeling of unworthiness. After seeing Luther's inner turmoil, his superiors in the monastery sent him on a pilgrimage to overcome his demons and avoid his restless mind from affecting others there. The destination was the hometown of Christian faith - the Holy city of Rome. Yet, after seeing all the grandeur and luxuriousness of the spiritual buildings there, he was struck by the contradiction between the enormous wealth of the Church and the Bible's emphasis on simplicity and caring for the poor. His beliefs that "Man only needs Jesus Christ" and "Christian should live by his faith alone" were dismissed even by his superiors who didn't share his troubling over the veneration of Holy relics. He questioned the great importance put on those relics which allowed to make a huge amount of money during pilgrimage trades for the Church. As he saw only the feelings of greed and hedonism and very little spirituality. At that in Rome, the Pope was in the midst of spending a fortune for the glorious remodeling of the Church. Besides, he had hired different artistic specialists like Michelangelo to paint his sanctuary. The money for that came from faithful parishioners all over the territory of Europe. Then, there appears the seller of indulgences - Friar Tetzel - a zealous monk who invites people to buy God's mercy: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs." In his sermon, Doctor Luther preaches against indulgences not supported by Scripture and goes on to display his first written document - 95 theses which would become one of the most widely read in history. It seemed to him wrong that each spiritual favor came with a price. This brought him being fumed over the Pope's splendid lifestyle and futility projects funded by the sale of indulgences. So, he nails those 95 statements or points for discussion against the worldly actions going on in the church to the door of the Wittenberg's Castle Church. As it was written in Latin not known by ordinary people, his doctrine was expected only for scholarly debate. Yet, Luther who openly challenged both the pope and over a thousand years of Church tradition, became extremely popular among German society. His doctrines revved up the things as it was becoming clear to everyone that there were discrepancies between what the Bible taught and what the Church was doing. However, Luther was not the first to doubt the Church doings, nor was this disagreement restricted within the territories of Germany. Before Luther, Jan Hus of Prague opposed the Church as he demanded ordinary Christians to be given permission to take communion with the bread and the wine which at the time was allowed solely to the priest. Similar to Luther, Jan Hus was a professor who delivered controversial preachings and confronted Church authority by translating pieces of Bible for local ordinary people to read. Yet, one of the main reasons Luther was more successful than Hus was the new-fangled printing press of Gutenberg. It helped him spread his sermons and essays to distant places as they were quickly and cheaply mass-produced as booklets. The main phrase "The just shall live by faith" helped him to stay cordially by his belief that salvation cannot be bought by the letters of indulgence or earned by giving money to the Church. Luther came to a conclusion that it was each person's faith that was of importance rather than Church practices. In his writings, he delivered ideas in local dialect and in a witty and concise manner which earned him many followers. But, we cannot forget about his friend Lucas Cranach who produced vivid illustrations of Luther's main ideas for the illiterate part. At the same time, the news of Luther's confrontation against the Church and the increasing fame came to Rome. The new Pope, Leo X, denounced him to be heretic and delivered him a papal bull intimidating with expulsion. But Luther continued challenging the Church rituals which led to Pope's command to burn his booklets and essays and Luther burning the papal bull for an answer. The two most authoritative powers of that time were the Pope, established in Rome, and the Holy Roman Emperor himself whose Empire extended over the major part of Europe. Both were enraged by German monk who dared to go against the Church doctrine and refused to retract his writings. The punishment for him was living without the protection of the law. Nevertheless, Luther started translating the New Testament written in ancient Greek into a simplified German and the Bible without mentioning the Pope and indulgence. His bold defying of the status quo stirred up a revolution of German peasants in 1524 who went to fight against their feudal lords. They misunderstood Luther's invitations for the freedom of religion as a proposal of freedom from their feudal masters. Besides Luther, there were other Christian leaders outside of Germany who struggled to reorganize the Church. One of them was Ulrich Zwingli from Switzerland defying the authority of Rome. He rose against the increasingly corrupt Church and its rituals that did not appear on the pages of the Holy Bible. Another important preacher of a reform was a Frenchman named John Calvin from Geneva who believed that salvation could be gifted by God's grace only. The notion of predestination that God had already chosen those who would be saved and those who would be left for damnation was what separated Calvin from other scholars. To sum up, "Martin Luther" is a great movie describing the origins of the religious freedom that came with the Protestant Reformation. The life of Martin Luther who challenged the worldly Church and stood in front of the Emperor as the Church practices went against the preaches, beliefs and what Luther read from religious works. In the movie, we also see Bishops being treated like royalty as when one entered he had to kneel down, kiss their arm and show their humility. Luther who couldn't bear corrupt monks and clergy abusing both their powers and the trust of their parishioners will forever be remembered.
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9/10
The impact of Lutheranism
kunaimuslimovna22 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is considered to be not documental movie accurately describing and discussing life of Martin Luther but rather the fictional film with the narrative. The movie shows the main event happened in the Christendom, that is, the rise of Reformation, which challenged the Catholicism, especially Roman Church. In the movie, it has showed that the evident opposition to the Roman Catholic Church has happened after the release of 95 Theses by Martin Luther. Martin Luther has done research comparing the doctrines that were followed by the Roman Pope and other clergymen with the Holy Scripture. It has been showed that in order to read and compare the different scriptures, texts of Bible Martin Luther even has learnt other languages, such as Greek, etc. The idea to write 95 Theses has emerged after the widespread of idea when one can be forgiven for his sins by the Pope for some amount of money, which is called indulgence. Because the Roman Church had impact on Europe's not only religious life but also on political, so the Church had some power over what should be taught to Christian people, and thus the teachings and practices contradicted with what was written in the Holy scripture. Furthermore, from the scene where many nobility members followed the Martin Luther's teachings, and that his ideas was widespread among people can show some tyranny and power of the Roman Church. However, not certain examples of 95 Theses and the contradictory practices of the Roman Church were shown in the movie, nor what was Martin Luther concerned most other than the idea that there is only Jesus Christ who is needed. Overall, movie has scenes where it is unclear what was the reason why Martin Luther decided to do so, unexplained moments, and thus the transitions between the scenes are not smooth, and it is hard to follow the plot. The movie starts from when Martin Luther was a senior university student of law faculty and he decided to give up from his studies and enter monastery. In this episode, no prior explanation was given in sense of why he decided to do so. In monastery, Martin Luther was concerned about his love in God, and he was sent to Rome in order to change his thoughts, after he arrived from Rome, it is unclear whether it was been changed, if it was so, what made Martin Luther to start to love God. In the later episodes of the movie, it is shown that Martin Luther was getting married, which is contradicts with the lifestyle of monks that were accepted during that time in Europe, furthermore, he was married to the nun. In the movie, it seems that it was ordinary for monks to marry. There is no mention of people being worried by such action, or there is also no mention of Martin Luther convincing people why he did so, and why marriage is an important part of people's lives. The movie only shows Martin Luther's thoughts about children, again without clear explanations and transitions. Because the movie was produced with the help of Lutheran Church, it is in some way biased. It shows the tyranny and greediness of the Holy Roman Church with the Pope at the head without showing Martin Luther's weak and negative sides. Since the movie was filmed after the World War II, it may hide some attempts to affect people's minds. In the movie, it is seen that the nobility who followed Martin Luther's ideas were inspired in such degree, so they could withstand to their Emperor during the critical times as they had the war with the Ottomans. Martin Luther was shown in the movie as a person who is not familiar with splendor lifestyle; it is seen during his formal audience at the King's Palace. On the other hand, movie also shows the lifestyle of the Pope Leo X, who was from a noble family Medici, and he was keen on art. The contrast between Martin Luther and the Pope shows that Martin Luther was more close to the ordinary people. However, it is not clear whether the movie shows the actual background of Martin Luther and whether he remained as same as showed in the movie. The movie's main idea was that the 95 Theses by Martin Luther challenged him and the Christendom in Europe, especially in the Holy Roman Empire. His ideas become one of the crucial periods of Europe called Reformation, which shaped people's perception of Christianity. In 1953, when the films was released, it can be seen how these ideas were important for long time. In addition, probably because of the impact of Lutheranism, the movie was filmed with the help of Lutheran Church society, and thus the movie is tend to portrait Martin Luther's good sides. Namely, he is shown as a monk with who does not know what is splendor life comparing to the Pope who "robs" people in order to sustain his prosperous lifestyle. Thus, Martin Luther is considered as a "friend" to people who suffered from the Roman Church. Even though, the movie tries to show good sides of the main character it is hard to follow the actions of Martin Luther due to the not well-structured narration.
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Film Review:Martin Luther
ainurtemirbolat22 March 2020
Martin Luther is a film biography about a German theologian, monk, priest and an important person in the Protestant Reformation directed by Irving Pichel in 1953. The narrator begins from giving the general information about time and space of the life of Luther which is between 1505 and 1530 during the division of power between the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. The story of Luther is shown in a dynamic and dramatic way with masterfully made transitions the lyrical thoughts of the hero to the tragic consequences of his teachings. The actors have coherent and mutual understanding which shows that the cast is professionally chosen. The storytelling reveals not only Luther's biography but also historically important time period of Christianity which suggests about the work done by the script writers. The narrator plays very crucial role to make everything clear especially for observers who might not have a background information about Protestant Christianity, which also plays as a connecting link between the main figure and film viewers. Despite the black and white screening, the film is very attractive because of the main character towards whose soul the viewer plunges into and reveals the conflict of his religious belief, which could be familiar for many people. His life is not depicted in an ideal way because the director has shown all ups and downs, going against the authority of the Church and asserting no scriptural support for indulgencies through which Luther strived towards the truth. Even though, the Protestant Church accused Martin Luther for him being heretic and destroyer of the religious unity, this paper will argue that his Theses against the commercialization of indulgencies was reasonable because he revealed the right truth. The film starts from 1505 when a young law student Martin Luther in Erfurt decides to become a monk after a thunderstorm, which he took as God's warning. Then he submits to the discipline and authority of a holy church, strictly adheres to monastic practice which still did not bring peace to his troubled soul. Only after him becoming a preacher at the castle church and professor of Biblical studies at the newly founded University of Wittenberg, he is persuaded that only through faith alone (sola) one can attain salvation. This is the moment of insight that religious authority should come from the Bible, scripture alone not from the institution. During this time in 1517, Pope Leo X with Archbishop Albert established a jubilee indulgence against which Luther is going to preach. The indulgences occurred as a system to reduce punishments for sinners so that the bishops with the power given by the Pope could erase their sins by performance of good deeds. At the beginning, it worked well but from the perspective of reformists indulgences were bought by donation for charity, construction of buildings and from that money the government and church could take some percentage. It extended to the point that wealthy people could obtain indulgences for their ancestors who were already dead. The indulgence system triggered anger and confusion that Martin Luther posts The Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Church which become widespread all over Germany. Luther stated that indulgences guaranteed profit for the Church. The Ninety-Five Theses argued that "repentance required by Christ involves inner spiritual repentance to be forgiven but not the one that could be purchased, and it is better to give it to poor rather than to buy indulgence." The proof to question the Church's decision on indulgences can be seen from the scene about drunk man telling that he got rid of sins. It clearly shows Luther's righteousness when he replies that "Beloved, you cannot buy God's mercy", because how come drunk man can become sinless if he still has improper lifestyle. After that, the church attacked Luther which led to his exile. The interesting point is that in the meeting before his trial the authority of Church concerned not about the righteousness of religious preaching but rather the financial damage of Luther's Theses. This suggests about the beginning of making business from the indulgencies similar to spirit of capitalism. Weber states that the capitalists used the values of protestants such as working hard, having ascetic lifestyle, saving money instead of spending in order to gain profit (p.17). It can be argued that the authority of the Church also abused their power and they used common people's belief that by giving indulgences they will attain the glory of God in order to be chosen for a life in heaven. It shows that accusations against Martin Luther were unreasonable and the ending of the film of his followers singing the hymn also suggests that he was popularly supported. In conclusion, the given analysis of Martin Luther's religious perspective as a reformer and the catalyst of Protestant Reformation in favor of scripture shows that he was right in rejecting the indulgences which were the source of profit for the church. It represents that the authority of the church was unreasonable in threatening Luther with excommunication.







References:

Weber, Max. (1905). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and other writings. New York: Hudson. p.8-36.
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6/10
Is Martin Luther Founder?
arnakuanysheva22 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The most significant figure of the Protestant Reformation was Martin Luther, a German professor of theology and former monk. He questioned all the rituals and relics of the Roman Catholic Church and came to his own understanding of the scripture. The film depicts the part of his life starting from his submission to discipline of Holy Church till he was condemned by Pope and Emperor in the early 16th century. According to the documentary, Martin Luther is considered as a founder of Protestantism and its denomination Lutheran Church. This film is focused on the struggle between doctor Martin and Rome and his role in the reformation of Medieval Christianity. Although it is shown that Martin Luther is the father of the Protestant Reformation, in truth, he is one the key facilitators of it and founder of Lutheranism, branch of Protestantism. Protestantism began to develop in the early 14th century before the birth of Martin Luther. The main two predecessors of the Protestantism were Czech theologian Jan Hus and English philosopher and biblical translator John Wycliff. John Wycliff is considered as a morning star of the Reformation and had the idea of "Sola Scriptura" as well as Luther. The reformers solely believed in the Bible and Gospels, and it was the reason for their revolution. We do not hear Wycliff's name in the film, but Jan Hus was mentioned several times. This implies that Luther's ideas were not first and unique even in the film. The Pope tried to frighten Luther by asking if he is a heretic as Hus and if so, he should be burnt. Jan and Martin believed that salvation is not subject to a Roman Pope and that "sale of indulgences not supported by scriptures". The particular importance of Martin Luther is that his ideas could spread among people and be supported. Whereas, Hus's and Wycliff's could not spread. Being an influential person by people's perception allowed Luther to become a founder of Protestantism among them. Especially, when he was claiming that men cannot buy mercy of God, people of lower and middle class followed him because of the money issue. The proposition of Luther seemed more attractive to them than what was offered by the Catholic Church and what was interpreted by Hus and Wycliff. The one important detail here is that the documentary was filmed in collaboration with the Lutheran church. Since it demonstrates the most decisive steps and dialogues in the formation of Protestantism, it could not be considered a credible source. As it is claimed by Protestants, Martin Luther is their father and the Church will influence the overall picture of his role. They tried to show the superiority of Luther's arguments over Catholic ones. In the beginning, the film stated that people in the 16th century lived by fear and believed in dual authority. Throughout the documentary, it was clearly seen that the Catholic Church depicted as evil, corrupted, demanded absolute obedience of people. Martin Luther believed in the faith alone: "By faith, man lives, not by relics, sing, pilgrimage, purchase of pardons for sins". There were many scenes of corruption, money collection from the citizens who wanted to earn years of indulgence. People were told that they and their loved ones will be forgiven of time in purgatory for almost 2 million years if they contribute to the building of the new Church. This made Martin Luther angry and take action against it. In October 1517 he put forward 95 theses or Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences on the door of the church. Luther always asked for a debate and explain his ideas that the Pope cannot intercede before God according to scripture. Even if the cinematography, quality of sound and visual content were not satisfactory, the overall play of actors, dialogues, symbols and ideas perfectly suited the overall rhythm of the film. It aimed to show Martin Luther as a brave and persistent revolutionist and did it persuasively. During the whole film, professor Luther had self-confidence, provoking speeches and thus had a chance to be an influencer. However, other characters such as Pope, emperor, and priests did not have such an advantage in the documentary. Since it was filmed with the support of the Lutheran Church, the Roman Catholic Church was depicted as weak, unreliable and even disastrous institution. But it was told that the main goal of Luther was not to establish a new church, but rather "to rid of the Catholic Church's man-made errors". This also shows the intentions of the film to present Luther as an innocent man and boost his reputation among followers. In conclusion, the Martin Luther documentary is about the process of development of Protestant reformation in the early 16th century. There is no doubt that Luther was the key facilitator of this development and further prosperity of Protestantism. However, it cannot be claimed that he was the founder of this form of Christianity. He was rather the main influencer of a new religious movement and founded Lutheranism. His confidence in the faith and scripture alone, assurance in the uselessness of money donations for indulgences gave him the opportunity to spread his ideas and get support among masses. In addition, the film was supported by the Lutheran Church which leads to some bias in the content depiction. Since Protestants believe that he is a founder, the film also gets to this idea and tries to show Luther's ideas' superiority over the Catholic Church. Thus, the documentary cannot be a reliable source for assuring that Martin Luther is the founder of Protestantism.
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7/10
The truth in scripture: Retelling of Martin Luther's life
aiymsarmanova22 March 2020
When asked "And what, dear brother, is God's righteousness?", Martin Luther replies with "Exactly what the scripture says, father. That it delivers and does not merely judge". This conversation and the further debate about the role of Latin and wider circulation of the Bible amongst the laymen built the foundation for theological and philosophical arguments and ideas that are portrayed in this movie. A 1953 biopic titled "Martin Luther" retells the story of a German priest of the same name who is known for beginning the movement of Protestant Reformation within Western Christianity in the 16th century. The movie is well-directed and gives a quite detailed educational background for those wishing to gain a deeper knowledge about the beginnings of the Protestant movement. However, the movie's depiction of Martin Luther needs to be taken with a grain of salt since despite largely keeping true with the major historical developments of its time, the movie contains a certain level of bias and creates an idealistic and nearly perfect image of the protagonist. One of the major tasks accomplished by Irving Pichel's biopic is the successful depiction of the overwhelming and all-encompassing nature of religion and the church during that time. As pointed out by the narrator in the very beginning, the people pledged allegiance both to the emperor and to the pope. This dual allegiance portrays the inter-woven and interdependent relationship between religious institutions and royalty of the time and helps the viewers to comprehend one of the most important phenomena in the history of religion. As mentioned previously, the film's bias against the teachings of the Catholic Church at the time are pretty clear from, among many other things, their depiction of Pope Leo X as frivolous and acquisitive. Despite this fact, the filmmakers largely succeeded at transmitting the atmosphere of religious establishments playing an incredibly significant role in both public and personal lives of the people. As put by the narrator, the "church demanded absolute and unquestioning obedience of the people" and this background helps us to better understand the motivations behind Martin Luther's rebellion. The movie starts off by depicting the inner struggles of the young priest who struggles to find love for God who has only been depicted as an angry and merciless judge. This depiction of his personal conflicts and his conversations with the people around him contribute to creating a more personal and humane character. The film's classification as a biopic rather than a traditional documentary allows it to take certain creative liberties, but the major historical accounts are still followed pretty thoroughly. One of such historical accounts is the moment of Luther's publication of his monumental work titled "Ninety-five Theses" in which he opposes the sale of indulgences as a way of people seeking forgiveness for their sins. It is exactly this act of dissent that helps him to build a supportive and loyal following and leads to his excommunication and condemnation. This momentous development in the history of religion is depicted rather skillfully and interestingly in the biopic under examination by building a more detailed and nuanced picture of not only Martin Luther himself but also the notable figures around him. One of the most thought-provoking parts of the movie contains the depiction of the conversations between political and religious leaders of the time regarding the course of action they need to take regarding Luther's activities. The following observation is out of the scope of this essay and I do not obtain the necessary information, but one may argue that Luther's ability to gain support and spread his ideas had a lot to do with historical and ideological developments in the realm of governance and politics of the time. Unlike many other people condemned as heretics by the Church, Luther was spared harsh and violent blowback. In the movie, the Duke Frederick appeals and insists to bring Martin Luther to fair trial by maintaining that while as his subject Luther owes him loyalty, as the prince he owes him protection. This conversation depicts a new development in the history of nation-states and the relationship between the governors and their subjects. This part of the movie serves as larger food for thought on the topic of how public institutions and ideologies of the time may have contributed to Luther's ability to gain as much acknowledgement and exposure as he did. The 1521 Edict of Worms is considered by many as the beginning of the Protestant reformation movement and the biopic in question does a good job in depicting this monumental process. Obviously, it's hard to tell without a scholarly background whether the many nuanced details of this process have claims to historical accuracy, but from a cinematic point of view this significant scene seems well-balanced and quite easy to comprehend. Overall, this biopic provides a very thorough and compelling narration of an incredibly influential man's life and may serve as a good starting point for those wishing to learn more about the history of Christianity.
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7/10
Martin Luther
alibekbolat21 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The movie illustrates the life of the well-known German theologist Martin Luther, from serving in Augustinian Church to finally becoming one of the most influential religious people in Europe. The movie was released in 1953, and consequently, it would be inappropriate to describe the cinematography level of the film. However, the film contains significant informative dialogues that fully demonstrates the tension in the world of Christianity in Europe at that time, and the music added by beating drums completed by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra increases the pressure in atmosphere. Considering about the biasness, the movie was recorded in association with Lutheran Church Productions, which demonstrates that the film cannot be considered as reliable source of information about the Christianity of Europe at that time. In addition to this, the movie determines the entire Roman Catholic Church as greedy and arrogant, illustrating them as those, who completely neglects their true faith of Jesus Christ. On contrary, main character was shown as the Robin Hood of the world of Christian religion, as a hero, an ordinary priest of the Church and a University Professor, who came out against Roman Catholicism, against the Pope and the Emperor himself, as a man who knows what true faith is, putting him on almost the same level with prophets. Although Martin Luther played a major role in the schism from Roman Catholicism, it was not only religion lead to separation, but also money, power and politics stayed behind.

Referring to the film, Martin Luther commences to lose faith in the Catholic Church after a trip to Rome. The story about sacred relics, such as the cross of St. Peter, one of the thirty silver crosses, or Pontius Pilate steps, that give the soul liberation for 17000, 14000 and 9 years in turn from the flames of hell torment lead to confuse in Luther's face. The main action of this part begins with the disorderly sale of indulgences by Pope Leo, granting the right of absolution from sins, in order to gain money for construction of the Saint Peter's Cathedral. Strong emotional pressure was shown from the preacher Johann Tetzel, who assured that only a couple of silver coins cost the salvation of your mother from the fires of hell, and even drunks did not need confession anymore, due to indulgence. "You cannot buy the mercy of God" was claimed by Martin Luthor to ordinary crowd. Luther had written ninety-five theses, criticizing the dogmas of the Catholic Church, while for the rest, it was a problem that concerned more humanism than religion, meaning that with having money, sins are not terrible anymore. Probably, Luthor used the poverty of the main crowd as the weapon against the indulgence of Pope. Buying indulgence lead to the well-known eternal difference between rich and poor: after all, the rich could afford to sin and redeem themselves with money, while the poor do not have such a strong privilege. The poor citizens who have no money are more likely to follow the ideas and doctrines of Luther, who criticizes indulgences given by Pope Leo. Consequently, there is more financial situation and moral contradictions rather than proper aspects of religion stayed behind.

After publishing ninety-five theses, the Pope declares Martin Luther as a heretic and all the supporters of the Catholic Church become a threat to Luther. After the trial, the Emperor also declares that Luthor is under the Emperor's curse and that he is an outlaw: anyone has the right to hunt, capture or even kill him. But thanks to Duke Frederick of Saxony, Luther was "kidnapped" and was placed in a secure castle. Eventually, many other Dukes, princes, noble lords and other high-ranking individuals began to support Martin Luther, which marked a separation in Christianity and in the structure of the Empire itself. However, can religion be considered as a merit in this? Did the lords support Martin Luther due to their strong faith and deep believe in his ideas? The Pope of Rome had an unlimited power and his authority was advanced even than that of the Emperor himself. He decided the political situation in Catholic countries, and all the lords, including the Emperor were his subjects. The renunciation of Roman Catholicism indicated for the lords as a gain of relative freedom. Luther's idea to withdraw the Catholic Church's power in the German territories was ideal for the noble lords who sought to concentrate in their hands not only secular, but also spiritual power, as well as to obtain an appropriate rich monastic possessions since Luther strongly criticized the luxury in religion. As a result, it can be determined that most of the lords possibly supported Martin Luthor due to their own motives more willingly than because of religious believe in his doctrines.

In conclusion, we can express Martin Luther as the main initiator of the Reformation in Europe, who rejected Roman Catholic Church, which departed from the original Christian principles as a result of numerous layers. According to Max Weber, Martin Luthor's Lutheranism was not only the reason of Reformation, but also defined the birth of capitalism in Europe. There is no hesitation that Martin Luther had significantly strong influence from a religious perspective over Europe, nevertheless, separation from Roman Catholicism was caused not only because of religion, but other features in terms of money, gaining political power or moral contradictions.
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9/10
Excelent film adaptation
manshukaltynbek15 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Luther (1953) As it is known Christianity has threemain branches and the most recent one is Protestantism. The Germanic film "MartinLuther" of 1953 shows about the emergence of it has shown through the lens of the life of famous religious reformer, Martin Luther itself. The Film starts with an off-scene voicewho acknowledged the audience with the religious situation at the beginning of 16thcentury, where Emperor was accepted as ruler of life and the Holy Church asdeciders of people's destiny and in most of their doctrines emphasized aboutGods judgment and possible condemnation. In the first minutes of his voice, I thoughtthat I was listening to a documentary film, but after his speech, the film startedits story by actors. Afterwards, the early life of MartinLuther was shown, where he decided to leave his studies in the university anddecided to find a way to peace and clean himself from his terrible sin. To find it, hewent to the Augustinian Monastery and become a monk; during the time there hewanted to find answers to his questions and to clean himself. Two years afterhe becomes a priest and where he will be unable to make properly a vow becausehe will think that he has an unpardonable sin. He will share with his soul mentor with his worries. "He is God, he isholy. I am man I am evil and for this he condemns me. I have have tried tothink for his loving father but I confined only and angry judge no matter whatI do to seek him out he condemns me," this are words said by him and one of themost liked moment during the film. That moment in the film has shown therational thinking of young Martin and also how religion was pressuring on himbecause such strict judgment proposed by Holy Church Apostils and he was notable to love a God. Afterwards such words higher priestsof the church because of worry give him a lot of studies in order to overcome thatthinking. At that time they didn't know to what extent it will come, because hestarted studying scripture at that time. Although by them he was sent to theRome, to see the Holy City in order to get the faith as they wanted, instead hewas shocked by the religious priests there and came back with questions abouta scripture, like does what we heard from the Church is the same words andmeaning that is written in the Church. Afterthe life in the Monastery he will go to teach kids in the castle Church andwill be a priest there also and will declare his doctor degree in theology. At that time in the Rome, there willbe new Pope Leo, who planned a lot plans in his term and asked money from thestates of Holy Rome Empire. In this scene, it is also seen the corruption of thePope. Local priests were asked to collect money and created a story that afterthey will donate money for the Church, it will be forgive them mercy for all oftheir sins. Martine Luther made a mess, after he heard about it, showed hisview that he was against indulgences and said there wise words: "Jesus Christhas already paid for our salvation forever" and that people like monks, princesand popes are not immortals and do not have power like God. He shared with them the idea that they need only faith to serve God, which become the core idea ofProtestantism. His further actions were that he puton the doors of the church his interpretation of the script and his words felldrastically over the Germany and were supported by majority of ones. Peoplestarted thinking differently and worried about his destiny and that he could beburned as John Huss. He was several times in a debates where he well protectedhis point of view and had more followers among different statuses of people. Hewas supported by scientists and Princes. There were also a debate behind HolyRoman Emperor, who were shown for me as a not strong one, because on the paintings he is looking powerful and fearless. As it is a film about Martin Luther, the whole ascent was on him; however, Holy Roman Emperor and Pope were presented not in a good manner, even if they did great things through history. Here could be seen biased from Germany's screenplay. The film showed a man who believesin God and who was not afraid of church and was questioning them and found aright interpretation of Scripture. Even if the film was old and black andwhite, it all helped to plunge into old medieval times. The actor who played Martin Luther were able to show his transfiguration from young monk into strongmen who was confident with his convictions.
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8/10
Martin Luther's challenging way
anelkairbekova15 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"Martin Luther" is a biographical film about a person after whom it takes its name, filmed by Irving Pichel in 1953 in Wiesbaden, West Germany. This documentary tells us about the story of a German priest who made a decision to stop studying a law with an eye to dedicate his life to the religious life. During those times in Roman Empire, the whole authority was in the hands of an imperator and the Catholic Church. Martin Luther had followed the strict lifestyle which Catholic religion required, but he professed that he was not able to love the God. After this church decided to exile him, however with the support of a Catholic preacher Staupitz he could continue his spiritual life. This theologian was the first person with whom Luther could discuss the problem of indulgence. At that time people could simply buy from the church the indulgence for their sins. This had negatively affected the financial situation of wealthy as well as poor society members. The priest thought that Catholic Church just misused its superiority to get more profit and make its authority even stronger, and thus he did not support the idea of selling indulgence. Consequently, he thought that there should be another way to believe in the God and as a result he made an inference that individuals can get the belief in God only when they can understand the Bible. So, he made a decision to make a full translation of the holy book into German. As he was working on the translation, he understood that humanity does not require the presence of the Catholic Church. In his opinion, the sole key thing that people needed was the faith in the God. As a result, he refused the power of the Church and decided to keep on studying the religion as a theologian. Later in the 16th century, Martin Luther got his Doctor degree and made a decision to continue his career as a teacher. He wrote his list of propositions named "The Ninety-five Theses" by which he tried to persuade people to obtain the faith in the God by carefully studying the Bible and refuse the Church's power. To make his work widely known among people Martin Luther nailed it to the entrance of the Church. As his work became more popular among Christians, he started to propagate his ideology throughout the whole empire. "The Ninety-five Theses" in combination with his teachings caused the new branch of Christianity called Protestantism to appear. Luther's ideology on which Protestantism was based refused the conceptions of the Catholic religion that was founded on the priesthood and monkhood. In the documentary, it was illustrated in the scenes where the Luther burned books, which contained the principles of the Catholic Church. In general, the movie did not have a big impression on me as a viewer for the reason that it was produced in far 1953. At that period, a cinematography was only emerging and developing, so the quality of movies of that time is not even close to those we used to see nowadays. The audio was sometimes unclear, so it was difficult to understand what characters were talking about. Also, the fact that movie had only black and white colors made it not quite eye-catchy and probably made viewers feel bored and even sometimes sad. However, from another side these black and white colors in combination with an antiquated music could create the nostalgic atmosphere and documentary nature of the movie. Also, properly chosen visuals nicely fit the film's general idea and symbolism. In addition to this, the actors did a great job, despite the fact that at that time cinematography was not quite developed and thus art of acting also was not on high level. Nevertheless, Niall MacGinnis, John Ruddock, Pierre Lefevre and other actors could professionally deliver characters' all emotions. From my point of view, this film provides a quite well understanding of the history of Christianity for those who knows a little about this religion and its branches. As at the very beginning of the documentary I became informed that the movie's scenario was written by using the facts from the work of such qualified academics as Dr. Theodore Tappet and Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan, this film seemed to me even more credible source of information. This is because these theologians had an incredible career in such well-known universities of Ivy League as Columbia University and Yale University. So, it is appropriate to conclude that their research must be reliable and consequently the "Martin Luther" documentary should be trustworthy too. To conclude, I believe this movie can be a good source of initial knowledge about Christianity's history and can be used to introduce main ideas and concepts of Christian as well as Protestant religions to students and other viewers.
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10/10
my review on Martin Luther
tulenovagulnaz15 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"Martin Luther" is a movie about one of the prominent figures in the history of Reformation of Protestantism -- Martin Luther. In the lecture, we were discussing his endeavours and deeds as the first Reformatory Protestant. While this movie is about his path on this journey and what he experienced and what led him to take certain responsibilities and do specific actions.

First scenes of the movie are about how young Martin is going to leave law school and pursue a different pathway. His friends have tried to make him rethink his decision; however, he did not do that. Even from these scenes, it was obvious that Martin is a person who has an extraordinary viewpoint for that time and might be seen in the eyes of people as an extremely radical one. He had his goal in changing his life pathway and pursuing religion. He had a goal which was to find a sense of spiritual peace; however, even in monastic life under a strict regimen of ascetic life and piety, he could not reach that tranquillity and spiritual peace. He then approaches his monastic mentor and says that he cannot love God. It was the moment when the parish leaders of that church noticed his "restless mind". Thus they had in mind to expel him, but Staupitz decided to send him to Rome with the hope that theological study and pilgrimage will help him.

After he had returned from Rome, he started to spread his opinion that Holy Scriptures should be written in accessible language to all people who will make common people easily find God and to be merciful for him. However, it looked very strange for his fellows and parish leaders of that church. He was still in doubt and was thinking that "the church had largely forgotten the mercies of God and, instead, it emphasized God's implacable judgments." This shows us that he is in search of something not only for himself but for the whole society. This was the first sign of his leadership traits since later on, he would have many followers called Lutherans.

When his friend, who also started to pursue a vocation in the church, came to him and asked "have you found what you were looking for?" he replied, "not yet". This answer can imply to us that he is still in his journey and pursuit of his response to his inner questions. Then he due to recommendation of his friend became preacher at the castle church and professor of Biblical Studies in the university. Even when he was receiving his "Doctor of Theology" degree he had to promise to be a faithful teacher in church, however, from the facial expressions of Luther it showed his still unsure state of mind and not bellogness to the community and surrounding that he is present now. Later on, he experienced his "reformatory discovery" from the Biblical Book and tried to persuade his mentor that only need to have faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. But his mentor remained unpersuaded, but he also did not change his mind. Slowly and surely he would get alienated from the community that he should belong, but his alienation was not physical, but mentally. Thus he explicitly started to show his opinions and posted his "The Ninety-Five Theses" on the doors of the churches. This period of his life depicted in the movie as the culmination time. Church and all the parish leaders got angry over Luther and his publication. Pope issued "Exsurge Domine" by threatening Luther with excommunication. The film's storyline reaches its climax in these scenes and Luther will be asked to recant his writings. However, he gave his answer by saying "Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen" in the Diet of Worms. After this emperor angrily gave the command to return Luther to Wittenberg. However, when he was exiled, he secretly translated the New Testament into the German language. In the film, it is shown that he has a retainer. Luther asks him if he can read, but he replies that he can read-only in his language. Then he gives to his retainer to understand the completely German translated New Testament. Then comments like "a German lark can sing as sweetly as any Greek or Latin nightingale."

After some period the church desecrated because of the uprising in Wittenberg and the Electorate of Saxony. Then in one of his speeches to his followers gave a speech by saying "... I become a true son, gracious God". Luther soon got married to a former nun Katharina von Bora and time by the time his teachings became popular. Also, more and more people understood the meaning of his teachings and the emperor's edict against him became not so powerful. However, he never intended to establish a new church; rather he wanted to get rid of human-made errors of the central church, which is recognized as the supreme authority of Scripture.
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7/10
Beautiful and educational, but biased
adiyaaldebekova9 March 2020
The film is the accurate representation of culture being adapted to the modern audience, and this is why it is a must watch for people of all ages. It provides background and historical insights into one of the most pivoting points in the history of religion. However, instead of being a commentated documentary, it is a biographical film about the life of one of the most influential and controversial figures in the history of Christianity. It accurately tells the story of Martin Luther - from the big events like the posting of his Ninety-Five Theses, to simple get-togethers with his ex-colleagues from school. It has a very classical, narrow story line without any plot-twists that are so popular in the cinema culture of today. It tells the story as it is, without over-complicating it; and I find this rather nifty, because Martin Luther's philosophy also focuses on the simplicity of religion. However, in my opinion the largest thing that the film accomplishes is not the historical account of things, but rather the depiction of the atmosphere and the "vibe" of the time period. First of all, it shows the great value that was put on religion during the early sixteenth century. This can accurately demonstrate how people's psyche worked at the time period, and allows for a theoretical explanation of their behaviors. It explains the familial and spiritual values of the common people, but it also explains the serious decisions made by political leaders that were influenced by religion. The film successfully shows how religion used to be at the epicenter of everything, and how everything was filtered through a different prism. If today one's religious views and position only affect that person, and the community that he is part of; before, a different opinion in regards to religion would mean a large conflict, because religion lied at the basis of everything, and when it was challenged - a lot was being put at risk. Furthermore, it depicts the manners of people of the time and helps the viewer have a better understanding of the social structure; which to my surprise was less conservative than I had expected. However, not being a historian, I cannot state whether or not the film does and accurate job of depicting the culture of the time period. Secondly, the film does a great job of opening up Martin Luther as a character - Instead of being an abstract figure in the heads of people, he becomes a real person who went through law school, a monastic lifestyle and rebellious, religious activism. The viewer is showed how real people can have an impact on the world. However, despite being very inspiring, I was a little bit disappointed in the lack of depth in Martin Luther's character. I had expected to be presented to his "realness," but instead I was introduced to a pretty much perfect human being. When there is an obvious protagonist in the film, a character who is too perfect for the world, the film becomes a little bit boring. In modern day cinema, this phenomenon occurs rarely, because producers have figured out the audience prefers real and relatable to perfect and unreachable. However, this practice did not yet come into action when the film was shot, and so we, as the audience, do not get too much depth to the character. The film, in my opinion, is very biased - it presents Martin Luther as the good guy and the founder of Protestantism, and it presents Protestantism as the dominant religion; This is not necessarily true, because Luther was one of the many activists who had this approach to religion. The film is more theological than analytical and objective; but despite being so one-sided, it actually provides a better insight into the Protestant culture and philosophy. However, all this aside, the film is done very masterfully. Despite being rather old and black and white, it has amazing cinematics. The scenery is not beautiful and authentic, but it is actually the real-life places in which the events of the film were taking place in. The camera movements are very professional and modern - from the following shot, to close-ups. The non- diegetic and diegetic sounds create a great atmosphere and are of a surprisingly high quality. However, one thing that I did not enjoy was the abundant use of voice-over, as it is a rather cheap trick that often goes against the "show don't tell" policy. The costumes were also fantastic. I personally am not sure whether or not they are historically accurate, but they did create an aesthetic and a very unique atmosphere to the film. I particularly enjoyed the final scene when people came together to sing the hymn - not only did it show us the full grandness of the church and the power that the unity of people with common belief create; but it also shows great diversity. I had chills when I was watching this. It highlights the themes of togetherness and unity; and it brings everyone together. Finally, I want to say that I really enjoyed the acting in this film. I always noticed how movies that are aimed at portraying a different time period often have trouble with casting, as it is incredibly difficult to play something that you have never experienced for yourself, and make it seem real. Once again I would like to mention that I have no way of knowing whether or not the film is culturally accurate, but it certainly does seem so - from the actors' accents and manner of speech to their gait, everything seemed so organic, that at times I was forgetting that the film was shot in the fifties and not when the events were happening. Overall, I think the movie is a must watch as it provides a valuable insight into the cultural and historical background, as well as into the theology of Protestantism. However, it must be viewed with caution, as it leaves many things out and is also very biased.
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8/10
Martin Luther (1953) : the just shall live by faith
zhanelsuleimenova23 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A film based on a historical plot is always difficult to make, especially on the religious theme such as Martin Luther (1953). There will be always people who favor a particular interpretation of religious teachings and at the worst will state that they do not believe in the truthful presentation of the story. But, nevertheless, the authors of this picture give a notice at the beginning of the movie that it was a result of careful research of facts done by reformation scholars Theodore Tappert and Jaroslav Pelikan. I believe, that authors coped with their tasks to represent the history of reformation started by Martin Luther, even if the movie showed a too idealistic picture of the protagonist. First of all, it is important to note that the film was shot in Germany, where Martin Luther is a "national hero" that I why I do believe that film reflects Luther's real biography and his ideas without an author's vision of picture as most commercial movies do. Still, I found that the primary intended audience of Lutheran Church Productions is English speaking Lutherans all around the world, thus, the movie portrays their progenitor in the best possible light. Martin Luther (1953) is a good movie that was able to represent on screen the complexity and inconsistency of the religious situation in Europe at the beginning of the 16th century: the dominance of the church, the unquestioning authority of the pope in Western Europe, the lack of education of ordinary lay people who blindly follow instructions church leaders. As long as they carry the Word of God to people, everything they do and claim should be considered as the truth. However, Luther was a thirsty person for justice, withdrawing from the Law School and trying to find justice in St. Augustine's Monastery. For almost two years, he was following a strict regimen of ascetic piety, he still didn't find an inner peace. His mentor monk Staupitz seeing Martin flagellating himself half to death states that he can't help his soul by punishing his body and send him to Holy Rome. In his trip to Rome, where he supposed to help his troubled soul to reconcile, Martin vise-verse discovered the corruption of Roman Catholicism. He recognizes that symbols, rituals are not the thing that should connect common people with a God. He believed that only faith and Jesus Christ can make you close to the God, not the Church. Moreover, at that time the Pope gave an order to Church sell indulgences for raising money for construction of St. Peters Cathedral. Indulgences offer people to buy forgiveness of their sins. As long as, he already had internal doubts about this system, Martin calls indulgences as "not a salvation, but a damnation of the soul" and claims that it is not supported by the Scripture. The point of reference in his biography becomes the time when he goes to the University of Wittenberg to get a degree of Doctor of theology. From now on, Luther offers questions and seeks evidence, he is bold in his judgments and is not afraid of authorities. It was clearly shown in the movie when he and his followers burnt the books and texts which supported the power of the Pope. Considering the inconsistencies of the movie, the central place of the movie, of course, is occupied by the famous "95 theses" of Luther against indulgences that he nailed it to the door of the Catholic Church. It is considered as the beginning of the Reformation in Europe and the history of Protestantism. However, insufficient attention is paid to other events. For example, the process of translating the Bible into German, such an important and responsible decision, is shown somehow chaotic and erratic, as if Luther simply took, sat down and translated the Holy Scripture. In fact, he devoted a whole year to this from 1521 to 1522. Moreover, I think that the lack of information given about Martin's supporters like the German nobles. To conclude, the whole film is a detailed story about the stages of a difficult journey, shown in a slightly idealized way, as a loved one and an outstanding personality can be idealized. Authors convinced me that this path was not for many - that only such a person as Martin Luther could persuade the people to resist the Pope and fundamentally revise all Christianity.
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10/10
Martin Luther review
akgulussenova22 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The Film Martin Luther, 1953, shows the major 16th century's movement, which is now called Protestant Movement, started by a monk Luther as a result of his attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church. The movement of Luther, put and end of the Christian unity and marked the beginning of split of Christianity. In the 16th century, Rome believed in the nonseparation of religion and government, pope and an emperor. Luther condemned the church for its promises to forgive the sins in return for money contributions to the church, and the increasing number of political rulers, extending their power from behalf of a church. Film of Martin Luther's life begins with the depiction of his life as a monk that feels deep guilt for not loving a God, and traces his life to the point where he separates from the Roman Church. The journey of Luther begins with his confession to the vicar of Catholic church that he cannot love a God that condemns the man for being evil by his nature. However, the vicar sends Luther to Rome, in order for the later to learn more about the God and find peace for his troubled soul. Luther sees and passes over all the relics of Catholic churches. The Catholic doctrine teaches and promises that those who pass over those relics, such as the cross in altar of st.John, the steps on which Jesus walked and fell in palace of Pilate, among others will gain release of his soul from flames for certain thousand years. After 2years being in Rome, Luther returns Augustinian monastery. However, at return, his teachers find Luther believing totally different interpretations of scripture than those taught by the Catholic church. Soon, the preaches of Luther start to contradict the preaches of Roman church. Luther denied the authority of Roman church, and taught his followers for obeying not human, priest, pope, or church, but God. Luther condemns the church for its emphasis on relics as the main focus of the religious practices, arguing that the meaning of the prayer is lost as a result. He criticizes the church for extensive levies on peasants and ordinary men, by giving them the false promise of forgiveness of sins in return. In turn, Luther, preaches that salvation can be attained not by buying indulgencies of a church as it was believed before, but by believing and praying and reading the scripture. Such teachings were not heard before by the Catholics. And as it is not surprising, the teachings of Luther greatly disturbed the Catholic church, the pope and other priests, who have been building their system of levies on believers, and funded their expenses through those paper promises of forgiveness of sins. By such preaches, Luther earned many enemies in the face of the highs of the church and political rulers. However, the numerous attempts to fear him and make him silent, did not persuade Luther to stop his way of finding the truth. Thus, the overall, unquestioned before authority of Catholic Church, was now subject to debates. The heat around the Luther's teachings elevated, when he released his 95 theses, which was the work of his life. In this theses, Luther argues that a man needs only Bible to be able to practice Christianity and to attain forgiveness of sins. Luther was condemned for exile and death by the emperor and the church. However, his followers gave him a harbor and saved him from the anger of church. While his theses gained great popularity all over the Europe, and the number of his followers rose dramatically. This work of Luther revoked the religious debates over the Europe, finally resulting in the split of Christianity. The film tells the biography of the monk, who searched for the truth by himself and attained it by denying the authority of anyone, but God. However, the movement of Luther, can be criticized for bringing resentment to Christianity and its believers at the time when the unity was needed as never before. As it is known, the 16th century is not only the time of the wake of Protestant movement, but also the time of an increasing spread and influence of Islam in the Central Europe. Thus, it can be argued that the debates within the Christianity, were unnecessary in the face of the growing oppositional forces. However, it can be said that Luther did not even attempted to separate the church; he just wanted the Church to accept the scripture as the supreme code of religious conduct and practice. But the involvement of political figures, such as the emperor, in the deals of the church, as well as, the chase of a church itself after the material gains made the unity of Luther's teachings and the Catholic church's teachings impossible. Thus, the importance of Luther's movement to the becoming and development of Christianity cannot be denied.
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