Martin Luther (1953) Poster

(1953)

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9/10
Looking at the life of Luther from a very Lutheran perspective
planktonrules15 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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7/10
"A simple layman armed with scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it"
richardchatten14 August 2022
Before he could be formally blacklisted Irving Pichel fled to Europe where he channelled his feelings about the UAAC into this forthright account of an obvious historical precedent.

With the camera in the able hands of Oscar-nominated Joseph Brun, Niall MacGuinness gives a performance of evangelical zeal in what was probably his only leading role in a film.
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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
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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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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10/10
Film review
elmiraospanova25 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Protestantism is a movement within Christianity characterized by the focus on the Bible and the belief that only God is an authority, and no men. Protestantism focuses on declining the power that the church holds in religion, and distributing it to the faithful people instead. The film Martin Luther furthers understanding of Protestantism by narrating the events of Martin Luther's life and how they relate to the fundamental traits of Protestantism. Highlighted are the belonging of true believers to the Church of Christ, which is different from for example belonging to the Roman Church or Orthodox Church; the belief in the authority of Scripture over any men's words even if that man is the Pope; and the lack of reverence to those who hold positions in the church, as they are a job as any other. The movie starts with Luther's life as a Catholic priest. Leaving the work in a university, Martin Luther gives out his earthly possessions to his friends, claiming he will have no need for these things where he goes. He goes out to join the Augustinian order and become a Catholic monk. Luther's time at the monastery informed his disdain for the constraints on physical pleasures imposed by Catholic Christianity. Such actions did not help him find peace so the Protestant Christianity focuses less on them. In fact, there are fewer restrictions on the lives of people who decide to become priests, because to Protestants it is a job like any other. In the film we see Luther marrying one of the nuns, and Protestantism allows the lower-tier ministry to not uphold celibacy. Such policy is informed by the larger focus of Protestantism, which is focusing on interpreting the Bible and disregarding the rules that the Church has acquired that do not derive from it. Martin Luther has found many of what his contemporary Roman Catholic Church practised not informed by the Bible. Luther is depicted witnessing numerous instances of Catholic Church assigning religious values to physical attributes, be it trips and reverence to holy places, donations to the Church or buying indulgencies to have one's sins forgiven. Luther's dissatisfaction with that is evident, and the film shows how Luther comes to his doctrine of living by faith alone, or sola fide. As was mentioned in the lectures, the rituals and appearances of the Protestant Church are vastly different from both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Luther's experience with the wealth and opulence of the church has informed his dedication to a simplified version of church structure and more lax rules for priests. On the example of indulgencies sold by the Chuch, Luther illustrated the wrong practices employed by the Catholic authorities at the time. His argument is that because Jesus Christ has suffered and died for the sins of all Christians, there is no need to try and absolve them again - they are already forgiven. In the film, Luther talks about his right to be "a slave to no man's authority". This is meant to show that to Protestants, there is no higher authority in the matters of religion that the scripture and one's own understanding of it, which of course contradicts the Catholic tradition of giving the Pope a lot of authority. At the same time, Luther is shown to condemn destruction, as he gives a pacifist speech about loving one's neighbours. In conclusion, Martin Luther and his beliefs have contested the authority of the Church, made the Bible accessible to laymen, therefore giving people the power in their religion.
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10/10
My homework paper.
amirenjantassov25 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Luther is one of the most influential persons in human history. His figure's importance to Christianity is comparable with the authority and importance of Jesus Christ. The reformation Martin Luther initiated still has very much influence on the Christian world it created a new major division in addition to Great Schism added, the division between Protestant Christianity and Catholicism. This shattered the religious, social, and political stability in Europe for centuries. Such a person is more than worthy of a film dedicated to his life, deeds, ideas he believed in, and the world he changed forever. This film perfectly achieves the goal to portray such a great man in all his might, intellect, and greatness. The first key aspects of his life that are given attention are the roots of his religious views and religious views themselves. One of the first scenes demonstrates the tedious nitty-gritty of the Catholic monks who clean the floor stubbornly. Another technic which the author uses successfully is shade. Shades in the monastery demonstrate stagnation, conservatism, and oppression in relationships between monks in one facet, and between monks and the Church on the other. This shows an atmosphere where our hero develops and looks for truth and is trying to escape the darkness, strictness, and to some extent mercilessness of the church and its orders. This coincides with a crisis in his life. In 1505 number of his friends die, he also faces a lightning storm, which results in him becoming one of the Augustinian monks, who usually punish themselves physically ("Protestant Reformation: Part I"). This does not help him to cope with the crisis. His search and crisis reflect the same process humanity faces. His search for truth is a reflection or far consequence humanist movement of the Renaissance. Humanism was interested in the rediscovery of classics, Latin, and the Bible ("Protestant Reformation: Part I"). Similarly to this, Martin Luther is in search of himself and search of the true religious meaning of the Bible. Here one of his future doctrine concepts emerges, sola scriptura. Along with solo fide (justification by faith alone), solo scriptura forms a milestone in the teaching of Marin Luther ("Protestant Reformation: Part I"). This change is properly shown in an argument with the head of the monastery, where Martin Luther shatters the authority of pope and church since he finds no support for it in the scripture. The scene with drunken men who bought an indulgence, which shocks Martin shows another shift in his beliefs. This situation shows the minimum value of deeds in the salvation of the person and forges another principle of Martin Luther's teaching, solo fide (salvation from faith alone). Another important aspect of the film is the demonstration of his ideas spread and get mature. The ideas of Martin Luther King did not gain support immediately after the famous "95 theses" were released at Wittenberg. The ideas of Martin Luther spread gradually across all walks of medieval society. One of the first scenes showing his work over and publication of "95 Theses" shows that it was initially unnoticed by broad walks. Firstly we see monks reading and working with "95 Theses ". Clergy as an educated class engaged in administration and social control first faces new advancement in Christian theology. Then a nobleman is shown. This point is more important because nobility was the most influential social group in Medieval society It aggregated all political and economic resources of society and its opinion could play a decisive role in the fate of Martin Luther's teaching. It is important to remind about the forerunner of Martin Luther, the morning star of reformation, John Wycliffe, whose ideas were similar to Martin Luther's but didn't succeed. John Wycliffe, like Martin Luther, found no scriptural support in Bib church policies (indulgences) and Papal authority ("Protestant Reformation: Part I"). However, Wycliffe's ideas resembled religious leaders of peasant revolts ("Protestant Reformation: Part I"). This was dangerous to nobility. On the contrary, Martin Luther published the work "Against Thieving Murderous Hordes of Peasants" ("Protestant Reformation: Part I"). This secured his crucial relationship with the nobility that tremendously contributed to the success of Reformation, unlike ideas of Wycliffe not supported by powerful nobility. So, we can see how the producers of this film effectively signify the importance of nobility. His ideas also spread better since they were more willing to negotiate with civic authorities. Another Protestant leader Calvin preaches that if the prince orders something against Gog we should not follow him (John Calvin, "Instruction in faith", p. 238). It appealed to the disadvantaged and potentially dangerous petty nobility in France ("The Protestant Reformation: Part II"). As we can see, demonstrating the success of Martin Luther and signifying the importance of nobility creators of the film implicitly distinguish Martin Luther from Wycliffe and Calvin. This film is more than a mere biography of Martin Luther. This book is a treasury of theological and historical material that forms a unique symphony orchestrating the rise of tremendous change in Christianity.
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10/10
Issues about Indulgences
shamilsarmonov25 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"Martin Luther" film discusses some of the most fascinating topics that were risen in the beginning of 16th century in Europe. These topics are related with the forgiveness of sins: indulgences versus free forgiveness and it is about searching for true faith: authority of Pope versus ideology of Martin Luther. Also, this movie tries to answer the questions: why Martin Luther started his movement, why people decided to support him, how Protestantism became popular in Europe, and what are the potential threats which protestants may face? This review is divided into two parts. How well the problems with indulgences and the authority of Pope were represented in the movie will be discussed in the first part. Does it show the core things of Protestantism and how does it show the potential threats of this new movement? There are two main scenes that show the problems with indulgences: first is where the priest is bargaining for price of indulgence and second where the priest forgives sins for everybody who pays coins. In the first scene, it is shown that to buy forgiveness of sins is as primitive as to buy some clothes in a shop when people are bargaining for the price. By this scene, it is well shown that the price of indulgence is variating, and the forgiveness of sins is transformed from the holiness to the business. In the second scene priest claims: "as soon as the money clinks in the chest, a soul flies up heavenly rest", thus giving forgiveness for everybody who pays money, showing that the only real prerequisite to be forgiven is to pay a coin to a priest. This scene corresponds to the historical event when Friar Tetzel - priest said: "when the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs." (Lecture: The Protestant Reformation (Part I)). These two scenes precisely show the core issues of the indulgences with which protestants are going to argue. The second important issue that is shown is that the authority of Pope is standing higher than any other authority, even if the authority is Scripture Itself. Moreover, it is shown that the only right meaning of Scripture is always explained by Pope and teachers of Scripture. This problem is shown throughout the movie, for example when Martin Luther explains the word "righteousness", he is asked: where did he get that explanation? And it was explained to him, that it is not good to understand the Scripture by his own way. The peak of this issue is shown when Martin Luther is trying to debate and defend his ideas, that he was not even allowed to speak what he wants, but had to answer questions that were asked to accuse him in heresy. By these scenes and the atmosphere that is in the movie, it can be seen how high the authority of Rome and Pope was standing above others. After Martin Luther came from the debates in Rome and was successfully saved from the persecutions, the meaning of his teachings started to be represented. There are several scenes in the movie which represents the core things in Protestantism that represents very well the focus on the faith rather than on the traditions, icons, statutes, etc. Here is one of the best examples: when Martin Luther was absent, one of the priests of the Protestant church convinced people to destroy all statues, icons in the city because they do not need them and the only thing that they need is faith. People violently destroyed the images of Saint people and statues. However, when Martin Luther came, he blamed the priest and accused him in his mistakes. Afterwards he was preaching to people that faith is not enough without love. So, there are two main topics that arise from this scene. First, is that protestants are repeating the mistakes, which they were previously trying to solve. They started to use their authority to diminish others and persecute those who may have different thoughts and ideas about what Scripture says. As it is known in the upcoming historical events, different denominations were persecuting one another, Calvinist were against Anglican Church and vice versa, Protestants against Catholics, etc. (Lecture: The Protestant Reformation (Part II)). From the other hand, this scene shows the foundation of the faith. That it is not only about believing to God, how some people misunderstood, and thus were several times repeating the mistakes of their predecessors, but about the love that is going in parallel with faith. Martin Luther claims in his speech that righteousness is not enough without love. It means that according to Protestantism we need to love people, or otherwise our faith is not full. Also, his speech may be explained in the next way: even though you are right, it does not propose that you should diminish the one who is wrong, but to love him/her and to help him/her. Here it can be referred to what Jesus told about two most important commands: to love God and to love your neighbor (Mark 12:29-31). So, it is well shown in these scenes of the movie that the core things of faith are related with love, but although it was so, it is shortly and not really explicitly shown that protestants were repeatedly raising the issues against which they were fighting themselves. This movie in the best way showed the issues why protestant movement began by showing the issues with indulgences. Also, it showed how challenging it was for Martin Luther to promote his ideas, and to defend himself in front of the authorities of that time. Finally, the core ideas of Protestantism that were referring to the most important commandments in Bible about love were very well shown.
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10/10
My religions homework. I analyzed several points that interested me.
adiletmukashev24 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The movie 'Martin Luther' tells a story about Martin Luther who was a 16th-century Christian reformist. The movie shows us the complete story of his path starting from leaving a job as a lawyer to making protestant Christianity spread across Europe. In my movie review, I want to discuss several important topics. First, the image of a Catholic church at the beginning of the 16th century. Second, the ideas of Protestantism, Martin Luther's teachings, and impact on reformation. Third, the implications reformation had on political affairs. Before the movie review, it should be said that Luther's impact on the history of Europe is enormous, his ideas gave start to one of the biggest peasants revolts in history, his writings helped to shape national language and united people around common belonging, his debates with Catholic church established one of the popular branches of Christianity. There are numerous other Luther's merits that are important to history.

First of all, the image of the Catholic Church in the movie. We can clearly see the political power the Pope has in Rome. For example, in the scene where prince Albert's brother comes to Leo 10th Pope to ask for the 3rd province in Germany. We see that the Pope by himself negotiates the price for land, signs the document, and assigns additional pay for St. Peter's Cathedral. In our lecture material, we can see the same idea of the great power of the Church. For example, John Wycliffe stated that Church property should be given to the state, to meet the minimum needs to function. Also, the crusades that were initiated by the Church and the Pope. Additionally, we have similar material about Prince Albert and Friar Tetzel in the lecture, but there is inconsistency in the lecture we have Leo the 2nd who was working on the cathedral. Indeed, it was Leo the 10th, not the 2nd. Another important aspect of the Roman Church was payment for indulgences and the value of relics. The first time, we see the relics in the scene when parishioners gathered to venerate them and earn their place from purgatory and the exact number of years and days earned. The next time we see special indulgence for St. Peter's Cathedral. People can buy forgiveness forever with no confession required. From the lecture, we know that special indulgence initiated Luther's 95 theses. The movie did a great job of highlighting Martin Luther's discontent. The pivotal moment was when Martin had a conversation with a drunk man, that declared that he was forgiven for all his sins and has paper confirming it, while he was lying on the ground completely drunk.

The second, the ideas of Protestantism or Luther's thoughts. We can see that the more time Luther spends in the Church the more he doubts its methods. In the scene where Martin and the priest argue about the meaning of the Church, viewers are presented with the two main ideas of Protestantism. The first one is 'Sola Scriptura' when Martin refers to scripture to explain what is the meaning of faith in Christianity. The second idea presented immediately after when the priest reads a paragraph from the Bible that says 'as it is written shall live by faith'. At the end of this scene, we get a visual sign highlighting these two ideas when Martin Luther writes 'sola' in the Bible. The lecture material focuses on these two ideas as well. We know that Luther thought that scripture has an answer for every situation and salvation is achieved only through faith, not by paying indulgences. Another idea that is highly voiced in the movie is the meaning of Jesus Christ for Martin Luther and Protestantism. The only symbol for prayers is Jesus, the man who paid for humanity's salvation is Jesus these are some of Luther's statements. In Luther's perspective, the central figure was Christ, not the symbols associated with him. Basically, Luther's teachings had the most impact on Protestantism. He stated them clearly at the Leipzig. His speech, to put it simply, democratized Christianity and Scripture, anybody can earn salvation and you do not have to be a monk or pay taxes. This was revolutionary for the Church. In our lecture material, we do not get to know his first debate that shows his devotion to believes.

The third is the political impact reformation had on the Roman Church and Europe. In the beginning, we see how German princes expand their influence and lands with the help of the Pope. However, from the time Luther went against Pope, the nobles who were interested in complete self-governance over lands patronized him. For example duke, Frederick secured safe conduct and Diet of Worms for him where he had a chance to stand before Charles 5th. Besides Luther's teachings resonated among the population and raised the ideas of freedom in their minds which resulted in the revolt. After his teaching spread over Europe, the Church split into two. In the end, we see that the Roman church has no authority over Germans. The same material was given during the lecture, Charles was occupied with the war against the Ottoman empire and was unable to bring under control Germany.

In conclusion, I have positive impressions after the movie, the movie conveyed the main ideas, religious traditions, characters' motivations, and historical facts precisely. The movie does not have scenes that are not accordant with historical context. The movie is really helpful in understating Protestantism's origins and its importance in the history of Europe.
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9/10
Accurate depiction of the conflict between the Roman Catholic Church and Martin Luther
yenlikdairova29 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"Martin Luther" is a 1953 Protestant church produced film directed by Irving Pichel. The movie illustrates the birth of the Reformation movement and Protestantism, in which Martin Luther was a key figure. The biopic accurately portrays the tensions between Protestant and Catholic churches stirred by the Martin Luther's interpretation of the Scripture and subsequent criticism of the Roman Catholic Church. As the movie was Lutheran Church produced, Martin Luther was presented as a righteous revolutinary and Catholic Church as the antagonist. Martin Luther cannot feel himself a son of God or truly love him due to his disagreement with Roman Catholic Church interpretation and teachings of the Scripture. Firstly, it is depicted in the movie how Martin Luther tries to find assurance in life and connection to God, so he quits the studies of law not wanting to be a "skeleton of his own feast". By comparing himself to a skeleton, Luther acknowledges how unsatisfied he is with what the study of law granted him, and he did not want to live in such conditions no more, bringing sadness to his own life. However, in monastery life as he achieves priesthood, he is still not certain about loving God and reasons it with his mentor that he is sinful. What he later discovers is that the Church emphasizes the implacable judgements and portrays Jesus more as "a relentless avenger", not the one who grants mercy to all who seek repentance. This Church rhetoric based on sins committed by human race and not devotion to God gives reason for Martin Luther to seek for answers in the Scripture, and when he does so is condemned by not agreeing with established interpretations. Luther came to conclusion that the Scripture is the only source of devotion, not the Pope. Thus, 'Sola Fide' established by Luther in the movie becomes the principle of the Reformed branches of Protestantism, where salvation is sought by faith alone, not by good deeds, which are more of just an evidence of good faith. Luther argues with his mentor about interpreting the Scripture in one's own way and translating it to the vernacular language, arguing that there would be more Christians if done so. Interesting remark is added in the movie when Luther nailed his "Ninety-Five Theses" to the doors of the castle church in Whittenburg, where one of the common people brushed over the relevance of the document, saying it is "just something in Latin". This moment shows how important it was for common people to get the translations and educate themselves on the teachings of the Church they followed without speaking or reading Latin. By understanding the Scripture, common people could too interpret it in their own way and oppose to the Roman Catholic Church policies and Pope's abuse of power. The spread of Luther's texts written in vernacular language influenced the way people saw Church, namely when indulgences sale dropped considerably. Abuse of power of clergy in the Roman Catholic Church is clearly shown in the movie and condemned by Martin Luther. The very sales of indulgences, which reduced temporal punishment in the purgatory for oneself or loved ones were the last straw for Martin Luther in the biopic to nail his theses to the door of the Church. As he argued in his theses, salvation cannot be bought, as it gives a dangerous precedent for people not seeking repentance anymore, as they now they could practically bribe their way to heaven. It is important to consider the fact that the movie was produced in collaboration with the Lutheran Church, which was interested in criticizing the Catholic Church and portraying it as corrupt and misguiding for its followers. Pope Leo, depicted as a corrupt self-centered ruler, wanted to only increase the Treasury of the Church, not caring about the consequences of this policy of indulgences. According to Luther, the symbols or relics of the Church that represent the meaning of the sacredness lost its relevance due to their material nature. Although, the relics should not be disrespected, as the protagonists scolded his followers for desecration of churches and sacred relics, they should not be put before faith, which is the only way of truly connecting to God and seeking salvation. The focus on symbols such relics, as well as the Church and the Pope, gives clergy power over people to the point Church controls the fear of judgement from both God and Church. In this sense, putting the fear of judgement of God before faith itself centers the focus on the benefits of the belief that will save them from God's judgement rather than on God himself. Avoiding judgement becomes of too much importance, as people seek ways of reducing their imminent punishments. The consequence of that is the abuse of power by the Church who take up on the role of punishing or, conversely, granting reduced punishments in the afterlife as a reward for donations to the Church. The movie "Martin Luther" displays the events in Martin Luther's life that led to the Reformation movement and does so by criticizing the Roman Catholic Church and placing Martin Luther's views as necessary action towards what he deemed not righteous.
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9/10
A Most Unusual Film Noir
JohnHowardReid15 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Although totally financed by the Lutheran Church, this is no cheapjack production like similar church-sponsored Hollywood efforts. One of the world's greatest cinematographers, Joseph Brun, was engaged, as were two of Germany's finest art directors. No less a person than Louis de Rochemont, the founder of docu-drama and a leading (if not the leading) influence on Hollywood's film noir movies of the 1940s, was hired as supervising producer. Although the screenplay tends to over-concentrate on the vexed question of indulgences and to present its hero as a man with no flaws but a noirishly besetting over-concern for God's truth and the welfare of His people, the writers admirably attempt to shed some favorable light on Luther's adversaries as well. They even make the point that it was never Luther's intention to found an opposing church but to correct Leo X's papal abuses and thus reform the Holy Roman (i.e. the Catholic) Church. In fact, Protestantism is presented primarily as an attempt to check Leo's political and cultural ambitions. The question of Scripture as the foundation of faith is obviously not equally important in the movie's eyes, but a secondary consideration. (This is, of course, one way of avoiding the question, What is Scripture?, and noting the rather unpleasant but undeniable fact that – unknown to Luther – the Scriptural texts he based all his theology upon were somewhat corrupt).
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correct
Kirpianuscus21 July 2022
The first temptation, as history teacher and Greek Orthodox is to define it as a honest work. Correct portrait of period, fair traits of the work and fights of Martin Luther who, in essence, was a scholar. Pleasant gift of the acting and dialogue. A wise revision of the events you know. And the graceful explore of the essence of Martin Luther message and the evolution of Protestantism.

But the real good point remains the performance of Niall MacGinnis as Martin Luther and the great effort to define the XVI century in its proper terms.
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10/10
Film Review: Martin Luther 1953
smailova_k25 October 2020
Martin Luther was a man of great belief in God and Jesus. He dedicated his whole life for the service to the church and the Holy Scripture. He was the one who established the belief of Protestant Christianity, going against the prevailing Roman Catholicism. His bright personality has a special place in the history of Christianity. And that is why there were written and made a lot of works about him and his life. There are even several movies about Martin Luther and his path of life. One of them was premiered in 1953, a black-white film with a duration of almost two hours that narrates the most important for the religion of Christianity part of his life. Many people think that this piece of art is the most accurate and best work about Martin Luther. Even though it was uneasy to watch and understand every single word and the meaning behind the dialogs throughout the film, it still provides us with all the necessary information on the times of Luther's life as a priest in a Catholic church and accurately shows the significance of his character for the Christians of XVI century. The movie starts with introducing Martin Luther as a gifted student of law faculty, who decided to quit the study due to his feelings that he does not suit to that way of living. We meet at the bar, where he announces to his friends the news about him going to the service at the church. At this scene, we also meet Luther's best friend, Duke Frederick, who will be one of the most important characters in the history of Protestantism along with Martin himself. We can notice from the dialogs between Luther and his friends, that he was indeed a talented and popular student at their learning place. Despite his talent for law and philosophy, Luther still decides to dedicate himself for the service to God, and in the further episodes, we see how hard and fair he works, without refusing to do any kind of work. One of the most important scenes in the movie reveals the truth about Luther. There he tells the priest Father about his unforgivable sins and his inability to love God in the way as it was said by Catholicism. The Father believed that Martin Luther would be a great enlightener and tried his best to direct him to the "right" way. Little he knew that he indeed would be a great enlightener but in the quite opposite direction. The most important events in the movie are the scenes, where Martin Luther begins to preach his own beliefs and view of the true faith. His release of 95 theses of true believers spread all over Europe, and his open refuse on Pope's authority made him an even more intriguing figure for the community of Christians. Surprisingly, Martin Luther found a big number of supporters and followers, and his popularity rises with each new work he wrote and throughout the countries of Germany, France, Italy, and other parts of Europe. Pope and the sovereignty had no other choice than calling Luther a heretic, but it did not affect him a lot. People were tired of the sacred sovereignty that taxed the locals and made infinite fees. They also understood that it is impossible to "buy" God's forgiveness and wash away sins with money. At every level, Pope's preaches started to seem less making sense than that of Luther's. Martin Luther gave a great speech in the court, defending himself with words, that he prefers to believe in a holy Scripture (a Bible), which is the only source of God's willing and words, that came to the Earth with Jesus, rather than to believe to people, who make things against Jesus's prescriptions. He made a great work of translating the Bible to other languages, trying to reach as many Christians as possible. That is why he is a historically significant and change-making character. To sum up, it is significant to highlight that the movie made a great impact in illustrating and explaining the history of early Protestant Christianity. It showed us the most important years of Martin Luther's life, showing the way how he achieved success and gained authority among certain groups of believers. His influence on the Christianity of the XVI century is enormous and continues even today. The fact the Protestant Christianity still exists and flourishes, prove that Martin Luther's work of life gave so much blessing to people of many nations, believes, ages, and even centuries. Martin Luther of 1953 is a good movie, about a great person, that is needed to watch not only for Protestants but all other people independent of the religion or belief. For sure Martin Luther's personality will be known for many years or even centuries ahead, and this movie gives excellent explanation and illustration of the events that lead Martin Luther to the Protestant belief.
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8/10
Great story about Martin Luther and Protestant Reformation
aibibiuakhitova25 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"Martin Luther" film was released in 1953 and told biography of Martin Luther, a German priest, and the initiator of Protestant Reformation and about the movement itself. The film shows how Martin Luther based on his understanding of the Bible unintentionally found a new schism of Christianity. Also, it shows how the Protestant Reformation movement grew and explains what Catholic religious traditions were different from Protestantism. In general, this film effectively explains the main aspects of Protestantism, and of Catholicism as well. Firstly, Martin Luther's path from being a usual catholic priest to becoming the leader of the Reformation is depicted. Here we can see what religious practices need to be accomplished by people to become a priest, which included education and dedication to God through self-discipline. In addition, the film depicts how closely religion and education were related, as religious representatives could become teachers and professors, as Martin Luther became the Doctor of Theology in addition to being a priest. Thus, the early years of Martin Luther showed some aspect of Catholicism. From the beginning of the religious path of Martin Luther, he felt like something was missing. Even after becoming a priest and the Doctor of Theology he was still not satisfied with his life and felt like his actions are not meaningful. After a thorough examination of the Bible, he started questioning many aspects of Catholicism, which were not in the Bible. Thus, he started believing in ideas like "Sola Scriptura" and "Sola Fide", which mean believing only in Scripture and Faith. In the film, Martin Luther says that "Man only needs Jesus Christ" to hold onto his faith. From that moment, these ideas became the main concept of Protestantism. Martin Luther started actively opposing major Catholic traditions, like veneration of holy relics, which give forgiveness of sins and time in purgatory. Luther stated that venerating such relics and symbols replaced the true meaning, which is itself lost. Furthermore, Luther's active opposition was seen when Pope Leo 10th bankrupted the Vatican and ordered a wider sell of indulgences to get money and replenish the Vatican's treasury. This indulgence in turn was promised the forgiveness of all sins and no confession necessary. As no indulgences were ever mentioned in Holy Scripture, Martin Luther objected to them by writing his 95 theses. They were widely spread due to the printing press and became very popular. As Luther gained more and more followers, especially in Wittenberg, his ideas became dangerous for Rome. Pope tried to discredit or even kill Martin Luther. Here we can see that unlike other religions, the Catholic church was very powerful and independent of secular leaders. On the contrary, it could influence German nobles. However, Martin Luther was saved and not burned, as his ideas were appealing to influential people of Germany, who wanted to become more independent of Rome and the Church. In the film, this is shown through the help and protection given by Duke Frederick. He let Luther preach, protected him as his subject, and kept safe in exile. However, the full motives of the German nobility were not completely shown, as this film is more about Martin Luther. But in the end, when the movement was quite big, the Dukes of Germany signed a document by stating their beliefs and higher independence from the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire. One more religious tradition of Protestantism depicted in the film is the reduction of 7 sacraments to only 2, which were Baptism and Communion. Other sacraments, as they were not mentioned in the Bible were canceled by Martin Luther. These changes included the celibacy of priests. Besides, many monks and nuns left their monasteries to serve inside the community, as monasteries were useless in the ideology of Protestantism. This is clearly shown in the film when Martin Luther being a priest marries a nun, who left the monastery and needed assistance. Thus, the film shows one of the major differences between Catholic and Protestant Churches. Last but not least, Martin Luther's pacifism is effectively explained in the film. When one of his followers urges people to revolt against the law, Martin Luther criticizes him, saying that only faith and love can help people, not force. This corresponds with the German Peasants' War, to which he responded with horror. This shows that Martin Luther and his movement initially were not against the law and order. He did not want to form a new Church, but rather reform the Catholic Church according to his beliefs and the Scripture, as well as his predecessors and followers of reformation, did. To summarize, the film "Martin Luther" effectively depicts and explains the main aspects and ideas of Protestant Reformation, and what Catholic religious traditions were criticized by this movement. This film is a good source for people who study the history of the Protestant Reformation and the role of Martin Luther in its formation.
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10/10
Film review: Martin Luther(1953)
dameliaziken25 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
In the beginning of the 16th century, the socio-political situation in Western Europe as well as people's well-being depended on one important apparatus- the church. People, despite being poor or rich, considered the Church and popes as the only place for indulgence and forgiveness. Without any understanding of the Scripture of the Bible, people were unaware about the total obedience to the churches. The movie Martin Luther is a historical mixed with bibliography movie of the Augustinian monk Martin, who could change the history in Religious study in Western Europe. The issue, related to the beginning of the sixteenth century regarding the Roman Catholicism and the true faith, is revealed in the movie and questions the audience about what is a true faith and who we should believe in. As it is said in the movie that the 'accumulated wisdom of our faith will help us to find the peace we are looking for' so that Martin Luther, the founder of Protestant Reformation, is building a new understanding of the true faith and how people should address the name of God. In this review I wish to uncover what religious traditions of Christianity the movie highlights and explain, as well as to what extent that was effective compared to the text of Calvin 'Instruction in Faith'.

First of all the religion in this movie is Christianity, namely Roman Catholicism, and as in Calvin's article it is written, God gives us the Law in order to exercise this knowledge and in the end come to the Lord, so was Martin who sought for the knowledge of the true belief in God but faced different feelings in terms of the Churches in the Western Europe. The main aspects from the movie in terms of the religious tradition is that priests from the beginning are devoted to God and Bible, so they consider the Church as a place where God can meet them. As for example, in the movie we observe that during the journey to Rome, the monk Martin visits all the sacred places where people are worshipping and kisses the Christ to the sign of total devotion; or the process of christening during the childbirth also supports the words of Calvin's article that every new step in life is offered by God as we're His only resemblance (Calvin, 237). The way that Martin refuses from the material things, as it was written in the Rome Bible, shows the true faith in God and the right way it should be in Catholicism practice and any other religion. As in Plekhanov's and Calvin's articles said, the concept of free implies the incompatibility of materialism, the movie likewise supports this concept in Martin's actions. So, from the religious tradition's point of view, the movie replies Calvin's article and Plekhanov's work with the same understanding of rituals, traditions and the same concept of religious practices in general.

However, the movie also reveals the other side of Christian religion in Churches. Martin Luther was one of the overwhelming priests who reinterpreted the Divine will and appeal to God's authority in a new way. He claims that Christ, not the Pop, is the real authority of the Church ('The Protestant Reformation part 1'). Indeed, in Calvin's reading there are also no words of indulgence or Papal authority as well. In Rome, instead of seeing the real power of religious belief, Martin only saw the wealth of the Church and cynicism of priests. When in October 31, 1517 Martin set the 95 theses to clearly state that there is no need of indulgences of pope's authority, together with the support of Gutenberg Printing Press, we see how famous historical figures react and how the movie highlights this moment with a picture of Duke Frederick, Luther and even John Hus showing the importance of the historical event. The idea of the Roman Catholicism Reformation depicted in the movie coincides with the fact in history since it could really change many people's opinion in terms of Church and indulgence and led to a new understanding of Protestant religion. The movie explains that the Church indeed over-exercised its power and as a result lost control over people and kings. Additionally, it compares the work of Hus and dr.Luther as the common idea of the theses. From this part we observe that the movie explains main aspects of Catholilc Reformation and how Martin impacted on this occasion, becoming the main figure in the foundation of Protestant faith.

The birth of Protestant Reformation starts from Martin Luther who with all His truth and faith to the name of God questioned the authority of traditional churches and their way to share God's love and forgiveness. The ideas in the movie Martin Luther (1953) highlight the main events of that historical period that resulted in the successful reformation and explain how the old traditional churches lost their authority and the true faith in God and His indulgence was faced by many other people. The movie effectively showed the audience the real motives of Martin to change the supreme apparatus as it was mentioned in the history of Roman Catholicism reformation, because it supports the main concept written in the Calvin's article and has a likewise representation in the lecture material ('The Protestant Reformation part 1'). The importance of the movie is the distortionless of main events and the whole picture of how the Catholic rituals and traditions were applied. Since the movie and articles do not confront each other, the movie supports the main aspects of religious study and explains important moments in the foundation of the Protestant Christianity. As for the effectiveness, several examples were considered in the review to support the argument and explain the answer. However, in terms of the limitation, the movie did not fully reveal the thoughts of other educated popes of that time and opinion of other theologists in order to conclude an unbiased statement.
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8/10
You can't buy God's mercy.
ulicknormanowen12 April 2022
When the film was released ,it was critically-acclaimed but a commercial flop :it's sure easy to see why; "Martin Luther " ,refusing storylike concessions, deals with the essential ; after the invention of the printing , Bibles began to circulate and it was only natural that some scholars compared the scriptures with the religion Rome had established on their flocks,threatening them with the fires of Hell.(the first pictures show the stranglehold they had on the people)

The pope', living in luxury in Rome he wants to turn into the most beautiful city in the world,all for God's glory is a negation of the Holy Script .And he encourages the indulgences : see the scene in which a priest urges the believers to give money :as soon as the coin falls down , the soul will leave the purgatory to enjoy the bliss of God' s paradise!

Luther first refused the relics :he turns his back on his acolytes when they adore "bits of the real cross" ; he stigmatizes the shameless indulgences ,and tells everyone that the only truth is the scriptures , only them are Jesus words and that the people have to free themselves from the pope's yolk ; it was a true revolution ,and ,overnight , Luther became dangerous for the established religion; a heretic, he could have been burnt on the stake ,like Jan Hus -mentioned in the movie- who was the first to take a rebel stand : he was preaching for a spiritual and poor church and can be considered Luther's forerunner.

A very good bio , dealing with the essential of the Reformed religion ;best scene : Luther refusing to recant: Niall MacGinnis is so convincing,so impressive he seems inspired by the Mighty One , filled with God.
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