Watch Martin Luther
- 1 hr 45 min
Martin Luther is a historical drama film that tells the story of the Protestant Reformation that was sparked by Martin Luther, one of the most prominent figures of the 16th century. The movie chronicles the trials and tribulations faced by Luther as he stood up against the powerful Catholic Church and its corrupt practices, leading to a schism in Christianity that would forever change the course of history.
The film begins with a young Martin Luther studying law at the University of Erfurt, where he witnesses the brutal execution of a man accused of heresy. This traumatic experience leads Luther to join the Augustinian order and become a monk, hoping to find salvation and purpose through his faith. As Luther becomes more devout, he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the Catholic Church and its practices, particularly regarding indulgences, the selling of forgiveness for sins.
Despite his initial reluctance, Luther is eventually convinced to speak out against the Church and its corruption. He composes a list of 95 theses detailing the flaws of the Catholic Church and nails them to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. This ultimately leads to his excommunication and a warrant for his arrest.
The film does an excellent job of capturing the tension and drama of Luther's struggle against the Church. Throughout the movie, we see Luther being threatened by powerful figures within the church, including the Pope himself. Despite this, Luther refuses to back down, becoming a hero to the people of Germany and inspiring a movement towards reform.
Niall MacGinnis gives a powerful performance as Luther, portraying him as a man torn between his loyalty to the Church and his desire for reform. He conveys the weight of Luther's burden, both as a spiritual leader and as a man fighting against the establishment. The supporting cast is also notable, with John Ruddock playing the scheming Cardinal Cajetan and Pierre Lefevre as Philip Melanchthon, Luther's closest ally and confidante.
The film also does an excellent job of capturing the historical context of the Reformation. We see the political and social upheavals of the time, including the rise of the printing press, which helped spread Luther's ideas far and wide. The cinematography and set design also help to transport the audience back to the 16th century, with an attention to detail that reflects the research put into the film.
One of the most poignant moments of the film occurs towards the end, when Luther must decide whether to abandon his beliefs and appeal to the Pope for forgiveness or hold fast to his convictions and risk being declared a heretic. This moment encapsulates the core of the film's message, that one's faith should be a personal and meaningful journey, not dictated by the whims of those in power.
Overall, Martin Luther is a powerful and thought-provoking film that examines one of the most significant events in European history. It succeeds in presenting a nuanced and human portrayal of Martin Luther, without glossing over the controversies and contradictions of his life. While it may not be the most historically accurate portrayal of these events, it is an engaging and emotional journey that is sure to leave an impression on the viewer.
Martin Luther is a 1953 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.