Martin Luther (1953)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  

USA/West Germany, 1953.  RD-DR Productions, The Lutheran Church in America, Luther Filmgesellshaft, Louis De Rochemont Associates.  Screenplay by , , researched and prepared for the screen by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Martin Luther was a sixteenth century monk who did some deep soul-searching in his Biblical studies and realized that the Catholic church was promoting practices that went against scripture. His 95 Theses, in which he promoted the sovereignty of Christ and his sacrifice and not the power of the Vatican, brought him to trial before the Pope, but his steadfast nature kept him strong and eventually led to the forming of the Protestant religion. This extremely sober drama is intelligent, respectful and completely supportive of Luther’s rebellion; unfortunately, it’s so devoted to the idea that he was a saint that it paints his portrait without a single shred of colour, and as such the film is incredibly boring.  seems stifled in the lead role, while the rest of the cast just comes off stuffy.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Cinematography-BW; Best Art Direction-BW

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