Martin Luther – Movie 1953 (English)

Martin Luther – Movie 1953 – English

Biopic of the German priest Martin Luther (played by Niall MacGinnis), covering his life between 1505 & 1530 A.D., and the birth of the Protestant Reformation movement.

The dramatic black and white classic film of Martin Luther’s life made in the 1950’s. This film was originally released in theaters worldwide and nominated for an Academy Award.

A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reforming efforts.

This film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Church. This film, in spite of its age, continues to be a popular resource to introduce Luther’s life.

This biographical picture was produced by Louis de Rochemont and RD-DR Corporation in collaboration with Lutheran Church Productions and Luther-Film-G.M.B.H.

The picture was filmed in studios in Wiesbaden, West Germany.

“Fun facts”:

  1. The biographical nature of Luther’s significance is portrayed with great detail but contains a few historical faults that have been noted.
  2. The more telling detail that’s lost to most, is the disturbingly larger factions that sought to not have the picture released in America. It was in fact pushed by the Roman Catholic Church to be banned from many cities across the United States.
  3. The film failed to be approved by Quebec’s film censorship board, which was made up entirely of French-speaking Catholics, since Luther’s radical teachings remained as heretical in 1953 as they were in the 16th Century, and thus was never released in Quebec’s movie theaters; it could only be seen there in the basements of Protestant churches.
  4. Martin Luther was not only a theologian and reformer, but also a musician and composer. The singing of the community receives through him a new place in the Reformed liturgy. He composed over thirty songs and wrote a hymn book with other musicians. He also demands singing lessons in schools.

The importance that music received from Luther has contributed to the remarkable development of this art in the German-speaking countries.

  • Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott / A mighty fortress is our God – (text & melody, 1529) is one of his songs, which can be heard at the end of this film.

“Whoever does not find God in Jesus Christ will never find Him, he seeks Him where he wants.” — Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) German theologian and reformer.