Martin Luther (1953)




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Virtually every Lutheran in America has seen Martin Luther during a church-basement screening. Niall McGinniss plays the title role, while the rest of the cast is an adroit mixture of professional actors, clerics and Biblical scholars. The film recounts Martin Luther's 16th-century break from Catholicism, his posting of the 95 theses, and his ultimate creation of the Protestant Movement. The dramatic highlight is Luther's "Here I stand" speech, straightforwardly directed by Irving Pichel (who also plays a supporting role). Filmed in West Germany, Martin Luther was a collaboration between Lutheran Productions Inc. and Louis de Rochemont associates. The film caused a minor brouhaha when its Chicago TV debut in 1956 was successfully blocked by the local Catholic Archdiocese.

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Niall MacGinnis
as Martin Luther
John Ruddock
as Vicar von Staupitz
Guy Vernay
as Melanchthon
Guy Verney
as Melanchthon
Alistair Hunter
as Carlstadt
Alastair Hunter
as Carlstadt
David Horne
as Duke Frederick
Philip Leaver
as Pope Leo X
Dr. Egon Strohm
as Cardinal Aleander
Leonard White
as Emissary
Hans Lefebre
as Charles V
Annette Carell
as Katherine von Bora
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