Martin Luther, Heretic (1983)

TV Movie   |    |  Biography, Drama

Martin Luther, Heretic (1983) Poster

Martin Luther inspires a breakaway from the Roman Catholic church and is the founder of Protestantism.


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9 November 2019 | persistenceofvision
| Brother Martin
A good short-ish TV movie (not much longer than an hour) about Martin Luther. We get to see Luther's private pangs of conscience as a monk; his teaching, as a lecturer, the doctrine of justification by faith alone; his denunciation of the Pope's cynical exploitation of Germany through the sale of indulgences; the Pope's consequent ban on him; and the protection of him by German princes (more for worldly than spiritual reasons), all leading up to his speech at the Diet of Worms. BBC costume-dramas of the early '80s were not handsome cinematic big-budget affairs: the audience were expected to focus on the acting and the writing. So this isn't a feast for the eyes, but at its heart is a fine performance by Jonathan Pryce as Luther (my only reservation would be that he's scrawnier than the real Luther, a bull-necked coalminer's son). Like John Osborne in his stage play, scriptwriter William Nicholson does not make Luther perfect and all his opponents stupid or venal: sometimes he seems more a man of doubt than faith, destroying the unity of medieval Christendom because of his own private demons.


Release Date:

8 November 1983


Latin, English

Country of Origin


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