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31 January 2006
  Luther vs. Luther

About six months ago, or so, I had the good fortune of getting a copy of the movie Martin Luther. It was originally produced and shown 1953 and was actually nominated for some Academy Awards (I'm not sure it won any of them, though). From what I understand (according the extra stuff on the DVD) it was quite the "barn burner" of a movie, it even got banned in a couple cites for various and assundry reasons.

I saw it for the first time when I was in confirmation class. It was a "reward" of sorts. I don't remember if I liked it the first time I saw it, I probably didn't — proably wasn't enough violence or something, but I remember seeing it. I got the movie on DVD quite by accident, or perhaps providence, either way it was a nice "surprise."

It had been a return and for some reason, I'm not sure why, we couldn't send it back to a publisher or distributor, so, it was put into the break room for any who wanted it. I wanted it.

Today, after work, I went to BestBuy and roamed around for a while. I found the newer Luther movie (with Joseph Fiennes — if only Luther looked so good, huh?) for $9.99. I thought that was a pretty good deal, so I snagged it.

Both movies are good. I like them both, but I think I like the 1960 version better than the newer version. The simple reason is this: Though, it is long, the necessary "back story" and theology is behind it. The newer version, though exciting and packed with stars does leave a little to be desired. It is more adventure film then anything else. The Fiennes' Luther is much more fancy than the 1953 Luther, though.

The extra diddies on the 1953 Luther are much more interesting. There is a nice "documentary," if you will, that talks about the controversy the film created when it was released and, like I said, it was bannded (I think it was in Chicago, actually, but I could be wrong). The extras on the Fiennes' Luther are your basic Hollywood how-we-did-it with the requisite "star interviews." Though, interesting they do leave something to be desired.

Also, the Fiennes' Luther is a little overdone. The customes are fantastic, but I think the "period pieceness" of the production takes away from what little Luther there is. The 1953 version is much more "gritty" and that might be partly because of the black and white picture, but there is something "more," if you get my meaning.

Here is a review for the 1953 version. And here is a review for the Fiennes' Luther.

I wonder if any of the Pastors in the library use either one of these movies in the confirmation classes? And if so, how do they use it?

Peace and blessings to all.

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Comments:
I really didn't care for the portrayal of Katerina in the new film.
 
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