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Film / Luther

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A 2003 period drama starring Joseph Fiennes in the role of Martin Luther, the father of Protestant Christianity.

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The movie has examples of:

  • As the Good Book Says...: Luther bases his arguments on references to the Bible. (In counter-arguments to things other people say, he also quotes a lot of other sources, emphasizing his role as a scholar.)
  • Actionized Sequel: Well, actionized remake. As discussed here the film is more fast-paced and visually dynamic than previous films about Martin Luther, with scenes like an opening where Luther dodges lightning, other scenes where Martin is physically in danger, and boar-hunting.
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  • Artistic License – History: Quite a bit. For example, the Golden Rose is given to Frederick of Saxony to entice him to hand Luther over to Rome, whereas in reality the motives behind his receiving the Rose were not related to Luther.
  • Badass Preacher: In the movie, there is a scene where Luther heroically stands with a flaming torch in his hand, literally defending the church from a horde of evil peasants, holding them back with his words. In history, he only published writings against peasant violence.
  • Corrupt Church: The film's portrayal of the Catholic Church at this time, mainly through its use of indulgences.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Johann Tetzel is shown preaching dramatically about this subject, frightening crowds of ordinary people into buying indulgences.
  • Historical Beauty Upgrade: Joseph Fiennes as Martin Luther is much better-looking than the overweight and unattractive Martin Luther from real life.
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  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The movie avoids depicting Martin's real-life fondness for crude and scatological comments, the anti-Semitic writings he produced in the later part of his life, and his infamous claim that the authorities should "smite, stab, and strangle, as you would a mad dog" the peasants in the peasants' war.
  • Large Ham: Alfred Molina as Johann Tetzel.
  • Mythology Gag: The scene with Luther defending a church may be a reference to a similar scene from the 1953 film Martin Luther.
  • Protagonist Title: The title is Martin Luther's surname.
  • Token Romance: Martin's courtship of, and marriage to, Katherina von Bora comes very late in the film and has little effect on the main plot.


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