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“A Remarkable Adventure”: Martin Luther and the 1950s Religious Marketplace

From: Cinema Journal
Volume 52, Number 3, Spring 2013
pp. 25-48 | 10.1353/cj.2013.0029



Theatrically released in 1953, the church-funded biopic Martin Luther (Irving Pichel) was designed to exceed the narrow confines of the Christian film market and successfully compete with Hollywood products. This article positions the film’s unique accomplishments in relation to postwar America’s spiritual turn and reveals how the case of Martin Luther may illuminate our general understanding of the uneasy relationship between organized religion and mass media.