At school history classes, Luther emerged as one of the more interesting figures of history because of his constipation, the type of detail that posterity often overlooks. But even Fifth Formers should be disappointed with this version of John Osborne's scatological account of Luther, the bowel movements of history, and the rupture with the Catholic Church. Although Stacy Keach occasionally conveys Luther's intensely felt, near physical relationship with Mother Church, the proceedings are mounted in a totally undynamic manner. This leaves Osborne's dialogue in the lurch, either sounding stupidly matey ('Here's the man who did in four of the sacraments') or downright silly ('Look at Erasmus. He never really gets into serious trouble'). What remains is a few tormented ramblings and a sweating, tonsured cast.
Cast and crew