Stars: Joseph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Molina, Jonathan Firth
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 123 minutes
The late, great Paul Winfield tackles the role of his career in King, an NBC miniseries originally broadcast over three nights in February 1978. Demonstrating a deeply inspired commitment to his performance as civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Winfield's voice and presence are different from King's, but he flawlessly conveys the physical and psychological essence of the man. In the six-hour telefilm written and directed by Judgment at Nuremberg Oscar®-winner Abby Mann, King is portrayed as a courageously devoted crusader for a just cause, whose commitment to nonviolent protest was a heavy burden he bore with miraculous poise and conviction, often at the expense of his health and well-being. Like Winfield, Cicely Tyson is uncannily convincing in her role as King's noble wife, Coretta. From King's beginnings as a Baptist minister in the early 1950s to his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, King recreates the pivotal events and speeches of King's life in meticulous detail, and many of those who participated in these historical civil-rights milestones appear in the film (including Rosa Parks, Ramsey Clarke, Ossie Davis, and singer Tony Bennett) or served as consultants during production. And while Mann's first and only directorial effort is somewhat dry and artless, his devotion to factual detail is apparent in every frame, making King the definitive dramatization of MLK's extraordinary life and legacy. The DVD bonus features include three substantial mini-documentaries that explore King's struggle, the civil rights movement, and the making of the film, featuring extensive interviews with Ossie Davis (who plays MLK's father in the miniseries) and civil rights leader Bishop Kenneth C. Unger. --Jeff Shannon
Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason and not by Popes and councils who have so often contradicted themselves, my conscience is captive to the word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I cannot and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.
Good people of Jutebog, have you ever burned your hand in the fire? Even one finger made raw by the flame will torment you throughout the night. Is it not so?
Imagine then, your entire body burning. Not for one sleepless night, not for a week, but for all eternity! Are we to be spared the fires of damnation on the Judgment Day?
Tonight, your Pope, the vicar of Christ, sends you a gift, a gift to save you from such fires, a special indulgence, granted for the building of Saint Peter's Church in Rome, where the bones of the apostles lie moldering, exposed to wind and rain, desecrated by wild animals. Take heed the words of your Holy Father who says, "Lay a stone for Saint Peters and you lay the foundation for your own salvation and happiness in heaven." How? With this indulgence. When? Tonight, and only tonight. Seek the Lord while he is near. Here is your raft! Take hold!
I cannot renounce all of my works because they are not all the same.First are those books in which if I have described Christian faith and life so simply that even my opponents have admitted that these books are useful. To renounce these writings would be unthinkable for that would be to renounce accepted Christian truths... The second group of my work is directed aginst the foul doctrine and evil living of the Popes, past and present... Through the laws of the Pope and the doctrines of men, the consciences of the faithful have been miserably vexed and flayed. If I recant these books, I will do nothing but add strength to tyranny and open not just the windows but also the doors to this great ungodliness... In the third group I have written against private persons and individuals who uphold Roman tyranny and have attacked my own efforts to encourage piety to Christ. I confess that I have written too harshly. I am but a man and I can err. Only let my errors be proven by Scripture and I will revoke my work and throw my books into the fire.