Based on the life of the 16th century monk who defied excommunication and the stake in his demand for religious reform, "Martin Luther" provides the first motion picture portrayal of the incendiary beginnings of the Protestant Reformation. This dramatic motion picture, which was nominated for two "Oscars" - for photography and art direction, was produced in cooperation with the Lutheran Church on location in the towns, castles, and churches of West Germany. Careful research of European and American documents of Roman Catholic and Protestant writers formed the basis for the script and much of the dialogue was culled from actual historic documents. Luther fought against the sale of indulgences. He demanded that the church of his day be cleansed of secular abuse and that the authority for doctrine and practice be scripture rather than Popes or Council. To bring up the abuse of indulgences for debate, he nailed a 95-points of argument-on the church door. This argument split the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire. Labeled a heretic, Luther was excommunicated by the Pope and banished and condemned by the Empire. Luther's beliefs gave birth to an evangelical movement that quickly spread throughout Europe and the world.