favorite reformation and renaissance resource

Preschool and up

  • Torchlighters: William Tyndale – After translating Bible scriptures into English for the benefit of common people — an act King Henry VIII’s government has declared illegal — William Tyndale begins living as a fugitive. But is his devotion to bringing God’s word to every man, woman and child really a crime? This animated episode of “The Torchlighters” series follows William as he spends his life in hiding, pursued by the king’s bounty hunters and aided by helpful Christians.(Netflix DVD)

Elementary and up

  • Martin Luther – The life of 16th-century religious reformer Martin Luther (Niall MacGinnis) is faithfully laid out in this black-and-white classic, long considered the best of several films on the subject. The plot follows his clash with Pope Leo X (Phillip Leaver) as Luther calls for change in the Roman Catholic Church, which leads to his inevitable excommunication. But his efforts result in the birth of Protestantism and a new faith bearing his name. (Netflix DVD)(Amazon RENTAL)
  • Empires: Martin Luther Part 1 and 2 – Martin Luther is born into a world dominated by the Catholic Church. For the keenly spiritual Luther, the Church’s promise of salvation is irresistible. Caught in a thunderstorm and terrified by the possibility of imminent death, he vows to become a monk. But after entering the monastery, Luther becomes increasingly doubtful that the Church can actually offer him salvation. His views crystallize further when he travels to Rome and finds the capital of Catholicism swamped in corruption. Wracked by despair, Luther finds release in the pages of the Bible, discovering that it is not the Church, but his own individual faith that will guarantee his salvation. With this revelation, he turns on the Church. He attacks its practice of selling Indulgences in his famous 95 Theses, putting himself on an irreversible path to conflict with the most powerful institution of the day. The Catholic Church uses all of its might to try to silence Luther, including accusations of heresy and excommunication. Protected by his local ruler, Frederick the Wise, Luther continues to write radical critiques of the Church. In the process, he develops a new system of faith that places the freedom of the individual believer above the rituals of the Church. Aided by the newly invented printing press, his ideas spread rapidly. He is called before the German imperial parliament in the city of Worms and told he must recant. Risking torture and execution, Luther refuses, proclaiming his inalienable right to believe what he wishes. His stand becomes a legend that inspires revolution across Europe, overturning the thousand-year old hegemony of the Church. But as the reformation expands into a movement for social freedom, Luther finds himself overwhelmed by the pace of change, and is left vainly protesting that his followers should be concerning themselves with God. (Amazon INSTANT)
  • Luther Legacy – This four-part presentation on the life of Martin Luther uses scenes from the classic “Martin Luther” film to help viewers understand the events of the Reformation and how it helped shape the faith of Christian believers today. (Amazon INSTANT)
  • God’s Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale – Roger Rees stars in this dramatization about the life and times of 16th century Brit William Tyndale. Known as the “Father of the English Bible,” Tyndale worked tirelessly to translate and publish an English Bible during an era when prayers uttered in English were outlawed. His work angered King Henry VIII, the Pope and other authority figures, forcing Rees to keep moving to avoid capture as he continued on with his mission.. (Netflix DVD)
  • The Prince and the Pauper – After discontented Prince Edward (Bobby Mauch, son of Henry VIII, trades places with penniless Tom Canty (Billy Mauch) — a dead ringer for the young royal — the pauper finds himself confused by court life, while the prince happily traipses about in the guise of the little rogue. But when the vile Earl of Hertford (Claude Rains) discovers the switch, he attempts to use it as a ploy to seize the throne in this classic fable based on Mark Twain’s novel.(Netflix DVD)




Middle School and up

  • Luther – This epic movie follows the life of Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes), author of the then-controversial 95 Theses and founding father of the Protestant church, who, with the courage of his convictions, faced the wrath of the church in the 16th century. Alfred Molina co-stars as Johann Tetzel, with Jonathan Firth, Claire Cox and Sir Peter Ustinov rounding out the cast as Girolamo Aleander, Katharina von Bora and Fredrick the Wise, respectively. (Netflix DVD)(Amazon RENTAL)
  • Reformation Overview – This thorough program is designed to shed light on the Reformation by introducing key reformers and crucial events. Learn about John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, the Anabaptists and William Tyndale. (Netflix INSTANT)
  • The Private Life of Henry VIII – Charles Laughton makes the larger-than-life King Henry VIII seem even bigger in a stunning performance that centers on the ruler’s romantic life. Acclaimed director Alexander Korda shows a mercurial king who is governed by love, lust and politics. The classic film traces Henry’s six marriages, including the tragic story of Catherine Howard, and his disastrous fourth union with Anne of Cleves, played by Laughton’s real-life wife, Elsa Lancaster.(Netflix DVD)
  •  A Man for All Seasons – When Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) seeks approval from the English aristocracy to divorce his wife and marry commoner Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) finds himself caught between a murderous king and the powerful Roman Catholic Church. Richly crafted with a fine supporting cast, director Fred Zinnemann’s period drama swept the 1966 Oscars, winning six golden statuettes, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.(Netflix DVD)

High School and up

  • The Six Wives of Henry VIII – This historical drama recounts lusty monarch King Henry VIII’s reign — and the sometimes-bloody splits from his unlucky wives. His brother’s inherited widow is the first in a succession of six women he would marry before his ultimate demise. (Netflix INSTANT)


You should preview all movies to make sure that it is appropriate for your family.

We have tried to put these in the best age group for watching.

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