Philip Melanchthon was a character from the 1953 film Martin Luther.
Melanchthon was played by English actor Guy Verney.
In the 1510s the young Melanchthon earned his doctorate and became a professor at the University of Wittenburg. He soon became friends with Martin Luther and Andreas Karlstadt.
When the University in Leipzig decided to hold a debate between Wittenburg's theology department and their own, Luther took the opportunity to invite himself and Melanchthon to accompany Karlstadt to Leipzig, where Melanchthon witnessed Luther debating Dr. Eck. Luther refused to back down from his positions and vigorously defended them.
Luther was eventually excommunicated by Pope Leo X. He was subsequently summoned to Worms where he continued to refuse to recant his positions to Emperor Charles V or church officials. Shortly after leaving Worms, Luther was kidnapped by Frederick the Wise to keep him safe from Imperial or Papal forces out to kill him.
With Luther's moderating influence gone, Karlstadt began to stir up the peasants, which lead to mobs of angry people smashing statues and other sacred items. During this time Melanchthon argued with Karlstadt, feeling he was going to far and was twisting Luther's words for his own benefit. Hearing of what was going on in Wittenburg Luther disguised himself as a Knight and returned to Wittenburg. Ordering Karlstadt to leave, Luther took to the pulpit in the castle church to preach against violent action against others.
In 1530 the princes of the Empire were summoned to Augsburg to attend the Imperial Diet being held in that city. Due to his status as an outlaw Luther was unable to travel to Augsburg to attend the Diet. Luther had Melanchthon travel to Augsburg and act as his representative at a debate that was being held in the city.
While in Augsburg Melanchthon helped draw up a confession of faith to present to the Emperor. Melanchthon first presented the confession to the prince electors and other electors of the Empire. Melanchthon felt that only theologians should sign the confession, however the electors felt differently - that not having the leaders of the Empire sign the document would enable Charles to ignore the confession. Melanchthon expressed concern that having the secular leaders sign the document would split or even end the Empire. However the electors were adamant, feeling that freedom of belief was more important than political unity.
In the Diet that followed the electors forced Charles V to accept the confession that they had signed, refusing to back down even when Charles tried to play on the fears of a Turkish invasion.