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The Seventh Seal (1957)

Det sjunde inseglet (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 13 October 1958 (USA)
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

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Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #142 | 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
...
...
Maud Hansson ...
...
Karin, Block's Wife
...
Bertil Anderberg ...
Raval
...
The Monk
...
...
Erik Strandmark ...
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Storyline

A Knight and his squire are home from the crusades. Black Death is sweeping their country. As they approach home, Death appears to the knight and tells him it is his time. The knight challenges Death to a chess game for his life. The Knight and Death play as the cultural turmoil envelopes the people around them as they try, in different ways, to deal with the upheaval the plague has caused. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A film of visual scope, of imaginative concept, of powerful content, written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, twice honored by the Interational Jury at the Cannes Film Festival 1956,1957

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Seventh Seal  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character's name, Antonius Block, is only ever spoken twice in the entire movie. See more »

Goofs

In the witches' forest, you can see the windows of apartment buildings between the trees. See more »

Quotes

[the church painter explains why he is painting a mural about death]
Church Painter: Why should one always make people happy? It might be a good idea to scare them once in a while.
Jöns: Then they'll close their eyes and refuse to look.
Church Painter: They'll look. A skull is more interesting than a naked woman.
Jöns: If you do scare them...
Church Painter: Then they think.
Jöns: And then?
Church Painter: They'll become more scared.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Still Crazy (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

DIES IRÆ, DIES ILLA / VREDENS STORA DAG ÄR NÄRA
Lyrics by Severin Cavallin
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Seventh Seal (1957) **
8 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

Let me make this pretty quick -- a friend brought this Ingmar Bergman "classic" to the house last night (on Blu-ray), and it was my first experience with this acclaimed filmmaker. All I can say is, I was immediately struck by the cinematography, and I started getting interested in the idea of a knight (Max Von Sydow) playing chess with "Death" himself, as a means of deciding the fate of his own soul.... but that's as far as it went.

From then on, nothing made much sense and the noble core idea of the film (presumably about questioning death, and the existence of God) seemed to go out the window, as we spend our time with secondary characters I just could not become interested in. I wanted to focus more on Max von Sydow's troubled crusader and his crisis of faith, especially since I myself am presently going through some personal bouts of despair in my personal life with my own crosses to bear... but he was only sparingly used, and I just could not follow any type of coherent storyline to this thing, for all its pretty picture style. There was no story, just images... and it's not that this approach never works for me in other films, but it didn't connect for me this time. I can't say that this is going to be my last visitation with Bergman, but this is not a promising start, considering this is allegedly one of his greatest works, if not THE greatest. Apologies to Woody Allen. Okay, let the slings and arrows fly. ** out of ****


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