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The Seventh Seal (1957)
"Det sjunde inseglet" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Fantasy  |  13 October 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 103,115 users  
Reviews: 258 user | 133 critic

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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Complete credited cast:
Nils Poppe ...
Mia / Mary - Jof's wife
Inga Gill ...
Lisa, blacksmith's wife
Maud Hansson ...
Inga Landgré ...
Karin, Block's Wife
Gunnel Lindblom ...
Bertil Anderberg ...
Anders Ek ...
Åke Fridell ...
Gunnar Olsson ...
Albertus Pictor, Church Painter
Erik Strandmark ...


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 | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Seventh Seal  »

Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Of the 50+ films he has done, this is one of Ingmar Bergman's own rare favorites. See more »


The chess players focus on capturing the Queen. The Queen was not a super-powerful piece until centuries later when a recent chess-variant initially called "chess of the mad queen" became more popular than the classic game. See more »


Blacksmith Plog: Hey Jöns, purely confidential, isn't life quite...?
Jöns: [interrupts Plog] Yes, it is... but don't think about that now.
Blacksmith Plog: [to himself] It's ludicrous, that's what it is.
See more »


Referenced in Lexx: The Game (2002) See more »


Music by Erik Nordgren
Lyrics by Ingmar Bergman
Sung by Nils Poppe and Bibi Andersson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Filled With Memorable Images
11 October 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This classic is filled with a lot of memorable images - from the opening scenes on the seashore to the effective concluding shots, creative thoughts are combined with some fine camera work. There are several significant or interesting questions raised by the characters - from the imagery of the "Seventh Seal" in Revelation, to their simple but important concerns about eternity - but it is the way that the visuals play off of the ideas that make the movie so worthwhile.

The recreation of the medieval world is convincing and effective, with a lot of detail to set off a varied assortment of characters with different personalities and perspectives. The characters are not necessarily very deep, but most are interesting, and are worth caring about. The ways that they deal with their discouraging situation make you wonder what it would have been like to live in their world. It's also a movie that in some respects is even better to watch over again, after you already know what has happened and can then pick up even more of the detail and imagery.

No doubt the somber tone and slow pace will always keep it from being widely popular, and it's not perfect, but it's satisfying in a different way, and deserves its reputation as a classic.

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how would YOU challenge Death?? popeLAC
when does the Knight join the family? TamalpaisHigh
English dubbed version vs. English subtitles. amjschmitz
Pretentious, silly, even at the time. objviewer
Why did he die... spencer-404-211564
Breaking Down Bergman on The Seventh Seal eo_guy
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