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The Seventh Seal (1957) Poster

Trivia

The main character's name, Antonius Block, is only ever spoken twice in the entire movie.
Jump to: Spoilers (2)
The inspiration for this film was said to be drawn from the period films of Akira Kurosawa, of which Ingmar Bergman was a big fan.
The chess pieces used in the movie was sold from Ingmar Bergman's descendent's estate in 2009 for 1m Swedish Krona (around USD$145,000 at the time).
Of the 50+ films he has done, this is one of Ingmar Bergman's own rare favorites.
The church which Jöns and Antonius Block arrives at 15 minutes into the film is actually a model hung in the dead tree in the foreground.
Ingmar Bergman based the entire iconography of the movie on murals in a church where his clergyman father used to go and preach.
The title is a Biblical quotation from The Revelation of St. John the Divine, chapter 8.
Ingmar Bergman credited the film with helping him overcome his crippling fear of death. Because the film dealt so overtly with the subject, he found it a highly cathartic experience.
Max von Sydow's first film for Ingmar Bergman.
The procession of flagellants chant the Dies Irae, a famous thirteenth century Latin hymn thought to be written by Tommaso da Celano. Before stopping in the village they chant stanzas 1-4 and the Lacrimosa, stanza 18. These are repeated as the procession departs.
The script was initially rejected. Ingmar Bergman would end up rewriting it five times. It was only after the success of Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) at Cannes that it started to be considered more seriously.
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Ingmar Bergman began writing the screenplay for The Seventh Seal (1957) while he was in Stockholm's Karolinska Hospital, recovering from a stomach complaint.
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Filmed over a period of 35 days for only $150,000.
Both Van Halen and Scott Walker (from his album Scott 4) have named a song after The Seventh Seal (1957), both are inspired by this Ingmar Bergman film. The Van Halen one also mentions The Virgin Spring (1960).
The script is based on a one act play Bergman wrote 1953/4 as an exercise for the acting students at the Malmö City Theatre. He asked the pupils to suggest roles that they wanted to play. Based on this he wrote a few pages of monologues. After the exercise Bergman processed the material to the finished piece called "Wood Painting". "Wood Painting" has many similarities with "The Seventh Seal".
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Nils Poppe was famous in Sweden for being a comedic actor, therefor it's quite appropriate that his character, Jof, is a jester.
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Another parody of the film happens in the Monty Python movie, "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail" during which a group of "flagellants" walk through a village; only instead of using whips on their backs, they bonk themselves on their foreheads with boards.
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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Jury Special Prize at Cannes Films Festival, 1957.
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The last two minutes of the film are pure improvisation. The actors have played the whole final scene, when Bergman saw in the sky a cloud of unusual shape. He told the troupe again wear costumes and directed a new version of the final scene in one take.
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The film has been lampooned frequently over the years, most notably in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) and Woody Allen's Love and Death (1975).
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The song "Henry and Death" of Russian rock group "The King and the Clown" contains the story, clearly inspired by the film. Hero also loses the death of a game of chess and, as a result, his life.
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Mentioned in the Bruce Cockburn song "How I Spent My Fall Vacation", "like that guy in The Seventh Seal watching the newly dead dance across the hills"
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Prize for best foreign director, Circulo de Escritores Cinematográficos, Spain 1962.
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Nominated in the "Palme d'Or" at the Cannes Film Festival, France 1957.
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The prize "Silver Ribbon" Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for best director, Sindacato Nazionale Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani, 1961.
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Prize Fotogramas de Plata (Spain) to the best foreign artist - Max Von Sydow, 1962.
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Prizes Sant Jordi (Spain): Best Foreign Director and for Best Film of the Year, 1962.
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Selected by the Vatican in the "values" category of its list of 45 "great films."
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The first show in the cinema: 02/16/1956 (cinema "Reda Qarn").
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Director A. German in an interview to "Mir" said that thanks to the film "The Seventh Seal", he started believing in God .
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The last-but-one scene in which Death is dancing away with his followers was shot when some of the actors had gone home for the day, using some technicians and a few tourists as stand-ins. Ingmar Bergman conceived the scene on the spot, and had to improvise quickly because of an interesting cloud formation that he wanted in the background.
The name of the character played by Gunnel Lindblom is never given and she speaks no lines in the film until the penultimate scene where she has the final line of the group being taken by Death: "It is finished."

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