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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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Jöns, squire
... Death
... Jof / Joseph
... Antonius Block
... Mia / Mary - Jof's wife
... Lisa, blacksmith's wife
... Witch
... Karin, Block's Wife
... Girl
Bertil Anderberg ... Raval
... The Monk
... Blacksmith Plog
... Albertus Pictor, Church Painter
Erik Strandmark ... Jonas Skat
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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

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. See more »

Goofs

Just before the arrival of the Christian entourage, Jof and Mia were performing their presentation at the village. At that moment, both of them were supposed to slowly stop playing their instruments - Jof, who was playing the stringed instrument; and Mia, playing the tambour. The sound of the stringed instrument can be heard as Jof is not stroking the strings anymore. See more »

Quotes

[Death approaches Antonius Block]
Antonius Block: Wait a moment.
Death: You all say that. But I grant no reprieves.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Caroline in the City: Caroline and the Drycleaner (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Dies Irae
(uncredited)
Written by Tommaso da Celano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Bergman's Brilliance Abounds
23 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

What makes The Seventh Seal - an apocryphal and uncompromising fable of medieval Sweden - one of the masterpieces of Cinema ? Ingmar Bergman creates a believable world of dark happenings, wherein Death can play chess with a Knight, witches burn at the stake, with flagellants, and plague ever present. Through superb black and white images, each carefully composed for maximum effect, sets and costumes, his fine actors seem to truly inhabit this frightening world. Max von Sydow, Gunnar Bjornstrand, and Bengt Ekerot lead a marvelous cast. But its not all doom and gloom, as the Knight tries to determine in his quest, the meaning of life, and if God exists at all. There are moments of sheer happiness and peace, such as the sequence of the milk and strawberries at dusk, and a number of bawdy comic moments throughout the film. Which balances the darker side. It is unforgettable and I still remember seeing it on its first release, being stunned by the quality of the photography, and the performances. A restored version on DVD is recommended. Bergman is one of the great film makers of our time. Seldom today do we see such precise and considered images on the screen. Not to be missed.


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