8.2/10
137,494
293 user 150 critic

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.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writers:

Ingmar Bergman (play), Ingmar Bergman (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,434 ( 43)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #145 | 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
Persona (1966)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personae are melding together.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Bertil Guve, Pernilla Allwin, Kristina Adolphson
(1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale
Stalker (1979)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An innocent yet pampered young virgin and her family's pregnant and jealous servant set out to deliver candles to church, but only one returns from events that transpire in the woods along the way.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Autumn Sonata (1978)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A married daughter who longs for her mother's love is visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow
Andrei Rublev (1966)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gunnar Björnstrand ... Jöns, squire
Bengt Ekerot ... Death
Nils Poppe ... Jof / Joseph
Max von Sydow ... Antonius Block
Bibi Andersson ... Mia / Mary - Jof's wife
Inga Gill ... Lisa, blacksmith's wife
Maud Hansson ... Witch
Inga Landgré ... Karin, Block's Wife
Gunnel Lindblom ... Girl
Bertil Anderberg Bertil Anderberg ... Raval
Anders Ek ... The Monk
Åke Fridell ... Blacksmith Plog
Gunnar Olsson ... Albertus Pictor, Church Painter
Erik Strandmark Erik Strandmark ... Jonas Skat
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | Latin

Release Date:

13 October 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Seventh Seal See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Svensk Filmindustri (SF) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked number 30 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »

Goofs

When Skat and the blacksmith reunite with the group, a forest backdrop is visible in the background. 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 Deconstructing Harry (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

DIES IRÆ, DIES ILLA / VREDENS STORA DAG ÄR NÄRA
Lyrics by Severin Cavallin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Ingmar Bergman questions the meaning of life, death, faith, and the existence of God in this masterpiece of world cinema...
1 January 2005 | by ACitizenCalledKaneSee all my reviews

Antonius Block - "Who are you?" Death - "I am Death." Antonius Block - "Have you come for me?" Death - "I have long walked by your side." Antonius Block - "So I have noticed."

The Seventh Seal, considered by some to be Ingmar Bergman's greatest achievement, is the desperate prayer of a sensitive, introspective, and insightful young man confused by the horrors of the world around him. Ingmar Bergman's films are often very deep, full of symbolism, philosophy, spirituality, emotion, and thought. The Seventh Seal is classic Bergman. Expressing his fear of life with no meaning, death with no understanding, and faith with no validity, Ingmar Bergman takes us deep into the well of his mind.

As the Black Plague ravages the world, a Antonius Block and his squire, Jons (Max Von Sydow and Gunnar Bjornstrand, respectively), return from fighting in the Crusades. They find their homeland devastated by the plague, their countrymen mad with fear, and their cause lost. Antonius Block is confronted by Death (Bengt Ekerot). Block challenges Death to a game of chess to provide him time to seek answers to the questions that plague his mind as Death has plagued his country. Death accepts, knowing that Block cannot escape his fate, and the two begin their game. As the story continues, Block and Jons meet with several testaments to the agony that the Black Death has brought upon their land. They find a young girl who is to be burned at the stake for having been with the Devil. They find madness in the eyes of all they meet, as everyone is convinced that God is angry and is punishing the world with the plague. They also find a small group of travelling actors, who appear to be the only souls to have remained sane in the midst of all of the death and fear. Block and Jons move across the countryside in the hopes of finding safety in Block's castle, but Death is always around the corner, biding his time.

Brilliantly conceived, and stunningly executed, Bergman's vision is brought to the screen through Gunnar Fischer's powerful cinematography creating images that will likely remain with you for the rest of your life. Strong performances from everyone involved bring humanity to the film. Max Von Sydow's brave and conflicted Antonius Block matching wits with Bengt Ekerot's sinister, omnipotent Death is a microcosm of the forces at work in this breath-taking interpretation of the mortal struggle.

A masterpiece!


191 of 220 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 293 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed