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The Seventh Seal (1957)

Det sjunde inseglet (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, History | 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)
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Popularity
2,612 ( 37)
Top Rated Movies #158 | 9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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 ... Raval
Anders Ek ... The Monk
Åke Fridell ... Blacksmith Plog
Gunnar Olsson ... 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 | Add 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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #11. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
narrator: And when the Lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space oh half an hour. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
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Connections

Referenced in St. Elsewhere: Monday, Tuesday, Sven's Day (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Det Sitter en Duva
Music by Erik Nordgren
Lyrics by Ingmar Bergman
Sung by Nils Poppe
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User Reviews

 
Didn't like it but will definitely see it again in the distant future
6 September 2005 | by bsincSee all my reviews

First of all, I have taken the time to read some posts on this movie before writing my review because I was searching for lots of answers. Didn't get many though, the popular thing fans like to say (and please, no pun intended) is that it just takes time to understand and appreciate this movie. To this I quickly reply that my perception of "Det Sjunde Inseglet" was that it is a rather dull, if not eventless, movie. It has some really nice moments (and for some reason I really liked the concept of a man playing chess with death itself) but in the end almost nothing is resolved except from the main protagonist who, at the brink of his death, discovers that it's love that makes people want to live ,very roughly put, I apologize, but even this revelation was hidden from the writer of this comment. And this is what bothered me the most, I couldn't read (for the lack of a better word) any of these important details, the movie very coldly rolled in front of my eyes and I just didn't get it! Now the easiest and dumbest thing to say is that this is all the fault of the director for not having a more universal way of film-making, rather the viewer has to decipher such information if he wants to fully appreciate his movies. I've just realized that I could say the same for Kubrick's visionary movies, I didn't like most, scratch that, none of them the first time around, they grew on me after a second viewing. And I dig Kubrick, a lot!!!

I was also surprised with the admiration the cinematography received, it did not impact me whatsoever (and I am more so a visual that a sensual movie buff and love this kind of stuff). All in all, as Antonius Block, I am searching for answers, important ones. It bothers me a lot that I don't appreciate this movie, and I ask anyone to help me resolve my problem.

What am I missing? What don't I get? What should I know about "The Seventh Seal", its meaning, its importance, its making, its director...?

Thank you for your time


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | Latin

Release Date:

13 October 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Seventh Seal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$230,571
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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