Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal

4.5 24
Director: Ingmar Bergman, Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot

Cast: Ingmar Bergman, Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot

     
 

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Endlessly imitated and parodied, Ingmar Bergman's landmark art movie The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde Inseglet) retains its ability to hold an audience spellbound. Bergman regular Max von Sydow stars as a 14th century knight named Antonius Block, wearily heading home after ten years' worth of combat. Disillusioned by unending war, plague, and misery Block

Overview

Endlessly imitated and parodied, Ingmar Bergman's landmark art movie The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde Inseglet) retains its ability to hold an audience spellbound. Bergman regular Max von Sydow stars as a 14th century knight named Antonius Block, wearily heading home after ten years' worth of combat. Disillusioned by unending war, plague, and misery Block has concluded that God does not exist. As he trudges across the wilderness, Block is visited by Death (Bengt Ekerot), garbed in the traditional black robe. Unwilling to give up the ghost, Block challenges Death to a game of chess. If he wins, he lives -- if not, he'll allow Death to claim him. As they play, the knight and the Grim Reaper get into a spirited discussion over whether or not God exists. To recount all that happens next would diminish the impact of the film itself; we can observe that The Seventh Seal ends with one of the most indelible of all of Bergman's cinematic images: the near-silhouette "Dance of Death." Considered by some as the apotheosis of all Ingmar Bergman films (other likely candidates for that honor include Wild Strawberries and Persona), and certainly one of the most influential European art movies, The Seventh Seal won a multitude of awards, including the Special Jury Prize at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
For filmgoers of a certain age (baby boomers who attended college between the late '50s and late '60s), The Seventh Seal was their first exposure to the films of Ingmar Bergman. And indeed, the film has been referenced by other directors, from Woody Allen to Barry Levinson, as well as becoming the subject of a popular parody short, Dove. Although other filmmakers, such as Jean Cocteau in Orpheus, had dealt with similar concerns, Bergman made them more accessible. The Seventh Seal is a skillful blend of realistic drama (the disillusioned knight returning from the Crusades in a land wracked by plague and madness) and the allegorical (most famously, the chess game and further encounters with a black-robed figure representing Death). The historical setting provides a convenient vehicle for Bergman to deal with issues of death and spirituality that are ultimately timeless. The film also gave major exposure to actors Max von Sydow and Bibi Andersson, who both had small roles in Bergman's Wild Strawberries.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/16/2009
UPC:
0715515044615
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:37:00
Sales rank:
8,126

Special Features

Introduction by Ingmar Bergman, recorded in 2003; Audio commentary by Bergman expert Peter Cowie with new afterword; Bergman Island (2006), an 83-minute documentary on Bergman by journalist Marie Nyreröd, featuring in-depth and revealing interviews with the director; Archival audio interview with Max Von Sydow; A 1989 tribute to Bergman by filmmaker Woody Allen; Bergman 101, a selected video filmography tracing Bergman's career, narrated by Cowie; Theatrical Trailer; A booklet featuring an essay by critic Gary Giddins

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Max von Sydow The Knight, Antonius Block
Gunnar Björnstrand Jons
Bengt Ekerot Death
Nils Poppe Jof
Bibi Andersson Mia
Åke Fridell Blacksmith Plog
Inga Gill Lisa
Inga Landgre Block's Wife
Maud Hansson The Witch, Tyan
Gunnel Lindblom The Girl
Bertil Anderberg Raval
Anders Ek The Monk
Gunnar Olsson Church Painter
Erik Strandmark Jonas Skat
Benkt-Ake Benktsson The landlord
Tor Borong Farmer at inn
Gudrun Brost Woman at inn
Ulf Johansson Knight leader
Lars Lind Young Monk

Technical Credits
Ingmar Bergman Director,Screenwriter
Evald Andersson Special Effects
Sixten Ehrling Musical Direction/Supervision
Allan Ekelund Producer
Else Fischer Choreography
Gunnar Fischer Cinematographer
Manne Lindholm Costumes/Costume Designer
P.A. Lundgren Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Carl M. Lundh Makeup
Nila Nittle Makeup
Erik Nordgren Score Composer
Lennart Wallen Editor

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The Seventh Seal 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Watch for symbolism in Bergman's movies. The knight's page is his alter ego. Other obvious symbols are the young family (Holy Family). Definitely a thinking persons movie. Game of chess Who is really winner and loser. Don't need to know Bible well but Seventh Seal is in book of Revelation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Seventh Seal is simply one of the most brilliants films ever made. It's amazing to see Bergman's personal reflections on life, death, and God in an entertaining way. The Seventh Seal is entertaining philosophy.
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DavidWhite More than 1 year ago
A wonderful performance by Max Von Sydow and an excellent meditation on mortality.
Filmninja More than 1 year ago
Look up any list of the greatest films ever made and you will see this title near the top. Obviously a must own Blu Ray for film lovers.
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