The Seventh Seal

1957 film by Ingmar Bergman

The Seventh Seal (Swedish: Det sjunde inseglet) is a 1957 Swedish fantasy drama movie directed by Ingmar Bergman. It was based his own play. It stars Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe, Inga Landgré, Bibi Andersson, Åke Fridell, Inga Gill.

The theme of the film is a knight's return to his country at the time of the Black Death, that is, the plague in Europe of the Middle Ages. As he lands on the shore he meets the figure of Death in person. This is the scene of a famous chess-playing episode where the two play for the knight's soul. The game is unfinished. After bargaining with Death for a while, the knight sets out on his travels. The travels show the damage done by the plague to all aspects of life in the country. To some critics, the film is typical of the existentialist films of the mid-20th century.

The knight is the gaunt figure of Max von Sydow at the start of his long film career. He was one of the actors whose career started with working for the film's producer Ingmar Bergman.

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