The Seventh Seal (Criterion Collection)
Starring: Gunnar Björnstrand Director: Ingmar Bergman

The Seventh Seal (Criterion Collection)
1 rating
Movie on IMDb
Price: $35.96
List Price: $39.95
You Save: $3.99 (10% Off)
Currently Out of Stock: We'll get more as soon as possible
Notify Me When Available
Format:  DVD
sku:  65932
on most orders of $50+
Brand New

DVD Features

  • Audio Commentary by Film Historian Peter Cowie
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 36 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 1957
  • Label: Criterion
Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Packaging: Keep Case
Optimal Image Quality: RSDL Dual-Layered Edition
  1. Subtitles - English - Optional
  2. Dubbed Soundtrack - Optional
Additional Release Material:
  1. Audio Commentary - Film Historian Peter Cowie
  2. Trailers - Original Theatrical Trailer
  3. Featurette - Restoration Demonstration
  4. Annotated, Illustrated Bergman Filmography, Featuring Excerpts from WILD STRAWBERRIES and THE MAGICIAN with Commentary

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Performer: , , , , , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Composition by
Art Direction by
Director of Photography:

Memorable Quotes and Dialog:

"Love is the blackest of all plagues."
  - Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand) to Plog the blacksmith (Ake Fridell)
"No one escapes me."
  - Death (Bengt Ekerot) to Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow)

Major Awards:

Cannes 1957 - Jury Prize

Entertainment Reviews:

USA Today - 02/19/1999
"...Bergman's early masterpiece about a 14th century chess game with Death..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/11/2002
"...Its metaphysical themes still retain their power..."
Empire - 01/01/2008
5 stars out of 5 -- "Bergman raised the status of post-War cinema as an art form -- he made it as serious as literature or painting or theatre -- and THE SEVENTH SEAL is arguably his finest work."
Uncut - 02/01/2008
4 stars out of 5 -- "[The film] still works as a compelling dramatisation of a philosophical symposium."

Description by

After a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight challenges Death to a fateful game of chess. More than forty years after its initial release, Ingmar Bergman's stunning allegory of man's apocalyptic search for meaning remains a textbook on the art of filmmaking and an essential building block in any collection. Criterion is proud to present The Seventh Seal in a pristine new transfer. Swedish with English Subtitles.

Product Description:

Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow), a knight, returns from a 10-year crusade with his squire, Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand), to find his homeland ravaged by the plague. When the black-cloaked figure of Death (Bengt Ekerot) appears to claim them, Block, whose war experiences have left him cynical about the existence of God and the afterlife, challenges Death to a game of chess to stall for time and gain some insight into the meaning of life before passing on. The game is intermittently paused and resumed during the journey home while Block and Jöns meet several traveling companions, including a mute girl (Gunnel Lindblom) whom they save from a bandit, and a family of poor traveling players--Jof, a gentle visionary (Nils Poppe); his wife, Mia (Bibi Andersson); and their infant daughter. Block witnesses much suffering and anguish along the way (an encounter with a woman accused of witchcraft who is about to be burned at the stake is especially jarring) but also finds evidence of human kindness and love, prompting him to realize that even a single gesture of goodwill might make the long struggle of his existence worthwhile. The title of Ingmar Bergman's highly acclaimed allegorical film stems from the Book of Revelation.

Plot Synopsis:

Ingmar Bergman's best-known movie, THE SEVENTH SEAL is a masterfully executed medieval morality play in which a knight, disillusioned after his return from the Crusades, challenges Death to a game of chess in an effort to delay the hour of his demise. As the game progresses and the knight and his squire journey toward home, the former is reassured of the existence of human decency and spirituality in an often brutal world through his encounter with a family of traveling players. This highly symbolic elegy on mortality and religion is one of the most respected classics of contemporary cinema.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical release: February 16, 1957 (Sweden).
  • Filmed on location at Östanå, Viby, Skevik, Gustafsberg, Skytteholm, and Hovs hallar (Sweden); and at Råsunda Studios.
  • Winner of Special Jury Prize at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.
  • Winner of the 1958 Grand Prix International du Film d'Avant-garde.
  • Winner of 1959 Finnish Film Journalists Award.
  • Awarded Nastro d'Argento (silver ribbon) for Best Director of a foreign film by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists in 1961.
  • The film was based on Bergman's play TRÄMÅLNING ("Wood Painting").
  • THE SEVENTH SEAL was shot in only 35 days, hence Bergman was often forced to rely on his film team's flexibility and improvisation. The famous iconographic closing scene of the film was spontaneously shot within a few minutes, using stand-ins for the actors (who had already left the set for the day), because Bergman was trying to capture a compelling cloud configuration in the evening sky.
  • Nils Poppe, who had been a popular comedic stage actor in Sweden for many years, is seen here (at age 50) in his first dramatic role as Jof, the traveling player.
Criterion Collection

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Be the first Movie Lover to write an online review of this product!

Similar Products

Award Winners:
Movie Categories:
Product Series:

Product Info

  • UPC: 037429124529
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Top ranking titles in the Foreign Films genre:

Top ranking DVD:

To place an order or for customer service, call toll-free 1-800-336-4627 or outside the United States, call 1-610-649-7565
Open Monday-Friday: 8am-11pm, Weekends: 10am-10pm (Eastern Time)
Se habla Español! Spanish-speaking representatives available, Monday-Friday: 9am-4pm (Eastern Time)