The Seventh Seal – Criterion [DVD] (1957) *NEW*

SKU: 2253.
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GTIN: 037429124529

The Seventh Seal – Criterion [DVD] (1957) *NEW*


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.

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A 1957 Swedish historical fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in Denmark during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight (Max von Sydow) and a game of chess he plays with the personification of Death (Bengt Ekerot), who has come to take his life. Bergman developed the film from his own play Wood Painting. The title refers to a passage from the Book of Revelation, used both at the very start of the film, and again towards the end, beginning with the words "And when the Lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour".[Rev. 8:1] Here the motif of silence refers to the "silence of God," which is a major theme of the film.

The Seventh Seal is considered a classic of world cinema, as well as one of the greatest movies of all time. It established Bergman as a world-renowned director, containing scenes which have become iconic through homages, critical analysis, and parodies.

The Seventh Seal

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Produced by Allan Ekelund
Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman
Based on Trämålning
by Ingmar Bergman
Music by Erik Nordgren
Cinematography Gunnar Fischer
Edited by Lennart Wallén
Distributed by AB Svensk Filmindustri
Release date
  • 16 February 1957
Running time
96 minutes
Country Sweden
  • Swedish
  • Latin
Budget $150,000

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Weight 0.5 lbs
Dimensions 5.3 × 0.5 × 7.5 in


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Disillusioned knight Antonius Block (Max von Sydow) and his nihilistic squire Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand) return after fighting in the Crusades and find Denmark being ravaged by the plague. On the beach immediately after their arrival, the knight encounters Death (Bengt Ekerot), personified as a pale, black-cowled figure resembling a monk. The knight, in the middle of a chess game he has been playing alone, challenges Death to a chess match, believing that he can forestall his demise as long as the game continues. Death agrees, and they start a new game.