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The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet)

The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet) (1957)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

94

liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 47,020

My Rating

Movie Info

In medieval Sweden, a knight returns from war only to find a ravaged homeland. He meets up with a group of travelling players and eventually confronts the embodiment of death with whom he engages in a game of chess.

Nov 17, 2009

Janus Films

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Latest News on The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet)

January 21, 2009:
Ingmar Goes to Aspen
How in the world did the former owners of an Aspen theater end up with the (still-disputed) rights...
July 30, 2007:
Through Bergman's Past, Brightly
With the passing of Ingmar Bergman Monday, the world of cinema lost one of its most unique and...

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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (3) | DVD (14)

Bergman's visually striking medieval morality play [was] the work that gained him an international reputation.

July 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Film has superior technical narrative, impressive lensing and thesping.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its view of a seemingly godless landscape in the grip of plague is still bold and frightening.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It survives today only as an unusually pure example of a typical 50s art-film strategy: the attempt to make the most modern and most popular of art forms acceptable to the intelligentsia by forcing it into an arcane, antique mold.

July 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (15)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not only highly impressive but thought-provoking, relevant and intensely moving in our present, nervous, times.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Essentially intellectual, yet emotionally stimulating, too, it is as tough -- and rewarding -- a screen challenge as the moviegoer has had to face this year.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is an unbending breakdown of the human soul, and perhaps one of the finest - and most confrontational - ever made.

August 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

90 minutes of iconic imagery, some deep questions and a surprising amount of humor. This is Art with a capital A, but that doesn't mean it's not entertaining at the same time, which only makes its artistry even greater.

January 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Ingmar Bergman's provocative existential drama was the first to garner him great international attention.

June 16, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Symbolism-filled classic a tough sell for kids.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The Seventh Seal is a film not about the end of time, but the silence between man and God.

September 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Bergman's film about the actual figure of Death is one of his funniest and, ultimately, most hopeful works.

July 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

As a youth, perhaps no other film opened my eyes to the wonderful possibilities of cinema as much as The Seventh Seal.

June 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

I never realized what an astoundingly beautiful film it was.

June 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Swedish cinema titan Ingmar Bergman's mopey/earthy 1957 breakthrough The Seventh Seal may have done more than any other film to popularize and demonize the notion of world cinema as the boutique of the cultural intelligentsia.

June 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comments (4)
Slant Magazine

Perhaps no one film speaks more fully to the human condition than The Seventh Seal. [Blu-ray]

June 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

still spiritually resonates today

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

The Seventh Seal is an existentialist masterpiece packed with stunning symbolism and mordant humour. It's also far more accessible that you might think. Go see it. Or else.

July 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

A cinematic masterpiece no film fan should miss.

July 20, 2007 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper
thelondonpaper

Bergman's superbly shot wintry images, much like those of a silent film, print themselves indelibly on the mind, while the Knight's search for a God who never answers foreshadows the pessimism of the director's later work.

July 20, 2007 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Not a friendly film, but in the consciousness of suffering, the search for meaning and the acceptance of death, all (or nearly all) of Bergman is in it.

July 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

Guaranteed to thunder on the big screen.

July 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Audience Reviews for The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet)

Ingmar Bergman , 1918 - 2007
October 21, 2008
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Masterful picture directed by Ingmar Berman, The Seventh Seal explores themes in such a way that it makes you reflect. With striking images, incredible acting, The Seventh Seal is an accomplished work of drama, a film that resonates as one of the finest in the genre. Ingmar Bergman is a phenomenal director, and he uses the simplest of ideas to make a film. With this picture we get that and the subject he tackles is one that captivates the viewer and raises questions as well. That's the best type of film, a film that can make a viewer think about the film's message, and with the Seventh Seal we have a film that explores an idea, and evokes questions. Not only that, it tells a profound story, one that challenges views on death. Brilliantly constructed by Bergman, the film manages to be a stunning piece of cinema that can resonate with the viewer. I've seen my fair share of foreign films, and I would say that The Seventh Seal is a fine accomplishment in film, and Ingmar Bergman manages to create something captivating due to its subject. If you enjoy thoughtful films, then The Seventh Seal is a picture not to be missed. The film is steadily paced, and it works well due to its acting, story and direction, and Bergman is able to make something grand with the basic aspects of filmmaking techniques. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and if you enjoy a though provoking drama, The Seventh Seal works well, and is an engaging picture from start to finish. I thought that this film was wonderful, and is a definite classic of cinema.
July 13, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

For its time, Ingmar Bergman's iconic "The Seventh Seal" was revolutionary for its blatancy in showing the absence of God but the presence of Death. Much of what comprises this film; is not what those who know of it would attribute to it, visually speaking. Most people can only think about the visual of a knight on a beach, just back from the Crusades, the ocean suddenly silenced when a dark figure reveals himself on the horizon. It is Death, cloaked all in black, his white washed face standing out against the backdrop of pure nature. They play a game of chess for the knight's life, and so the film begins. Past that most people don't know much about this film. For one thing, there is very little chess featured in this film. For another, the knight has a comrade who he travels with. They go through the countryside, where the Plague has laid siege to all peoples. Everyone has become mad and frightened at the prospect of death, and belies religion's influence for some help in the matter of their mortality. A large amount of people believe in the religious fervor that is sweeping the countryside, and lend themselves to self-abuse, crucifixions, and murder. Others try to steal from the dead and help themselves through the devastation of the illness. Everyone seems to be trying to find answers to why there is war, poverty, and illness when God is supposed to protect them from their woes. A girl is captured and confesses to consorting with the Devil, which she says brought about the plague. She is only an innocent, content in turning from her God because of his absence, but not really a conspirer with evil. The film encourages exploration and takes a step back from theology by showing the very evils it inflicted in the past. Still, there is a call for people to also keep their faith in the face of Death, even while he's playing chess across from you. There's also a young couple who are very friendly and giving, and their fates are sealed thanks to their faith and love for one another. Bergman may not have known the infinitesimal questions that come from exploring your own doubt and frustrations with life. Though Bergman continually questioned himself in his later films, there is never an answer, only the freedom to question at all. Bergman went on to make films that were much subtler and less apt to rest itself on thoughtful images, but this was the start of his career and the first instant of his genius. If anything it should be commended for its innovation to film and the questions it raises.
December 3, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

One cannot deny the unsettling and polarizing power of this Ingmar Bergman classic. The haunting visuals alone are enough to send chills through one's spine, not to mention the weighty subject matter. The stoic knight's chess match with death will surely be the most memorable sequence in the film, closely followed by the anti-climactic, macabre ending shot. I had no qualms with the movie's heavy religious discussion, as one can easily identify with Mr. Bergman's spiritual disillusionment. Structurally, however, I was disappointed. I felt that "The Seventh Seal" plodded along without much aim, the uncompromising subject matter weighing it down even further. Some of the acting was rather shoddy, and the film never reached any sort of satisfying resolution (which was obviously the point, but I digress).
November 6, 2012
Kristijonas Fussman

Super Reviewer

    1. The Knight Antonius Block: Is it so terribly inconceivable to comprehend God with one's senses? Why does he hide in a cloud of half-promises and unseen miracles? How can we believe in the faithful when we lack faith? What will happen to us who want to believe, but can not? What about those who neither want to nor can believe? Why can't I kill God in me? Why does He live on in me in a humiliating way - despite my wanting to evict Him from my heart? Why is He, despite all, a mocking reality I can't be rid of?
    – Submitted by Kevin L (2 years ago)
    1. Death: You won't get off that EASY.
    – Submitted by Paul M (2 years ago)
    1. The Knight Antonius Block: I want knowledge! Not faith, not assumptions, but knowledge. I want God to stretch out His hand, uncover His face and speak to me.
    2. Death: But He remains silent.
    3. The Knight Antonius Block: I call out to Him in the darkness. But it's as if no one was there.
    4. The Knight Antonius Block: Perhaps there isn't anyone.
    – Submitted by Nareg M (2 years ago)
    1. The Girl: It is finished.
    – Submitted by Pete H (2 years ago)
    1. The Knight Antonius Block: No man can live faced with death, knowing everything's nothingness.
    – Submitted by Zbigniew Z (2 years ago)
    1. Jons: If everything is imperfect in this world, love is perfect in its imperfection.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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