Ingmar Bergman






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The Seventh Seal (Sjunde inseglet, Det) UK Dvd (1957)
S W E D I S H  C I N E M A


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    Single Disc [2001]

  • Format: Black & White, PAL
  • Language: Swedish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG

  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Sep 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes



    Special Jury Prize - CANNES, 1957


1957, 96 MINS, BW, SWEDEN


  • Director: Ingmar Bergman
  • Writer: Ingmar Bergman (also play Trämålning (Sculpture in Wood)
  • Release Date: 13 October 1958 (USA)

    CAST:

  • Gunnar Björnstrand ... Jöns, squire
  • Bengt Ekerot ... Death
  • Nils Poppe ... Jof
  • Max von Sydow ... Antonius Block
  • Bibi Andersson ... Mia, Jof's wife
  • Inga Gill ... Lisa, blacksmith's wife
  • Maud Hansson ... Witch
  • Inga Landgré ... Karin, Block's Wife
  • Gunnel Lindblom ... Girl
  • Bertil Anderberg ... Raval
  • Anders Ek ... The Monk
  • Åke Fridell ... Blacksmith Plog
  • Gunnar Olsson ... Albertus Pictor, Church Painter
  • Erik Strandmark ... Jonas Skat

    (Svensk Filmindustri (SF))


The Black Death is wiping out the population of Europe as Antonius Block, a knight, returns disillusioned from the Crusades. Death appears before him, but asking for a chance to live he proposes a game of chess, whilst around him society collapses and religion becomes fervent and zealous. Long acclaimed as a cinematic masterpiece, The Seventh Seal is a stunning allegory of man´s search for meaning in life.

Spoofed by Woody Allen, Bill and Ted (on their Bogs Journey) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Last Action Hero, this is an undoubted masterpiece of world cinema. While this is a highly personal film, in which director Ingmar Bergman (the son of the chaplain of the Swedish royal family) resolves his own doubts about the existence of God, it will leave even the most cynical filled with optimism.


Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow), a knight, returns from a 10-year crusade with his squire, Jons (Gunnar Bjornstrand), 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 Jons 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.


    seventh seal



A medieval knight (Max von Sydow) returning to Sweden from the Crusades finds a land ravaged by the Black Death and hysteria. A demented monk has inspired a cult for self-flagellation; witches, blamed for the plague, are tortured and burnt. As he progresses through this horrifying, devastated country the knight treats each encounter as another step on his path towards knowledge of God and His relationship with man.

The classic centrepiece of the film (which takes its title from the Book of Revelations) is the game of chess which von Sydow plays with Death and which he uses to win himself a reprieve, to gain time wherein to come to terms with God and the remnants of his own faith.

Over the whole of this sombre, brooding film there seems to hang the threat of an even greater disaster waiting to happen, the dreadful Day of Judgement itself.

Clearly influenced by early religious paintings and filling the screen with astounding images of lust, beauty and cruelty, Bergman evoked a marvellous sense of period, of the hardship and squalor of medieval life. Yet there is an allegorical side to the story, too. The plague, the awful possibility of something worse, spoke clearly to a modern generation living in fear of the nuclear bomb. Despite the denouement, in which the knight tricks Death by sacrificing himself to save the two believers, the travelling player and his wife who are perhaps the only hopeful characters in the film, The Seventh Seal is a bleak vision of man's destiny, but so superbly and grippingly made that it instantly established its director's reputation as one of the most significant figures in world cinema.


Filming Locations:


    Östanå, Österåker, Stockholms län, Sweden
    Viby, Sigtuna, Stockholms län, Sweden
    Svensk Filmindustri, Filmstaden, Råsunda, Stockholms län, Sweden (studio)
    Solna, Stockholms län, Sweden
    Skytteholm, Solna, Stockholms län, Sweden
    Skevik, Värmdö, Stockholms län, Sweden
    Hovs Hallar - Naturreservat, Skåne län, Sweden
    Gustavsberg, Värmdö, Stockholms län, Sweden


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Official UK release.


Dvd Features:


    ~ Main Language: Swedish
    ~ Available Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital
    ~ Sub Titles: English
    ~ Disc Format: DVD 5
    ~ Star And Director Filmographies
    ~ Scene Selection
    ~ Film Notes
    ~ The Bergman Collection Trailer


Condition: Used.


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P H O T O  S T I L L S



seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan


seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan


seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan


seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan


seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan


seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan


seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan


seventh seal


THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

© Tartan





Price: £49.99 (UK Sterling) (UK / Europe / Australia Postage Inclusive)

This Dvd probaly won't work on Dvd players from outside the countries listed above. If you are outside these countries please e-mail before ordering to confirm that you know you can play this Dvd.

Dec. 16: back in stock. 'Used - very good'. All these Bergman titles are hard to find titles and I've had to look hard and pay top price just to get a couple on the market - hence the price.

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