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The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal PG rating

Ingmar Bergman’s best-known film is a brilliant allegorical drama starring Max von Sydow as a knight trying to elude his own death.

Fantasy 1957 96 mins

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Overview

Vividly recreating a medieval world tormented by plague and superstition, Ingmar Bergman’s allegorical drama – centred on a knight (von Sydow), returned from the Crusades, who challenges Death to a game of chess in order to postpone his demise – remains fascinating (and finally rather touching) as a study of faith in crisis. Packed with powerful images, it punctuates its bleakness with moments of pleasingly pawky humour.

While the film's famous sequences have been parodied by the likes of French and Saunders and Bill and Ted, The Seventh Seal remains one of the must-see masterworks of world cinema, a Jury Prize winner at Cannes Film Festival upon its release and a mainstay of the Sight and Sound Greatest Films poll ever since.