58 – The Seventh Seal

Welcome to The Best Movies I’ve Never Seen! This is the part of the blog where I work my way through 100 films I’ve never seen that are generally considered to be great. You’re invited to watch along with me if you can find a copy or find it streaming. So grab some popcorn and let’s get started!

The Seventh Seal


Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Quick synopsis… Exhausted and disillusioned, a medieval knight makes the journey home after years of combat in the Crusades. But when the black-robed figure of Death confronts him, the knight challenges him to a game of chess.

Bergman… again…? Already?

It feels like I just watched one of his. Actually, it feels like I just watched two…

Okay… Persona was way back in July. But Wild Strawberries was just at the beginning of October. And that’s with taking a break for a few weeks because I couldn’t access the movies I needed to watch while I was housesitting. And, as I recall, I didn’t much care for those films.

I’ve said it’s because the various works of Ingmar Bergman are well above my pay grade. I never went to film school. As much as I love movies, I’ve never claimed to be a learned scholar when it comes to these classics. I just know what I like. And what I don’t…

I was actually looking forward to finally watching The Seventh Seal because it has such a reputation as a timeless classic. I mean, this is the movie that gives us Death personified playing chess against a man whose life is pretty much on the line. Personally, I’d rather sit through Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey again and watch those two face Death in chess, Battleship, and Twister.

To say The Seventh Seal is without merit would be ignorant, though. It has obviously had a profound impact and influence on filmmakers throughout the years. I mean, the Bill & Ted sequel is just one example and isn’t even mentioned in the Wikipedia article on this film.

Considering the subject matter, I find The Seventh Seal to be really depressing. Iconic actor Max von Sydow plays a knight who has returned to Sweden following his involvement in the Crusades. He discovers the country has been ravaged by the black plague. While the knight challenges Death to a game of chess, we find that Death, actually, is all around.

Having now seen The Seventh Seal, it ranks at 999 out of 2,279 films on my personal Flickchart list.

Have you seen The Seventh Seal? What did you think of this particular Bergman classic? Did I, once again, judge too harshly in my ignorance of film as fine art? Let me know what you think in the comments below!


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