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Press Release Criterion Press Release: The Seventh Seal (1957) (4k UHD) (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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Returning exhausted from the Crusades to find medieval Sweden gripped by the Plague, a knight (Max von Sydow) suddenly comes face-to-face with the hooded figure of Death, and challenges him to a game of chess. As the fateful game progresses, and the knight and his squire encounter a gallery of outcasts from a society in despair, Ingmar Bergman mounts a profound inquiry into the nature of faith and the torment of mortality. One of the most influential films of its time, The Seventh Seal is a stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning and a work of stark visual poetry.
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FILM INFO​

  • Sweden
  • 1957
  • 97 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • Swedish
  • Spine #11

4K UHD + BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES​

  • 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • One 4K UHD disc of the film and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
  • Introduction from 2003 by director Ingmar Bergman
  • Audio commentary and video afterword by Bergman expert Peter Cowie
  • Bergman Island (2006), a feature-length documentary on Bergman by Marie Nyreröd
  • Audio interview from 1998 with actor Max von Sydow
  • Tribute to Bergman from 1989 by filmmaker Woody Allen
  • Bergman 101, a selected video filmography tracing Bergman’s career, narrated by Cowie
  • Trailer
  • Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Gary Giddins

    Cover by Neil Kellerhouse


    April 18, 2023
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. As an Amazon Associate, HTF earns from qualifying purchases. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

 
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jayembee

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As I said elsewhere, I expected that Criterion would eventually upgrade this to UHD, but I already have the BFI UHD (and all the extras from other Criterion Bergman releases).
 

Konstantinos

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I have never seen this film and it's supposed to be a classic!
I guess I should watch it before purchasing it.
 

Wayne_j

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I've never seen this, but this 4K release would give me a good excuse to do so.
 

Patrick McCart

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The 4K restoration used for Ingmar Bergman's Cinema looks amazing for Blu, so this should be a stunner. Kind of wish they could have finally added De Duva as an extra since it deserves a video release!
 

titch

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I have the BFI 4K UHD and it is much better at resolving the grain than the blu-ray was able to.

This is one of my key films. I see The Seventh Seal as often as I see Casablanca, and it resonates deeper and deeper with me as I age. I saw the Criterion blu-ray from the box-set, together with some close friends, as our last film, in the beginning of March 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the world shut down. It was an incredibly powerful experience to feel the encroaching apocalypse outside and draw parallells with the characters in Bergman's first masterpiece. The themes are just as relevant today, as they were when Bergman made this.

Peter Cowie's commentary on the Criterion is one of the very best commentaries recorded.
 

Angelo Colombus

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One of the reasons i got into laserdiscs back in the mid 1990's was Criterion releasing films like this masterpiece of cinema. Still have the laser on my shelf.
 

Keith Cobby

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I have the BFI 4K UHD and it is much better at resolving the grain than the blu-ray was able to.

This is one of my key films. I see The Seventh Seal as often as I see Casablanca, and it resonates deeper and deeper with me as I age. I saw the Criterion blu-ray from the box-set, together with some close friends, as our last film, in the beginning of March 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the world shut down. It was an incredibly powerful experience to feel the encroaching apocalypse outside and draw parallells with the characters in Bergman's first masterpiece. The themes are just as relevant today, as they were when Bergman made this.

Peter Cowie's commentary on the Criterion is one of the very best commentaries recorded.
Agreed. The only way Casablanca could be improved would have been the inclusion of chess, imagine Bogart and Rains playing!
 

Ronald Epstein

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I have never seen this film and it's supposed to be a classic!
I guess I should watch it before purchasing it.

Yes, you should see it.

It took me many years to finally purchase and watch THE SEVENTH SEAL by the time it was released on Blu-ray.

I finally watched it because I had always been struck by that iconic image of death sitting at a chessboard. I would say it's easily one of the most iconic and most recognizable images for anyone familiar with film history.

The film itself does not disappoint. It has been about two years since I first watched it so my memory is a little hazy at this point, but I remember it to be beautifully written and filmed as well as rather haunting. It was unlike anything I had seen before.

And, while Max Von Sydow died only a few short years ago, as I watched him in THE FORCE AWAKENS, I couldn't believe this was the same guy I had recently seen in THE SEVENTH SEAL. Then, you look even further back on his career and become amazed at the characters he brought to film including that of Ming in FLASH GORDON or as an elderly priest in THE EXORCIST (he was only 44 years old at the time). He was one of the most admired actors of our time.
 

jayembee

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And, while Max Von Sydow died only a few short years ago, as I watched him in THE FORCE AWAKENS, I couldn't believe this was the same guy I had recently seen in THE SEVENTH SEAL. Then, you look even further back on his career and become amazed at the characters he brought to film including that of Ming in FLASH GORDON or as an elderly priest in THE EXORCIST (he was only 44 years old at the time). He was one of the most admired actors of our time.

Don't forget his playing the Chief Judge in Judge Dredd (1995). Or Brewmeister Smith in Strange Brew. :D

But seriously, I think he's the best actor I've ever seen. He makes everything seem so...effortless.
 

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