The Seventh Seal: 50th Anniversary Edition (1957)
Wednesday 4th July 2007
One of the greatest films ever made, The Seventh Seal, released by Tartan Video as a 50th Anniversary Digitally Remastered Edition on 27th August 2007, has inspired an endless number of filmmakers over five decades. Now, fifty years on, it has been remastered in all its cinematic glory for the 21st century.
Its classic scene with Max Von Sydow playing chess with the Grim Reaper has left its indelible mark on memory. Set in the Middle Ages at the time of the Black Death, it remains a powerful allegory for man's search for the meaning of life. The battle-wearied knight Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow) returns from the Crusades, disillusioned by his experiences. When Death appears, he challenges him to a game of chess to determine his fate. As the game progresses, it takes its toll on the troupe he's protecting, and with the threat of imminent destruction, the fate of the entire community is at stake.
The Seventh Seal marks the emergence of the Swedish master of cinema, Ingmar Bergman, who has influenced directors as diverse as Woody Allen, Terry Gilliam, Spielberg and Michael Winterbottom. The scenes of the chess match and the Dance of Death have even found affectionate parodies in Monty Python, Bill's and Ted's Bogus Journey and even French & Saunders.
It's a film that explores Bergman's own crisis of faith at a time but equally, it was made at a fearful era when the shadow of atomic war offered chilling prospects for the future of mankind. It also helped launch the international career of Max Von Sydow, who has gone on to appear in The Exorcist, Flash Gordon and Minority Report. Originally released in 1957, the film has been digitally remastered for this DVD release and include an English-dubbed soundtrack option, available for the first time in the UK. The Seventh Seal remains one of the most influential films and The Guardian includes it as one of the 1000 films you must see before you die. A timeless masterpiece.
- None or TBC
Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.