Where to Watch "The Seventh Seal"


Directed by

Ingmar Bergman

Lila Sommers
Lila Sommers
· 6 min read

Who's in it?

Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow

Bengt Ekerot

Bengt Ekerot

Gunnar Björnstrand

Gunnar Björnstrand

Nils Poppe

Nils Poppe

Bibi Andersson

Bibi Andersson

Inga Landgré

Inga Landgré

Åke Fridell

Åke Fridell

Inga Gill

Inga Gill

Maud Hansson

Maud Hansson

Gunnel Lindblom

Gunnel Lindblom

"The Seventh Seal", directed by the legendary Ingmar Bergman and released in 1957, is a cinematic masterpiece that delves into profound themes of life, death, and the human condition. Set against the backdrop of the Black Death in Europe, this Swedish historical fantasy film remains one of the most iconic works in world cinema.


The narrative follows a medieval knight named Antonius Block and his squire Jöns as they return to Sweden after fighting in the Crusades, only to find their country ravaged by plague and fear of the end times.

Block, disillusioned and questioning the existence of God, is confronted by Death on a beach. In an attempt to delay his fate and seek answers to his existential questions, Block challenges Death to a game of chess.

As the game progresses, the film introduces a series of characters, each representing different facets of humanity. These include a family of traveling actors, a self-flagellating procession, and other individuals grappling with the realities of mortality and faith.

The narrative beautifully intertwines these characters' stories with the ongoing chess match, leading to a haunting and thought-provoking climax.

Cast and Characters:

  • Antonius Block (Max von Sydow): A knight returning from the Crusades, Block is a man in deep existential crisis, questioning the silence of God and the meaning of life.
  • Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand): Block's squire, Jöns is more cynical and pragmatic than his master, often providing a contrasting perspective on the events they encounter.
  • Death (Bengt Ekerot): The personification of death, he is calm, methodical, and inescapable. His chess match with Block serves as the film's central metaphor.
  • Mia (Bibi Andersson): A cheerful and optimistic actress who travels with her husband, Joseph, and their infant son. She represents the joys of life and the simple pleasures that contrast with Block's deep introspection.
  • Joseph (Nils Poppe): Mia's husband and a fellow actor, he provides moments of light-heartedness and humor in the film.

Where to Stream

United States (US):

There are currently no streaming offers in the US.

  • For streaming, you can use Max Amazon Channel, Max, and Criterion Channel.
  • For purchasing, options include Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, and Vudu.
  • There are no free options available.

Australia (AU):

There are currently no streaming offers in the AU.

  • There are no streaming options.
  • You can buy from Apple TV.
  • No free options are listed.

United Kingdom (GB):

There are currently no streaming offers in the GB.

  • Streaming is available on BFI Player and BFI Player Amazon Channel.
  • For purchasing, you can use Amazon Video, Apple TV, and Chili.
  • No free options are provided.

Germany (DE):

There are currently no streaming offers in the DE.

  • For streaming, you can use Amazon Arthaus Channel.
  • Purchase options include Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, maxdome Store, and LaCinetek.
  • There are no free options.

Brazil (BR):

There are currently no streaming offers in the BR.

  • Streaming is available on Telecine Play.
  • There are no options to buy.
  • No free options are available.

Spain (ES):

There are currently no streaming offers in the ES.

  • For streaming, you can use Filmin, Movistar Plus, Acontra Plus, and Acontra Plus Amazon Channel.
  • You can buy from Rakuten TV and Acontra Plus.
  • No free options are mentioned.

France (FR):

There are currently no streaming offers in the FR.

  • There are no streaming options.
  • Purchase options include Apple TV, Orange VOD, Canal VOD, Rakuten TV, LaCinetek, Universcine, Amazon Video, and Bbox VOD.
  • No free options are available.

Canada (CA):

There are currently no streaming offers in the CA.

  • Streaming is available on Criterion Channel and Hollywood Suite.
  • Purchase options include Apple TV, Google Play Movies, and YouTube.
  • No free options are listed.

Production Details:

  • Director: Ingmar Bergman, one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of cinema, known for his deep philosophical narratives and unique visual style.
  • Producers: Allan Ekelund
  • Screenplay: Written by Ingmar Bergman himself, the film's script is a reflection of his own struggles with faith and mortality.
  • Filming Locations: The movie was primarily shot in various locations around Sweden, capturing the stark landscapes and medieval settings that contribute to the film's somber atmosphere.
  • Budget and Box Office: While the exact budget of "The Seventh Seal" is not widely documented, the film was made with modest means typical of European art films of the time. Despite this, its impact on cinema has been priceless, with the film gaining immense critical acclaim and influencing countless filmmakers.

Reception and Awards:

Upon its release, "The Seventh Seal" was lauded for its profound exploration of existential themes and its innovative storytelling. Critics praised Bergman's direction, the performances (especially Max von Sydow's portrayal of Antonius Block), and the film's striking imagery.

The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival and has since been regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. It has been studied in film schools, dissected by critics, and celebrated in various retrospectives around the world.

Trivia and Fun Facts:

  • Chess with Death: The iconic scene where Block plays chess with Death has been parodied and referenced in numerous films, TV shows, and other media. It's one of the most recognizable scenes in cinema history.
  • Bergman's Inspiration: Bergman was inspired to write the film after reflecting on his own mortality and reading about the Black Death. The title "The Seventh Seal" is a reference to the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
  • Max von Sydow: This film was a significant boost to von Sydow's career, leading him to become one of the most respected actors in cinema, with a career spanning several decades.
  • Legacy: "The Seventh Seal" has influenced countless filmmakers, including Woody Allen, who often cited Bergman as one of his primary inspirations.
Lila Sommers

About Lila Sommers

Lila is your media maven with a passion for the extraordinary! Spot her at the local bookstore or crafting her own stories on lazy Sunday afternoons. From indie flicks to hidden gem tracks, Lila's knack for weaving words and tunes is unmatched, making her your ultimate companion in the exciting world of media and entertainment.

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