Best Movies by Farr

The Seventh Seal

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What's it About

Returning home from the Crusades to find his country wracked with plague and misery, 14th-century knight Antonius (Von Sydow) concludes that God does not exist. At the height of his despair, the wandering Antonius is visited by Death (Ekerot). Hoping to forestall the inevitable, Antonius invites the black-cloaked figure to play a game of chess, agreeing to accompany the Grim Reaper if he loses. Visited by a parade of believers and nonbelievers over the course of the game, Antonius and Death immerse themselves in philosophical debates about belief, existence, and the nature of good and evil.

Why we love it

One of the most influential films ever made, Bergman's "Seal" is a mesmerizing, apocalyptic allegory whose universal themes and striking beauty — beautifully captured in Allen Ekelund's magnificent black-and-white photography — continue to inspire reverence. Bergman regulars Gunnar Bjornstrand, Bibi Andersson, and Nils Poppe are sensational in supporting roles, while the long-faced Von Sydow makes a perfectly dour, disillusioned knight. With its witches and flagellants, madmen and plague victims, Bergman's "Seal" is filled with all manner of fascinating images, capped by a dance-with-Death finale you'll never forget.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"