Jun 122023

The Seventh Seal comes to 4K Ultra HD from The Criterion Collection. Among the Swedish cast, it includes veteran actor, Max von Sydow. Features include an audio commentary, documentary and more.


The Seventh Seal
— The Criterion Collection —

Genre(s): Historical Fantasy
The Criterion Collection | NR – 97 min. – $49.95 | April 18, 2023

Date Published: 06/12/2023 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Writer(s): Ingmar Bergman (screenplay)
Cast: Gunnar Bjornstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe, Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Inga Gill

Features: Commentary, Introduction, Featurette, Interviews, Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: Swedish (PCM 1.0)
Video: 2160p/Full Frame 1.37
Dynamic Range: None
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

The Criterion Collection provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


When disillusioned Swedish knight Antonius Block (MAX VON SYDOW) returns home from the Crusades to find his country in the grips of the Black Death, he challenges Death (BENGT EKROT) to a chess match for his life. Tormented by the belief that God does not exist, Block sets off on a journey, meeting up with traveling players Jof (NILS POPPE) and his wife, Mia (BIB ANDERSSON), and becoming determined to evade Death long enough to commit one redemptive act while he still lives.



This two-disc release comes housed in a wide HD keep case and inside a booklet. Features include: an Introduction by Ingmar Bergman from 2003; Audio Commentary and Video Afterward by Bergman expert Peter Cowie; Bergman Island is a lengthy documentary on Bergman by journalist Marie Nyrerod; an Audio Interview with Actor Max von Sydow from 1998; a Tribute to Bergman from 1989 from filmmaker Woody Allen; Bergman 101, a selected video filmography tracing Bergman’s career; and last is the Trailer.



VIDEO – 5/5, AUDIO – 4¾/5

The Seventh Seal comes to 4K Ultra HD from The Criterion Collection, having previously been released on Blu-ray in 2009. This one received a 4K digital restoration and as mentioned in the booklet, this was undertaken by the Swedish Film Institute, a 4K scan of the 35 mm original camera negative. As it is, this is an excellent looking transfer, detail is sharp throughout while the black and white contrast is stark without appearing crushed or overly bright.

The disc comes with a Swedish language LPCM Mono track outputting good depth even through a singular speaker with dialogue coming across strong and nicely balanced and no discernible pops or hisses.


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