Max Von Sydow plays chess with death in ‘The Seventh Seal’
Max von Sydow (right) plays a game of chess with death (portrayed by Bengt Ekerot) in the 1957 film The Seventh Seal. The film was directed by Ingmar Bergman. Max von Sydow plays Antonius Block, a medieval knight on his way back from the Crusades who delays death by challenging it to a game of chess, all in the midst of a plague. (Spoiler: Death wins, as usual.) This particular image of von Sydow playing chess with death has become the signature image of The Seventh Seal, which was one of the most famous arthouse films of the 1950s.