The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman, 1957

The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman, 1957, at around 00:55:00

[UPDATE – July 15, 2011] I corrected the release date. The film was first released in Sweden in 1957 and in the United-States in 1958. See “Film Facts” for The Seventh Seal at The Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

I know of at least three different English translations for this film. The one quoted above (from an HD copy, maybe the Criterion Collection edition?), another one from various scripts available online and and old one I remember from memory (I guess either from a 35mm screening or from a VHS copy).

In various scripts available online, the same sequence goes like this:

Faith is a torment, did you know that? It is like loving someone who is out there in the darkness but never appears, no matter how loudly you call.

See for example the Internet Movie Script Database. There’s also various versions of the same script going around (see for instance this PDF and this PDF).

However, I’m familiar with yet another version of the quote, quite different. It goes like this:

To believe is to suffer. It is like loving someone in the dark who never answers.

A quick Google search shows it’s much more popular in that form.

Perhaps it’s because the later version is older and the ones depicted in the stills as well as in the scripts are much newer. The newer version may be the one produced for the Criterion Collection edition (DVD and Blu-ray) as they claim to offer a “New and improved English subtitle translation”.

Below is the cover design for the new Criterion edition (DVD + Blu-ray):

Design for DVD and Blu-ray editions of Ingmar Bergman's film The Seventh Seal (The Criterion Collection)

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In Bergman’s film, “faith is a torment”. Compare with Woody Allen’s Match Point (2005) where one character says “I think that faith is the path of least resistance” (previously).


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