Movies

Max von Sydow, a giant of the seventh art in six films

He was one of the favorite actors of director Ingmar Bergman. The Franco-Swedish actor Max von Sydow died at the age of 90. Back on 70 years of career.

1“The Seventh Seal” by Ingmar Bergman (1957)

The Seventh Seal seals a long and fruitful collaboration between Max von Sydow and the immense filmmaker, Sudéois like him, Ingmar Bergman. The actor plays a knight returning from the crusade, in the midst of an epidemic of plague, who plays a game of chess with death. This role takes off his career.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZKZrmW2GeI (/ embed)
Youtube

2“La Source” by Ingmar Bergman (1960)

Bergman finds Max von Sydow notably in Source which adapts a Swedish legend from the 14th century. The actor plays Töre, the father of a young girl raped and killed by two shepherds under the eyes of a boy. Töre discovers the culprits and kills them out of revenge. Repented, he promises to build a chapel where his daughter was killed. At the location where his body was found, a source miraculously sprang.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFYD70VRL2U (/ embed)
Carlotta Films

3“The Exorcist” by William Friedkin (1973)

Director William Friedkin was determined to have the film’s exorcist priest interpreted by Bergman’s favorite actor. But he also chose Max von Sydow because he interpreted Pinter's plays a lot, which was the major reference of the American director in his early days. He is made up to be over the age of 60 in the film, when he was only thirty years old at the time of filming.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V-Ui69hDpA (/ embed)

4“The Three Days of the Condor” by Syney Pollack (1975)

The success of The Exorcist opens the doors of Hollywood to Max von Sydow who is given a role in The three days of the condor by Sydney Pollack, alongside Robert Redford, then in full glory. The Swedish actor plays Joubert, a relentless but philosopher killer, who poses the existential question of the killer in American society. Max von Sydow will not stop shooting for the big studios, until in Star Wars – The Force Awakens in 2015.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo_3nBRgWZU (/ embed)
Youtube

5“Pelle the Conqueror” by Bille August (1987)

With an international reputation, but above all an actor from the cold, Max von Sydow plays in the Danish film Shovel the conqueror Lassefar, the old father of a young boy whom he takes from Sweden to Denmark thinking of making a fortune there, but quickly overtaken by hostility towards migrants. Bille August's film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987, which also presented an “mention for the exceptional contribution of Max von Sydow“.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8BVaJjnOg8 (/ embed)
Youtube

6“Minority Report” by Steven Spielberg (2002)

Among the many fantasy and science fiction films in which Max von Sydow participated (when he had no particular affinity with the genre) is Minority Report by Steven Spielberg who adapts the new eponym of Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner). The Swedish actor plays Lamar Burgess, the director of the Washington anti-criminal cell who has the ability to prevent crimes before their execution. He will protect his agent Jon Anderton (Tom Cruise), who falls under the yoke of a Justice Department envoy played by Colin Farrell.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvS7X6Zik1c (/ embed)

Bonus: “Games of Thrones” by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (2016)

Warning: the video below reveals intrigue elements of season 6 of Game Of Thrones

In addition to his film career, Max von Sydow worked for television, initially for Ingmar Bergman (Herr sleeman kommer, Rabies). He plays in particular in The adventures of the young Indiana Jones by George Lucas (1992) and Radetzky's march (1995), historic mini-series by Gernot Roll and Axel Corti. Its last appearance on the small screen is not the least: in the sixth season of the successful series Game Of Thrones, he plays the Crow with Three Eyes, a powerful and mysterious character who will guide the young Bran Stark.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KUsNFY5idE (/ embed)

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