I can’t run my site without doing this.
On March 8, 2020 legendary actor Max von Sydow passed away at the age of 90. This one hits home to me as he was one of my favorite actors. He was in both classic and modern era of film and not many actors can say that they had incredible careers like that. He also was in two of my favorite movies of all time, which I will get to in just a second. Max von Sydow, you’re going to be missed.
von Sydow started off like most actors did in that era, theater groups. He was in a Swedish theatrical group starting in the 1940’s after military service. 1949 he made his screen debut in Only A Mother. He would go on to be part of many different theater groups until he met Ingmar Bergman in 1955. His debut with Bergman was in 1957 in The Seventh Seal, one of my all-time favorite movies. He portrays Antonius Block, an exhausted knight coming back home from many years battling in the Crusades. On his way home he encounters Death who he challenges to a game of chess. von Sydow’s performance is my favorite performance that I’ve seen on film. I get so invested into it that I can’t get enough of it.
von Sydow would continue to work with Bergman for a total of eleven films. It wasn’t until 1965 where he portrayed Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told that international audiences got to see his line of work. In 1973 he stared in The Exorcist, my favorite horror film. He portrayed Father Merrin. von Sydow was only in his forties at the time of filming, but the makeup work was phenomenal to make him look older. The 1980’s he was busy in works like Conan The Barbarian and Dune, both visually interesting movies along with many others.
In the later years of his life, he would still be busy in smaller roles. I remember when I saw him in Shutter Island and The Force Awakens, I got excited seeing him in those films, even if the parts were small. He was even was on Game Of Thrones, which he received an Emmy nomination. He was nominated for two Academy Awards, but never won.
All I can say is what an incredible career. Not many people can say that they worked in a classic and modern era of film. I hope you all check out some of his films, especially his earlier ones. I have reviewed The Seventh Seal for this site. That is the one movie that I would recommend if you want to see him at the top of his game.