First, many happy returns to the incomparable Max von Sydow, who celebrates his 83d today.
Second, who is not still traumatized by the first big Ingmar Bergman film we saw – The Seventh Seal -in which von Sydow as the knight who challenges death to a game of chess?
Von Sydow, who made 11 films with Bergman, refused all Hollywood offers until 1965, when he accepted the part of Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told. Since then he’s played priests, assassins and – frequently – the Mysterious Man who may be God or Satan or whoever. Most recently he co-stars in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Here he is in The Exorcist: