|Copyright 1932 Universal Pictures
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'
- Helen - Girl who might be a bit cuckoo since she has a doctor of the occult as a physician.
- Frank - Dashing young lad working to further the sum of human knowledge and bring prestige to the Empire of Britain, I can almost hear "God Save the Queen" playing.
- Dr. Muller - Strange man that has spent his years gathering information about all sorts of dark and evil rites.
- Sir Joseph - Frank's father, doubtful of speculation and all this mummy nonsense. Until the undead priest uses magic to crush the very breath from his chest, that is.
- The Nubian - Servant to the good and kind Englishmen, but an unwilling thrall to the mummy.
- Imhotep - Boris Karloff! A high priest who was resurrected from his damned existence and now walks the streets of Cairo as the enigmatic "Ardath Bey." Punished by the ethereal powers for his transgressions.
|Evil is such a relative term, often depending on how it affects us. Many of the classic horror novels (and so the Universal films) explored the results of one or another indiscretion.
Poor Imhotep was horribly punished for attempting to revive his lost love, an Egyptian princess who died young. He was caught trying to use the sacred Scroll of Thoth to resurrect her body and submits to his punishment with a marked hopelessness. We are not talking about any ordinary implementation of Capital Punishment either. They wrap him alive in bandages, then desecrate his sarcophagus so the soul can never find the afterlife. Either way, he suffocated - a terrible fate. All this to someone who didn't commit murder nor rape, just offended the sensibilities of zealots enforcing the (interpreted) will of their gods. The crime is as gray as the film which portrays it.
The story has a fantastic beginning, with Sir Joseph and his assistant examining the latest finds of their museum's expedition. Imhotep's mummy and a gilded box are the real prizes, the characters believe the latter might even contain the fabled Scroll of Thoth. While Sir Joseph is away the assistant unwittingly awakens the mummy by performing part of the scroll's incantation and is driven completely mad by what he sees.
Cut to present day Egypt (where present day = 1932) and Frank's despair that his expedition has found little to further the museum's fame. Out of the blue a slightly sinister man provides the researchers with clues to finding a tomb which has not yet been plundered. That man is Ardath Bey and the tomb is of his long dead princess.
The cursed priest discovers his love's spirit no longer dwells in her desiccated mummy and instead has traveled down through the ages to become Helen. Can Frank's attentions and Dr. Muller's knowledge of the occult keep her from joining Imhotep, or will she die beneath his sacrificial knife to rise as his again?
They made great use of just how spooky Karloff could look, including several eerie shots of his eyes, glaring directly at the camera. Overall the only problem is that the plot seems to wander around during the middle, plus I would've loved to have seen more of Karloff as the actual mummy.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Playing with the vestal virgins is a no-no.
- Mummies come with their own fingerprinting kits.
- English debutantes are all descendants of Egyptian royalty.
- Heart attacks are caused by the last priest you annoyed.
- Dogs hate embalmed people.
- Dried carcasses make great bonfires.
- Mummies probably spend a fortune on skin moisturizing creams.
- 6 mins - I don't think curses have a "best if used by" date.
- 8 mins - This is the sort of man that you do not leave a freshly baked pie around.
- 21 mins - Since when did the British work for science and not loot?
- 43 mins - Frank is taking his father's death very well.
- 52 mins - No way, I'd be kicking and screaming!
- Helen: "Do you have to open graves to find girls to fall in love with?"
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Dr. Muller: "Look, the sacred spells which protect the soul in its journey to the underworld have been chipped off the coffin. So Imhotep was sentenced to death not only in this world, but in the next."
||Ardath: "You have studied our ancient arts and know that you can not harm me. You also know that you must return that scroll to me, or die."
||Dr. Muller: "If I could get my hands on you, I'd break your dried flesh to pieces!"
||Helen: "Save me from that mummy, it's dead! Save me!"
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Sir Joseph, Dr. Muller, and the soon-to-be-very-insane assistant are all discussing the horrible death Imhotep was put to during this scene.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by BoyScoutKevin
Yes, if one enjoyed the 199's version of "The Mummy." one ought to enjoy this one. Not the first full length feature. That would be "Lord John in New York" (1915), or the first feature with sound. That would be the Disney short "Egyptian
Melodies" (1931), but the first full length feature with sound. And since that time, there has never been anything better with a mummy in it. 67 years later, still contains one of the best lines ever uttered in a horror film. When asked, where the missing mummy went, Ralph Norton (Bramwell Fletcher), the soon to be very crazy assistant, replies: "He
went for a little walk." ROTFL. Enjoy.
Reply #2. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Paul Westbrook
Boris Karloff's THE MUMMY(1931), was a classic of it's genre. Many a scene evokes terror, and dread. When Karloff first appears as the bandage-clad Im-ho-tep,it is truly a chilling moment, in screen history. Although, he is still best remembered, as the Frankenstein Monster, in James Whale's 1931 version, this movie also established Karloff, as the undisputed KING OF TERROR. I strongly recommend this film, for those fans, who simply want to be scared. Also, see FRANKENSTEIN(1931). Neither film will disappoint you.
Reply #3. Posted on March 28, 2001, 05:02:05 PM by Georgiann
Not sure why this is included on a bad movie site, this is simply a classic. The most atmospheric of the mummy movies, with a real feeling of decay and dread.
Reply #4. Posted on May 06, 2001, 10:27:21 PM by Karlofffan
This movie is great! Very creepy and atmospheric. It really is a scary movie.
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Swamprat
BAD? Once upon a time there was a particular type of movie that was quite popular in Hollywood...It was called the HORROR FILM. Alas...this art is all but dead. Most everyone, if they've been in the military in particular, know that the most dangerous weapon on earth is the human mind. Going one step deeper into that eternal truth is the fact that, though dangerous, it's also very easily jammed. A jammed weapon triggers major panic. In cinamatic terms...screwing with the audiances head can scare the hell outta em quicker than any special effect or graphic whack-n-hack editing can. But...this is America dammit! We don't have to think and most us ain't gonna! Why pay top dollar to a writer or a director with real talent in telling a scary story, when we can just throw in some chopped meat and canned screams and get an audiance to shell out $8.50 a head. Real terror can only be experianced IN THE MIND. You either live through a terrifing moment or ordeal, or somebody with talent places the thought of terror in your brain so realisticly that you're fooled. He destorts the reality so well that the mind is ambushed and WHAM!...the weapon is jammed...PANIC! If he's good, this guy can keep us going for at least the length of a feature film. The Boris Karloff version of the Mummy is a geniune Horror film...one of "Hollywood's" best. Pay attention...and it's scary as hell...if you're looking for those special effects and gore that have been passed off as horror over the past four decades...forget it. Boris Karloff was a very good actor...Jamie Lee Curtis runs around with a bloody butcher knife with bouncing breasts. The Mummy is an other worldly force, a phenomenom, an unexplainable voyeur from deep within the human-supernatural psyche. An idiot in a hockey mask running around with a chainsaw is either an idiot with a chainsaw or a Canadian...or both. All the 1930 horror classics were excellent films...most were very intelligent films...both in craft and writing. The Ghost-Horror story is the oldest form of story telling, and the stories are best heard sitting in the dark with a story teller who knows how to twist and ambush the human mind. The makers of most of these Universal made Horror films understood that. Mood, atmosphere, suspense, surprise...the Mummy delivers it all. The remake owed more to Indiana Jones and Halloween#57 than it did to Karloff. It was a fun movie...but it sure as hell wasn't scary. Why the average American audiance prefers the cheap, cookie cutter imitations of horror films has always eluded me. Are we too lazy to let our brains actually be drawn into this alternate universe? We prefer to just stare at it and laugh or gasp on cue? Watching a Whack-n-hack "horror" movie reminds me of watching reruns of I Love Lucy. Watching George Lucas type effects overpower the whole storyline makes me sit and wonder what the next Star Wars film is going to be like. HEY! I just paid $8.50 to get in here...ain't I supposed to be getting the s**t scared outta me? Watch the original Mummy...then read a good book on Egyptian Occultism...you'll lay awake for hours nervously keeping an eye on every shadow in the room. Now that's worth $8.50.
Reply #6. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by tessai
What is "The mummy" doing on this website .How the heck did it end up in the same place with "Attack of the crabmonsters" and "The bloody blender".This is a classic work of art and it does not deserve such treatment.
I mean yeah write something abot the reamakes with Brendan Frazier and i won't mind but here i must protest.
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Corey
One of the best old horror movies I've seen/own. Although the two remakes (three if you count Scorpion King) had more action, NOTHING can take the place of Karloff's glowing eyes during the close ups. A perfect 10.
Reply #8. Posted on September 18, 2004, 03:16:32 PM by Myron
The 1932 version was my favorite Karloff movie. The movie is a total classic Your Website is a classic too. Thanks I am really enjoying it.
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