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Mummy
     

The Mummy

4.2 6
Director: Karl W. Freund,

Cast: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners

 

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The Mummy represented Boris Karloff's second horror starring role after his "overnight" success in Frankenstein. Brought back to life after nearly 3,700 years, Egyptian high priest Imhotep wreaks havoc upon the members of the British field exposition that disturbed his tomb (shades of the King Tut curse). While disguised as a contemporary Egyptologist,

Overview

The Mummy represented Boris Karloff's second horror starring role after his "overnight" success in Frankenstein. Brought back to life after nearly 3,700 years, Egyptian high priest Imhotep wreaks havoc upon the members of the British field exposition that disturbed his tomb (shades of the King Tut curse). While disguised as a contemporary Egyptologist, he falls in love with Zita Johann, whom he recognizes as the latest incarnation of a priestess who died nearly 40 centures earlier. Spiriting Zita away to the tomb, he relates the story of how he had dared to enter her ancestor's sacred burial crypt, hoping to restore her to life. Caught in the act, he was embalmed alive and his tongue was cut out for his act of sacrilege. Now that he has returned, he intends to slay Zita, so that they will be reunited for all time in the Hereafter. Despite its melodramatic trappings, The Mummy is essentially a love story, poetically related by ace cinematographer and first-time director Karl Freund. Jack Pierce's justly celebrated makeup skills offers us two Karloffs: the wizened Egyptologist and the flaking, rotting mummy, who though only seen for a few seconds remains in the memory long after the film's final image has faded. Best line: "It went for a little walk." The Mummy was followed by four stock footage-laden sequels, none of which approached the power and poignancy of the original.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Starring Boris Karloff in a legendary performance, the original Mummy is one of the most elegant, atmospheric horror films ever made. In subtle yet utterly convincing mummy makeup, Karloff is less a monster than a lovelorn wraith -- superbly sinister yet tragic. Mistaking an archeologist's fiancée (Zita Johann) for the woman he loved and lost thousands of years earlier, Karloff attempts to take her back to the grave with him -- literally. Karl Freund, the German cinematographer on such silent masterworks as Metropolis, directed The Mummy for Universal, displaying an Expressionist flair for dramatic lighting and striking camera angles. Made on a low budget, The Mummy creates a mood of pervasive, poetic creepiness, rather than out-and-out terror. The DVD version is close-captioned and includes production notes, commentary by film historian Paul M. Jenson, and an original documentary by David J. Skal, Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed.
All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Produced by Universal and scripted by John Balderston, The Mummy is essentially a remake of that team's already then-classic Dracula (1931). Once again, the undead, in this film a 3,000-year-old high priest brought to life by the desecration of his grave, may only possess a woman by turning her into an echo of himself. Karl Freund, one of the veterans of German expressionism, had photographed the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula but had obviously been heavily stifled by Tod Browning's stilted direction. Here, with the able assistance of director of cinematography Charles Stumar, Freund is allowed a second chance and he rarely lets his camera remain immobile for long. Never before, and rarely since, has the German silent school been used to better effect in a Hollywood production; not only do the many tracking shots add the kind of visual excitement completely lacking in Dracula, Freund also accomplishes a sense of ethereal romance spanning time and distance. If Freund is the true star of The Mummy, Boris Karloff remains a close second. With his angular face and physique and that slight lisp, less was often more, and as Imhotep, Karloff never overplays but creates instead a believably brittle 3,000-year-old, whose power lies more in thought than deed. Accolades should also go to Zita Johann, the Broadway actress' only truly memorable screen performance. Reportedly, screenwriter John Balderston had recommended Katharine Hepburn, but wiser heads prevailed and Johann went on to create one of the most memorable ingenues in horror film history. According to film lore, makeup artist Jack Pierce spent hours upon hours wrapping Karloff in his conventional mummy getup but Freund wisely used only close-ups of the actor's face and hands, leaving it up to the viewer's imagination as to what exactly made poor Bramwell Fletcher go mad in perhaps The Mummy's best-remembered scene.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/02/2014
UPC:
0025192249587
Original Release:
1932
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:14:00
Sales rank:
37,979

Special Features

Mummy Dearest: a horror tradition unearthed; Feature commentary from film historian Paul M. Jensen; Posters and stills; Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Boris Karloff Im-Ho-Tep/Ardeth Bey
Zita Johann Helen Grosvenor / Princess Anck-es-en-Amon
David Manners Frank Whemple
Edward Van Sloan Professor Muller
Arthur Byron Sir Joseph Whemple
Bramwell Fletcher Ralph Norton
Noble Johnson The Nubian
Katherine Byron Frau Muller
Eddie Kane Doctor
Tony Marlow Inspector
James Crane Pharaoh
Henry Victor Warrior
Arnold Gray Knight
Leonard Mudie Professor Pearson

Technical Credits
Karl W. Freund Director
John L. Balderston Screenwriter
Miton Carruth Editor
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Carl Laemmle Producer
Jack P. Pierce Makeup
Willy Pogany Art Director
Nina Wilcox Putnam Original Story
Richard Schayer Original Story
Charles Stumar Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Mummy
1. Main Titles
2. A Field Expedition
3. Imhotep
4. Ten Years Later
5. A Visitor
6. The Dig
7. Helen
8. Doctor Muller
9. The Curse
10. The Scroll
11. Disbelief
12. Helen's Visit
13. Memories
14. Helping Helen
15. Escape
16. Ancient Rites
17. Intercession
18. End Titles

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The Mummy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
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I Thought this was a very interesting storie. It was the scariest classic I have ever seen, It was very susspensful, and a little confussing, but still very good.
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