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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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This classic tale of love and resurrection gets a very nice unraveling by Universal Studios. The print is presented full screen (standard) with an aspect ratio 1.33:1. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono). The only language track offered is English and there is captioning for the hearing impaired in English. French subtitles are available. The print

Overview

This classic tale of love and resurrection gets a very nice unraveling by Universal Studios. The print is presented full screen (standard) with an aspect ratio 1.33:1. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono). The only language track offered is English and there is captioning for the hearing impaired in English. French subtitles are available. The print itself has a few minor fluctuations and some missing frames, but overall it is visually exhilarating. Bonus materials include a half-hour documentary entitled "Mummy Dearest" hosted by film historian Rudy Behlmer, which nicely covers the history of the film, its sequels, and the mysterious private life of film star Zita Johann. There is a ten-minute slide show set to music featuring posters and stills from the movie. Also included is a "Production Notes" section as well as a "Cast and Filmmakers" section with biographies and film credits for the main stars and director Karl Freund. The only disappointment is the commentary track by film historian Paul M. Jenson. Not only is it poorly recorded but his comments are not very insightful and tend to just describe the onscreen action. Still, this is a worthy addition to the Universal Studios Classic Monster Collection.

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:
09/28/1999
UPC:
0025192032721
Original Release:
1932
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:14:00
Sales rank:
14,562

Special Features

Production notes; Cast & filmmakers' bios; Film highlights; Theatrical trailer; Web links; "Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed," original documentary by David J. Skal; The Mummy Archives; Feature commentary by film historian Paul M. Jensen

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

Side #1 --
0. Chapter List
1. Main Titles [1:35]
2. A Field Expedition [1:33]
3. Imhotep [8:57]
4. Ten Years Later [1:39]
5. A Visitor [1:51]
6. The Dig [2:56]
7. Helen [7:26]
8. Doctor Muller [3:45]
9. The Curse [5:09]
10. The Scroll [7:31]
11. Disbelief [3:15]
12. Helen's Visit [2:09]
13. Memories [7:08]
14. Helping Helen [5:13]
15. Escape [:13]
16. Ancient Rites [5:25]
17. Intercession [4:52]
18. End Titles [1:58]

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The Mummy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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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