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The Mummy (1932)

 -  Horror  -  22 December 1932 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 13,660 users  
Reviews: 148 user | 107 critic

A living mummy stalks the beautiful woman he believes is the reincarnation of his lover.

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(from a story by), (from a story by), 1 more credit »
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Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

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Title: The Mummy (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Zita Johann ...
David Manners ...
Arthur Byron ...
Edward Van Sloan ...
Bramwell Fletcher ...
Noble Johnson ...
Kathryn Byron ...
Leonard Mudie ...
James Crane ...
...
The Saxon Warrior (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In 1921 a field expedition in Egypt discovers the mummy of ancient Egyptian prince Im-Ho-Tep, who was condemned and buried alive for sacrilege. Also found in the tomb is the Scroll of Thoth, which can bring the dead back to life. One night a young member of the expedition reads the Scroll out loud, and then goes insane, realizing that he has brought Im-Ho-Tep back to life. Ten years later, disguised as a modern Egyptian, the mummy attempts to reunite with his lost love, an ancient princess who has been reincarnated into a beautiful young woman. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It comes to life!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cagliostro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$196,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johann later recalled Karl Freund's nastiness to her: "Karl Freund made life very unpleasant. It was his first picture as a director, and he felt he needed a scapegoat in case he didn't come in on schedule, 23 days, I believe. Well I was cast as the scapegoat - and I saw through it right away! Before shooting started, I asked Freund and his wife over for dinner. He told me for one scene, I would have to appear nude from the waist up. He expected me to say, 'The Hell I will!' Instead I said, 'Well, it's all right with me if you can get it past the censors' - knowing very well that the censors of that time were very strict. So, I had him there." See more »

Goofs

In the scene when he is informed of the death of the museum guard, we hear Sir Joseph Whemple say hello when he picks up the phone, but we don't see his mouth move. See more »

Quotes

Helen Grosvenor: I loved you once, but now you belong with the dead. I am Anck-es-en-Amon, but I... I'm somebody else, too. I want to live, even in this strange new world.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credit begins over a rotating model of the Pyramids site, then the main title 'The Mummy' is made with 3D rock letters on the side of a pyramid. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Mummy's Revenge (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Love
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Victor Young
Played during the ball sequence where Helen is telepathically called to the museum
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

True originals don't need remakes...

Given enough time and interest, I'm sure that I would have gotten around to the original Universal version of "The Mummy", but the hideous (in every respect) 1999 remake is the straw that broke the camel's back. The second I happened to see the original (complete with poster art) on the shelves of my local Wal-Mart, there were no second thoughts. It HAD to be better than that low-grade (though high budget)"Raiders of the Lost Ark" ripoff I spent two hours suffering through. Thankfully, my impulse proved to be on the money.

I really look at this film as Karloff's first piece of proof that there was more to his talent than Frankenstein's monster. Imhotep (aka Ardeth Bay) couldn't be more different than that sweet-natured brute. Though both are pathetic in their own way and lonely, Imhotep is more intelligent and a great deal more malicious by far. He's willing to do anything, kill anyone, and break any taboo to be reunited with his lost love. Karloff never has to raise his voice to convey menace; just a hardening of the eyes or a steely tone in that oh-so-distinct voice of his is enough to make you a little uneasy.

An overlooked aspect of this film is that, in a way, it's something of a tragedy. Imhotep has literally sacrificed everything he ever had just to be by the side of his beloved princess. So focused on this goal is he that he doesn't realize the great harm he is doing to all those around him, including to his beloved (who, in a thankful break with movie tradition at the time, proves to be the undoing of the immortal monster). I feel more of a sense of relief at film's end than triumph. Maybe now Imhotep can rest in peace.


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