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 <email@example.com>
During one notably intense day of shooting, Zita Johann fainted on set. The first person she saw when she came to was Boris Karloff, still in full makeup but out of character. See more »
When Im-Ho-Tep breaks the glass in the display case with his bare hand, there is clearly no glass there, just the sound effect. See more »
[to Helen Grosvenor dressed as his beloved Princess Anck-es-en-Amon]
It was not only this body I loved, it was thy soul. I destroy this lifeless thing! Thou shall take its place but for a few moments and then... RISE again, even as I have risen!
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THE MUMMY awakened in Egypt by English archeologists goes on a rampage searching for its reincarnated lover.
Boris Karloff dominates this little fright fest, bringing new nightmares to the screen and proving that his Frankenstein's Monster was no mere quirk, but actually the beginning of a distinguished career in shocker films. Helped immensely by makeup master Jack Pierce, who gave the Mummy face & hands like weathered parchment, Karloff uses his own saturnine features and tall thin body to full effect, creating a horror portrait that has stood the test of time.
A sturdy supporting cast gives Karloff good support: exotic Zita Johann is lovely & slightly mysterious as the woman of Imhotep's deathless desires; valiant David Manners as the young hero gives another typically fine performance; Arthur Byron & Edward Van Sloan are enjoyable as the requisite old gentlemen (every horror film must have at least one) who study & stalk the Mummy. African-American silent film star Noble Johnson appears as a sinister Nubian.
The film's best scene, the resuscitation of the Mummy, demonstrates the potential of the medium. The only indication the viewer has that something horrible is about to happen is a flicker of Karloff's eye and a slight movement of his hand as he stands in his casket, bound in bandages. The rest of the scene unfolds in the hysterical reaction of young Bramwell Fletcher (excellent performance) as he watches the undead leave the scientists' tent. All the audience sees is Karloff's hand and the trailing bandages from his feet as they drag across the floor. It is enough.
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