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>
Screenwriter John L. Balderston is credited with the Egyptian mummy theme for the film. At its earliest stages, the film was simply envisaged as a horror vehicle for Boris Karloff with no connection to Egypt at all. Balderston was a history enthusiast and had covered the opening of Pharaoh Tutankhamen as a foreign correspondent. His experiences in Egypt and love of ancient history influenced him to change the setting and plot of the film to feature an Egyptian mummy. See more »
When Muller shows Frank the Isis charm in the car, the close-up is a reused shot from earlier, which does not match the way Muller hold the charm in the longer shots. See more »
With one of Boris Karloff's numerous acting successes and a production done the way that a horror feature should be made, this is a well-crafted classic of the genre. From the first scene, the right atmosphere is established, and the story is told at an implacable pace that slowly builds up the tension and possibilities.
As he does with his characters in so many of his horror features, Karloff makes "The Mummy" a menacing monster, yet one with enough human motivations to keep him from becoming cartoonish. Karloff's approach, as does the movie as a whole, stimulates the imagination rather than the senses, giving this classic version a depth and permanence that cannot be matched by those more recent adaptations that rely on boring "special" effects and contrived "action" sequences instead of a well-told story with solid characters.
Edward Van Sloan, David Manners, and the rest of the supporting cast also help out. The atmosphere and settings are kept relatively simple, but effective. Naturally, the story is far-fetched, but it has a consistency that makes it relatively easy to suspend disbelief. The picture fits together well, and it remains a solid entry in the list of classic horror films.
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