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Visually Beautiful, Very Moody--and a Lot of Fun
gftbiloxi3 February 2008
England's Hammer Studios existed primarily as a distributor--until the low budget 1955 THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT suddenly put the studio on the map. Sensing an untapped market, Hammer began to develop similar titles and by the early 1960s developed a style that mixed Victorian sets and costumes with bouffant hairstyles, bared breasts, and lots of blood. The films were largely responsible for jolting the horror genre back to life on both sides of the Atlantic, as popular in the United States as they were in England.

Released in 1959, THE MUMMY was among Hammer's earliest color films and helped lay out the visual style that come to dominate "Hammer Horror" for more than a decade. Drawing from Universal's 1932 THE MUMMY and 1940 THE MUMMY'S HAND, it opens with a band of Victorian-era archaeologists in Egypt, where they discover the lost tomb of Princess Ananka--and in the process unleash a mummy cursed to guard her throughout eternity. It is a curse that follows the men back to England, where they are stalked to their deaths one by one.

Director Terence Fisher and cinematographer Jack Asher worked a number of Hammer films, including the earlier HORROR OF Dracula and REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Although some of the lighting may give you pause--judging from all the backlighting and colored filters it would seem the ancient Egyptians had mood lighting installed in their tombs--their efforts result in a series of truly arresting visuals; in their hands, bright color is no obstacle to moodiness. The cast plays it out extremely well, with the lovely Yvonne Furneaux a classic Hammer beauty, Peter Cushing as her archaeologist husband, and (yes, the posture and bearing really is unmistakable) Christopher Lee under wraps for the title role.

The DVD contains no extras beyond the original trailer, and although the transfer is not pristine it is nonetheless very good indeed. Hammer Horror may not save the world, but it is often a lot of fun--and THE MUMMY is easily among the studio's best. Recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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Gorgeous & Creepy Hammer Horror Winner.
Spikeopath7 April 2010
Hammer Film Productions rework some of the classic Universal Studios mummy material to great effect. Directed by Terence Fisher, this is not a remake of the seminal 1932 movie of the same name. Starring Peter Cushing (John Banning), Christopher Lee (Kharis/The Mummy), Raymond Huntley (Joseph Whemple) and Yvonne Furneaux (Isobel Banning/Princess Ananka), the film is written by Jimmy Sangster and was filmed at Bray & Shepperton Studios in England. Tho listed as being filmed in Technicolor, it was actually shot in Eastman Color using the Technicolor process. I mention the latter because Eastman Color has a different hue to it, something that makes this movie all the more affecting as a horror piece.

The plot sees three archaeologists (Stephen & John Banning & Joseph Whemple) desecrate the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka. This awakens Kharis, Ananka's blasphemous lover who was buried alive for his unlawful deeds. Taken from the tomb to London by Egyptian priest Mehemet Bey (George Pastell), the three archaeologists find they are being hunted down by the vengeful Kharis. The only salvation may come in the form of Isobel Banning who bears a striking resemblance to Princess Ananka.

This Mummy is adroitly directed by Fisher, his choreography for the action scenes is stunning. Lee's incarnation as the mouldy bandaged one is swifter than most, thus Fisher has him stalking around Victorian England one minute, then the next he's crashing thru doors or windows with brute strength. With murder his (its) only goal. It's a top performance from Lee as he really throws himself into the role, with his dead eyes ominously peering out from gauze swathed sockets sending those little shivers running down the spine. Technically the film belies the budget restrictions that was a staple of Hammer productions. The sets are very impressive with the Egyptian tomb set original and authentic looking, and the swamp based set-up nicely constructed. The latter of which provides two genuine horror classic moments. As first we see the Mummy for the first time as he rises from a foul bubbling bog, and then for the dramatic swampy finale. It's also atmospherically filmed by Fisher, with Jack Asher's photography utilising the Eastman Color to give off a weird elegiac beauty.

This is not about gore, Fisher and the makers wanted to thrive on atmospherics and implication. Something they achieve with great rewards. The Mummy would prove to be very successful in Britain and abroad, thus ensuring Hammer would dig up more Mummy's for further screen outings. None of which came close to capturing the look and feel of this first makeover. Crisply put together and with another in the line of great Christopher Lee monster characterisations', this Mummy is essential viewing for the creature feature horror fan. 8/10
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Hammer's Beautifully Haunting Mummy
Egyptian Mummies are fascinating creatures - yet I am sure that I'm not standing alone with the opinion that their representation in Horror cinema is a bit weak compared to other Horror creatures. And I don't mean to say that there were too few Mummy films made, but that great Mummy films are quite rare. The only Mummy film that I would really consider an absolute masterpiece is Karl Freund's brilliant "The Mummy" of 1932 starring Boris Karloff. While no other Mummy film has ever come close to the brilliance of the Karloff film, Hammer's 1959 re-telling of the story is easily my second-favorite of all Mummy films I've seen. After the success of "The Curse Of Frankenstein" (1957) and "Horror Of Dracula" (1958), two true Classics which revolutionized British Horror cinema, Hammer's dream-team, Horror-icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster and director Terence Fisher reunited for "The Mummy" (aka. "Terror Of The Mummy") in 1959. And while this is not quite as brilliant as the two aforementioned films, in my opinion, "The Mummy" is definitely a great and wonderfully picturesque Horror film that can easily be considered a Hammer Classic.

When British archaeologists, one of them John Banning (Peter Cushing) discover an ancient Egyptian tomb, they open the grave of a priestess who died 4000 years earlier. The desecration of the grave of the priestess unleashes a curse, which awakes the vengeful guard Kharis (Christopher Lee) who had been buried with the priestess... And what could be more entertaining for a lover of Gothic greatness than seeing a vengeful Egyptian Mummy haunt a Hammer-style Victorian England, even more so if this vengeful Mummy is played by none other than the all-mighty Christopher Lee? Lee himself once stated that this was his personal favorite of his Hammer films. It is hard to say why, as the role that initially earned him his status as one of Horror's all-time greatest was certainly that of Dracula; my guess is that he must have gotten tired of the Dracula role after a while. Yet it is more than understandable that Lee was fond of this film. "The Mummy" has a unique elegance in settings and colors, and some of the scenes, which I won't give away, are truly immortal moments of Gothic greatness. The equally great Peter Cushing is, as usual, brilliant in the role of the scientist John Banning. Director Fisher once again delivers the great trade-mark Hammer elements (foggy grounds, eerily luscious colors,...) in a particularly beautiful manner and Franz Reizenstein's score intensifies the gloomy atmosphere. All things considered out of Hammer's three original re-tellings of stories that had already been told in Universal Pictures in the 30s, "The Mummy" is not quite as essential as "Curse Of Frankenstein" and "Horror Of Dracula". It is, however, nonetheless a highly atmospheric, haunting, beautiful and downright great Gothic classic that no Horror fan can afford to miss!
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The best Mummy movie ever made
m2mallory10 August 2006
The Mummy is the Rodney Dangerfield of classic monsters -- he gets no respect. But Hammer's sumptuous, beautifully filmed and acted treatment is as good as your going to find. It is also the most detailed mummy film around, with the recreation of its Egyptian tomb gorgeous and authentic. Christopher Lee is little short of brilliant in the thankless title role, actually managing to giving a compelling and at times touching performance through only his eyes and body language. Peter Cushing is superb as always (and was it a deliberate decision to make his character's lameness a wry twist on the fact that Kharis the mummy was always lame in the old Universal movies?), as is Hammer semi-regular George Pastell in the stereotypical mummy-controller-in-the-fez part. The supporting cast is also classier than usual for Hammer: Sir Felix Aylmer as Cushing's father is wonderful, aging amazingly convincingly and establishing himself as one of the great gibberers of the cinema; while Raymond Huntley is solid as Cushing's sensible uncle (and as London's first stage Dracula, one wonders what conversations he must have had on the set with Lee). Hammer regular Michael Ripper also has one of his best parts as a sodden eyewitness to the mummy's activities. Director Terrence Fisher (another Rodney Dangerfield) contributes many memorable touches, though probably none so effective as the agonizing sloooooooowwwwness with which the stone door of the secret chamber concealing the cursed Kharis closes, which emphasizes the horrific agony of living burial. Everything in this film works, and some elements, such as the photography and the excellent music score, exceed even Hammer's usually high standards. "The Mummy" might be the British studio's best film. It is certainly one of their best.
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A must see for horror fans
metaldams12 October 2003
Far superior to the Brendan Fraser version, which relies too heavily on sterile computerized special FX. Comparing it to the classic 1932 Boris Karloff version, as so many people are doing, I feel is unfair. Karloff is not seen much in bandaged form choking people, but instead, in the Ardeth Bay persona. The Hammer Mummy has a lot more in common with the four Mummy movies Universal made in the 40's, (bandaged mummy chokes people out, the high priest out for revenge, etc.), and while those movies are fun, they don't compare to this one. Simply put, Tom Tyler and Lon Chaney, Jr. are not given the chance to pantomime with as much emotion as Christopher Lee, (kind of ironic when you consider the latter's father was the king of pantomime). Through all of the muddy bandages, there are still glimpses of human expression in Lee's eyes.

Beautiful color and well paced, I highly recommend this movie..............
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Another Great Horror Movie by Hammer Directed by Terence Fisher
Claudio Carvalho10 October 2015
In1895, in Egypt, the British archaeologists John Banning (Peter Cushing), his father Stephen Banning (Felix Aylmer) and his uncle Joseph Whemple (Raymond Huntley) discover the tomb of Princess Ananka (Yvonne Furneaux). Stephen finds inside the tomb The Scroll of Life and reads it, awaking The Mummy of Anaka's keeper and former lover Kharis (Christopher Lee). He has a heart attack and goes insane. The Egyptian Mehemet Bey (George Pastell) that worships Ananka steals the scroll and controls The Mummy. Three years later, in England, Stephen is an intern in a mental institution and John has married his fiancée Isobel. However the fanatic Mehemet decides to use The Scroll of Life to revenge those that have desecrated Anaka's tomb. The Mummy attacks Stephen and Joseph; however, when The Mummy attacks John, Isobel that resembles Ananka saves her husband. But will she be saved from The Mummy?

"The Mummy" is another great horror movie by Hammer directed by Terence Fisher. The remake of the 1932 Universal's "The Mummy" is creepier, with the dirty bandages since he has fallen off into the bog. In addition, the beauty of Yvonne Furneaux is impressive as well the lack of chemistry with Peter Cushing. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available on Blu-Ray or DVD
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Spell binding remake of a horror classic!
Michael O'Keefe2 November 2000
Director Terence Fisher and crew at Hammer Films revives life in the MUMMY. Horrific color and a much livelier and threatening wrapped menace is the modern slant on the 1930's original.

Boris Karloff was almost mystic in the title role decades ago. Stealing some of his thunder is Christopher Lee. Lee is down right wicked and relentless. And in his own way, just as scary as Karloff.

Peter Cushing brings a double whammy to this movie. More shakes and shivers. Also in the cast are Yvonne Furneaux, George Pastell, Raymond Huntley, David Browning and Michael Ripper.

What a way to spend a rainy night. Curl up with this and the original. Yikes!
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influential and fun cheapie from my buddies at Hammer
dr_foreman8 September 2004
The Mummy capped off an impressive initial run of horror movies from Hammer Studios. Believe it or not, it was mostly downhill from here; the company's subsequent efforts tended to be tackier and cheesier. But the "big three" (Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, The Mummy) are all solid horror flicks with, oddly enough, some of the most crisp and colorful photography I've ever seen.

There are some weaknesses here, though. The Egypt flashback waffles on for quite a while, and then we get ANOTHER flashback when Banning Sr. resurrects the mummy. However, the beginning and ending are well-paced and exciting, so most sins are forgiven. Lee's Mummy is spectacular; he's goddamn huge, and it's very impressive to watch him crashing through doors and French windows, absorbing shotgun blasts as if they were pinpricks (I hear Lee actually got injured several times making this movie; I can't say I'm surprised!)

My favorite scene is the ideological debate between the Egyptian badguy (a very cool performance by George Pastell) and Peter Cushing's snooty archaeologist character. Their heated exchange adds a bit of texture to the story and even makes me sympathetic to the villain's POV. However, subtext goes out the window again for the violent final confrontation.

On a side note, the exceedingly brilliant BBC show Doctor Who practically remade this movie twice. The episode "Tomb of the Cybermen" features Pastell as a guest star in a story involving an ill-fated archaeological dig, and "Pyramids of Mars" once again pits a hapless poacher against killer mummies. Just thought I'd mention it.
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An Atmospheric And Political Horror Film From Hammer
Theo Robertson13 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is a rather forgotten horror film from Hammer . It's much better than the 1932 version from Universial Studios which was static , stilted and suffered from a cast who were either totally wooden or ridiculously over the top . It's also better than most of the films in Hammer's franchise featuring Dracula or Frankenstien

It's obvious this version of THE MUMMY whether it be set in the deserts of Egypt or the fenland's of England were all filmed on a studio backlot but this isn't necessarily a criticism because it adds to its atmosphere . It's certainly a charming little film devoid of any gore that Hammer horror films were quickly gaining a reputation for . Of course the bar for " gore " has been raised highly over the past decades but atmosphere of whatever decade still remains intact to a degree and one wishes film makers would remember this

One thing an audience might like to remember nowadays is the historical context that THE MUMMY was made in . Three years previously in 1956 an Anglo- French invasion of Egypt to secure the Suez Canal led to a political debacle for both nations with America forcing both countries to withdraw . It's easy to see the political subtext in the final third of the film as English gentleman John Banning visits the home of Mehemet Bey in a scene that almost screams " You can't trust these Egyptian types at all . They'll stab you in the back " which is what Bey literally does in a later scene . It's not so much racism , just a case of sour grapes that the Brits have lost an empire

No one was expected to win any Oscars appearing in this movie but everyone manages professional performances . Peter Cushing was always excellent at playing mild mannered , affable gentlemen and he continues this type of role as John Banning . The underrated George Pastell as Bey is a striking contrast to Banning and that's deliberate but he never becomes a cartoonish villain . Christopher Lee unlike many of his Hammer roles gets a chance to do some acting and doesn't disappoint whilst the supporting cast do a fairly good job in thankless walk on roles

This is certainly Hammer at their most restrained and ( Sorry to use the word again ) atmospheric . It's certainly one of their most enjoyable films and that the fact that it's so forgotten might have a lot to do with the historical context from when it was made
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One of the best Hammer classics ever made. The best of the "Mummys"
skinner-c2 March 2009
This was the best of all the "Mummy" movies ever made. It was crafted with the finesse so lacking today. Regrettably, it the sort of film most likely to be dismissed, because it wasn't made in the 1930's or recent times.

Lee's Kharis was incredible, and very scary, esp. with his first appearance.

Great movie. All the characters were very well cast and directed. This had the same quality as the previous two Hammer remakes, on Frankenstein, and Dracula.

Unfortunately, what would follow in the years to come would not have the same quality.
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Almost as good as Universal's 'The Mummy'. Features a terrific performance from Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee makes a menacing Mummy, even more powerful and threatening than Karloff's.
Infofreak3 May 2004
When Hammer started making horror movies in the 1950s that were inspired by some of the classic Universal movies of the 1930s they had to tread carefully. Universal threatened legal action if they copied the makeup of their Frankenstein's monster for example, which is the reason the Monster (played by Christopher Lee) looked quite different to Karloff's in Hammer's 'Curse Of Frankenstein'(1957). By the time they made 'The Mummy' two years later some kind of understanding had been entered into and this movie, though it isn't credited as such, and the characters names have been changed, is pretty much a remake of the 1932 Universal classic which starred Boris Karloff. Once again Lee plays the Karloff role, except a second character played by George Castell has been created for this version, so we don't get to see Lee without his bandages, apart from a brief flashback sequence. Peter Cushing plays the leading man role, an archaeologist who is initially sceptical but soon must accept the existence of the Mummy. Yvonne Furneaux plays Cushing's devoted wife who is also a dead ringer for Princess Ananka, the woman the Mummy loved centuries earlier. Furneaux is probably best remembered for playing Catherine Deneuve's sister in Polanski's classic 'Repulsion', and also appeared in another sixties art film classic Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita'. Cushing gives a terrific performance as usual. I've yet to see a Hammer movie where he didn't. Lee makes a menacing Mummy, even more powerful and threatening than Karloff's. Though I still love the original version of 'The Mummy' this one is almost as good. In fact it's very difficult to choose one over the other. Both come with my highest recommendations and wipe the floor with the recent tongue in cheek versions starring Brendan Fraser et al. It's a pity that Hammer didn't make more Mummy movies starring Cushing and Lee. I do however highly recommend Hammer's 'Blood From The Mummy's Tomb', even though it has no connection to 'The Mummy' and doesn't feature either actor.
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Another success for Hammer studios!
The_Void17 January 2005
After their first successes with takes on famous stories, hammer's finest trio teamed up again to make this delightful take on the legend of an Egyptian mummy, imaginatively titled 'The Mummy'. Peter Cushing is an actor that needs no introduction as he has carried many a Hammer horror production and forever engraved himself in the minds of horror fans across the globe. His performance in this film isn't his finest ever (or even his finest under Terence Fisher), but it's more than solid and, to be honest, Peter Cushing is one of the few actors that could just spend the running time doing nothing and still have this horror fan riveted, such is the power of his screen presence. Christopher Lee has proved himself as the successor to both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi on a number of occasions with his portrayals of the classic monsters, and although he's never surpassed the great masters; this is another of those occasions. Of course, the one and only Terence Fisher direct the film. Fisher is an under-appreciated director in the horror genre as, although he hasn't done much outside of Hammer, the films he made for Hammer are what have gone on to be some of their most respected classics. This is another one.

The film looks great, and despite the fact that it's low budget and was shot well over forty years ago, the colours and locations still bode well, and give the film a fresh feel. The Hammer style camp feeling is very much on display in The Mummy, and for the Hammer fan; that can only be a good thing. The Egypt setting marks a nice departure for the team, as up until this point, audiences had only seen them together in more urban settings. To be honest, aside from Boris Karloff's performance, I didn't much like the Universal classic. I don't hesitate, therefore, to label this film superior in every respect other than the lead. This version of the story is handled in a way that is much easier to like than Karl Freud's version. The story itself is a more than interesting one, and ties in the intrigue of the Egyptian civilisation, with themes of modern society breaking their sacred code to have a museum full of relics, which is really quite thought-provoking.
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One of the key classic Hammers
Matti-Man29 January 2006
THE MUMMY was one of the major A-productions from the burgeoning Hammer Studios. Flush with the huge success of their remakes of the equally classic Universal horror films, FRANKENSTEIN and Dracula, Hammer turned their attention to another famous monster of the 1930s - The Mummy.

In this instance, the colour remake was with the agreement of Universal, so Hammer were able to call their mummy "Kharis", but the resemblance pretty much ended there. Gone was Karloff's suave, persuasive undead mummy impersonating a living being and in was the marauding, destructive beast as portrayed by Christopher Lee.

At this point in his career, Lee was prepared to trust the Hammer bosses and appear in another non-speaking role. And to be honest, Lee wasn't given much to do as Kharis, except maraud and scowl a little. But he did it well.

Compared to later films like PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, which I also saw recently, the production values of THE MUMMY mark it as a lavish, big-budget affair. The Egyptian sets are lush and convincing. The acting is focused and terse, especially from the always delightful Peter Cushing. Lee is great in his Egyptian High Priest role. And there's excellent support from character players like Michael Ripper and Raymond Huntley.

THE MUMMY, along with (HORROR OF) Dracula and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (and to a lesser extent CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF), is one of the key movies of the Hammer canon. Next time it shows up on cable or satellite, make sure you catch it.. You won't regret it.
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Magnificent rendition of the ¨Mummy¨ legend from Hammer Productions
ma-cortes10 April 2011
Archeologists seeking lost tomb of Egyptian princess when a mummy is revived after thousand of years . An ancient Egyptian mummy is awakened from his centuries-old sleep when a royal tomb is desecrated . The very deadly mummy (Christopher Lee) takes avenge on some archaeologist (Felix Aylmer and his son played by Peter Cushing) who desecrated the tomb of his beloved princess (Ivonne Furneaux in double role ) . They go back to England and those consequences , to everyone's regret . The mummy slipping into English swamps where soon strangling people , meanwhile a Police Inspector(Eddie Byrnes) is investigating the strange deeds . However , the mummy attacks and suddenly stops when believes Furneaux is reincarnation of ancient sweet heart .

Horror Hammer classic with effective atmosphere , sense of awe and wonder along with fine performances . Entertaining blend of thrills , chills , drama and action . Remarkable makeup and eerie scenes make it chilling and frightening . Peter Cushing is terrifying as obstinate archaeologist who is attacked by the mummy incarnated by Christopher Lee holding a heavy makeup. Colorful and atmospheric cinematography by usual Hammer cameraman Jack Asher . The motion picture is well directed by Terence Fisher . Rating : Better than average , it's high-power entertaining . Superb atmosphere , flavorful music , make this one of the best terror movies from Hammer , using intelligence and interesting dialogue rather than guts and blood to horrify its audience . In spite of its age this all time classic has lost none of its qualities. It's followed by ¨Mummy's shroud¨(1967) also produced by Hammer Films, directed by John Gilling with Andre Morell and Elizabeth Sellars.

Other pictures about Mummy character are the following : the Universal classic (1933)¨The mummy¨ by Karl Freund with Boris Karloff and David Manners , that ahead many follow-ups as sequels as ¨¨Mummy's hand (1940) with Dick Foran and Cecil Kallaway . And modern updating full of computer generator FX as ¨The mummy¨(1999) by Stephen Sommers with Brendan Fraser , Rachel Weisz , John Hanna and ¨Mummy returns¨with similar players.
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A true gem of mummy/horror movies
As I said it before, I do love a good scare from a horror film or just watch retro horror films. Also I do have a flare for the ancient Egyptians. And one more thing: I never knew that Christopher Lee was a horror film actor back then.

The film is about a man name Stephen Banning, who with his father and uncle were on archaeological expedition, and had excavated the lost tomb of the long-dead, Egyptian princess Anaka. But once the princess is in the museum, a killer mummy is out to kill the Banning men including Stephen!

I found Mr. Lee's Mummy is so very sympathetic, especially during the flashback when you see him alive. The way he says those lines, with such deep feeling in them, and the pain in his eyes every time he looks at the dead princess are truly moving...well GAH! he had a crush on the princess. And, of course, when he sees Isabel Banning who looks like the Princess Anaka - DUH! same actress. Well anyway, his eyes immediately soften to Isabel and he gets that longing look back in them. He's brilliant, absolutely brilliant; as is this film, a true gem of horror movies.

I do love this movie, with one notable exception: the misuse of the name 'Karnak'. Karnak is a location in Egypt, the modern name of the ancient Nesut-Towi, or variably, Ipet-Iset. It is one of the most impressive temple complexes in Egypt. Karnak is not, and never has been, the name of a god of Egypt. There are plenty of Egyptian gods to choose from; why not actually pick one of them instead of incorrectly using the name of a place? And what was the animal use for the god satute? a rat or a badger? or something? So overall, this mummy movie is very good. And it has remained extremely watch-able and entertaining, even now.
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By far the most superior version!
scipio728 March 2002
Forget that new CGI piece of trash (and its lame sequels)! This is the best rendition of the classic tale. Peter Cushing is amazing (as usual) as the protagonist, delivering a very sympathetic portrayal of a character who is swept up in events beyond his control. The budget is clearly low here, but the special effects deliver, making Hammer's version much more exciting than the 1932 original. Christopher Lee, as the mummy, busts through doors and windows, is torn apart by shotguns, but still persists, strangling the men who disturbed his rest. Make sure to go out and rent this if you are a fan of classic creature horror. Also, check out Hammer's excellent versions of Frankenstein and Draclua (titled The Curse of Franklenstein and The Horror of Dracula).

Score: 9/10
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Very Entertaining
lpigs11 October 2006
Although my initial though was that i twas going to be a bad movie, it turned out very good. It is set in the late 1890's and there are many antiques and artifacts that make it seem like it was filmed in the period. The acting was also surprisingly good and I commend Peter Cushing on his acting. This is a must see movie, especially for those who love old movies. The plot is rather original, although the hit movie "The Mummy" made in the late 90's copied many of its ideas. It is one of those classic movies, that anyone from any age would love to watch. A great movie to watch when Halloween is approaching. You will be on the edge of your seat the entire time.
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all wrapped up
Lee Eisenberg27 May 2011
Hammer Films continued its streak of monster movies with "The Mummy", featuring Christopher Lee as an ancient Egyptian priest who comes back to life after his tomb gets disturbed. Sure enough, there's a woman (Yvonne Furneaux) in Victorian England who looks exactly like an Egyptian princess from 3,000 years ago.

The Hammer movies were some of the most fun from this era. Yes, they were corny, but they were blatantly corny (that's a lot more than anyone can say about a Disney flick or Doris Day movie). Much like the slashers in the '70s, '80s and '90s, anything starring Christopher Lee and/or Peter Cushing was guaranteed to have something cool in store. Such is the case with this one. Really good.
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From Hammer's Golden Years
ragosaal6 October 2006
Hammer Film's golden years went from the mid 50's through the early 60's. This version of "The Mummy" was made back then and, in my opinion, is the best version of the revengeful reborn Egyptian high priest story ever made and a very good horror sample too.

Terence Fisher, and experienced and talented director of the genre, brings a very simple and at the same time entertaining and enjoyable movie. He keeps the story's interest all along the way and not a minute in excess. The film delivers a sort of sordid atmosphere with not too bright colors and most of the scenes taking place at night. The mummy's make up is excellent for the 50's. Settings are very accurate too as well as the action scenes with the reborn priest doing his job.

But what I think really improves the film a lot is its well selected cast. Peter Cushing has always had the virtue to give everything to his characters even those I'm sure he knew perfectly where not believable or even ridiculous; this movie is no exception and much of its credit belongs to Cushing's fine performance as one of the archaeologists the mummy is after. Though Christopher Lee spends most of the picture under heavy make up in the title role, he exhibits his impressive screen presence and somehow manages to reveal some clear emotions in a splendid job too. The rest of the cast is correct and includes Fleix Aylmer and George Pastell probably the real villain of the story as an Egyptian religious extremist (though some of his points of view are most logical and even convincing). Ivonne Fourneaux adds the feminine presence in a role of importance and she is also good.

I'm completely aware of the film's aging, but it still remains as a most enjoyable -if not scary- product in its kind.
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great! old hammer flick! WARNING!!!!!!!!! SPOILERS
callanvass17 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
great old hammer flick is moody and has lots of good atmosphere throughout also has some GREAT photography and some sharp interesting dialog it is pretty slow paced but it still is quite fascinating not to mention the beautiful set pieces it is quite stylish and has some great costumes and an exciting finale with a neat ending the acting is AWESOME! Peter Cushing gives a wonderful performance here and his character is very well written and he is also really likable and plays a good hero Christopher Lee is AMAZING as the Kharis the Mummy his walk is quite creepy and he is very convincing he is just astonishing here Yvonne Furneaux is okay here as Banning's wife she is very pretty and gets the job done George Pastell is great here he creep me out several times Eddie Byrne is great as the inspector and i found him likable there SPOILERS!!!!! there is a couple of chilling scenes when the mummy rises up from the swamp it gave me chills also a really tense moment when the mummy breaks into the nursing home SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!!! and kills John Banning's Father overall a wonderful remake to the classic original and is an absolute must own or see ***** out of 5 i also recommend you see Horror Of Dracula
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Great Mummy movie!
Movie Nuttball29 February 2004
This Mummy film is very good! Perter Cushing and Christopher Lee are excellent in the film! Also Eddie Byrne was good. All of the other actors were fine. I like the great color and music in this mummy film as well! Christopher Lee is awesome in the picture! His walking is very neat! I think he did a great job! I thought the designs of his character (past and present) looked great and fixed up nicely too! In his mummy form his eyes look scary! This is one of the best mummy films to watch in My opinion! If you like the cast members above, mummy movies, and horror then I strongly recommended this!

Movie Nuttball's NOTE:

If you love mummy films I recommend the following: The Mummy (1932), The Monster Squad (1987) The Mummy Lives (1993), Tale of the Mummy (1998), The MuMmy (1999) The MuMmy Returns (2001), The Scorpion King (2002), and The MuMmy: The Animated Series (2001)!
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Hammer strikes again with a superior remake of the Universal classic
Casey-5213 November 2000
THE MUMMY was one of the three classic Hammer remakes I saw when I was 9 years old. The others were HORROR OF DRACULA and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. All got me hooked on horror and I still love them to this day. I strongly recommend watching them all, but if you choose to watch this first, it is a good choice.

Christopher Lee is an Egyptian priest who has his tongue cut out and buried alive for performing a ritual of life on the dead Pharoah's wife. Hundreds of years later, an English expedition unearths the tombs of the dead and unleashes the priest's mummy by reading the scroll of life. The mummy is exported to England, where he escapes and kills the men who unearthed him from his slumber.

THE MUMMY is filled with vivid visuals and brilliant use of bloodshed which still proves startling and effective. Alongside Christopher Lee is Peter Cushing, another leading men of the Hammer films, and both are wonderful here. Yvonne Forneaux provides for a beautiful damsel in distress. The music, which was just recently released on CD, is appropriately gripping. Hammer's brilliant use of color photography makes this a dream to watch. But impatient viewers will not enjoy the gaps between mummy action filled with talk. On another topic, some viewers find the Mummy too athletic, but that is a personal preference. I myself like that the mummy is more athletic than in his other films, yet it is also pretty illogical.

THE MUMMY is a great place to start for the beginning of a curious Hammer fan's search. While I would recommend HORROR OF DRACULA over MUMMY, I still think you can't go wrong with this film either. Strongly recommended, even to those who are not horror fans.
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Well-Made, Enjoyable, Scary And Fun Classic Hammer Horror Flick Of Egyptian Evil
ShootingShark5 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
In 1895 a trio of archaeologists find the tomb of Ananka, an ancient Egyptian princess, but one of them sees something which sends him mad with shock. Years later in England, the three are pursued by a mysterious evil force which seems determined to punish them for profaning the sanctity of Ananka's rest ...

This is a great straightforward Mummy movie with a simple but engrossing love story at its heart, plenty of creepy scenes and spooky moments, a good cast and an atmosphere rich in Egyptological lore. It's essentially a remake of an old 1940 Universal picture, The Mummy's Hand (which was inspired by the spurious Howard Carter / Tutankhamun curse legend), and is an enjoyable tale of desecration, resurrection and eternal love. Kharis the Mummy is both a figure of dread - the scene where he smashes into the asylum and kills Aylmer is particularly horrible - but also tragic and sympathetic, a puppet with no will of his own, cursed to live forever. The story is a touch laborious, with a lengthy flashback in the middle which interrupts the action, but it's full of intriguing details and handles the scientist/historian vs acolyte/zealot theme very well; the lengthy dialogue scene near the end where Cushing and Pastell circle around each other politely exchanging beliefs filled with hidden meanings is a highlight. Everybody is good in it, but kudos must go to the inimitable Lee, who is both hypnotic as Kharis the priest and terrifying as the bandage-swathed, mud-drenched, living dead monster. Brilliantly made by the classic Hammer Films writer/director team of Jimmy Sangster and Terence Fisher, and a creepy treat from start to finish. This makes a great Mummy double-bill with Hammer's later but equally enjoyable Blood From The Mummy's Tomb.
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Three in a row from Hammer...One more to go!
LeonLouisRicci21 July 2013
Movie Monster Dom's easiest target is given the Prestigious Hammer Production and revived the slumbering Mummy from its Universal Tomb. It's a Trifecta for Hammer following Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Horror of Dracula (1958). The deserved successes from the beloved Studio would inspire the next obvious reincarnation, Curse of the Werewolf (1962).

Fans can argue which Movie is the best, but that is an exercise in futility. They are all Fantastic. We have here another pristine Picture that delights the senses. It looks Great and the Hammer staff deliver another Low-Budget Gem.

This one, again, is Costumed and lit with adoring attention to Detail. Lee and Cushing spark once more and Director Fisher's Vision is striking. The Flashback Scenes are a Wonder and the Star, The Mummy, somehow steals the show without speaking a word.

Although there were many sequels and forays into other Fun Stuff, with varying results, it is the aforementioned four Movies that was a Grand Slam from our friends across the Pond.
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Anyone for Molly Grady's?
Prichards1234530 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Mummy may well be the best-looking film Hammer ever produced. The sets are wonderful, the cinematography gorgeous, the colour rich as an artist's pallet. Hammer's behind the scenes crew were truly amazing, making relatively low budget films look like top-whack A pictures for many years.

It's Christopher Lee this time who walks away with the acting honours in the title role. He may be a murderous super-fast rampaging killer, but for just about the only time in Mummy movies Kharis is a terrifically sad and emotionally bedraggled creation. Karloff, of course, spent most of his time out of the bandages in the 1932 version. Apart from a flashback, Lee has to get by on using just his eyes and body language. And he is quite brilliant.

Peter Cushing is also on hand as John Banning, and the script cleverly gives him a badly healed broken leg in a neat reversal of all those Lon Chaney limping Kharis movies of the forties. While he's holed up in a tent nursing his injury Banning's father and uncle open the newly-found tomb of Princess Ananka, who, it turns, out, has been left a guardian...

The movie kicks into gear when the action moves to England 3 years later. George Pastell's Mehemet Bay takes on the high priest of Karnak role this time, guiding the Mummy to England (they never explain in any of these movies how he gets through customs!) and setting him off on a rampage of destruction.

The plot, as you can probably guess, is a bit old hat even for 1959 - it's basically the same as all the Universal 1940s Mummy sequels, and at times the pacing is slightly off. But the moment when the Mummy rises from a spectacularly gluey swamp (which earlier the crate transporting him has fallen into) is startling even today.

Hammer (or the censor) toned down the gore and violence this time out. Today the movie has a PG rating, and it's the atmosphere and excellent use of colour you'll remember. And if you see my summary line above look out for a truly classic joke involving Michael Ripper's mad-eyed poacher.

A fine addition to Hammer Horror, only the uneven pace and slightly bitty script disappoints.
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