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The Mummy (1959)

Unrated | | Adventure, Horror | 16 December 1959 (USA)
In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writer:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cushing ... John Banning
Christopher Lee ... The Mummy / Kharis
Yvonne Furneaux ... Isobel Banning / Princess Ananka
Eddie Byrne ... Inspector Mulrooney
Felix Aylmer ... Stephen Banning
Raymond Huntley ... Joseph Whemple
George Pastell ... Mehemet Bey
Michael Ripper ... Poacher
George Woodbridge ... Police Constable
Harold Goodwin ... Pat
Denis Shaw ... Mike
Gerald Lawson Gerald Lawson ... Irish Customer
Willoughby Gray ... Dr. Reilly
John Stuart ... Coroner
David Browning David Browning ... Police Sergeant
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Storyline

In the 1890s a team of British archaeologists discover the untouched tomb of Princess Ananka but accidentally bring the mummified body of her High Priest back to life. Three years later back in England a follower of the same Egyptian religion unleashes the mummy to exact grisly revenge on the despoilers of the sacred past. Written by J-26

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

NERVE-SHATTERING SHOCK! (original U.S. print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mummy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP125,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Pastell plays a high priest and devotee of Kharis in both this film and its 1964 sequel, The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the mummy breaks through an upper window and into Stephen Banning's padded cell at the asylum, a large smudge of the swamp mud that covers the mummy suddenly appears on the cloth wall, even before Kharis slides down it, reflecting a prior take. See more »

Quotes

Isobel Banning: Put me down. Kharis, put me down!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1895 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood! (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
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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