A couple of comical, out-of-work archaeologists (Dick Foran and Wallace Ford) in Egypt discover evidence of the burial place of the ancient Egyptian princess Ananka. After receiving funding from an eccentric magician (Cecil Kellaway) and his beautiful daughter (Peggy Moran), they set out into the desert only to be terrorized by a sinister high priest (George Zucco) and the living mummy Kharis (Tom Tyler) who are the guardians of Ananka^Òs tomb.Written by
Jeremy Lunt <email@example.com>
Of all the early horror films that Universal Studios specialized in, my favorite was always the original The Mummy that starred Boris Karloff. Never has mood been better established than in that film. Personally I think Karloff was better in that than his acclaimed Frankenstein series. For whatever reasons Universal did not choose to follow up The Mummy in the way they did with Frankenstein.
When they did get around to making another Mummy film it could not be called a sequel because the whole plot premise behind the first one was not used. We still have an ancient Egyptian prince cursed in being buried alive for stealing the secrets of eternal life from the Gods.
In the original film Karloff was very much his own resurrected man, but in this one Prince Kharis is both worshiped but also used as a killing machine by his followers who are led first by Eduardo Ciannelli and then by George Zucco who also deify Princess Ananka whose tomb Kharis guards and whom he died for the love of 3000 years before.
A couple of itinerant stranded archaeologists played by Dick Foran and Wallace Ford come across some ancient pottery in a bazaar and take it to Dr. Charles Trowbridge at the museum in Cairo. He thinks they've got something but where to get money for an expedition.
Here's where the film gets a little silly. Foran and Ford essentially fleece another stranded American Cecil Kellaway of the money needed and Kellaway's daughter Peggy Moran isn't too happy about it. But she warms to Foran the same way Dorothy Lamour warmed to Bing Crosby in those Road films. In fact Foran and Ford really come across as a kind of road company version of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. And as Foran is a singer, I half expected him to come up with a song.
But once out on the deserts the forces from beyond this world with a little help from followers from this world put our archaeologists in quite a bit of peril.
The Mummy's Hand and the rest of the Mummy films were good enough horror films in their own right, but they never came close to matching what Boris Karloff did in that first picture.
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