6.8/10
7,338
88 user 58 critic

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)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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:

Its evil look brings MADNESS! Its evil spell ENSLAVES! Its evil touch KILLS KILLS KILLS! 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

This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 8 critic reviews. See more »

Goofs

Both in the outer and inner chambers of the tomb, there is far too much light but most especially in the inner chamber. The only light sources are the candle lanterns that Banning Sr. and Whemple are carrying but there seems to be light coming from multiple sources. The back wall of the inner chamber near the sarcophagus is literally bathed in light. In a real crypt such as the one shown, two candles would provide a very limited amount of light barely enough to see where one is walking. See more »

Quotes

Isobel Banning: John isn't it time you going to bed... What's the matter?
John Banning: It's extraordinary! I've never noticed it before, but with your hair like that you are the image of Ananka.
Isobel Banning: Am I?
John Banning: She was considered the most beautiful woman in the world.
Isobel Banning: Oh!, I am flattered!
John Banning: Mind you, the world wasn't so big then.
Isobel Banning: Oh, don't spoil it, John.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1895 See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Christopher Lee Performances (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Visually Beautiful, Very Moody--and a Lot of Fun
3 February 2008 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

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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