6.8/10
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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.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... John Banning
... The Mummy / Kharis
... Isobel Banning / Princess Ananka
... Inspector Mulrooney
... Stephen Banning
... Joseph Whemple
... Mehemet Bey
... Poacher
... Police Constable
... Pat
Denis Shaw ... Mike
Gerald Lawson ... Irish Customer
... Dr. Reilly
... Coroner
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 Jeremy Perkins {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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mummy  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£125,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only Hammer film in which Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Michael Ripper all appear. See more »

Goofs

When the mummy re-enters his coffin, he crosses his fore-arms. Crossed fore-arms in ancient Egypt was a sign of royalty and not for a priest. However some priests were indeed embalmed with the crossed arms - one example is owned by the Toledo (OH) Museum of Art. See more »

Quotes

John Banning: Seems I've spent the better part of my life amongst the dead.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1895 See more »

Connections

Featured in Lolita (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gorgeous & Creepy Hammer Horror Winner.
7 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

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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