In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.
The best Mummy movie ever made
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.
- Aug 10, 2006
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