Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Mummy (1932)

Egypt 1921. A British archeological expenditure lead by Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Bryon) has unearthed the remain of Im-Ho-Tep, high priest of Egypt. He had been condemned and buried alive for sacrilege against the gods. Also found in the tomb is the "Scroll of Thoth", which carries with it a deadly curse. When a young archeologist reads aloud from the scroll, he inadvertently brings the MUMMY back to life.

Egypt 1932. Ten years after his father's failed expedition, young Frank Whemple (David Manners) has returned to conduct his own dig. Along the way, he meets the eccentric and mysterious Ardeth Bey (Boris Karloff), who helps direct him to the final resting place of Princess Anck-es-an-Amon.

As the scene flashes back to modern Cario, we meet the very beautiful Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann), who is the living incarnate of the Princess. She instantly catches the eye of both Frank and Ardeth. While using his dark powers, Bey tries to lure her into an eternal union of living death. Only with the help fame occultist Dr. Miller (Edward Van Sloan), can Frank have any hope of saving Helen and stopping the MUMMY.

Fueled by the public's interest in ancient Egypt (ala discovery of King Tut (aka TUTANKHATEN) in 1922) and following the birth of two highly successful horror franchises with "Dracula" (1931) and "Frankenstein" (1931), Universal decided to bring "The Mummy" to the silver screen. First-time director Karl Freund ("Metropolis", "Dracula") built upon his strengths in cinematography in bringing to life "The Mummy". Karloff, just as he had done in "Frankenstein", crafted a villainous character that even the audience could feel sorry as his searches for lost love. This film should be celebrated as another masterpiece in horror movie history. The first and still the best mummy movie!!!!

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