The Mummy
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Product Description

You have to hand it to the walking dead. What they lack in speed and agility, they more than make up for in sheer single-minded determination. Im-Ho-Tep is a case in point. He's an ancient Egyptian priest, cursed for his terrible crimes against the gods. A team of British archaeologists digs up his sarcophagus, along with a box inscribed with a warning that opening it will unleash death and destruction. You'll never guess what they do. Once freed, Im-Ho-Tep takes on the appropriately evil alias Ardath Bey and gets to the task of resurrecting his ancient lover--which will, of course, require a living human surrogate. While the premise may sound formulaic, The Mummy in fact turns out to be bracingly weird, relying on atmospheric creepiness rather than on jump-out-and-scare-you effects. Boris Karloff gives a terrific performance as Im-Ho-Tep. He has all the malevolence the film requires, but also manages subtler touches; the expression in his eyes as he is wrapped in preparation for being buried alive is absolutely chilling. Instead of forcing him to do all the tedious shambling around that so many mummies resort to, the filmmakers have wisely given Im-Ho-Tep/Ardath Bey a nearly living appearance once he's cleaned up and has a few psychic powers to boot, making him a potent adversary. Stock up on ace bandages and prepare for a good spooky evening. --Ali Davis

Customer Reviews:

  • The Mummy (Boris Karloff)
    This is the one, folks. All other mummy movies are lame in comparison. Brilliantly directed. Karloff is priceless as usual....more info
  • "Looks As Though He Died in Some Sensationally Unpleasant Manner"
    -This review pertains to The Mummy: Special Edition DVD-

    In 1932, one year after Universal Studios' success with Frankenstein, Boris Karloff got all wrapped up in a role that would become one of the all-time great movie monsters. As the mummy, Im-Ho-Tep, Karloff gave a drastically different performance than that of the pathetic and misunderstood creature in Frankenstein. Im-Ho-Tep is a cold and methodical killer, his heart warped from the pain of losing his love. He uses any means necessary to obtain that which he covets, whether it's power or people.
    The Mummy was the directorial debut of Karl Freund, the brilliant German cinematographer whose works include Metropolis, Dracula, and Murders in the Rue Morgue. Over a decade earlier it was people like Freund who helped to make Germany famous for its expressionist cinema, as well as revolutionizing the way films were photographed. John L. Balderston, the famous playwright who Americanized the Dracula play, which was later to serve as the main inspiration for the 1931 Tod Browning film, wrote the screenplay for The Mummy. The story of The Mummy owes much to screenplay of Dracula and the film even uses members of the cast of that film. However, the presence of Boris Karloff is what gives The Mummy its individual identity and separates it from other horror films of its era. Also, unlike either Dracula or Frankenstein, The Mummy wasn't set in some gothic European locale. No, The Mummy featured exotic Egypt as its setting (though the film was shot entirely in California as almost all Universal pictures were at the time).
    Exploiting the obsessive fascination that Americans and Europeans had for all things Egyptian, after the finding of King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1921, the story utilizes mummies, curses, and Egyptian occultism to attract viewers.

    After committing sacrilege, Egyptian High Priest, Im-Ho-Tep is buried alive only to be rediscovered 3,700 years later by British archaeologists. He is accidentally resurrected and assumes the identity of Ardeth Bay. Ardeth Bay's one passion, his one obsession is to be reunited with his long-dead lover, Princess Anck-es-en-Amon. Ardeth Bay believes that his loneliness may be over when he meets the beautiful Helen Grosvenor, the reincarnated Anck-es-en-Amon. As Ardeth pursues Helen, he is also determined to obtain the Scroll of Thoth, which will ensure his immortality and his control over Helen. Challenging him are Doctor Muller, an expert on the Egyptian occult, Sir Joseph Whemple, a renowned archaeologist, and his son, Frank Whemple who has fallen in love with Helen. But do these three stand a chance against Ardeth Bay, who has a mastery over hypnosis? Can they save Helen from... The Mummy?

    The film stars Boris Karloff (who was billed as Karloff the Uncanny) as Im-Ho-Tep / Ardeth Bay, Zita Johann as Helen Grosvenor / Anck-es-en-Amon, David Manners as Frank Whemple, Arthur Byron as Sir Joseph Whemple, and Edward Van Sloan as Doctor Muller.

    This terrifyingly good DVD includes an audio commentary with film historian Paul M. Jensen, an audio commentary with makeup artist Rick Baker, screenwriter Steven Haberman, film historian Scott Essman, Universal horror expert Bob Burns, and sculptor Brent Armstrong, He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce documentary, Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed documentary, Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy featurette, Universal Horror feature-length documentary, poster montage with music, and theatrical trailers for all five original Mummy films.

    Also recommended:
    The Mummy: The Legacy Collection
    The Mummy (1959 Hammer Studios' remake)
    The Mummy (1999 Universal Studios' remake)
    The Mummy Returns
    The Mummy Collector's Set
    The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor...more info
  • Mum's the Word!
    Ever see the new Mummy movie? That Mummy Man only knew one trick--gouging out people's eyes--and seemed to spend most of his time bellowing with his mouth open. What a tiresome fellow! Well, if you dislike that sort of thing, then THIS MUM'S FOR YOU. Karloff's mummy may start off swathed in bandages, but after initially being raised from the dead, he ever after sports a fez and a long robe. He keeps his mouth closed between sentences, but he does a lot of intense staring, especially at that lady who happens to be the reincarnation of his lost love, the princess for whom he committed "an unholy thing", and got buried alive for his pains. I thought it was great that the mummy was interested in getting on with his (after)life once he got reanimated. Ten years lapse between his own resurrection and the finding of the princess's tomb--I was curious to know how the mummy supported himself in the meanwhile, since he had a pretty nice house and had learned to speak British English so well--and he didn't even start out with the proverbial "clothes" on his back! Yes, he may exercise mind control from time to time, and even be able to induce heart attacks from a distance, but that was only because meddlesome folks tried to curtail his activities in raising up the princess again--he actually has modest ambitions compared to the later mummy who surrounds himself with an army. I found Karloff's mummy extremely sympathetic and was sorry to realize that he wasn't going to get his heart's desire after all. An especially interesting development is that the young woman who is the princess's reincarnation is quite obviously turned on by Karlloff when she meets him accidentally, even though the men in the movie find him creepy and dryskinned. But let's face it--he's much more intriguing than David Manners, the "hero" of the piece. Why, he can't even figure out a way to save her--she must do so herself by beseeching an ancient Egyptian goddess! Check out Karloff's Mummy for a surprisingly touching performance--a "mum"mentous achievement!...more info
  • 1000 Years of Longing
    This is perhaps Boris Karloff's finest performance. His resurrected Imhotep is tall & cadaverously thin. He moves with a carefully stilted walk, as if any misstep would cause his ancient bones to crack and crumble him to the ground. The finely wrinkled face is still and impassive, the lips barely moving as he speaks in a papery thin whisper of his yearning for his long ago lost love, for whom he has sacrificed everything. But the eyes burn in that masklike face, the same eyes that stared at us in mute terror at his living entombment.

    This is great stuff! Highly romantic with a marvelous mood and atmosphere, this is a Mummy with class. The movie has great moments such as the above-mentioned living burial and that unforgettable stare of terror, the insane cackle of the unsuspecting perpetrator of Imhotep's resurrection, Karloff & Johann staring into the pool, and so on. And, in Zita Johann, Karloff has a beautiful, exotic woman worth loving across centuries.

    This is The Mummy for grownups. The Brendan Fraser version is more for the kids, which is perfectly okay. It's about noise and action. This Mummy is about subtlety, mood, and eternal desire, and it is a quiet Classic....more info

  • The Mummy talked us to death.
    I had remembered the mummy movies with Boris Karloff from my childhood. After viewing this one I think I must have seen only the several sequels that followed. The foot dragging monster was nearly absent in this movie. However there was a lot of dialouge. Of course what was scary in my youth doesn't even register on the scale of the Brandon Frazier mummy movies. Still all-in-all I am glad I purchased the DVD. ...more info
  • The Best of the Best
    I'm not entirely sure why, but much as I enjoy all of the Universal horror classics, for me "The Mummy" is just far and away the best, and a good part of that opinion *may* be down to Boris Karloff's superbly understated performance.

    Having made the first Frankenstein film only the year before (1931) - at which time he appeared halfway down the cast list simply as "?" - by the time he came to make "The Mummy" he had been promoted to the spot ABOVE the title, as "Karloff the Uncanny". (This would have been less memorable had it not been for the fact that Karloff was actually an Englishman, and his real name was William Pratt. A number of genuine emigres from Eastern Europe were working in Hollywood at this time, and it was quite usual for them to be credited without any forename.)

    As to the film itself, it is important to remember that it was made at a time when TV didn't exist, and a car chase at 60 mph was hot stuff. Though the pace may seem slow by today's standards, in its time it was a magnificent example of mounting suspense. Indeed, considering that it has a running time of only an hour and ten minutes, it actually contains a lot more plot development and characterisation than the average one hour TV programme.

    I'm not going to go over the plot here, previous reviewers have already done that justice. I would, however, congratulate Universal on the excellent package of "bonus" material which makes the DVD so attractive even if you already have the film on tape.

    There is the almost obligatory sets of stills and posters, plus the original trailer. What is quite unusual, and says a great deal for Universal's commitment to value, is the specially made background feature "Mummy Dearest" (a title borrowed from a rather bitter biography of Joan Crawford by her daughter, if I remember correctly), and the full length "Feature Commentary" by film historian Paul M. Jensen.

    "Mummy Dearest" is full of interesting insights, including a brief resume of the discovery of King Tutenkhamun's tomb, in Egypt, which created a general fascination with ancient Egypt in both Europe and the USA, and which paved the way for this film.
    It certainly explains how the original storyline, about a three hundred year old Italian mystic, Cagliostro, ended up as film about a 3,700 year old Egyptian priest called Imhotep.

    Unlike Tom Weaver's rather high speed commentary on "The Wolf Man", Paul Jensen's contribution is a little more measured - but just as interesting in it's own way.
    Jensen is equally interested in both the background to the film - actors' previous and subsequent work, etc. - and the actual film making process. This can seem a little irritating at first, as he seems to be simply describing what you can plainly see for yourself. But after a very little time we find that Jensen is actually highlighting the film maker's technique to show why the camera was placed 'here' rather than 'there', and how, even in 1932, Karloff and the film's director, Karl Freund, were already masters of the "less is more" technique.

    So, both for the film and for the excellent package of "extras", this is definitely a worthy addition to any classic horror film fan's collection.
    Highly recommended....more info

  • First and foremost!
    Vintage it may be, with performances that at best are highly competent, at worst downright creaky. But make allowances for the fact that it's over 70 years old, and you'll have simply the best horror film EVER. What could prove more horrifying than when Imhotep's mummy, propped in its coffin, catches the light which glints off its eye, slowly opening after 3,500 years in the grave? Or Imhotep's first appearance, as Ardath Bey, to the archaeologists, filling the doorway with subtle malevolence? Or his final moments when, struck down by ancient goddess and protector of women, Isis, he collapses rattlingly into a pile of bones? Boris Karloff is riveting in every frame as the mummy redivivus and actress Zita Johann is radiant as the tormented reincarnation of Princess Ankh-es-en-amon, putting modern day actresses to shame with her blend of exotic beauty, sensuality and dignity. It's the granddaddy of all 'mummy' genre pictures, and quite simply the best!...more info
  • Legacy Series DVD picture cropped slightly from 1999 release
    Just wanted to mention that I recently compared the transfers on the Mummy Special Edition (Universal Legacy Series) 2-disc DVD released in July 2008 and the original 1999 Universal single-disc DVD release. The quality of the transfers in terms of contrast, brightness, detail, scratches and blemishes, etc., seems to be virtually identical. However, for some unknown reason the framing of the Legacy Series release is cropped tighter than the 1999 edition, with a small but significant loss of picture information along the right, left, and bottom borders. I watched the Legacy Series version yesterday and the missing information was not enough to seriously impact my enjoyment of the movie, but it's kind of irritating that the older, supposedly obsolete edition actually reveals more of the frame than the newer, supposedly definitive edition. Unfortunately, this seems to be typical of Universal's double- and triple-dip DVD editions: two steps forward and one back. I'm still debating whether to hang on to the 1999 edition, which I was hoping to ditch after buying the newest release. So if you're thinking of upgrading in hopes of getting a superior transfer and don't really care about the extras, my advice is stick with the original 1999 release. The only new extras you get with the Legacy Series release are the second commentary track, 1940s Mummy series trailers, and the Jack Pierce featurette, which is interesting but does not contain much new information unless you are completely ignorant of Pierce's career. The Unraveling the Legacy of the Mummy featurette is really just a promo for the two Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, it doesn't even address the 1940s mummy series, or any other mummy movies for that matter. The TCM Universal Horror documentary is nice but it is available on the Dracula and Frankenstein 75th Anniversary Edition DVDs and hardly worth the purchase price of the new Mummy DVD by itself, especially if you already have the Dracula or Frankenstein anniversary sets. If the limited new extras sound worth it to you, go for it, but realize that you are losing some picture information in the feature attraction, not to mention the Production Notes, Cast and Filmmakers' Bios, and Mummy Archives (poster and stills gallery) extras from the 1999 release. I never bought the Mummy Legacy Collection box set so I can't comment on that release. ...more info
  • Only Boris Karloff could do it this well
    The Mummy is outstanding particularly because it is just the sort of concept which could have easily become camp or boring. Boris Karloff's depiction here is nothing of the sort! His intensity, and reserved and chilling dignity, give this film an eerie yet intelligent quality that distinguish it amongst the monster genre.

    This is not a "scare flick," but an intelligent portrayal of three goals, amongst different characters, which create the conflict: the occult (underrated Egyptian magical arts which only the wisest archaelogist immediately realises are not to be discounted); scientific discovery; a passionate and possessive love that spans millennia. Curiously, these strong impulses all are presented in a surprisingly plausible approach. Though there is nothing gruesome in this film, and children could view it with no undue fear, this is an adult plot, best suited to those who enjoy both intense psychological conflict and the admission that there is much we can never understand....more info

  • A rousing good tale told in creepy style
    Ah, "The Mummy" on Halloween night! What could be better? My brother and I, now aging boomers, were allowed as children the special treat to stay up on Friday nights to watch Horror Theater (or whatever it was called) and scare ourselves silly. This was in the late '50's. "The Mummy" was a favorite, so when I found this VHS tape in the library, I took it home for Halloween.

    After a couple of hours of Trick or Treating, the three children were ready to go home. We put on the movie, expecting magic to revisit. Their grandfather (my brother) and I expected to pass on a tradition. We really thought the nine-year-old boy would delight in the movie. He loves things like this. However, it was too slow for him--he fell asleep soon into the movie, as did the other two children.

    That left my brother and me to stroll down Memory Lane with the Mummmy! It wasn't the same story we both remembered. We had the notion of lots of wrappings with the mummy walking all over the place with arms outstretched and killing people. Another reviewer said this wasn't "The Mummy" he saw either. Probably a sequel.

    Let's return to the reality of the story. We discovered how faulty our memories are. However, the film did surprise us with what was there.

    In the 1920's when the discovery of the Tutankhamun tomb was the rage, three other English archaeologists were certain to make a find. Indeed, they did--an ancient sarcophagus with a box attached: Do not open this coffin upon threat of death. Two are wise enough to discuss it. The third cannot control his eagerness and opens it. In a few minutes the mummy is mysteriously wrought to life, and sidles out the door. The archaeologist witnesses this and goes stark raving insane. A chilling scene. The viewer sees only a piece of wrapping sliding out of sight--the only view we get of a newly awakened corpse. Then the hysterical laughing. Everything is always just out of sight. A suggestion of evil. A suggestion of terror. A scream.

    The mummy comes back as an Egyptian attached somehow to the museum. It's Boris Karlof in a dark role. Why no one was not creeped out by his persona is beyond me. Bring in the the son of one of the original three archaeologists and the daughter of the museum director and you have a triangle about to happen. Karlof's mummy/man believes she is the reincarnation of his beloved temple virgin from back in the day. He is determined to take her back and almost succeeds.

    Today's filming shows all and then some. Old films like this tell the story with suggestion, little nuances, creating creepy atmosphere and mood. As I watched, I slipped in and out of sleep. In one dream sequence I was in the movie, going down one of the underground passages. Only in my dream I rounded the bend to see what veiwers could hear. Black-clad, wispy creatures were stirring around a walking, stalking mummy. I fell on the rocks, they turned toward me. Of course, I awoke, further creeped out.

    A successful movie-- "The Mummy"--even now!...more info
  • You'll really get wrapped up in this one!
    The Mummy: No tongue, can't talk, but watch out for his hand! Yes, hand, cause he's only got one! And one is all he needs to provoke the women into the arms of their male companions. Sweet! My, but he is a "handsome" specimen. Seriously, this 70 year old movie still comes off as fresh as the day it was born. And this fella's perty darn fresh himself! Ladies, men, doesn't matter, he's not picky. A real creeper. He's a slow mover, but get him now before he gets away! AAAAA+...more info
  • Legacy Series DVD picture cropped slightly from 1999 release
    Just wanted to mention that I recently compared the transfers on the Mummy Special Edition (Universal Legacy Series) 2-disc DVD released in July 2008 and the original 1999 Universal single-disc DVD release. The quality of the transfers in terms of contrast, brightness, detail, scratches and blemishes, etc., seems to be virtually identical. However, for some unknown reason the framing of the Legacy Series release is cropped tighter than the 1999 edition, with a small but significant loss of picture information along the right, left, and bottom borders. I watched the Legacy Series version yesterday and the missing information was not enough to seriously impact my enjoyment of the movie, but it's kind of irritating that the older, supposedly obsolete edition actually reveals more of the frame than the newer, supposedly definitive edition. Unfortunately, this seems to be typical of Universal's double- and triple-dip DVD editions: two steps forward and one back. I'm still debating whether to hang on to the 1999 edition, which I was hoping to ditch after buying the newest release. So if you're thinking of upgrading in hopes of getting a superior transfer and don't really care about the extras, my advice is stick with the original 1999 release. The only new extras you get with the Legacy Series release are the second commentary track, 1940s Mummy series trailers, and the Jack Pierce featurette, which is interesting but does not contain much new information unless you are completely ignorant of Pierce's career. The Unraveling the Legacy of the Mummy featurette is really just a promo for the two Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, it doesn't even address the 1940s mummy series, or any other mummy movies for that matter. The TCM Universal Horror documentary is nice but it is available on the Dracula and Frankenstein 75th Anniversary Edition DVDs and hardly worth the purchase price of the new Mummy DVD by itself, especially if you already have the Dracula or Frankenstein anniversary sets. If the limited new extras sound worth it to you, go for it, but realize that you are losing some picture information in the feature attraction, not to mention the Production Notes, Cast and Filmmakers' Bios, and Mummy Archives (poster and stills gallery) extras from the 1999 release. I never bought the Mummy Legacy Collection box set so I can't comment on that release. ...more info
  • Long Live the Walking Dead
    The Mummy is one hour and thirteen minutes long and was released on December 22, 1932. The Boris Karloff's mummy is seen only on screen for about eight minutes and only about a minute of him coming alive and stealing the sacred scroll. The rest of the movie he is Ardath Bey; Imhotep brought back to life. Imhotep\Ardath Bey helps some archaeologists find the burial site of Princess Ankh-es-en-amon. His real intentions are to bring the Princess Ankh-es-en-amon back to life so they can be together forever. Princess Ankh-es-en-amon has taken the soul of Helen Grosvenor. So throughout the movie he is trying to bring Helen Grosvenor to the museum and change her into his Princess Ankh-es-en-amon. The movie flows along well into you get to about five minutes to the end and turns almost south. They could have done a better ending. The Mummy relies on suspense since the horror is minimal at best. Still this deserves an A-....more info
  • "Looks As Though He Died in Some Sensationally Unpleasant Manner"
    -This review pertains to The Mummy: Special Edition DVD-

    In 1932, one year after Universal Studios' success with Frankenstein, Boris Karloff got all wrapped up in a role that would become one of the all-time great movie monsters. As the mummy, Im-Ho-Tep, Karloff gave a drastically different performance than that of the pathetic and misunderstood creature in Frankenstein. Im-Ho-Tep is a cold and methodical killer, his heart warped from the pain of losing his love. He uses any means necessary to obtain that which he covets, whether it's power or people.
    The Mummy was the directorial debut of Karl Freund, the brilliant German cinematographer whose works include Metropolis, Dracula, and Murders in the Rue Morgue. Over a decade earlier it was people like Freund who helped to make Germany famous for its expressionist cinema, as well as revolutionizing the way films were photographed. John L. Balderston, the famous playwright who Americanized the Dracula play, which was later to serve as the main inspiration for the 1931 Tod Browning film, wrote the screenplay for The Mummy. The story of The Mummy owes much to screenplay of Dracula and the film even uses members of the cast of that film. However, the presence of Boris Karloff is what gives The Mummy its individual identity and separates it from other horror films of its era. Also, unlike either Dracula or Frankenstein, The Mummy wasn't set in some gothic European locale. No, The Mummy featured exotic Egypt as its setting (though the film was shot entirely in California as almost all Universal pictures were at the time).
    Exploiting the obsessive fascination that Americans and Europeans had for all things Egyptian, after the finding of King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1921, the story utilizes mummies, curses, and Egyptian occultism to attract viewers.

    After committing sacrilege, Egyptian High Priest, Im-Ho-Tep is buried alive only to be rediscovered 3,700 years later by British archaeologists. He is accidentally resurrected and assumes the identity of Ardeth Bay. Ardeth Bay's one passion, his one obsession is to be reunited with his long-dead lover, Princess Anck-es-en-Amon. Ardeth Bay believes that his loneliness may be over when he meets the beautiful Helen Grosvenor, the reincarnated Anck-es-en-Amon. As Ardeth pursues Helen, he is also determined to obtain the Scroll of Thoth, which will ensure his immortality and his control over Helen. Challenging him are Doctor Muller, an expert on the Egyptian occult, Sir Joseph Whemple, a renowned archaeologist, and his son, Frank Whemple who has fallen in love with Helen. But do these three stand a chance against Ardeth Bay, who has a mastery over hypnosis? Can they save Helen from... The Mummy?

    The film stars Boris Karloff (who was billed as Karloff the Uncanny) as Im-Ho-Tep / Ardeth Bay, Zita Johann as Helen Grosvenor / Anck-es-en-Amon, David Manners as Frank Whemple, Arthur Byron as Sir Joseph Whemple, and Edward Van Sloan as Doctor Muller.

    This terrifyingly good DVD includes an audio commentary with film historian Paul M. Jensen, an audio commentary with makeup artist Rick Baker, screenwriter Steven Haberman, film historian Scott Essman, Universal horror expert Bob Burns, and sculptor Brent Armstrong, He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce documentary, Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed documentary, Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy featurette, Universal Horror feature-length documentary, poster montage with music, and theatrical trailers for all five original Mummy films.

    Also recommended:
    The Mummy: The Legacy Collection
    The Mummy (1959 Hammer Studios' remake)
    The Mummy (1999 Universal Studios' remake)
    The Mummy Returns
    The Mummy Collector's Set
    The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor...more info
  • "Never Saw a Mummy like That"
    The incomparable Boris Karloff is Im-Ho-Tep, a 3700-year-old Egyptian priest inadvertantly raised from the dead by an archaeological expidition. In the guise of Egyptologist Ardeth Bay, Im-Ho-Tep roams contemporary Egypt in search of his long-dead love Ankh-Su-Namun, who has been reincarnated in the form of Helen Grosvenor (played by Zita Johann).

    While Karloff does not evoke the same mix of sympathy and revulsion that made his portrayal of the Frankenstein monster so memorable, he still does a ripping good job at creating a frightening and convincing Im-Ho-Tep/Ardeth Bay. Karloff's performance is enhanced by the work of first-time Director Karl Freund--previously the cinematographer on 1931's DRACULA--who does an excellent job of exploiting both visual composition and off-screen (i.e., implied) thrills to create an atmostpheric horror show. And the contribution of make-up Artist Jack Pierce should not be underrated; he turns Karloff into a believable walking corpse that radiates a sense of death and decay.

    Though THE MUMMY is nearly 70 years old, it has aged well. In spite of the lack of the graphic gore that has become commonplace today, the imagery in this film still creates a sense of doom and terror, and Karloff and company are able evoke a true fright that clearly demonstrates why the classic horror flicks are often better and genuinely scarier than those cranked out in the Hollywood mills today....more info

  • The Mummy (Universal Legacy Series)
    We take these old movies camping and love to watch. This is one of the best from the 1930s....more info
  • THIS IS THE ONLY MUMMY FILM WHICH WILL LAST FOREVER! A++++++
    BY FAR UNIVERSALS GREATEST HORROR FILM! THE BEST MUSICAL SCORE OF ALL THEIR MOVIES! THE MUMMY/ARDETH BAY MAKEUP THOUGH DONE IN 1932 IS STILL AMAZING TODAY! THIS WAS MAKE-UP ARTIST JACK PIERCES GREATEST CREATION! BORIS KARLOFF GIVES HIS GREATEST AND MOST NUANCED PERFOMANCE! THIS MOVIE HAS AMAZING EGYPTIAN SET DESIGN BEAUTIFULLY RENDERED! THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MOST ATMOSPHERIC AND DREAM-LIKE FILM MADE IN ANY GENRE! THIS MOVIE IS MORE OF A CREEPY GOTHIC ROMANCE THAN A SHEER HORROR FILM. NEVERTHELESS THE OPENING SCENE IN WHICH KARLOFFS MUMMY IS BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE IS TERRIFYING! THIS IS THE CLOSEST A FILM AS EVER COME TO POETRY! THE DVD IS EXCELLENT WITH A PRISTINE PICTURE TRANSFER! AND GREAT MENU ARTWORK! NOT TO MENTION LOTS OF GREAT EXTRAS! WATCH THIS FILM ALONE IN THE DARK AFTER MIDNIGHT FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT! ALL OTHER MUMMY MOVIES ARE FORGETTABLE B MOVIE TRASH IN COMPARISON!...more info
  • The first and still the best mummy film ever made
    The monsters unleashed by Universal Pictures across the screens of America in the 1930s left an indelible impression on the American psyche that will never be forgotten, and The Mummy stands among the most memorable of all those classic monster movies. Boris Karloff simply is The Mummy, defining the role for all generations to come. Don't think he's just sleepwalking around in bandages, either; no, while he may be the prototypical mummy, he is not the hunk of animated flesh that his successors all seemed to turn into. Karloff in fact gives an impressive dramatic performance in this role. The action begins in 1922, when British Egyptologists Dr. Muller (Edward Van Sloan) and Dr. Whemple (Arthur Byron) make a potentially incredible discovery underneath the sands of Egypt. They soon identify a mummy they have recovered intact as Imhotep, but they know this is no ordinary mummy because he was not embalmed, there is evidence of his having struggled within his all-encompassing bandages, and the blessings designed to protect his voyage to the afterlife were removed before he was buried. Along with Imhotep the explorers find an intriguing box, one that carries a dire message for those who would open it. While Dr. Muller tries to convince Dr. Whemple to heed the curse and leave the box unopened, their younger associate gives in to his temptation, discovers a scroll inside, and reads from it. Hereby is Imhotep brought back to life, and the mummy shuffles off into the desert.

    There is no news of Imhotep for years, and Dr. Whemple returns home vowing never to return or to speak of what he knows. Ten years later, though, his son (with a little help from a mysterious Egyptian named Ardath Bey) makes a fabulous find of his own underneath the sands, the grave and mummy of the Egyptian princess Anckesen-Amon, and so the elder Egyptologist returns to Egypt. As luck would have it, the young Dr. Whemple falls in love with Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann) a half-Egyptian girl who turns out to have a strong connection to the newly discovered mummified princess who, it turns out, just so happens to have been the object of Imhotep's love and sacrifice. The mummy, completely human in appearance now, works to raise his love from the dead with the aid of the Scroll of Thoth, and it is up to young Dr. Whemple and Dr. Muller to safeguard Helen from a fate seemingly ordained millennia ago.

    The most interesting thing about this movie is the fact that the mummy only appears in the traditional, caricatured apparel of rotting old bandages at the very beginning, after which point he takes the form of a man - an eccentric one with captivatingly powerful eyes and supernatural powers, but a man nonetheless. After a spooky beginning, the movie eventually takes a detour into romance and melodrama and never fully recovers its steam. While Karloff could appear quite menacing and malevolent, he is hardly the stuff nightmares are made of. I think the story is a little weak in the last stages, but this is still a five-star film based on its fame, its immense influence on the genre, and its overall quality; for a film from 1932, this print is simply amazing in both its audio and visual quality. And, though I need not say this again, Boris Karloff gives a subtle, captivating performance as Imhotep....more info

  • The Mummy talked us to death.
    I had remembered the mummy movies with Boris Karloff from my childhood. After viewing this one I think I must have seen only the several sequels that followed. The foot dragging monster was nearly absent in this movie. However there was a lot of dialouge. Of course what was scary in my youth doesn't even register on the scale of the Brandon Frazier mummy movies. Still all-in-all I am glad I purchased the DVD. ...more info
  • Fun occult tale
    The Mummy is a classic horror film, staring Boris Karloff. It begins when archeologists discover a mummy and a box. The box warns to not open, or else evil will come to him. The archeologist does not believe, and opens the box to discover a scroll in it. He reads it out loud, which brings the mummy back from the dead. Ten years later that mummy is searching for his reincarnated love. He performs a spell to attract her to him, and after the girl tries to find him, she is soon found to be under the spell, by a father and son team of archeologists. The son falls in love for her, and he trys to thwart the mummys plans. But the mummy soon catches her and shows her who she was back in Ancient Egypt when they were in love, and how she died, and he tried to bring her back to life, for which he was buried alive for. So now the girl is torn betweer who she really is, the old egyptian women reincarnated, or a new women. In the end she decided shes a new woman, and rejects the mummy. But the mummy has plans to murder her, and awaken her from the dead, in her turn spirit self, to live together in love, forever. It is up to the man who loves her to save her from the mummy.

    Overall the film is average, and drags in a lot of spots. The story becomes more and more interesting as the film progresses but it moves very slow. The film is mostly dialog driven, and I can't see anyone enjoying this much, unless they are fans of older films, or horror films. Egyptology fans may enjoy this, as some parts are histoically acurate. I wouldnt buy this unless you are a fan, so either rent or watch on tv first. 3 stars. Check it out, if your a fan of the topics I have mentioned....more info

  • Totally overated
    I like those classic old horror movies, like Frankenstien, the wolfman, the invisble man,etc.But this movie( like Dracula 1931)
    was absolutley boring. It had a good first scene in the start of the movie, when Karloff's mummy first comes to life, but after that he becomes a regular man and than the movie becomes a romance melodarma, not a horror movie. Their is no real suspense.
    I realize that compared to horror movies today, some the older movies might seem tame, but movies like frankenstien , the wofman and their sequels haves their moments, but this one does not even about a mummy as we know it. Any body expecting to see a traditional monster will be disapointed. If I want to see a drama I will watch Citizen Kane.
    Finally, I like Karloff, he did some great horror B movies, this was not one of them....more info
  • The Most Subtle of Universal Studios Horror Classics
    Although frequently reinterpreted, the original 1932 THE MUMMY remains the most intriguing film version of a story inspired by both 1920s archeological finds and the 1931 Bela Lugosi DRACULA: when an over-eager archeologist reads an incantation from an ancient scroll, he unexpectedly reanimates a mysterious mummy--who then seeks reunion with the princess for whom he died thousands of years earlier and ultimately finds his ancient love reincarnated in modern-day Egypt.

    Less a typical horror film than a gothic romance with an Egyptian setting, THE MUMMY has few special effects of any kind and relies primarily upon atmosphere for impact--and this it has in abundance: although leisurely told, the film possesses a darkly romantic, dreamlike quality that lingers in mind long after the film is over. With one or two exceptions, the cast plays with remarkable restraint, with Boris Karloff as the resurrected mummy and Zita Johann (a uniquely beautifully actress) standouts in the film. The sets are quite remarkable, and the scenes in which Karloff permits his reincarnated lover to relive the ancient past are particularly effective.

    Kids raised on wham-bam action and special effects films will probably find the original THE MUMMY slow and uninteresting, but the film's high quality and disquieting atmosphere will command the respect of both fans of 1930s horror film and the more discerning viewer. Of all the 1930s Universal Studio horror films, THE MUMMY is the most subtle--and the one to which I personally return most often....more info

  • "Come out under the stars of Egypt."
    The first mummy flick is unique among classic horror movies. The Egyptian tale has the dark and moody look of Teutonic art. True to his cinematographer background, director Karl Freund emphasizes presentation over shock value. Instead of nail-biting suspense, terror slowly develops. Unlike subsequent mummies who shuffled around covered in moldy Ace bandages, Im-ho-tep (Boris Karloff) only briefly appears in this attire. After his terrifying resurrection scene, Karloff sheds the bandages, and poses as Ardath Bey, an expert in ancient Egypt. His skin is parchment dry, and his eyes glow with supernatural intensity. He is evil incarnate. Executed 3700 years ago for vile sacrilege, he rises from the dead after the desecration of the sacred ruins. Im-ho-tep seeks to contact the spirit of his forbidden love, Princess Akes-se-namun (sp.?). He finds a woman (Zita Talbot) in modern day Egypt, and believes she is the reincarnated princess. Im-ho-tep has mesmerizing power. He bends the Nubian servant (the stony faced Noble Johnson) into a willing slave. The ancient blood prevails. Im-ho-tep beckons and the princess can only submit. Edward Van Sloan plays the academic type that understands Im-ho-tep's motives and methods. Those who profaned the sacred tomb meet a grim end. Together, Karloff and Freund make this film a classic. The comic-book level Mummy action adventure flicks of recent vintage suffer in comparison to the genuine article. ;-)...more info
  • Good Looking Mummy
    This is a movie that is easy to enjoy. It starts out with a young archaeologist unable to resist the urge to peek inside a crumbling box and translate from the parchment found within. His reading from the parchment awakens, I think, the best-looking mummy every made. All we see is the mummy's hand grabbing the parchment, notice the ring on his finger, and then slowly leaving the tomb with a single strand of bandage as he goes through the doorway. The rest of the movie has the mummy, not so mummy looking, looking for his reincarnated princess for whom he died.

    There are times where the movie is slow, but Boris Karloff gives another fine performance and the mummy's makeup is top notch....more info

  • A Doomed Love Story With Horrific Overtones...
    ...has always been my take on THE MUMMY even when I first saw it as a child. I was fascinated by the Karloff character in the beginning and then felt sorry for him when I realized that he did it all for love. His hypnotic powers were awesome especially the shots of his eyes glowing in their blackened eye sockets. The power of the scarab ring to bring death and the pool of dry ice created lasting memories that have lingered years after first having seen them. And then there was Zita Johann! She was my first real crush to come from the movies. Her face was so striking and her voice seemed so exotic. As I got older, her pre-code evening dress and Princess costume had their own appeal as well. What a pity she made so few films (check out THE SIN OF NORA MORAN to see her at her best). Along with the 1935 THE WEREWOLF OF LONDON, it is my favorite Universal film from their first great horror cycle.

    This Universal Legacy Series release (which missed the 75th anniversary by one year) recycles the earler DVD incarnation of the film which is fine as that was a quality release with a cleaned up print and a remastered soundtrack which sounds better than ever. This time around there is a second DVD of bonus features which is highlighted by Kevin Brownlow's Photoplay Production of UNIVERSAL HORRORS which traces the development of Universal as THE horror studio starting back in the silent era with THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. There are numerous plugs for the new MUMMY series with Brendan Fraser and while those are good films by the standards of today (today's audiences would find the original WAY too slow and lacking in action), they lack the atmospheric poetry of the original. For those who are able to respond to it, the 1932 MUMMY remains a unique, dreamlike experience....more info
  • Not to be confused with "The Mummy's Hand"
    The other reviews are pretty extensive but I just have to add that this is NOT the movie where tana leaves reawaken the well- known foot- dragging man-strangling mummy's-curse monster. THAT movie is "The Mummy's Hand", with Dick Foran and Tom Tyler. This is a considerably different affair with the rather suave former mummy, Imhotep aka Ardath Bey, played by Boris Karloff in one of his better speaking horror roles....more info
  • "I shall awaken memories of love and crime and death ..."
    With these words, the viewer is once again seduced by Boris Karloff's amazing ability to bring to life, so to speak, characters that have been long dead. By 1932, when "The Mummy" was released, Universal was the leading Hollywood horror studio. "The Mummy" was ... ahem ... one more nail in a very successful sarcophagus, providing Universal with more acclaim and Karloff with another notch in his already-outstanding cinematic resume.

    Now released on DVD as part of the Universal Classic Monster Collection series, "The Mummy" reflects the rampant interest in America at the time in all things Egyptian, brought about mainly by the discovery of King Tut's tomb by Howard Carter some 10 years prior. The supposed curse that was to have been visited upon anyone who disturbed the boy king was even worked into the script of "The Mummy" which was, originally, not an Egyptian movie at all but which was based on an historical Italian alchemist/hypnotist who claimed to have lived for centuries.

    In the film, the mummy, Im-Ho-Tep (pronounced "M-Ho-Tep") is accidentally revived after 3,700 years by a team of British archaeologists. He was once a priest, buried alive for attempting to revive the vestial virgin whom he loved following her sacrifice. Alive once more, and now calling himself Ardath Bey, he is looking for his lost love ... and of course, he'll need a living stand-in ...

    The "making-of" documentary included in "The Mummy", entitled "Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed", is, like all the other documentaries in this series, a delight. One special feature of this particular documentary details the process used by make-up king Jack Pierce to turn Karloff - who in life was quite a handsome man - into a dried-out corpse. When one considers - both in the Frankenstein films and "The Mummy" - the physical rigors which Karloff endured to bring his gallery of monsters to life, this dedication to craft alone is truly amazing. From enduring layers of make-up often combined with foul-smelling chemicals, to wearing padded clothing weighing 30 pounds or more, to being wrapped in bandages and accidentally not given a fly through which the actor could relieve himself throughout the day, "Karloff The Uncanny" endured all and, as a result, gave us performances unmatched by any actor living today.

    The double performance of Zita Johann as both the Egyptian princess and her modern-day character is nuanced and blends perfectly with Karloff's measured emotion, which evokes a romantic aura in his character that makes him seem more sympathetic than evil.

    Feature Commentary by film historian Paul Jensen provides a treasure chest of trivia for horror film buffs and Karloff devotees, as do the original trailers and cast and filmmaker's biographies included in the DVD's extra goodies.

    Get lost in the world of "The Mummy" and you'll never want to leave....more info

  • Look Mummy, no praise!
    I noticed that there isn't a single one-star review on here. Well, there's going to be one now. I really think this deserves a negative rating, like -5 stars, but since that isn't an option, I'll simply have to opt for the lowest available.

    I didn't really want to watch this movie to begin with but my dear mother wanted to give it a whirl so I figured I'd just do the same. Afterwards we both agreed that it was a total waste of time that could have been spent in such infinitely more profitable ways. First, the whole occultic aspect was sickening to me; second, the acting, script, plot, and everything else about the movie was not worth much comment except negatively. Third, pizza is best without mushrooms. In fact, every kind of food is better without mushrooms.

    Mushrooms and Mummies aside, if you want to watch a good suspense or "horror" film try Fredric March's "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" or most any Alfred Hitchcock movie. At least those are well-done pieces of artwork as well as masterpieces as far as acting, script, plot, and everything else about them.

    Thank you for your time....more info

  • This mummy is not wrapped up for long
    If you think of a being covered with bandages shuffling its feet along, then you are not thinking of the same mummy that is in this movie. That image is more Lon Chaney, but here, Boris Karloff is the ancient priest, Im-Ho-Tep, who has come to bring his beloved princess back to life. He is only wrapped up in this movie briefly, and you do not see him move in the bandages.

    An archeological dig for the British Museum has unearthed his grave and has found the mysterious Scroll of Thoth. This scroll has the power of bringing the dead back to life. After reading it, a young scientist brings him back to life. The mummy takes the scroll and leaves.

    Years later, a local man shows a different archeological expedition where to find the tomb of an ancient princess. He follows the remains from the tomb into the museum and tries to raise the princess. The bulk of the movie concerns his attempt to reunite himself with the princess.

    Is the movie scary? There is some good make-up on Karloff to make him look very old. His power is either in his eyes or his ring. Neither power is explained in the movie. Through a lighting effect, you will know when he is using mesmerism to attain his diabolical goals.

    Even though this does not have the stereotypical mummy, it is a good movie. I would recommend it for horror fans. This movie was filmed after "Frankenstein."...more info

  • A Cornerstone of the Horror Genre-- and a fine movie.
    [Please note that I am reviewing this movie, and although I've ordered it I
    am /not/ reviewing the DVD. -J.]

    It is only recently that I was treated to my first two viewings of this great movie, and I have to say that I wish I'd seen it years earlier. It has wonderful production qualities. The lighting is fantastic in evoking mood, the sets exotic but believable, and the costumes I think are also worth mentioning. I enjoyed the camera work, direction and performances of the entire cast-- all cooperate very well to create a fantastic swell of mood and terrific range of emotional color.

    Above all, though, shines the magnificence of Boris Karloff. This is the the first movie I ever saw him in, and it made me an immediate convert. He has so little to work with and does so much that his performance radiates feeling
    and makes the movie. Do not think for a moment of the enjoyably campy and entertaining flicks starring Brendan Fraiser (also a talented actor with a range well beyond comedy, see "Gods and Monsters")-- nor think of your run of the mill horror flick. Karloff's Mummy is gripped by pathos, cursed, so in love that he thinks of nothing else, and wrenchingly tortured inside by his own evil and depthless but ultimately selfish love; he believes in this love so much that he has sacrificed everything for it, even his life. He might also be willing to sacrifice the innocent even for just a kiss from his long-dead beloved's spirit, no matter who must pay the toll.

    All of these things come through somehow. Perhaps it's in the eyes? Perhaps the way he commands the screen with his huge, strange body? It's more than any of these things, I was blown away.

    Not to be missed! Don't let this one pass you by....more info