The Mummy 1932 (1932) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: In 1921 a field expedition in Egypt discovers the mummy of ancient Egyptian prince Im-Ho-Tep, who was condemned and buried alive for sacrilege. Also found in the tomb is the Scroll of Thoth, which can bring the dead back to life. One night a young member of the expedition reads the Scroll out loud,… Runtime: 73 min Release Date: 22 Dec 1932
THE MUMMY awakened in Egypt by English archeologists goes on a rampage searching for its reincarnated lover.Boris Karloff dominates this little fright fest, bringing new nightmares to the screen and proving that his Frankenstein's Monster was no mere quirk, but actually the beginning of a distinguished career in shocker films. Helped immensely by makeup master Jack Pierce, who gave the Mummy face & hands like weathered parchment, Karloff uses his own saturnine features and tall thin body to full effect, creating a horror portrait that has stood the test of time.A sturdy supporting <more>
cast gives Karloff good support: exotic Zita Johann is lovely & slightly mysterious as the woman of Imhotep's deathless desires; valiant David Manners as the young hero gives another typically fine performance; Arthur Byron & Edward Van Sloan are enjoyable as the requisite old gentlemen every horror film must have at least one who study & stalk the Mummy. African-American silent film star Noble Johnson appears as a sinister Nubian.The film's best scene, the resuscitation of the Mummy, demonstrates the potential of the medium. The only indication the viewer has that something horrible is about to happen is a flicker of Karloff's eye and a slight movement of his hand as he stands in his casket, bound in bandages. The rest of the scene unfolds in the hysterical reaction of young Bramwell Fletcher excellent performance as he watches the undead leave the scientists' tent. All the audience sees is Karloff's hand and the trailing bandages from his feet as they drag across the floor. It is enough.
Boris 'Imhotep' Karloff - The One and Only True Mummy! (by Witchfinder-General-666)
Egyptian Mummies doubtlessly range among the most fascinating Horror creatures, and yet their overall representation in cinema seems a bit weak, compared to that of other ghoulish fiends. This is not due to the lack of mummy films, but to due to the small number of truly imaginative ones. Of all mummy films I've seen, there is only one that is truly fantastic - "The Mummy" of 1932. And what a masterpiece it is! Karl Feund's brilliant milestone is not merely the greatest Mummy picture of all-time, and one of the greatest of the Universal Horror classics; it is doubtlessly one <more>
of the greatest Horror films ever made. Horror-deity Boris Karloff gives one of the most astonishing performances of his outstanding career, in one of the Horror genre's most immortal roles - Imhotep. As Karloff's most famous role, Frankenstein's Monster, Imhotep is a tragic character, though incomparably more evil than the predominantly woeful Monster. Though an incredibly haunting fiend, Imhotep is driven by immortal love to a woman. In 1922 an archaeologist awakens the mummy of the Egyptian priest Imhotep by reading out a spell on an ancient scroll. The mummy disappears, but returns ten years later, disguised as Ardath Bey in search of his love - an immortal love which lasted thousands of years. Imhotep was mummified alive for committing the sacrilege of trying to awake his beloved, a priestess of Isis and daughter of the Pharaoh, from the dead. In the 20th century, beautiful young Helen Zita Johann is the spitting image of the Egyptian priestess...Imhotep is doubtlessly one of the most haunting and memorable villains the Horror genre has ever seen, and Karloff, doubtlessly one of the greatest actors who ever lived, is brilliant in the role. No one could possibly doubt that Karloff was one of the greatest icons ever in cinema, and this role is arguably his greatest besides that of Frankenstein's Monnster in James Whale's "Frankenstein" 1932 and the even greater sequel "Bride of Frankenstein" 1935 . Karloff looks incredibly creepy, both as the mummy in the beginning and as Imhotep. The sequence when the mummified Imhotep opens his eyes in the beginning alone is incredibly haunting and unforgettable. Beautiful Zita Johnson is also great in her double role. Actually, the whole cast is very good, it most memorably includes Edward van Sloan, the legendary classic Horror actor who also played Van Helsing in Tod Browning's "Dracula" 1931 . Director Karl Freund was mainly active as a fantastic cinematographer. However, the two Horror films he directed, "Mad Love" of 1935 and this masterpiece to be precise, he also served as an uncredited co-director of Browning's "Dracula" , both rank among the greatest classics of the genre. "The Mummy" is brilliantly photographed, and the makeup department did the job of a century - Karloff just looks uniquely creepy. "The Mummy" spawned many sequels and rip-offs none of which got anywhere near the brilliance of the original. In 1959, the British Hammer Studios made a remake starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, which is easily the second-best Mummy film I've ever seen. The crappy new Mummy films with should be avoided at all costs. Incredibly haunting, creepy and beautiful Karl Freund's 1932 classic is, and always will be, the one and only true Mummy-masterpiece that buries all the rest. "The Mummy" is one of the greatest Horror films ever made, and no cinema lover could possibly consider missing it. 10/10
The Mummy is one of the all-time great horror/supernatural films. It is not the most terrifying movie ever made, nor the most action packed, but it is one of the few films where one can savor the taste of supernatural dread throughout the entire picture. The pace of the movie is perfect - slow and deliberate, with rich and suggestive atmosphere. The ending is excellent and ties together the rest of the film. Clearly, the writer and director knew what they wanted and they got all of it! From the powerful opening scene of terror, the movie shifts into a rather deep look at reincarnation and the <more>
price of using supernatural means to an end lost love in this case . There is horror, and tragedy, and a burning will to live in this picture. Boris Karloff plays an awesome character, Ardath Bey/Imhotep, and wow! what a performance! Karloff has a way of making evil sound so reasonable. And what subtle body movements. Amazing. The girl Helen/Anck-es-en-Amon is the second most important role, and Zita Johann is well cast. She has an otherworldly quality about her looks, you could almost believe she is from another time. There are plenty of memorable moments in the film, such as: The young scientist going insane in shock and horror. His reactions to the very subtle glimpses of the mummy absolutely make that first scene come alive with terror. Great bit of movie making in that scene alone! One of my favorite scenes is in the parlor, when the men-folk burst in on Ardath Bey and Helen. The two of them stare hypnotically into each others eyes, unnaturally close together, the lights out. Creepy! And near the end, when Ardath Bey almost has Helen convinced that being killed and resurrected would be worth love, and suddenly Ardath Bey touches Helen's arm and leaves a dusty, moldy imprint. Helen recoils as she realizes he is offering her only a grim mockery of life. Great bit of filming there! Nicely done. I particularly like how at the end, it is Helen's action which destroys the mummy, not the efforts of the young buck or patriarchal scientist. Hypnotism is the basis for the Ardath Bey's supernatural powers. This sort of occult power was very fashionable from before the turn of the century through the 1930s. I'm sure movie audiences back in the '30s would have been familiar with understanding sorcery in this context. We moderns tend to understand sorcerous powers as superhero powers - Xmen, Spiderman and the like - with emphasis on showy physical effects. Watching the Mummy is a nice change of pace. The camera shots of Ardath Bey's mesmeric eyes are very creepy, very well done. And if he is in a pinch, he reveals his scarab ring, and all who look upon it cringe back for a few moments. Ardath Bey's pool, through which he can project 'evil sendings' out to spy on others and kill them, or look deep into the past, is well-presented as an adjunct to his hypnotic powers. The ancient Egyptian gods notably Isis are the perfect counter point to Ardath Bey, who renounced all gods for his obsessive love. Overall, the use of sorcery in this film is understandable, consistent, and subtle - a combination rarely achieved in most movies.For me, the weakest link in the movie is the love story between Helen and Frank. It's important for the film to show a real human love in contrast to Ardath Bey's inhumanly obsessive love, but the portrayal of the connection seemed perfunctory. All in all, a classic horror movie with very few flaws. It delivers an awesome story!
Having recently seen the 1999 remake, I realized just how powerful Karloff's portrayal of Imhotep/Ardath Bey truly is. Without fancy effects or CGI, without an $80,000,000 budget, with little more than dry-looking make-up, a doleful stare, and that wonderful, lisping voice, Karloff created a monster that will endure long after the rental copies of the remake have shed their metal oxide coatings. Karl Freund, the director, was one of Germany's finest cameramen and this was his first film as a director. Employing the "less is more" theory of film-making, he keeps the mummy a <more>
very mysterious and deadly creature. Never does the mummy stroll up to someone, working them into a corner to strangle them. No, he just reaches out with his mind, killing people from miles away. Finally, the flashback scene is one of the best, done in "silent film" style with music and Karloff supplying a morbid voiceover. Sadly, Universal cut the flashback short before the mummy had a chance to tell about chasing the re-incarnated princess throughout time. Some stills survive and Henry Victor still gets credit as "The Saxon Warrior".
The Most Subtle of the Universal Horror Films (by gftbiloxi)
Although frequently reinterpreted, the original 1932 THE MUMMY remains the most intriguing film version of a story inspired by both 1920s archaeological finds and the 1931 Bela Lugosi Dracula: when an over-eager archaeologist 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 <more>
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.Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
I love these Universal horror movies. This one is all atmosphere. The lighting, the focus on Karloff's eyes and his threatening persona carry the film. When I was in elementary school my kids would say not long after this film was made , I had another kid scare the daylights out of me by describing the internment of the Egyptian rulers. The taking of the body, perfuming it, placing it in a room full of gold, then killing the slaves so that only the priests would know the actual resting place of the body. There was also the bit about being wrapped alive for burial. I'll tell you.The <more>
effect of that story, which is portrayed in the movie, put a bigger scare into me than any movie I've ever seen. Since this one was really the only one we would ever see on television, I watched it every time I could. Isn't it interesting that both the Lugosi "Dracula" use a quotation from "Swan Lake" as a theme song. I've always wondered why that is. It is certainly eerie and as the credits roll, it builds in intensity. I was told once that Tchaikovsky would probably do movie soundtracks if he were alive today. Pardon my digressions. It is interesting that the mummy as a fully wrapped personage really doesn't appear after the beginning sequence--we just know that old Boris is in the process of decay and will eventually be sent to his eternal reward. As usual, the scientists and those who should know, carelessly leave the young woman unattended and he makes his move. The threatening suavity of Karloff is the high point of the movie. I feel the world received such a gift when these films were made. It is a delight, full of frightening images and classic moments.
Boris Karloff plays Imhotep, a cursed Egyptian buried alive 3700-years-ago, returns to life to claim the reincarnation of his lost-love in this Universal classic. Moody, understated and succinct, The Mummy is one of the best films from Universal's classic horror period. Although much of the success can be credited to first time director Karl Freund, who normally worked as a top cinematographer, and the brilliant make-up artist Jack P. Pierce, it is Boris Karloff who gives the film its resonance. As he previously did with the Frankenstein monster, Karloff imbues this character with an <more>
aching sense of humanity which was completely absent later incarnations of the Mummy character. Credit must also be given to the able supporting cast including Zita Johann and the always reliable Edward Van Sloan. Now here's a question. Is the film scary by today's standards? I guess I'd have to say not really. However, I just watched this film again after seeing the American version of 'The Grudge.' 'The Grudge' certainly had me jumping more, but which film did I enjoy more? It'd have to be 'The Mummy.'
A lot of people sincerely love this film and I do appreciate its relevance, but I didn't find it to be as great as most people do. I guess it's mostly because I thought it would be an entire movie centering on well, a mummy. Instead, we actually got to see the so called mummy acting like a normal human most of the time. It's just not what I was expecting. I still liked it of course. It's mostly because of how good the performances are, especially with Boris Karloff. I'll give it credit for being different than I thought it would be. It was nice to be surprised by <more>
this.Yeah, it was more boring than the other films. The "Frankenstein" ones are of course the best of the Universal Horror films. I think this film's length worked quite well too. The sets are a very strong point. The very first part with the opening credits might be the best as they really create great visuals and set up the mood perfectly. The mood is obviously what makes this so good. While not one of my favorites, it still holds up well with its tone. ***
The principal problem with "Mad Love" director Karl Freund's atmospheric laden Egyptian chiller "The Mummy" is the shortage of activities involving the eponymous character. You see Boris Karloff in the early scenes as the Mummy wrapped up realistically in a casket at the excavation site. We hear Dr. Muller Edward Van Sloan of "Dracula" inform expedition leader Sir Joseph Whemple Arthur Byron of "Shadow of Doubt" that the Mummy was not eviscerated during the burial ceremony 3,700 thousand years ago. Muller hypothesizes that the intact viscera <more>
indicates that this ancient Egyptian priest called Imhotep Boris Karloff of "Frankenstein" was punished for sacrilegious behavior. Indeed, we learn later Imhotep was buried alive because he sought to resurrect his illicit lover, the princess Ankh-es-en-amon Zita Johann , daughter of the Pharaoh. Dr. Muller pleads with Sir Joseph to destroy the Scroll of Thoth because of the curse attached to it. When you consider that the Thoth Scroll contains language capable of raising the dead, Muller makes a convincing argument.While Sir Joseph and Dr. Muller discuss the scroll outside expedition headquarters, Sir Joseph's presumptuous assistant Ralph Norton Bramwell Fletcher of "Random Harvest cannot leave well enough alone and reads the Scroll. This act of reading it at a whisper resurrects Imhotep, the High Priest of the Temple of the Sun at Karnak, and the Mummy comes alive, appropriates the Scroll, and traipses out of the office undetected by either Sir Joseph or Dr. Muller. Unfortunately for Norton, he witnesses this supernatural act and chuckles insanely to himself in horror. Later, Norton goes stark, raving mad and dies in a strait-jacket. The expedition of 1921 concludes without discovering anything else, but eleven years later another expedition enters the tomb again and complete its work. This time Sir Joseph's son, Frank David Manners of "Dracula" and Professor Pearson Leonard Mudie of "Dark Victory" are about to abandon the excavation when Imhotep, now masquerading as Ardath Bey, provides them with exact location of Ankh-es-en-amon's tomb. Grateful as they are to Imhotep, Frank and Professor Mudie not only find the tomb but also give all the treasures to the Cairo Museum. At one point, Frank asks Imhotep why he didn't dig up the tomb, and Imhotep explains that he cannot legally exhume his ancestors.Meantime, Ardath Bey plots to resurrect the body of princess Ankh-es-en-amon when he learns about a half-Egyptian woman, Helen Grosvenor Zita Johann , and realizes that she is a dead ringer for the late princess. Convinced that Helen is the reincarnation of Ankh-es-en-amon, he sets out to murder her, embalm her, and then resurrect her as his bride. Now, Frank and Dr. Muller struggle to save Helen from Ardath Bay, and the surprise of surprises is that their best efforts to save her amount to an exercise in futility. Incredibly enough, Helen, who knows her share of ancient Egyptian history, saves herself from Imhotep during the final ceremony when he plans to stab her to death with a sacred knife. Clearly, this Pre-Code horror epic shows the damsel-in-distress triumphing over evil with the help of her male lover and his assistant. Asmentioned earlier, "The Mummy" contains fewer than ten minutes of Karloff looking authentically wrapped up for the ages and then he walks off camera and all we see are the unraveled strips of bandages as he slips out the door while Norton laughs in lunacy at what he sees. Aside from these few precious moments, "The Mummy" has no mummy on the rampage as director Terence Fisher had in his 1959 remake with Christopher Lee or Stephen Sommers had in "The Mummy" 1999 with Brendan Fraser. Mind you, Karloff gives a sterling performance as the taciturn Ardath Bay, and he looks menacing in a series of extreme close-ups that are worthy of wall posters. Furthermore, Ardath Bey is a fragile looking individual who doesn't look like he could smash a cockroach with his fist. Nevertheless, he displays impressive power because he wears a powerful ring.Scenarist John L. Balderston, who penned the screenplay from a story by Nina Wilcox Putnam and Richard Schayer, simply appears to have revised his "Dracula" screenplay with a change of the title character and the setting. Just as "Dracula" concerned a supernatural character who wields his power to seduce an innocent female victim against her will, "The Mummy" does basically the same thing. Like Mina in "Dracula," Helen in "The Mummy" has a male lover who protects her as well as an older gentleman versed in the Occult arts as Professor Von Helsing was in "Dracula." Interestingly enough, not only does actor Edward Van Sloan reprise a similar role in "Dracula," but also debonair David Manners was cast as the boyfriend in "Dracula." Although it is scary in the least, strong performances, atmosphere galore, and splendid production values highlight this Universal Pictures chiller that was followed by "The Mummy's Hand," "The Mummy's Tomb," "The Mummy's Curse," and "The Mummy's Curse."