25 October 2014

The Mummy (1932)
74 min.
Directed by Karl Freund.
With Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron, Edward Van Sloan, Bramwell Fletcher, Noble Johnson.
The classic 1932 mummy original from Universal.

Im Ho Tep (Karloff) is an ancient Egyptian prince forced to his death after attempting the resurrection of his beloved Princess Ankh-es-en-amon, by using the forbidden Scroll of Thoth.

After his mummified corpse is discovered centuries later, Im Ho Tep is foolishly resuscitated by one of the archaeologists who repeats the Thoth (life-giving) incantation.

The revived mummy then embarks on his current mission: to revive the soul and body of his old love Ankh-es-en-amon, in a new vessel (Zita Johann).

Looking for a new icon to take its place alongside Universal's surprise hits of Dracula (1931), and Frankenstein (1931), producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. took a new script from writer John Balderston, hired Karl Freund as director and Jack Pierce as makeup man, and got Karloff to star.

The rest is history.

Beautifully realized by Freund and perfectly paced, Karloff's outstanding portrayal as the Mummy simply adds to his cache of sympathetic and tortured monster roles.

The mummy makeup & FX by Pierce is utterly remarkable, searing your retina with the image of those eyes...those eyes.

Interestingly, footage was shot showing flashbacks of different forms which Ankh-es-en-amon, Im Ho Tep's beloved, had taken through the centures. The footage was cut from the initial release of The Mummy, but has yet to be found.

Memorable from start to finish, The Mummy is a must see.

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