Universal’s The Mummy has an undeniable legacy in cinema with its 1932 original to the 1999 remake. Birthed at a time when many were fascinated by the mystery and wonders of Ancient Egypt and the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun (King Tut), The Mummy succeeded at the box office in a unique way. The film went on to inspire several remakes and variations on the original concept, but the 1932 film, directed by Karl Freund, never spawned any direct sequels. Whereas Frankenstein and Dracula were revisited, The Mummy was not and, in turn, set the stage for the adventure/horror theme.
Whether you’re fans of the Karl Freund original classic or you love the 1999 Stephen Sommers’ take, it’s a safe bet that there is a Mummy film for you. Let’s take a look at some of The Mummy‘s greatest film appearances.
The Mummy (1932)
Directed by Karl Freund and featuring a screenplay by John L. Balderston, and a story by Nina Wilcox Putnam and Richard Schayer, the film set a different tone for the Universal Monsters movies. Holding a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Mummy is praised for being “a sombre and atmospheric depiction of eternal passion and occult reincarnation,” according to Geoff Andrew of Time Out.
The Mummy introduced us to the names Ardath Bay, Imhotep, and Ankh-es-en-Amon. Characters that would be seen again in the 1999 remake.
I saw The Mummy at an early age and some time before the 1999 film by Stephen Sommers. Having enjoyed a fascination with mummies and Ancient Egypt, I remember liking the Karl Freund film, starring Boris Karloff. But, as much as I liked this chapter in Universal Studios Monster series, I enjoyed the next one even more…
The Mummy (1959)
Yes, The Mummy from 1959 is not actually a Universal Studios Monster movie, but a Hammer production, distributed by Universal. Hammer produced some of the best and most classic of horror movies and The Mummy is one of the finest, if not better than the Karl Freund original.
Directed by Terence Fisher, an English director for Hammer Films, and starring Christopher Lee as the mummy, Kharis, this is the Mummy movie that left the biggest impact on me. I watched this version several times and Christopher Lee delivered a magnificent performance as Kharis.
I’ll never forget the scene where Kharis comes for Peter Cushing’s John Banning in the study and breaks through the glass windows. Frightening, entertaining, and shocking, I need to revisit The Mummy again soon!
The Mummy (1999)
I’ve previously made mention that The Mummy by Stephen Sommers is one of my favorite movies of all time. Having just watched it again this past weekend with Joe of Universal Monsters Universe, this is another fine installment in the Universal Monsters library.
While the film does have a more Saturday morning matinee tone, partially since Sommers was inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark and the films of Ray Harryhausen, The Mummy is still undeniably a Mummy movie.
Featuring a great cast with Brendan Fraser as Rick O’ Connell and Rachel Weisz as Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan, and a beautiful score by Jerry Goldsmith – The Mummy is very much a modern day classic.
Universal Monsters Universe loves The Mummy movies and mummies, in general. We have big things planned for The Mummy over the course of March. While we’re still thinking of what to call it – March Mummies, The Mummies of March, Prospekts Mummy, let us know in the comments what you’d like to see. Is there any film or aspect of the films you’d like to see covered? Are you adament that The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor be skipped over? Let us know because we’d love to hear from you.
As always, stay tuned. And, if you’re interested in the currently in-development 2017 The Mummy movie, starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, you may want to check out A Mummy in Malta & The Mummy; What We Know So Far.