The Mummy (1932) Review

The Mummy (1932) Director: Karl Freund

“Death… eternal punishment for anyone who opens this casket. In the name of Amon-Ra the king of gods.”


Produced by Carl Laemmie Jr. and starring the great Boris Karloff of Frankenstein fame, The Mummy is another terrific installment in Universal’s classic “Monster Movies.” It tells the story of Imhotep, an ancient Egyptian mummy who is accidentally reincarnated by a group of archeologists, one of whom reads the cursed “Scroll of Thoth”. After being reincarnated, his first reawakening since being buried over 2,000 years ago, Imhotep spends ten years learning about modern language and culture in order to blend in. He returns in the hopes of raising his long lost love from the dead. Instead, he finds a modern woman named Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann) bearing a striking resemblance to his long-dead lover, but eventually he is killed when the “Scroll of Thoth” is burned by a surprise appearance of the god Isis. At the end, Imhotep crumbles to death in a scene of intimate and intense lighting.

The Mummy was inspired by the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, and the subsequent Curse of the Pharaohs conspiracy theory, as alluded to early in the film. It also built upon the successes of Universal’s earlier horror classics, Dracula and Frankenstein. The look Boris Karloff as the Mummy, was inspired by Rameses III, and the make-up ordeal was apparently quite a trial, requiring many hours from Boris Karloff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s