THE MUMMY (1932) 

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Boris Karloff
Zita Johann
David Manners
Arthur Byron
Edward Van Sloan
Bramwell Fletcher
Noble Johnson
Kathryn Byron
Leonard Mudie

Karl Freund



Time: 73 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Horror/Drama

SYNOPSIS: A young woman is relentlessly pursued by a revived mummy who believes she's the reincarnation of his lost love. He believes they were meant to be together and will stop at nothing to be reunited.

BOTTOM LINE: Forgive the pun, but Universal really did a great job fleshing out the sinister, yet hollow 1932 original flick in it's 1999 REMAKE. The main reason for indulging in this antiquity is to experience the wondrously creepy and charismatic performance of Boris Karloff as the undead prince Imhotep. The latest version turns the original, suspense-driven story into an adventure/romance. While those elements are present here, the effects in 1932 were not as advanced and therefore the filmmakers had to rely more on acting and plot for scares.

Imhotep, a cursed prince buried alive thousands of years before, is raised from the dead, in 1921, by a group of archaeologists unaware of the evil they are unleashing, which is a bit strange because they are scholars after all and are supposed to know all the myths. His one goal is to resurrect the soul of his long dead love, whom he believes has been reincarnated into the body of a modern woman, Helen (Johann). Though horrified at the unbelievable and perislous situation she finds herself in, she cannot resist the mummy's call and is forced to rely on her friends to physically prevent her from answering. It's a hard fought struggle for her future with her life hanging precariously in the balance.

Karloff's seductive intelligence and smoldering passion make him hard to resist, even as a mummy, and Johann's well-played turmoil adds a dark and desperate air to the proceedings. When they are onscreen together this is a powerful and irresistible tale. Unfortunately, in the scenes without their charisma, the film drags and its old-fashioned nature is brought to light. Certainly not a film that would be remotely scary by today's standards, but one to watch to understand the evolution of horror in Hollywood.

"Put it back. Bury it where you found it. You have read the curse. You dare defy it?"

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