The Mummy 1932 tells the story of an ancient Egyptian priest, Imhotep, who is resurrected and seeks to reunite with his lost love, leading to a series of terrifying and deadly events in modern-day Egypt.
Release date: 22 December 1932
Director: Karl Freund
Cast: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Edward van Sloan, Arthur Byron, Bramwell Fletcher, Noble Johnson, Kathryn Byron, Leonard Mudie, James Crane, C. Montague Shaw
Studio: Universal Pictures
Country: United States
The Mummy 1932 Review
The Mummy is a 1932 horror film directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff as the titular character, Imhotep.
The film tells the story of an Egyptian mummy who is accidentally revived by a group of archaeologists, leading to a series of supernatural events.
Karloff delivers a haunting performance as Imhotep, portraying the character with a mix of menace and vulnerability. The film’s iconic makeup and special effects, particularly in the scenes where Imhotep’s powers are displayed, continue to be praised for their artistry.
The Mummy 1932 was not initially intended to be a horror film, but rather a romantic drama. However, the success of Dracula 1931 and Frankenstein 1931 prompted the studio to rework the script as a horror film.
Overall, The Mummy is a classic of the horror genre, and a testament to the talents of both Karloff and Freund.
Its blend of ancient Egyptian mythology and supernatural horror has continued to captivate audiences for nearly a century.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Mummy 1932
- The Mummy 1932 shares the same opening credits theme music – Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – with Dracula 1931 from the year before.
- Zita Zohann reported that there was great tension between her and director Karl Freund. She said that from the first day of filming, Freud was a bully and was very hard to work with. She said: “Karl Freund made life very unpleasant. It was his first picture as a director, and he felt he needed a scapegoat in case he didn’t come in on schedule, 23 days, I believe. Well I was cast as the scapegoat, and I saw through it right away!” Due to the nastiness of the experience, Zita Johann declined to work with Universal afterwards, so her billing on The Mummy as demoted from co-star to supporting player.
- Scenes showing the reincarnated lives of Anckesenamum throughout history, including Ancient Rome, Viking Raiders and Middle Ages Europe, were cut from the final film.
- Boris Karloff’s makeup by Jack P. Pierce was based on Ramses III and took eight hours a day to apply. Karloff apparently said to Pierce: “Well, you’ve done a wonderful job, but you forgot to give me a fly!”
- The film’s original titles included “Imhotep” and “King of the Dead”. Unlike Dracula 1931 or Frankenstein 1931, The Mummy was not based on a work of fiction. It was inspired by the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the 1920s.
The Mummy 1932 Trailer
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