MUMMY, THE (1932)
Reviewed July 31st, 2000 by Chuck Arrington
This disc really needs no introduction. However, for those of you who have never heard of/seen the film here’s a brief synopsis.
In the land of the pyramids, archeologists are furiously trying to uncover a lost city believed to be in their immediate vicinity. Once located, joys beyond their wildest dreams are theirs as they have stumbled across the tomb of the Princess Ankh-Su-Nam-Ann. Alos located within her tomb is a sarcophagus that holds the remains of Im-Ho-Tep, once high priest to the Pharoah in his time some 3700 years ago.
Accompanying the casket is a curios scroll that appears to be the Scroll of Thoth, a document rumored to be able to bring the dead back to life. Professor Whemple (David Manners) realizes his inexperience in these matters & calls upon Dr. Mueller (Edward Van Sloan) in an attempt to identify the authenticity of the scroll. Realizing the curses of ancient Egypt are just as potent today as they were then, Dr. Mueller advises Whemple not to disturb the souls of Egypt & by all means not to read from the scroll.
Well, we wouldn’t have a story if non one read from the scroll & of course, an archaeologist versed in the language of ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs begins to read the scroll in the presence of the mummified remains of Im-Ho-Tep & the Mummy is born!
Taking on the name of Ardeth Bay, The Mummy plans the resurrection of his love Ankh-Su-Nam-Ann. However, with all sacrifices, there must be someone as the sacrifice & the beautiful Helen Groevener will more than fulfill the call. It doesn’t help that she’s the absolute spitting image of Ankh-Su-Nam-Ann either.
In any event it becomes a race against time to save her & all mankind from the crusty clutches of the Mummy!
The audio presented for the film is in 2.0 Dolby stereo, which is absolutely fabulous for this movie. I may be a little biased in my observations because I am of the belief that these Universal Monsters are the best horror movies ever created! In any event, the audio for the feature is fine.
The video for the feature is presented in all it’s original full frame B&W glory. The picture definitely has nicks, scratches & flecks and it does not in any way shape or form detract from the beauty of this film. There is a certain nostalgia about the movie & the transfer errors on the disc are totally negligible.
Firstly, you cannot discuss the merits of the disc without discussing the merits of the menus. The menus on this feature are the absolute best I’ve seen in this series. They are in color & have the score playing over the imagery as it changes. Of special note, on the top/banner between the words “ The Mummy”, Im-Ho-Tep morphs from Ardeth Bay to the mummy & it’s entirely cool!
This is definitely, the best part of the disc other than the movie itself. It contains a wealth of interviews with those closest to the actors & crew for the film as well as historical retrospectives by film historians & family members of the actors.
The Mummy Archives
This is a collection of al of the promotional materials for the film. Stills & posters set against the haunting score of the Mummy.
This was a pretty cool commentary regarding the intricacies of the film. As Paul Jensen was not actually a part of the cast/crew I felt his remarks belonged with the others in the Mummy Dearest segment but it was cool to have an audio commentary on the film in any event.
Somehow, Universal got their hands on a copy of the original 1932 trailer for The Mummy! The most notable thing about the trailer is the language that is used. No one speaks like that anymore & perhaps that’s bad but I thought the trailer was really cool (Very technical term) & its great having it as part of the disc!
This is one of the pillars of Horror. Universal really nailed it when they introduced Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man & others to the world back I the 30’s. That having been said, this is a no-brainer! If you are a fan any of the Universal Classic Monsters, the Mummy has to be on the top of your shopping list!
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