The Mummy (1932)

Directed by Karl Freund
Written by John L. Balderston

Let me state this upfront: I am a big fan of the Brendan Fraser remake of this film. It seems to encapsulate everything that brought me to movies in the first place. I usually always point to James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars as my jumping off points. The Mummy is just one of those films that captures the thrill of adventure and action mixed with some light humor as well to create just a great, fun time at the movies. The original version was not quite that film, but I just said that was my jumping off point for film. Since, I have expanded my boundries to enjoy, well, pretty much anything really, which of course this film would fall under. I did enjoy it. Not as much as the Fraser remake, but a certain level of enjoyment nonetheless.

Like I saw with Dracula and Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff was a name I recognized, but this time I knew why I did. He is of course Frankenstein as well! (True Confessions: I have not see that film though). I really liked Karloff in the film. While he is playing a mummy which is stiff and lifeless (like I saw with Dracula), there is enough “life” channeled into the character by Karloff to make him interesting and entertaining. Of course his story helps in that process, and in fact the entire story manages to be quite good (though of course it is roughly the same as in the remake). It is a fun story. Another aspect of the film that really attracts me to it is the locations. I love history and Egypt has long been near the top of my list of places I would love to go. I could spend weeks in the Cairo museum, of that I’m sure.

The film is not perfect, and I wouldn’t even say it is great. The opening and the ending are both quite good, but the middle of the film slowed. As we got to know Helen and the Mummy began to realize his plans the film began to actually be somewhat bland. As I try to write about it just a few days later, I realize that there really isn’t much thought left over from my viewing, not really all that much that stuck with me. I remember enjoying myself while I was at it, but The Mummy is one of those films that I can’t see myself coming back to. There just isn’t enough there in my estimation to really make it worth while on repeat viewings. For the time the exotic locales and lustful narrative were probably great, but having seen it done so many times since, and in a great many cases, done better, I am not sure what The Mummy might be worth to me today.

**1/2 – Good

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