Question: What does Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Brendan Fraser, and Tom Cruise have in common? Answer: They were all in a "Universal International Motion Picture" entitled "THE MUMMY", but in different decades. Boris and Christopher got themselves mummified, Brendan is involved with accidently awakening a 3,200-year-old Egyptian High Priest, and Tom became possessed by an Egyptian God .
Their movies all trace back to the discovery and entrance, on November 26, 1922, to the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamun and "The Curse of the Pharaoh's". A curse that allegedly killed nine-men for violating his tomb, George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, Sir Bruce Ingham, George Jay Gould, Aubrey Herbert, Hugh Evelyn-White, Aaron Ember, Richard Bethell, Sir Archibald Douglas Reid, and James Henry Breasted, within a ten-year period.
Above, the tomb's discoverer who also entered the tomb, Howard Carter, hired by the Earl of Carnavron to find King Tutankhamun. Carter wouldn't die from the curse, but Hodgkin's Disease, on March 2, 1939.
Above, George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, and his wife, Almkina Herbert, Countess of Carnarvon. She was one of the first people to enter the tomb on November 26th and wouldn't die until, May 8, 1969, at the age of 92.
There are three confirmed silent mummy movies made before the discovery of "King Tut's" tomb. I use the word "confirmed", because there were two other adventure films, 1920's, Austrian "Narr un Tod (Fool and Death)" and the 1921, German, "Das Ratsel der Sphinx (The Riddle of the Sphinx)" that appear on lists of "Mummy" features, but I could not locate if either had a living, or dead, mummy in them. As there appears to be no descriptions of the story lines, only the titles and cast names remain.
The third movie also revolved around a female mummy brought back to life and came from Germany's "Projektion-AG Union (PAGU)". 1918's, "Die Augen de Mumie Ma (The Eyes of the Mummy Ma)", had a running time of one-hour-and-fifteen-minutes, and was made by three greats of the German cinema that would come to the United States.
Balderston had worked with playwright Hamilton Deane to bring his British play, "Dracula", to American audiences on Broadway.
That same year, John L. Balderston's unproduced American play, "Frankenstein", an adaptation of British playwright Peggy Webling's play, was turned into a screenplay by Garrett Fort.
Nina Wilcox Putnam was an American authoress and has the credit for designing the first "1040 Income Tax Form" for the IRS. As primarily a playwright and novelist, Putnam only co-wrote 15-screen stories for screenplays between 1915 and 1953.
Richard Schayer was primarily a "Scenario Director", editing out unnecessary words and sentences from a screenplay, as he did for 1931's "Frankenstein". As a story writer, Schayer had just created the screen story for the sports drama, 1932's, "The All-American", starring Richard Arlen.
Carl Laemmle, Jr. commissioned story editor Schayer to find a popular horror novel, as "Junior" had used for 1931's "Dracula" and "Frankenstein", but based upon an Egyptian curse.
Captain the Honorable Richard Bethell, the personal secretary of archeologist Howard Carter, and the fifth and last person directly tied to the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun had died on November 15, 1929. The story of the Mummy's curse was still very popular three-years later and in Carl Laemmle, Jr's mind.
However, Richard Schayer could not locate anything fitting "Junior's" request!
Nina Wilcox Putnam now was hired to help Schayer create a story to base a screenplay upon. Wilcox had heard of Alessandro di Cagliostro, actually the Italian magician and occultist, Guiseppe Balsamo, who claimed to be both a psychic and alchemist.
What was presented to Carl Laemmle, Jr. was not his Egyptian mummy's curse, but a nine-page story treatment entitled "Cagliostro", about a 3,000-years-old magician still living in San Francisco, California, by injecting himself with nitrates. This new story seemed to be a reworking of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1890, short story, "The Ring of Thoth", but both writers claimed no knowledge of Conan Doyle's work.
It was at this point that "Junior" hired John Lloyd Balderston to write a screenplay. Balderston had been made aware of Laemmle, Jr.'s previous desire for a story set in Egypt.
After reading the Putnam and Schayer nine-page story treatment, Balderston moved the setting from San Francisco to the Egyptian "Valley of the Kings" in 1922, an obvious clue to the discovery and opening of Tutankhamun's tomb.
After this feature, Karloff went to the United Kingdom and filmed the seldom seen, 1933, "The Ghoul", co-starring with Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Ernest Thesiger.
Above a publicity photo found in an article about the clothing Zita Johann wore.
Bramwell Fletcher's character of "Ralph Norton" has been compared to Dwight Frye's, "Renfield", in the 1931, "Dracula", in fact many think Frye played "Norton". The comparison comes at the point "The Mummy" comes to life. Again, showing the John L. Balderston and Karl Freund connection to the other motion picture.
Act Three: The Stranger's History.
Act Four: The Climax and Rescue.
"Im-ho-tep" walks over to the table, as "Ralph Norton" looks on in shock, removes the scroll, and walks out of the room into the night unseen by "Muller" and "Whemple".
For purposes of terror there are two scenes in "The Mummy" that are weird enough in all conscience. In the first the mummy comes alive and a young archaeologist, going quite mad, laughs in a way that raises the hair on the scalp.
The screenplay now moves to 1931 and the second "Whemple Expedition", led by "Sir Joseph's" son, "Frank" and "Professor Pearson", portrayed by Leonard Mudie. The expedition has found nothing of importance, standing outside of the main building, in the distance "Frank" sees a man approaching, who upon arrival introduces himself as "Ardeth Bey".
He claims to know the exact burial spot of the "Princes Ankh-esen-amun". Yet, skeptical about "Ardeth Bey's" statement, something tells "Frank Whemple" to listen to the very ancient looking Arab.
At the exact spot pointed out by "Ardeth Bey", the discovery of a set of steps to a buried tomb is found. Digging begins and "Frank" contacts his father to return to Egypt ---
The screenplay now cuts to "Ardeth Bey", staring at the remains of the "Princess Ankh-esen-amun" in the Cairo Museum. A security guard tells him he must leave as it's after closing time, but "Sir Joseph" enters, recognizes the Egyptian, and tells the guard he may stay as long as he likes.
As "Ardeth Bey" continues to stare at the face of his beloved, the picture cuts to "Helen Grosvenor" attending a party in Cairo.
As "Ardeth Bey" speaks to his beloved at the museum, "Helen" seems to go into a trance, picks up her coat, leaves the party in a cab, and finds herself in front of the museum pounding on the door without any knowledge of how she got there. As this is occurring, "Frank Whemple" and his father arrive, "Helen" faints and is taken to their home. Enter, "Dr. Muller", whom "Helen" is his ward and she is left to sleep on the living room couch as the three men go to "Sir Joseph's" study to talk of the strange event that just took place.
Next, "Ardeth Bey" is let into the "Whemple" residence by a Nubian house servant, and sees "Helen" sleeping on the couch and is struck by her resemblance to the "Princess Ankh-esen-amun". She awakes and he apologizes to her for staring at her so intently and asks if she isn't of his race? "Helen" replies her mother was Egyptian as the three men enter from the study.
Asked what "Ardeth Bey" is doing there, he replies that he believes "Sir Joseph" has something he should not have and he wants it. "Dr. Muller" enters into a small war of double meaning words with the Egyptian and "Ardeth Bey" leaves. After which, "Muller" and "Sir Joseph" ask "Frank" to entertain "Helen" while they go into the study to discuss something.
After some small talk, it becomes obvious that "Helen" and "Frank" are attracted to each other and the romance begins.
In the study "Dr. Muller" tells "Sir Joseph Whemple" that he strongly believes that "Ardeth Bey", as strange as it sounds, is "The Mummy", "Im-ho-tep", that was brought back to life by "Ralph Norton". He wants "Sir Joseph" to destroy the "Scroll of Thoth" and perhaps end the living mummy by that action. After, "Muller" and "Helen" leave, "Sir Joseph" attempts to burn the "Scroll of Thoth", but through magic is killed by "Ardeth Bey", who hypnotizes the Nubian house servant to bring the scroll to him.
Discovering his father's body, "Frank" meets with "Dr. Muller" who gives him an Egyptian-God-Figure on a chain to wear and protect him from "Im-ho-tep", who does attempt to kill "Frank".
"Im-ho-tep" is now convinced that "Helen Grosvenor" is the current reincarnation of his beloved, the "Princess Ankh-esen-amun". As "Helen" walks with her dog through the streets of Cairo looking for the home of "Ardeth Bey", she seems to be drawn to the Egyptian,
The Nubian answers the door and "Helen" enters with her dog. "Ardeth Bey/Im-ho-tep" now appears as the Nubian walks away with the dog and what sounds like a deadly yelp comes from it off screen. The dog is not seen anymore and "Helen" does not remember what happened to it.
What follows is "Helen" commenting how the house looks like ancient Egypt, and sits beside a pool in "Ardeth Bey's" house looking into it. "Helen Grosvenor" now learns who the Egyptian really is and that she is the latest incarnation of his lost love, the "Princess Ankh-esen-amun".
As "Helen" witnesses ancient Egypt, the love she shared with the High Priest "Im-ho-tep", her death and burial, his attempt to bring her back to life, his mumification ordered by his own father, and his burial while still alive for his sacrilege.
Returning to the present, "Helen" finds herself in the Cairo Museum dressed as the "Princess Ankh-esen-amun" and believing she is her. "Im,-ho-tep" now shows "Ankh-esen-amun", herself, mummified, in the exhibition case containing the mummy of the princess.
"Ankh-esen-amun" questions what she sees and "Im-ho-tep" tells her that she has been wandering through time for 3,000 years, but will soon be reunited with him. The Princess realizes the sacrifice her love has been through---
"Dr. Mueller" has found "Frank Whemple" recovering from the attempt on his life and the two are rushing to the museum. At the museum "Princess Ankh-esen-amun" sees what the Nubian is preparing and realizes, confirmed by "Im-ho-tep", that she must die to rise again to be reunited with her love, but she becomes frightened.
"Princess Ankh-esen-amun" wants to run away from the horror she is to be put through, but the Nubian grabs her and she is brought to "Im-ho-tep", who prepares to kill her to live again.
"Frank" and "Mueller" arrive and are attacked by the Nubian, whom they kill, but "Im-ho-tep" uses his powers and immobilizes both men. However, the "Princess Ankh-esen-amun" remembers her ancient teaching, gets off the mummy table and runs to the statue of the Goddess Isis, prays, and the Goddess answers by sending a bolt of lightning into the "Scroll of Thoth" and "Im-ho-tep", "The Mummy", starts to age 3,000 years.
"Helen Grosvenor" has returned to the present and leaves the museum with "Frank Whemple" as the motion picture ends.
In 1936, the founder of "Universal Pictures", Carl Laemmle lost the studio in a hostile takeover.
After the success of both 1939's, "Son of Frankenstein", and 1940's, "The Invisible Man Returns", the current owners decided to bring back "The Mummy". However, as "Im-ho-tep" was destroyed at the end of the 1932 feature film, a new mummy was needed, and his name was "Kharis".
Many fans believe that Lon Chaney, Jr. was the only actor to portray the role, but they would be wrong. The original film in the series was "The Mummy's Hand", released on September 20, 1940. The role was originated by "B" Cowboy actor, Tom Tyler, who would also become the original "Captain Marvel" in a "Republic Pictures", 12-Chapter, Cliff-Hanger, released on March 28, 1941. My article, "Tom Tyler: the "B" Cowboy Star Who Became A Mummy, Captain Marvel and a Classic John Wayne Bad Guy", will be found at:
Above "B" Cowboy star, Tom Tyler, with "B" Singing Cowboy star, Dick Foran as "Steve Banning". "Banning" is the main member of an archeological expedition looking for the tomb of the "Princess Ananka". Which has been guarded for 3,000-years by the "Priests of Karnak". That sect controls the mummy of the Egyptian High Priest, "Prince Kharis", kept alive by a fluid made from "Tana Leaves".
While Tyler would be replaced by Lon Chaney, Jr. in the first sequel, "The Mummy's Tomb", released on October 23, 1942, and the two films that followed that feature film. Dick Foran returned as "Steve Bannon" in the direct sequel to "The Mummy's Hand", that was to have taken place 30-years after the first picture, but was released on September 20, 1940.
For those of my readers interested in Foran, he is part of my article, "John Wayne Was a Singing Cowboy: Singing Cowboys and Cowgirls in the Movies and on 1950's Television". That includes Cowboy singer and "Universal Studio" "Frankenstein Monster", Glenn Strange. For your enjoyment my article is at:
It should be noted that "The Mummy's Hand" used stock footage from the 1932 "The Mummy" and has flashbacked scenes were it is obviously Karloff and not Tyler in them.
The last film in the "Kharis" series was "The Mummy's Curse", released on December 22, 1944. At the end of the previous motion picture, "The Mummy's Ghost", released on June 30, 1944, "Kharis" and the reincarnated "Princess Ananka" sink in quick sand in a Louisiana swamp, but are dug up for the final film.
Above, Virginia Christine as the "Princess Ananka" in "The Mummy's Curse", below are Lon Chaney, Jr. as "Kharis", and Ramsay Ames as "Amina Mansori" the reincarnated "Princess Ananka" in "The Mummy's Ghost".
My article, "LON CHANEY, JR. "OF MICE AND WEREWOLVES", can be read at:
Changing the mummy's name from "Kharis" to "Klaris", on June 23, 1955, the "Universal Picture's" mummy reached a comic low, or high, depending upon your point of view in "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy".
My article about "Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy", and all the other movies with the classic comic duo meeting "Universal's Horror Gallery", "Abbott and Costello Meet the Universal Studio Classic Monsters", will scare you into hilarity at:
At this point in my article, I want to mention two non-"Universal International Pictures" mummy films that have interesting takes on the concept and both came out in 1957.
In February 1957, "United Artists" released the independently made "The Pharoah's Curse", set in 1902, Cairo.
The story is about an unsanctioned expedition into the "Valley of the Kings" looking for the tomb of "Rahateb". The expedition is being helped by a guide named "Numar", played by Alvaro Guillot, and assisted by his strange acting sister, "Simira", played by Israeli actress Ziva Rodann. Members of the expedition face the title curse and start dying leading to a gimmick ending. "Numar" is actually the reincarnation of the High Priest sworn to protect "Rahateb" and is decomposing as time passes, and "Simira" is actually the goddess "Baset" in human form.
On November 13, 1957, "La Momia Azteca (The Aztec Mummy)", was released as the first feature of a Mexico made trilogy.
The screenplay was written by Alfredo Salazar and Guillermo Calderon and sounds very familiar.
Aztec warrior "Popoca", played by Angel di Stefani, dares to have an affair with a temple maiden, "Xochiti", played by Rosa Arenas. She is put to death for her sin and her body is entombed in the Great Pyramid of Yucatan that "Popoca" must forever guard.
In present day, "Flor Sepulveda", played by Rosa Arenas, is the fiancé of "Dr. Eduardo Almada", played by Ramon Gay, who uses hypnoses to regress her and discovers she is the reincarnation of "Xochiti". This leads to the pyramid in Yucatan and the "Aztec Mummy Popoca", played by Angel di Stefani, coming to life to be with his reincarnated love.
THE MUMMY premiering in Italy, August 1, 1959
The British film company, "Hammer Film Productions", had already released their version of both Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's "Frankenstein", and Bram Stoker's "Dracula". Now they turned their attention to a remake of the 1932, "The Mummy".
"Hammer's" "Dracula", also known as the "Horror of Dracula", was distributed outside of the United Kingdom by "Universal International's" international distribution arm. The American studio was very interested in both distributing and helping fund a remake of their 1932 feature film, BUT they did not control the screenplay.
That control was in the hands of the one surviving screenplay writer, Nina Wilcox Putnam. The surviving, 77-years-old, writer had seen "Hammer's" 1957, "Curse of Frankenstein", and 1958's "Dracula". Her opinion of those two Technicolor feature films was that they contained extremely bloody scenes, almost naked woman, and were overly violent.
My article, "Universal Pictures Horror Films Reimagined By Hammer Films", is available for reading at:
Screenplay writer Jimmy Henry Kinmel Sangster, having written for "Hammer" among other films, 1956's, "X-the Unknown", 1957's, "Curse of Frankenstein", 1958's, "Dracula (Horror of Dracula)", 1958's, "Revenge of Frankenstein", 1958's, "Blood of the Vampire", 1958's, "The Trollenberg Terror (The Crawling Eye)", 1959's, "Jack the Ripper", and 1959's, "The Man Who Could Cheat Death", was given the assignment.
Christopher Lee portrayed "Kharis the Mummy". Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee is best known for two roles, "Gandalf", in director Peter Jackson's version of author J.R.R. Tolken's trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings", and author Bram Stoker's, "Dracula". A role he became to hate playing over and over again for "Hammer Films", and once in director Jesus Franco's, 1970, Spanish version, "Count Dracula".
The above make-up is by Roy Ashton, 1956's, "Fire Maidens of Outer Space", assistant make-up artist on 1957's, "Curse of Frankenstein", and 1958's, "Dracula". Make-up artist for 1959's, "Hound of the Baskervilles", 1960's, "Brides of Dracula", 1961's, "Curse of the Werewolf", and 1962's, "Phantom of the Opera".
As I mentioned, the setting is now 1895 Egypt, where archologists "John Banning", his father "Stephen Banning", portrayed by Felix Aylmer, and "John's" uncle, "Joseph Whemple", portrayed by Raymond Huntley, are searching for the tomb of the "Princess Ananka".
As the explosion to seal the tomb of the "Princess Anaka" takes place, "Mehemet Bey" prepares to leave Egypt for England with "Kharis", but first prays to the great god, "Karnak".
Shortly after the visit, "Mehemet Bey", now calling himself "Mehemet Atkil" rents a house near the sanatorium and across a swamp between his new house and "John Banning's". Two men are hired to transport a large wooden crate across the swamp to "Mehemet's" house.
As the two drunken men are moving the crate near the sanatorium, "Stephen Banning" senses that the mummy is near and starting screaming. His screams carry onto the road that the cart with the crate is traveling and the frightened drivers speed up, but the crate with the mummy falls off and into the swamp. Meanwhile, at the sanatorium, "Stephen Banning" requests a transfer to a padded cell to protect himself from his delusions.
When "Banning" knocks on the front door and "Mehemet" answers. It is the Egyptian who is shocked to find him still alive. The two discuss the ancient Egyptian relics in the home and "John Banning" deliberating tests "Mehemet Bey's" knowledge was misdating a piece. When "Mehemet" mentions the "Great God Karnak", "Banning" counters by calling "Karnak" a minor deity, if that. As he watches the Egyptian's reaction.
After returning home, "Banning" informs "Mulrooney" that "Kharis" will attack him soon and a plan is out together to stop the mummy and capture "Mehemet Bey".
"Mehemet" now orders "Kharis" to kill "Isobel Bannning", but "Kharis" sees his beloved, the "Princess Anaka", and instead, "Kharis" kills "Mehemet".
"Isobel" faints and "Kharis" picks her up and carries his "Ananka" out of the house and toward the swamp.
Between 1959's, "The Mummy" and the next feature film I will speak too, "Hammer Films", as with their "Dracula" series that Christopher Lee hated, released three movies, 1964's, "Curse of the Mummy's Tomb", 1967's, "The Mummy's Shroud", and 1971's, "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb", with three different actors portraying three different mummies. The last of these three unrelated mummy movies will be mentioned in connection to the 2017, "The Mummy".
It would be forty-years after "Hammer Studios" "The Mummy", before someone went back to the original 1932 film.
THE MUMMY released first in Portugal on April 16, 1999
In 1991, Jacks and Daniel pitched another version and had signed Clive Barker to direct and Barker had written a very dark screenplay, but the studio felt it was to weird. Next, screenplay writer, Mick Garris, 1989's, "The Fly II", televisions "She-Wolf of London", 1990 through 1991, and Walt Disney pictures, 1993, "Hocus Pocus", came up with a screenplay, but again it was considered to expensive.
In 1995, screenplay writer, Mick Garris, returned and developed a screenplay that combined elements of 1932's, "The Mummy", and 1942's, "The Mummy's Tomb". The screenplay was a period piece, but the cost of making it was to high for the "bean counters" at "Universal".
Stephen Sommers would also direct this motion picture.
The third and final screenplay writer was Lloyd Fonvielle, 1983's, "The Lords of Discipline", 1985's, "The Bride", and 1987's, "Cherry 2000".
Their final screenplay has been called "Indiana Jones Meets the Mummy" and took some of the ideas from the Mick Garris 1995 screenplay.
Brendan Fraser portrayed adventurer "Richard 'Rick' O'Connell". Brendan James Fraser was cast in the role because the producers and director thought he could play an Errol Flynn character. The 1992, "Encino Man", had just been seen in 1999's, "Blast from the Past", and followed this picture with the title role in the live action, 1999, "Dudley Do-Right".
Rachel Weisz portrayed wannabe Egyptologist, "Evelyn Carnahan, and Nefertiri". Rachel Hannah Weisz is a London born international actress and had just been seen in the BBC made for television motion picture, 1998's, "My Summer with Des", and followed this feature with a Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Canada co-production, 1999's, "Sunshine".
John Hannah portrayed "Evelyn's brother Jonathan". Scottish actor John David Hannah portrayed crime solving Scottish pathologist "McCallum", on the BBC's Scottish channel from 1995 through 1998. After this feature he was in the cast of the Denzel Washington's, 1999, "The Hurricane".
Third point, this will be the longest description of the screenplay of any of the four films, because of its complexity. 1932's, "The Mummy", had a running time of one-hour-and-thirteen-minutes, the 1959, "The Mummy", had a running time of one-hour-and-twenty-eight-minutes, while this motion picture has a running time of two-hours-and-five-minutes.
Move ahead to the only clear date, 1926, and "Evelyn Carnahan" who is employed by the "Cairo Museum of Antiquities" as a librarian. "Evelyn" wants to be an Egyptologist and had her application denied by the "Bembridge scholars", a major group of Egyptologists located on the Isle of Wright at the time.
The only reason "Dr. Terrence Bey" hired "Evelyn" was his close friendship with her parents. Who were killed in a plane crash while researching a cursed mummy. "Evelyn's" father was a famed English explorer, and her mother was Egyptian.
"Evelyn" has one aggravating problem for "Dr. Bey", she is a klutz! Below, she is about to knock over the bookcase into a series of bookcases each knocking over the next in line.
"Jonathan" says he's lying to get out of prison, "Rick" recognizes him as the man that stole the puzzle box and punches him in the face through the cell's bars.
That night as "Evelyn" is brushing her hair in her stateroom, a man dressed all in black enters and demands the map to the "City of the Dead" and something called "The Key". "Rick O'Connell" comes into the stateroom with guns drawn as other men in black enter. After shooting at the men in black and hitting an oil lamp on the wall, he grabs "Evelyn" and takes her away from the burning room with the puzzle box. She turns back to retrieve the map, but "Rick" stops her, saying he's now the map. On deck a battle is taking place between the four American's and other men in black who are actually the "Medjai", again attempting to stop anyone from finding "Imhotep". As the fire rages, everyone jumps overboard from the burning and sinking ship.
"O'Connell's" group use a naturally-occurring chasm in the ground to reach the tunnels of "Hamunaptra" and enter a large chamber, the "Sah-Netjar", a preparation room for entering the afterlife. "Evelyn" realized that the room hadn't been used in over 3,000-years and she walks over to one of the large mirrors and positioning it with the others, lights the "Sah-Netjar" from sunlight. Moving further into the tunnels the group hears a loud chattering sound within the walls and "Rick" suggests it's only insects and there is no need to be alarmed.
Next, they come upon the underside of the "Statue of Anubis" that is partly sunk into the ground, they also hear voices and "Rick", "Jonathan", and "Gad" pull out their pistols.
While at the American's dig site "Dr. Allen Chamberlain" stops "Isaac Henderson" from preying open a compartment on the statue in the American's search for treasure.
That night "O'Connell" gets up from their campsite after hearing the sound of horses, that is followed by both his group and the American's being attacked by the "Medjai", resulting in several dead "Medjai" and the remainder of the American's diggers. "Ardeth Bay", the leader of the "Medjai" overpowers "Rick", who reaches for a stick of dynamite and lights it. "Ardeth Bay" wisely calls off his attack, but warns that they must all leave in one day. However, as the "Medjai" ride away the words of their leader have the unintended effect of confirming in the American's minds that the treasure of "Seti I" exists, otherwise why would the "Medjai", the original palace guards, be so worried about their digging around the "Statue of Anubis"?
The following morning the newly formed group returns to the bottom of the "Statue of Anubis" to dig, as the acid sand is gone, and they discover a wooden chest. Which is agree will remain unopen until later, but after "O'Connell", "Evelyn", and "Jonathan" leave, "Dr. Chamberlain" and the American's open the box.
"Evelyn Carnahan" drunkenly stands up and says:
Look, I-I may not be an explorer or-or a treasure seeker or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am. I....am a Librarian!
"Evelyn" leans over to kiss "Rick" and passes out.
Death is Only a Beginning
It is at this moment that "Evelyn" approaches everyone to inform them that the sarcophagus was filled with the scarabs of flesh-eating beetles. To the Egyptologist, this indicates that whomever was in it had been condemned to the "Hom-Dai" curse. An ancient benediction that states, if that person should arise once more, he brings upon the world the Ten-Plagues of Egypt that are mentioned in the Bible.
"Evelyn" finds herself standing in a dark chamber with the American "Burns" looking the other way. he turns toward her and his eyes are missing, as is his tongue. She steps backwards in fear, only to encounter the mummy with "Burns" missing eyes and tongue.
Back in Cairo, the expedition's members are staying in the guest quarters of the Foreign Legion's Fort Brydon. There, "Evelyn" informs "Rick", that she has decided they must return to "Hamunaptra" to stop "Imhotep". However, "O'Connell" wants to leave Egypt and take her with him, and reminds "Evelyn" that his contract was to take her to the "City of the Dead" and return her to Cairo. After "Evelyn" refuses to go with him, he leaves, but when "O'Connell" witnesses water turning into blood, hail and fire coming from the sky, "Rick O'Connell" returns as the plagues continue.
While "Rick" and "Evelyn" are standing in front of the building everyone is staying at, "Benji" comes running down a staircase, "O'Connell" runs after him, but loses him. Returning, "Rick" and "Evelyn" go up the staircase to the room that "Burns" was using. There they find the mummy starting to regenerate its body and what was once the American, but now a shrunken body without any fluids left in it.
As the above is taking place, "Daniel's" leaves "Henderson" guarding "Evelyn's" door way and goes for a drink of whiskey. Before he can get his drink, the mummy blasts out a window and "Henderson" ends his life by making "Imhotep" more complete.
That night, the four remaining members of the group arrive at the Cairo Museum, after driving "Daniel" crazy over how protective of her "O'Connell" was after she was kissed by "Imhotep". Speaking with "Dr. Bey" and "Ardeth Bay", "Evelyn" believes that the reading of the "Book of the Dead" brought him to life and reading the "Book of Amun-Ra" should destroy him. "Evelyn" adds that if the "Book of the Dead" was found under the "Statue of Anubis", then, the "Book of Amun-Ra" should be under the "Status of Horus", back in "Hamunaptra".
All during the above discussion, the sounds of people are heard getting louder, outside the citizens of Cairo are now completely under the control of "Imhotep". "Jonathan" cautiously leaves the museum to get "Dr. Bey's" car started and bring the car to the front of the building, but he first must get through the townspeople that are in a trance like state repeating "Imhotep" over and over. Pertaining to be in a trance, "Jonathan" is able to get the car and drive it to the front door.
"Rick" leading with "Ardeth" and "Daniels" head for the car followed by "Evelyn" and "Dr. Bey". Suddenly, "Benji" cries out to "Imhotep" that the group is escaping the museum and the mummy calls upon the townspeople to stop them. "Daniels" falls out of the car and is killed by "Imhotep", completing his transformation, but the others escape until the car hits a fire hydrant.
"Rick", "Jonathan", Dr. Bey" and "Ardeth Bay" start to run and turn into an alley. There "Rick" is able to remove a manhole cover and tells everyone to get into the sewer. However, "Dr. Bey" says he will stay and fight the townspeople so the others can escape and will be killed by them.
The three reminding men devise a plan of rescue and "Ardeth" takes "Rick" and "Jonathan" to the one man who might help them, "Winston Havelock, of the Royal Air Force". Who has set himself up with a hangar at the town of Erfoud in the Sahara Desert.
"Imhotep" takes the key and opens the "Book of the Dead" to summon "Anck-Su-Namun's" soul from the black moat of souls in the chamber.
destroy the living mummy of the concubine.
"Imhotep" now grabs and starts to strangle "Jonathan", "Rick" slices the mummy's hand off, while "Jonathan" is actually pickpocketing him for the key.
Speaking ancient Egyptian, "Imhoptep", the High Priest of "Seti I" has his words translated by Egyptologist "Evelyn Carnahan":
Death is only the beginning!Meanwhile, "Benji" is pilfering the treasures of "Hamunaptra" in the main chamber and accidently triggers the device that starts bringing down the walls of the "City of the Dead". During their escape, "Jonathan" drops the "Book of Amun-Ra" into a moat, but "Rick" will not let "Evelyn" stop to find it. He finds "Benji" still pilfering and attempts to get to him, but the walls start to fall and scarabs start to run over his onetime friendly enemy.
"Rick", "Evelyn", and "Jonathan" make it out of the caving-in tunnels to find "Ardeth Bey" on horseback waiting for them. He praises them for bringing down "Imhotep" in Allah's name, then rides off into the sunset like in a "B" Cowboy movie.
"Jonathan" sarcastically remarks they were left empty handed again. However, "Evelyn" and "Rick" are deep in a compassionate kiss, none of the three realizing that their camels have the treasure "Benji" had placed in the saddlebags to lure "Imhotep" to them back in Cairo.
A last mention of the cost to make the 1999 "The Mummy". As I mentioned above, the cost of making this picture initially was to be under 10-million-dollars, and several versions were considered to expensive for "Universal Pictures" over the years. The estimated final budget for this production was 80-million dollars, and according to the website "The Numbers", as of July 5, 2020, the worldwide box office was 414-million-dollars.
The last movie, to date, from "Universal Pictures" with the title "The Mummy", was released in 2017 and is somewhat a confusing motion picture and is said to have brought down "Universal's Dark Universe", but that is not entirely true.
In 2007, "Universal Pictures" planned to make a new horror movie entitled, "Dracula Year Zero". A director and writer were hired, but the estimated cost to make the film shut it down. The concept was revised in February 2012, the end result would be the motion picture "Dracula Untold", released on October 10, 2014.
However, also, in 2012, "Universal Pictures" wanted to make a new modern reboot of "The Mummy Franchise". Director Len Wiseman was to direct, but problems arose and he left in 2013. In 2014, director Andres Muschietti came on board and again the project fell through. In 2015, Tom Cruise showed his interest in doing a mummy feature.
At the time, the initial plan was for a rebooted take on The Mummy to kick off this new, still yet to be titled cinematic universe in April 2016. However, a few months later, some rumors emerged suggesting that the October 2014 title Dracula Untold had been tweaked in post-production to include a new ending that would allow the Luke Evans version of Dracula to be incorporated into the planned slate of Universal Monsters titles. Additionally, a knowledgeable vampire character portrayed by Charles Dance was also seen as having the potential to be this franchise’s equivalent to Nick Fury. However, Dracula Untold would later be discarded entirely, leaving The Mummy as the undisputed kick-off point to this saga.By the time of the following movie's release, the planned rebooted franchise was now being called "Universal's Dark Universe" and at least two other feature films had been previously announced.
In 2016 it was announced, that "The Invisible Man" would star Johnny Depp, but the film was never put on any production schedule. Already scheduled as the next film in the franchise for a February 14, 2019 release, was "The Bride of Frankenstein", starring Angelina Jolie in the title role. However, just five months after "The Mummy's" premiere, on October 14, 2017, "The Bride of Frankenstein" was postponed indefinitely, and there never was a "Dark Universe Franchise".
The official explanation was a decision had been made to make independent films by known directors permitting their individuality without having to be tied to any franchise requirements. Both the 1999, Brendan Fraser, "The Mummy", and the 2010, Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, "The Wolfman", were given as examples.
THE MUMMY premiered at the State Theatre, in Sydney, Australia, on May 17, 2017
The motion picture was to be directed by co-producer and co-writer, Alex Kurtzman. Examples of his work as a producer prior to this feature film, are televisions "Xena: Warrior Princess", "Fringe", "Transformers Prime, the Animated Series", televisions "Sleepy Hollow" series, and "Scorpion". As a screenplay writer he wrote for televisions "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys", "Fringe", "Transformers Prime", and "Sleepy Hollow". Along with the feature films 2005's, "The Legend of Zorro", 2006's, "Mission Impossible III", 2009's, "Star Trek", and 2011's, "Cowboys and Aliens".
However, as a director this was only his fourth of six titles, and only his second of two feature films as of this writing.
Jon Spaihts, 2011's "The Darkest Hour", 2012's "Promethus", and the Marvel Cinematic Universe's 2016, "Dr. Strange".
Jenny Lumet, her only writing credit prior to this motion was 2008's, "Rachel Getting Married", starring Anne Hathaway and Debra Winger.
I am sure most of my readers are familiar with the Robert Lewis Stevenson novella and for those additionally interested in the many film versions that have been produced up to the year of this picture's release. My article, "The COMPLETE Motion Picture and Television Productions of 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' 1908 to 2017", will be found at:
Prior to the Hammer film version, there was a television production, shown on February 23, 1970, entitled "Curse of the Mummy's Tomb", as an episode of the forgotten ABC television series, "Mystery and Imagination". In 1980, Charlton Heston and Susannah York starred in "The Awakening", and in 1998's, "Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy", aka: "Bram Stoker's The Mummy", went straight to video, and starred Lou Gosset, Jr.,
An Egyptologist, attempting to raise from the dead the mummy of Tera, an ancient Egyptian queen, finds a fabulous gem and is stricken senseless by an unknown force. Amid bloody and eerie scenes, his daughter is possessed by Tera's soul, and her fate depends upon bringing Tera's mummified body to life.
David Koepp, some of his screenplay work are 1991's, "Toy Soldiers", 1993's, "Jurassic Park", 1994's, "The Shadow", 1996's, "Mission Impossible", and both 2005's, "Zathura: A Space Adventure", and "War of the Worlds".
Christopher McQuarrie's screenplays include 2008's, "Valkyrie", 2012's, "Jack Reacher", 2013's, "Jack the Giant Slayer", and 2015's, "Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation".
Dylan Kussman only wrote two motion picture screenplays, besides this film was 1998's, "Burn", not to be confused with the 1969 Marlon Brando motion picture of the same name. Kussman, as of this writing, only additionally wrote ten, 2010, episodes of the television series "The Steps".
According to "Universal Pictures", the character of "Ahmanet" is very loosely based upon "Imhotep", from both the 1932 and 1999 "The Mummy" features and the Egyptian goddess, "Amunet", a primordial goddess often paired with the god "Amun".
I mentioned both Robert Lewis Stevenson and Bram Stoker as source material for this screenplay. I now add director John Landis and his character of "Jack Goodman", portrayed by Griffin Dunne, in "Universal Pictures", 1981, "An American Werewolf in London".
In present day London, England, construction workers, working underground, discover the tomb of a British crusader knight that was buried in 1127 A.D. with an Egyptian ruby.
Note: The actual crusade this knight participated in isn't mention in the screenplay. The major, "First Crusade", was from 1095-1099 A.D. and probably the one. Although there were smaller crusades, such as the "Venetian Crusade", 1122-1124 A.D., until the "Second Crusade", 1145-1149 A.D.
Immediately the story switches to Iraq during the war, and the audiences meets Army sergeant "Nick Morton" and his close friend Army corporal "Chris Vail", known for their get rich schemes and "Morton's" cons. Actually, both are used to cover-up their stealing of valuable artifacts to sell. Their commanding officer, Colonel Greenway", portrayed by Courtney B. Vance, wants to court-martial the two, but on the other hand they're his best scouts.
Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.Next, "Jennifer Halsey" orders the sarcophagus removed and transferred onto a military aircraft to be taken to England.
Back in flight a spider makes its way to "Chris Vail", bites him, and "Chris" is now possessed by "Ahmanet". Suddenly, "Vail-Ahmanet" attacks the others and his friend "Nick Morton" is forced to kill him. Just then, a flock of crows seems to appear out of nowhere and attacks the aircraft.
"Nick", like the military aircraft crew, seem to have no other parachutes available, and they all die as the plane nose dives and impacts the ground.
Cut to, "Nick" returning to life in a government morgue.
"Jenny" and "Nick" are reunited over his strange return to life, and the fact that the mummy "Ahmanet" has escaped her sarcophagus.
"Prodigium" soldiers now attack, but they are all killed by more of "Ahmanet's" zombies. During the battle, she is able to recover the ruby and combines it with "Set's" dagger.
"Nick" now injures himself in an attack on "Ahmanet", but then lets her embrace him to get at the dagger, taking it he smashes it on the ground cracking the ruby. "Ahmanet" stops him from totally destroying the gem, by stating that "Set's" dagger is the means of "Nick" reversing the death of "Jenny".
"Nick" takes "Set's" dagger and stabs himself and becomes possessed by "Set". As "Set" starts to take over "Nick's" body, he sees "Jenny's" dead body, and his mind becomes "Nick's" once more. Using "Set's" powers, "Sergeant Nick Morton" drains "Ahmanet" of hers, killing the mummy.
Knowing that "The Prodigium" is coming after him, he says good-bye to the resurrected "Jenny" and vanishes.
"Princess Ahmanet" is sealed back in her tomb, but as this is being done, "Jenny" and "Jekyll" wonder if "Nick" will use "Set's" powers for good, or evil?
The film ends with "Nick Morton" and the resurrected "Chris Vail" off on another adventure, but with the hope of finding a cure to remove "Set" from "Nick".
Will "Universal Pictures" make another "The Mummy"? Perhaps, but their 2017 entry probably fell to the "Curse of the Pharoah's". The worldwide gross was 410-million-dollars, but the estimated box office to break even was 450-million-dollars. When the mummy-dust cleared, "Universal Pictures" lost somewhere between 60-100-million-dollars.