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.
Many fans of movies about a living mummy consider the 1932 "Universal Pictures" feature, with Boris Karloff, the first one made. However, they would be wrong!
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 first and oldest known movie about a mummy coming to life was made by French film maker Georges Melies in 1899. His "Cleopatre (Cleopatra)" aka: "Robbing Cleopatra's Tomb", ran 2-minutes, and was about a grave robber stopped from taking treasure by the resurrected mummy of "Queen Cleopatra".
In 1911, running 15-minutes from a family business, the "Thanhouser Company" of New York City. The second confirmed film was about a female mummy coming to life when electric current is introduced into her body. The mummy was an Egyptian princess, seen below, that makes "violent love" to a young Egyptologist, standing next to her.
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.
The "Mummy Ma", was portrayed by Polish actress, Alpolonia Chaulpec known by her stage-name of Pola Negri. "Radu, an Arab", who holds the secret of "Ma", was portrayed by German actor Theodor Friedrich Emil Jannings, known simply as, Emil Jannings.
While German born, Ernst Lubitsch,
directed the feature film. Once working in the United States, among Lubitsch's motion pictures are 1934's, "The Merry Widow",
starring Maurice Chevalier
and Jeanette MacDonald, 1938's,"Bluebeard's Eighth Wife",
starring Claudette Colbert,
and Gary Cooper, 1939's, "Ninotchka",
starring Greta Garbo
and Melvyn Douglas,
and 1940's, "The Shop Around the Corner",
starring Margaret Sullivan
and James Stewart.
Above, Jennings and Negri.
THE MUMMY released on December 22, 1932
For the record, Balderston had been a freelance newspaper foreign correspondent and was at the opening of King Tutankhamun's tomb, on November 26, 1922.
Balderston had worked with playwright Hamilton Deane
to bring his British play, "Dracula",
to American audiences on Broadway.
The Broadway play starred the original lead in the British production, Bela Lugosi. When "Universal Pictures" turned the play into a 1931 screenplay written by Garrett Fort, Balderston was also asked to oversee the writing, see my article linked above.
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.
Short-cutting my Balderston biography to bring my reader to the 1932, "The Mummy"!
The creation of the screen story came from two writers.
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.
The one before this picture was for the 1932 "B" Western. "The Fourth Horseman", starring Tom Mix.
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.
Between 1916 and 1965, Richard Schayer worked on 113 motion pictures in different capacities.
From my article on John Balderston:
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.
The choice for director was cinematographer Karl Freund.
As it turned out, the perfect director to set the mood for the motion picture. He had been the uncredited director
on Tod Browning's, 1931, "Dracula",
but was the credited cinematographer
on the production.
By this time, starting in his native Austria, Freund had directed 11-short-subjects, and the aforementioned "Dracula". However, as a cinematographer he had filmed 18-short-subjects and 90-feature films that included the 1914, German version of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, "Der Hund von Baskerville", director/actor Paul Wegener's, 1920, "The Golem", and director Fritz Lang's, 1927, "Metropolis".
William Henry Pratt,
now known as Boris Karloff,
was billed simply as "KARLOFF".
and portrayed three roles, "Ardeth Bey, Im-ho-tep,
and the titled Mummy".
Just prior to "The Mummy",
Karloff had been loaned to "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" to star in their motion picture based upon British author Sax Rohmer's "Fu Manchu".
MGM's, 1932, "The Mask of Fu Manchu",
featured with 5th billing, an extremely sexy up and coming actress named Myrna Loy
as "Fu Manchu's" sadist daughter, "Fah Lo See",
and co-starred Lewis Stone
as Scotland Yard Inspector, "Nayland Smith".
My article, "Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee: Fu Manchu The Movies",
will be read at:http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/10/boris-karloff-christopher-lee-fu-manchu.html
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.
portrayed "Helen Grosvenor,
and the Princess Ankh-esen-amun".
Austrian Hungarian actress Elisabeth Johann
had just been seen co-starring in director Howard Hawks'
, 1932, "Tiger Shark",
with Edward G. Robinson
and Richard Arlen.
She would next co-star with George Brent
in 1933's, "Luxury Liner",
the fourth of her seven motion pictures between 1931
Her final motion picture appearance was in her eighth feature film, 1986's, "Raiders of the Living Dead",
as the 6th billed, "Librarian".
In the original cut, shown to preview audiences, of "The Mummy",
there was a long sequence that showed all the reincarnations of Zita Johann's character. The sequence was considered distracting and was edited out and the film lost over time. Some photo-stills remain and here are five.
portrayed "Frank Whemple". Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom's
second on-screen appearance was in the motion picture version of the British play "Journey's End",
which had come from the London stage. The two original British leads, Manners and Colin Clive,
had repeated their roles in both the Broadway production of the play and the 1930
motion picture. The director of all three was James Whale
and I speak to the play and film in my article, "JAMES WHALE: Jean Harlow to Louis Hayward",
David Manners role in director Tod Browning's, 1931, "Dracula", was "John Harker". In some respects that role was recreated as "The Mummy's", "Frank Whemple" by John L. Balderston. In fact, Karloff's "Ardeth Bey" seemed modeled after the count.
Of interest is that David Manners had just co-starred with Bela Lugosi
in the 1932,
comedy crime drama, "The Death Kiss",
made by the long forgotten, "Sono Art-World Wide Productions",
that distributed their own films. The actor followed this feature with 1933's, "From Hell to Heaven",
co-starring with Carole Lombard
and Jack Oakie.
portrayed "Sir Joseph Whemple". Arthur William Byron
was one of the founders of the live stage actor's union, the "Actors' Equity Association (AEA)". "The Mummy"
was Arthur Byron's second feature film, his first was a 1932,
sports comedy romance entitled "Fast Life".
He followed this feature film co-starring with Spencer Tracy
and Bette Davis,
in 1932's, "20,000 Years in Sing Sing",
from director Michael Curtiz.
Byron's film career ended in 1936,
with the story of the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth, "The Prisoner of Shark Island",
after only 26 on-screen roles.
Edward Van Sloan portrayed "Doctor Muller". Prior to 1931, Edward Paul Van Sloun only appeared once on-screen in a 1916 dramatic short, "Slander". When Van Sloan returned to the motion picture screen he was first, "Van Helsing", in Tod Browning's "Dracula", and then immediately, "Doctor Waldman", in James Whale's, "Frankenstein". Between Whale's film and this picture, Van Sloan appeared nine-times, with four of those roles without credit. Just prior to this feature, Edward Van Sloan joined David Manners and Bela Lugosi in 1932's, "The Death Kiss".
"Universal Pictures" released "Dracula's Daughter",
with Edward Van Sloan recreating his role of "Van Helsing", to bring the sequel to the exact time and year of the first's ending, 1931.
That feature is part of my article on the odd vampire movie, "Not the Same Old VAMPIRE Movies, or Get Your Dentures Away from My Jugular Vein",
found to sink your teeth in at:http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2017/10/not-same-old-vampire-movies-or-get-your.html
I've mentioned that director Karl Freund was also the cinematographer for 1931's, "Dracula". I draw my reader to another correlation between that motion picture and this one. Note the closeness in set-up of the scenes below, another example of why the two films are compared so closely.
Bramwell Fletcher portrayed "Ralph Norton". English legitimate stage actor Bramwell Fletcher came to motion pictures starring with 1928's, "Chick", a forgotten silent British film, but it is his second British silent, 1928's, "S.O.S.", that is shown on most lists as Fletcher's first motion picture.
the actor was 4th billed as "Billie",
in the John Barrymore
motion picture version of author George L. Du Maurier's
now entitled, "Svengali".
Fletcher married his second wife, John Barrymore's daughter, "Diana".
His first wife was Helen Chandler,
who portrayed "Mina Seward",
in the 1931 "Dracula".
Also in 1931,
Bramwell Fletcher had 4th billing in the Anna May Wong, "Daughter of the Dragon",
with Wong as "Fu Manchu's" diabolical daughter. Just before this picture, Fletcher was seen in the forgotten crime drama romance, 1932's, "The Face on the Barroom Floor",
and followed this film with the forgotten horror movie, 1933's, "The Monkey's Paw".
Fletcher had 4th billing in an underappreciated horror tale, 1942's, "The Undying Monster".
Bramwell Fletcher moved to the new medium of television and would end his career in an episode of the British television series "Coronet Blue",
entitled, "Man Running",
on July 17, 1967.
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.
portrayed "The Nubian". Noble Johnson
was an underappreciated African American actor who is known for portraying the "King of Skull Island",
in Merian C. Cooper's, 1933, "King Kong".
Among his other films are Cooper's, 1929, "The Four Feathers",
also starring Fay Wray,
and Cooper and Wray's, excellent, 1932,"The Most Dangerous Game".
Johnson repeated the role of the "Skull Island King" in Cooper's, 1933, "Son of Kong",
and had a supporting role in Merian C. Cooper's 1935
version of British author H.R. Haggard's, "She".
Noble Johnson portrayed "Chief Red Shirt",
who is causing all the problems in director John Ford's, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon".
My article, "Noble Johnson African-American Pioneer Actor",
will be found at:http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/06/noble-johnson-african-american-pioneer.html
The John L. Balderston Screenplay:
When watching the 1932, "The Mummy", my reader must remember that John L. Balderston was a playwright and his screenplay is divided into four distinct acts:
Act One: The Prologue and Set-Up.
Act Two: Introduces the lovers, and the mysterious stranger. Who knows more than he is saying and appears to be manipulating everyone else.
Act Three: The Stranger's History.
Act Four: The Climax and Rescue.
The motion picture opens in 1921, not the 1922 of the opening of King Tut's tomb. The audience meets the main members of the "Sir Joseph Whemple" expedition, they are, "Sir Joseph", "Doctor Muller", and "Ralph Norton". Who are looking for the tomb of the "Princess Ankh-esen-amun", but instead found a burial site containing "The Mummy" of the High Priest "Im-ho-tep" and a sealed box.
Examining the mummy, "Dr. Muller" deduces the normal removal of the person's viscera was not performed, and it appears that "Im-ho-tep" was buried alive, struggled against being wrapped as a mummy, and was placed in his sarcophagus.
Before opening the sealed box, "Dr. Muller" reads a curse that is upon it.
"Dr. Muller" next warns "Sir Joseph" and "Norton" not to open the box. "Muller" and "Whemple" step outside, leaving "Norton" to his other work, but curiosity overcomes the young archeologist and he opens the box.
Inside is the legendary "Scroll of Thoth", the reanimator of life.
"Ralph Norton" starts to translate the inscriptions, reads them out loud, and the eyes of the mummy of "Im-ho-tep" open.
"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".
"Im-ho-tep" leaves a now insane "Norton" talking about the mummy taking a walk, he will end up in a strait jacket still insanely laughing and eventually dies.
In a January 7, 1933,
review of the motion picture in the "New York Times", the above sequence is described as:
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".
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. Th
e 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.
The bottom line was that the character of "Im-ho-tep/Ardeth Bey",
a 3,000-year-old living mummy in modern times, was untouchable for the "House of Hammer" as long as Nina Wilcox Putnam was alive and a alternative was required.
My article, "Universal Pictures Horror Films Reimagined By Hammer Films",
is available for reading at:http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2020/12/1930s-universal-pictures-horror-re.html
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.
Sangster made the decision to rework "Universal Pictures" "Kharis" series into his screenplay and move the opening location to 1895 Egypt.
Terence Fisher was assigned to direct the motion picture. He had been directing since 1948 and one of his earliest features for "Hammer" was the British and American co-production, 1952's, "Stolen Face", starring Paul Henreid, Lizabeth Scott, and Andre Morell. His 1953, "Four Sided Triangle", twists Mary Shelley into a modern romance with surprising results. Then there's the murder mystery in a science fiction setting, 1953's, "Spaceways", but more to the point.
Fisher had directed 1957's, "Curse of Frankenstein", both 1958's, "Revenge of Frankenstein", and "Dracula". Along with "Hammer's", 1959, version of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles", and what is described as a drama, horror, science fiction, 1959's, "The Man Who Could Cheat Death".
Peter Cushing portrayed "John Banning". Peter Wilton Cushing began his on-screen career as "The Second Officer", in director James Whale's, 1939 version of French author Alexander Dumas', "The Man in the Iron Man". In 1948, Cushing portrayed "Osric" in Sir Laurence Olivier's version of playwright William Shakespeare's "Hamlet", in 1954, the actor was "Sir Palamides" in the Alan Ladd feature, "The Black Knight", and in 1954, Peter Cushing portrayed "Winston Smith" in the BBC's live production of author George Orwell's "1984".
While in 1956, Cushing appeared in the Richard Burton feature, "Alexander the Great", and followed that film with 1957's, "Curse of Frankenstein" as "Baron Frankenstein", that same year he co-starred with American Forrest Tucker in "The Abominable Snowman", and in 1958, he was seen in both the direct sequel to the "Curse of Frankenstein", the "Revenge of Frankenstein", and as "Dr. Van Helsing" in "Dracula".
Besides this feature film in 1959,
Peter Cushing portrayed "Sherlock Holmes",
with Andre Morell
as "Dr. Watson",
and Christopher Lee
as "Sir Henry",
in "The Hound of the Baskervilles. 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".
In 1961, Christopher Lee appeared as the villain in Italian horror director, Mario Bava's, "Hercules in the Haunted World", and the following year portrayed "Sherlock Holmes", in the West German and United Kingdom co-production, "Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace", directed by Terence Fisher. Lee was fluent in several languages and my article, "CHRISTOPHER LEE: Foreign Language Motion Pictures 1959 to 1970", will be found at:
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".
portrayed "Isobel Banning
and Princess Ananka".
French and British actress Elizabeth Yvonne Scatcherd
started on-screen acting in 1952,
she portrayed "Jenny Diver",
in 1953's, "The Beggar's Opera",
starring Sir Laurence Olivier
as "Mack the Knife".
She was the second billed actress in the 1953
version of Scottish author, Robert Lewis Stevenson's "The Master of Ballantrae",
starring Errol Flynn,
co-starred with Flynn, Joanne Dru,
and Peter Finch,
in the 1955
historical adventure, "The Warriors",
and followed this feature with Italian director Federico Fellini's, 1960, "La dolce vita",
the first of several movies she made in Italy in the Italian language.
George Pastell portrayed "Mehemet Bey aka: Mehemet Akil". French Greek character actor Nino Pastellides started on-screen acting in 1949, among his films were 1953's, "The Golden Mask", starring Van Heflin, Wanda Hendrix, and Eric Portman, 1959's, "The Angry Hills", based upon the Leon Uris novel and starring Robert Mitchum and Stanley Baker, and 1959's, "Tiger Bay", starring Sir John Mills, and his daughter Hayley Mills, before she appeared in Walt Disney's original 1961, "The Parent Trap" and Horst Buchholz before he appeared in 1960's, "The Magnificent Seven".
The Jimmy Sangster Screenplay:
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".
Above, Raymond Huntley, Felix Aylmer, and Peter Cushing, whose "John Banning" has broken his leg and will not seek treatment to prevent him from being a cripple for the rest of his life and have to leave the dig.
Ready to enter the tomb, an Egyptian named "Mehemet Bey", portrayed by George Pastell, attempts to stop the entering and violation of "Ananka's" tomb and warns of the "Curse Upon Those Who Desecrate the Tomb".
However, when it is discovered that "Mehemet Bey" is not from the Egyptian government, both "Stephen Banning" and "Joseph Whemple" cut the seal of the door and enter the tomb of the "Princess Ananka".
"Joseph" goes to tell "John" about the find and "Stephen" remains to examine the chamber, discovers a box containing the "Scroll of Life", and starts to read it. Suddenly, a piercing scream is heard from inside the tomb and running into it, they find "Stephen Banning" in a catatonic state.
"Stephen Banning" is sent back to England for treatment, "John" and his uncle continue cataloging the find and six-months later prepare to leave Egypt.
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".
The screenplay now moves to three-years later in England. At the "Engerfield Nursing Home for the Mentally Disabled Sanatorium", "Stephen Banning" comes out of his catatonic state and wants to see his son, "John".
"Stephen" tells "John" that as he was reading the "Scroll of Life", suddenly the mummy of the High Priest of Karnak, "Kharis", appeared.
However, "John" does not believe the ravings of his father about a mummy guarding the tomb of the "Princess Ananka" and brought back to life to kill all those who despoiled the resting place of the princess.
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.
Later that same night, "Mehemet Bey" takes the "Scroll of Life" and reading it, the mummy of "Kharis" rises from the swamp and is sent to kill "Stephen Banning".
After receiving news of the strange murder of his father, "John" meets with his uncle, "Joseph Whemple" to discuss the curse. Going through his father's paperwork "John" discovers the story of "Kharis" and "Princes Ananka" and relates it to his uncle.
In 2,000 B.C., "Princess Anaka" died and the High Priest of Karnak, "Kharis", her secret lover, presides over the funeral and the processional to her burial tomb.
After the funeral is completed, that same night "Kharis" returns to the tomb to use the "Scroll of Life" to bring his love back to him.
"Kharis" is found out and part of his punishment is to have his tongue torn out.
Which is followed by being wrapped and mummified alive, and placed as the guard of the tomb of the "Princess Ananka".
The story ends and "John" wonders why the entire traveling party for the princess just vanished, but his uncle reminds him that legend of "Ananka" is just a myth. What also fascinates "John Banning" is found on a drawing of "Anaka" that shows a strong resemblance between her and his wife, "Isobel".
Next, "Mehemet" sends "Kharis" after "John Banning":
The mummy breaks into the house and kills "Joseph Whemple" and turns on "Banning. "John" shoots "Kharis", but the bullets only leave holes in his body and the mummy leaves the house.
"John" meets with "Police Inspector Mulrooney", played by Eddie Byrne, and tells him everything about "Kharis", but "Mulrooney" is naturally very skeptical
"Inspector Mulrooney" next interviews the locals and learns of "Mehemet Akil".
Above, the familiar face, to fans of "Hammer Films", of character actor Michael Ripper, portraying "The Poacher". Who claims to have seen "The Mummy" walking down the lane at night.
While "Mulrooney" investigates, "John" makes the decision to tell "Isobel" about "Kharis", the danger the mummy poses to them, and his belief he is the next victim. "John" orders "Isobel" to stay upstairs, takes a chair to wait, and his suspicions become reality as "Kharis" breaks into his house.
"Isobel" runs down the stairs and when "Kharis" sees her, he stops fighting "John", who realizes the mummy is confused thinking he's seeing "Ananka". "John" tells his wife to let her hair down and "Kharis" truly sees the "Princess Ananka", turns and leaves the house in confusion.
Called to the "Banning" home to investigate, "Inspector Mulroonry" informs "John" about the Egyptian man who had moved into a house on the other side of the swamp. The inspector advises "John Banning" to stay away from him, but instead "John" goes to "Mehemet's" home.
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".
"Inspector Mulrooney" can only find two men, one of them the poacher, to guard the outside of the "Banning" house, as he takes "Isobel Banning" outside with him for her protection.
Inside, "John" paces back and forth in the study with a shotgun.
"Mehemet" knocks out the two guards before either can fire a warning shot. "Mehemet" and "Kharis" break into the "Banning" study and "John" fires his shotgun at them. "Isobel" races inside and witnesses "Kharis" choking "John", the mummy looks up at her, but "Isobel's" hair isn't down and it keeps choking her husband. "John" is barely able to signal his wife to let her hair down, she does, and "Kharis" stops the choking and becomes transfix looking at the "Princess Ananka".
"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.
"Mulrooney" calls for reinforcements and they join him and "John Banning" at the swamp. "Kharis" is taking "Isobel Ananka" into the swamp itself and it's up to 'John" to get to his wife.
Once the two are separated, the others open up with rifles and shot guns on "Kharis", who slowly sinks into the swamp.
The main compliant about the 1959, "The Mummy",
was the lack of originality in Jimmy Sangster's screenplay. It appears the critics at the time of release zeroed in on the lifts from the 1940's
mummy series without mentioning the restraint put on him by Nina Wilcox Putnam's control of the 1932 motion picture's screenplay.
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
The story idea had been pitched by producer James Jacks, 1987's, "Raising Arizona", 1993's, "Tombstone", co-producer of John Carpenter's 1995 "Village of the Damned", and producer Sean Daniel, 1993's "Dazed and Confused", 1993's "Tombstone", 1995 "Village of the Damned" and 1995's "Mallrats", since the late 1980's to "Universal International".
The studio only wanted a low-budget movie that would not to exceed 10-million-dollars and in 1987, George Romero wrote a screenplay. At the time "Universal International" wanted the mummy to be like director James Cameron's terminator and eventually the initial project fell through.
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 October 1994, George Romero came back to James Jacks and Sean Daniel pitching a story line with zombie-like mummies. It revolved around a female archologist named "Helen Grover", but Romero was still under contract to "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" and once more this one died.
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".
Still wanting an updated remake of the 1932 "The Mummy", "Universal Studios" hired Kevin Jarre, known for writing four video games based upon the "Rambo" movies in 1985, 1986, and 1987, and the screenplay for 1993's, "Tombstone", to write a screenplay.
Added to Jarre would be Stephen Sommers, who wrote for Walt Disney Pictures, the 1993, version of author Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huck Finn", and the Walt Disney Pictures, 1994, version of author Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book". He also wrote and directed the 1998, horror movie, "Deep Rising".
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.
The basis for this story came directly from the John L. Balderston, Nina Wilcox Putnam, and Richard Schayer screenplay. While the four did not have on-screen credit, they were acknowledged for the original 1932 screenplay by the writers and director.
Because Nina Wilcox Putnam had died on March 8, 1962, "Im-ho-tep" and "Princess Ankh-esen-amun" were back.
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".
Arnold Vosloo portrayed "Imhotep, the Mummy". The South African auctor had just been seen in the American science fiction film, 1998, "Progeny", and would follow this feature with an appearance in "Murphy's Lock", a March 30, 2000, episode of the American television series "Charmed". Vosloo's next feature film was the sequel to this movie, 2001's, "The Mummy Returns". Oded Fehr portrayed the now spelled "Ardeth Bay, changed into the leader of the "Medjai". Israeli actor Fehr had just appeared in a January 14, 1999 episode of the ITV British series "The Knock", and followed this feature film with the American movie, 1999's, "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo". Patricia Velasquez portrayed the now spelled "Anck-Su-Namun", no longer a princess. Patricia Carola Velasquez is a Venezuelan actress, who had just appeared in the Christopher Lambert's 1999, "Beowulf", and followed this feature with the 1999 comedy, "No Vacancy". Kevin J. O'Connor portrayed "Beni Gabor". American actor Kevin James O'Connor had just been seen in the HBO movie, 1998's, "Black Cat Run", and followed this film with 1999's, "Chill Factor".
Erick Avari portrayed "Dr. Terrence Bey". Indian-American actor Nariman Erjuch Avari started on-screen portraying "Ahmed Hakeem" on the daytime American soap opera, "General Hospital" in 1963. Among his film work prior to this feature are 1992's, "Encino Man", 1994's, "Stargate", and 1996's, "Independence Day". Among Erick Avari's television appearances prior to this motion picture were on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Seaquest 2032", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman", and "Babylon 5".
Bernard Fox portrayed "Winston Havlock". Welsh character actor Bernard Lawson started on-screen in the first ever British soap opera, "Sixpenny Corner", on ITV from 1955 through 1956, and mainly appeared on ITV television through 1961's, "Three Live Wires". Then as a character actor he was seen in 1962's, "The Longest Day", and switched to character acting on American television. From 1965 through 1970, Fox was "Colonel Crittendon" on "Hogan's Heroes", and "Dr. Boombay" on "Betwitched", 1966 through 1972, and continued until this motion picture guesting on American television.
A Much More Complex Screenplay Than 1932 or 1959:
Four points about this screenplay:
First, the comic elements cannot be shown in writing and the Errol Flynn, Indiana Jones flare to the film cannot be experienced.
Secondly, the attached photos do show the horror aspects of this adventure film. Mostly created by the use of Computer Generate Imagery (CGI), that changed the role of the make-up artist from the previous two motion pictures.
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.
Final point, I have not seen a copy of the Stephen Sommers screenplay, to know if it contains the years of the timeline. Therefore, I am not indicating the year of any of the screenplay's action. During my , research, I could not locate two sources that agreed on them. Based upon the opening and name of the Pharaoh, "Seti I", the year should be 1279 B.C., but I have found sources showing it as 1290 B.C. or 1294 B.C., the possible start year of "Seti I's" rule, not the end as Sommers uses.
As I just stated the story opens at the end of the rule of Seti I.
In the palace of "Pharoah Seti I", played by Moroccan actor Aharon Ipale, is a masked duel between his mistress "Anck-Su-Namun" and "Nefertiri" his daughter. The duel is over the news that "Seti I" is to announce that he will marry his mistress and the motherless "Nefertiri" is angeredm because "Anck-Su-Namun" is a mere concubine.
"Imhotep" and "Anck-Su-Namun" murder "Seti I", "Imhotep" flees Thebes, and "Anck-Su-Namun" commits suicide in the belief that her love will resurrect her. "Imhotep" and his priests steal her body and take it to the "City of the Dead", "Hamunaptra", to bring "Amck-Su-Namun" back to life.
However, the resurrection ritual is stopped by the Pharoah's bodyguards. the "Medjai", the priests are killed and "Imhotep" placed in a sarcophagus with scarab flesh-eating-beetles and buried alive at the foot of the "Statue of Anubis". The "Medjai" are sworn to prevent "Imhotep's" return.
Move forward to an unknown date, and the French Foreign Legion, with "Colonel Richard "Rick" O'Connell", are engaged in a desert battle by the "Statue of Anubis" and the battle is being observed on a hill overlooking it by the current "Medji". Who are concerned that the legionnaires might discover "Imhotep" and accidently set him free on the world.
Only two men survive, one is the shifty "Beni Gabor", and the other is "Rick O'Connell", who is let go as he runs away into the desert to die (?), by "Ardeth Bay". A mistake that will come back upon the "Medji Leader" as in the battle "Rick" found an ancient box. "Rick" has a strange tattoo on his arm that will come into play later.
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.
Enter "Evelyn's" brother with an ancient looking puzzle box of some kind that he admits stealing from an American adventurer named "Rick O'Connell".
Thinking it's another of "Jonathan's" worthless finds, "Evelyn" still looks it over, presses the puzzle box's bottom and it opens revealing a map. The map appears to be the way to the ancient "City of the Dead", "Hamunaptra", and she takes it to "Dr. Bey" for verification.
"Dr. Bey" believes the map to be a fake and while examining it, mistakenly (?) catches it on fire from a candle on his desk and burns off the location of "Hamunaptra". Dejected, "Evelyn" leaves with "Jonathan", who tells her that "O'Connell" is in the Cairo prison. The two go to the prison and "Rick" reveals that the puzzle box was found by him at "Hamunaptra".
"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.
"Evelyn" asks "Rick" if he can tell her the way to the "City of the Dead" and he motions for her to come closer, next kisses her, and says to get him out of the prison as he is to be hung.
"Evelyn" starts haggling with the Prison Warden "Gad Hassan", portrayed by British actor Omid Djalili. When she tells him that "O'Connell" knows the way to "Hamunaptra", "Hassan" doesn't believe her, but agrees to spare his life for twenty-five-percent of the profits.
"Evelyn" tells "O'Connell" to clean himself up and is surprised as to what he looks like when he returns. She is also surprised by his composure as he tells the truth as to why the Foreign Legion was at the "City of the Dead". His entire garrison believed in the legend of buried treasure and marched across the Libyan desert to find "Hamunaptra" and the trek ended in death instead of riches. "O'Connell" picks up "Evelyn" and "Jonathan's" luggage and walks onto the awaiting riverboat.
Next, "Prison Warden Hassan" walks up to "Evelyn" and reveals he plans to go with her expedition to protect his twenty-five-per-cent.
After dinner on board the riverboat, "Rick" sees "Jonathan" playing cards with three American's, "Bernard Burns",
portrayed by Tuc Watkins, "Isaac Henderson",
portrayed by Stephen Dunham,
and "David Daniels",
portrayed by Corey Johnson.
They ask "O'Connell" if his goal is to really find "Hamumaptra"? He replies yes. and a five-hundred-dollar wager between the two groups is made. "Rick" also discovers that their guide is "Beni Gabor".
"Rick" walks over to "Evelyn", who is reading a book, and asks what is her real reason for seeking "Hamunaptra"? She reveals her intension is to find the fabled "Book of Amun-Ra",
the ancient golden book that contains the incantations of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Egyptologist "Evelyn Carnahan" believes the book is buried in the "City of the Dead".
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.
A passing caravan of Bedouin traders helps the four, "Rick", "Evelyn", "Jonathan", and "Gad". with supplies and clothing by using "Jonathan Carnahan's" money, which somehow survived the fire and sinking when nothing else did. "Evelyn" purchases Bedouin woman's clothing and looks more Egyptian, like her mother, and gets "Rick's" close attention. The four also purchase camels and turn toward "Hamunaptra".
Once again, "O'Connell's" group meets up with "Benji's", now with diggers and their consultant, "Dr. Allen Chamberlain", portrayed by Australian actor, Jonathan Hyde. "Rick" tells them they're about to see the way to "Hamunaptra" as the sun arises.
A race is on to see which group makes it to the ruins of the "City of the Dead" first, and the first person to enter is "Evelyn Carnahan", who collects the five-hundred-dollars from the three Americans. "Rick" gives "Evelyn" a new set of digging tools to replace her old and broken ones.
"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.
From around the other side of the statue with their pistols out, comes "Benji" and the Americans.
This leads to an argument as to which group has the right to dig around the statue and strangely, "Evelyn" agrees to let "Benji's" group win. She knows that there is another chamber below the "Statue of Anubis" and that's where she wants her group to dig.
As the four dig in the chamber, conversationally, "Evelyn" explains the process of mummification to "Rick", as "Jonathan" is using pebbles as golf balls and knocks down an already loosened large stone slab from the chamber's ceiling. The stone slab isn't a slab at all, but a sarcophagus that was buried at the foot of the "Statue of Anubis", indicating the person was either of great importance, or committed a extremely serious crime. On the front of the sarcophagus is a lock that looks like the opened puzzle box, the key the "Medjai" wanted.
It is placed in the lock, but suddenly "Gad Hassan", who had gone off on in own in search of treasure, instead found the source of the chattering sound in the walls, and comes running into the chamber crashes head first into a stone wall and falls back, dead.
Calming down after the dead prison warden's sudden appearance, it is noted that sacred markings on the sarcophagus's lid had been chiseled off, condemning whomever was buried not only in his mortal life, but the afterlife as well.
Now the horror elements of the screenplay begin.
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.
Instead, "Chamberlain" has three of the hired diggers do it and they're covered with acid sand from an ancient Egyptian bobby track and literally melted.
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"?
"Rick" suggests it was time for both groups to join forces, as he knows the "Medjai" are not after treasure, they value water more than gold, so something else is driving them.
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.
"Dr Chamberlain" finds several capnotic jars and "The Book of the Dead" inside the wooden chest.
Rummaging through the belongings of "Gad Hassan", "Rick O'Connell" discovers bottles of whiskey and joined by "Evelyn" and "Jonathan" get drunk.
"Evelyn" now tells "Rick" her family history and he responds by saying he now knows who "Evelyn" and "Jonathan" are, but he has no idea what her motivation is to be there.
"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.
The following morning "Rick", "Evelyn", and "Jonathan" return to the sarcophagus and the key is turned and when the lid of the sarcophagus is opened, the skeletal remains of "Imhotep" jumps forward by reflex. Looking at the lid's inside, "O'Connell" sees marks that could only have been made by someone buried alive, along with characters that read:
Death is Only a Beginning
Meanwhile, the American's have removed a chest within the wooden box and opened it.
"Henderson" comes over to "O'Connell" and shows him a canopic jar, which he, along with the others have taken one each, for their value. The American's are laughing that all "O'Connell" and his group found was a mummy.
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.
That night, "Evelyn" gathered more scarabs to examine and was returning to her tent when she saw "Dr. Chamberlain" trying to force open a book. Entering his tent, she realized he had found the "Book of the Dead", and advised him he needed a "Key" to open it.
Later that night, "Evelyn Carnahan" again entered the tent of "Dr. Allen Chamberlain" and took the "Book of the Dead". "Rick" tells her that's stealing, but "Evelyn" says she's just borrowing the book. Inquiring as to what book she had, "Rick" is told this in the "Book of the Dead" and not the "Book of Amun-Ra" she was always talking about wanting to find.
Using the puzzle box that "Jonathan" owned, as with the mummy's sarcophagus, it is the key to opening the book,
and the moment she does, a gust of wind seems to come out of it. On the pages are hieroglyphs that "Evelyn" starts to read, a screaming "Dr. Chamberlain" comes out of his tent yelling for her not to read the hieroglyphs, but it's to late. "Evelyn Carnahan" has awaken both "Imhotep" and the "Hom-Dai" curse.
Next, what appears to be a giant cloud made of locusts swarm the camp. "O'Connell", "Evelyn", "Jonathan", the American's and "Benji" make it into the catacombs for safety, but everyone else, including "Dr. Chamberlain" are covered with locusts.
Earlier, "Rick O'Connell" had asked "Evelyn Carnahan", if she believed in curses? Her reply was no, but now with the floor of the catacombs covered with frogs, he asks her again. "O'Connell" and the "Carnahan" siblings get separated from the others and then the floor erupted with scarabs, "O'Connell" shoots at them and kills a few, all three go up on ledges above the scarabs reach, but "Evelyn" leans upon a trap door and disappears.
"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.
The mummy calls "Evelyn", "Anck-Su-Namun", speaking in ancient Egyptian, and offers her his hand.
Just then, "O'Connell" runs into the chamber and stops dead looking at the living mummy. The mummy next sees "Jonathan", "Henderson", and "Daniels" and "Imhotep" roars loudly at the intruders.
"O'Connell" fires his shotgun at the mummy and everyone runs out of the chamber.
The group runs right into the "Medjai", who have already captured "Dr. Chamberlain".
"Ardeth Bey" tells the assembled trespassers that they have released an ancient evil on the world by awakening "Imhotep", whose existence the "Medjai" have guarded since the time of "Seti I". While "Ardeth Bey" speaks, others of the "Medjai" bringing in "Burns", who was rescued before the mummy could finish killing him. "Ardeth Bey" now tells the members of the two expeditions to leave, before the mummy can kill them all. "O'Connell" tells him that the he killed it, but receives the reply that the mummy is not of the mortal world, and being a bringer of death, will not eat, sleep or stop bringing plagues.
At the same time, "Benji" has encountered "Imhotep" and in true "Benji" style, is trying anything to show the mummy that he's a follower of ancient Egypt and a possible ally.
In true "Errol Flynn" to "Olivia de Havilland form, "Rick" kisses "Evelyn" and they both know they're in love, as "Jonathan" looks on displeased of his sister being in love with an adventurer. The three mounted their camels to head back to Cairo, unbeknownst to them, "Benji" had placed stolen Egyptian treasure in "O'Connell's" saddle bags to help "Imhotep" find his "Anck-Su-Namun". As the two expeditions leave "Hamunaptra", "Evelyn" noted that "Dr. Chamberlain" still kept his canopic jar and the "Book of the Dead".
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.
Hearing gunshots, "Jonathan", "Henderson" and Daniels" enter the room to find "Rick" shooting at the mummy without any effect. "Imhotep" pushes "O'Connell" into the other men and walks to "Evelyn", thanks her for bringing him out of the underworld, and attempts to kiss the Egyptologist. He is stopped by her cat, "Cleo", in his mind a servant of "Bastet", that approaches him and the mummy turns into a small sandstorm and leaves through an open window.
"Evelyn" again takes charge and with the four men goes to her old employer, "Dr. Terence Bey" at the Cairo Museum, but finds him with another man, "Ardeth Bay". Pistols are pulled, but then it's revealed that the reason "Dr. Bey" attempted to stop "Evelyn" from discovering "Hamunaptra" is that he is also a "Medjai".
"Dr. Bey" theorizes that "Imhotep" wants to bring "Anck-Su-Namun" back to life and "Evelyn" is his intended human sacrifice, but the turn of events might give them time to find the means to destroy him. However, "Ardeth Bey" looking up at the skylight, watches the Sun being blocked by an unearthly eclipse of the Moon, bringing darkness over Cairo, and wonders out loud, if they really have much time to accomplish it.
Returning to their residence, "Evelyn" questions "Henderson" and "Daniels" as to who else, besides "Burns" and them were present when the chest containing the canopic jars was opened. They reply that "Benji" had run off prior to the opening, but that "Dr. Chamberlain" was present. In command of the group, "Evelyn Carnahan" tells the others they must find the Egyptologist and bring him there for his safety.
"O'Connell" tells "Evelyn" to stay behind, she protests, but "Rick" picks her up, takes her to her room and locks her in. "O'Connell" orders "Henderson" and "Daniels" to guard the door and leaves with "Jonathan" to find "Dr. Chamberlain". At "Chamberlain's" office they discover his body drained of fluids and start back to the others.
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.
The mummy just needs "Daniels" to complete his transformation. The mummy transforms to sand and enters the bedroom, approaches the sleeping "Evelyn Carnahan" and kisses her, his face become elastic as he is still the mummy.
She awakes screaming, "O'Connell", "Jonathan", and "Daniels" break into the room and "Rick" uses "Cleo" to get the previous reaction from "Imhotep" and as sand he leaves the room through a window he blasts out.
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.
"Imhotep" appears, the townspeople have surrounded the car and the mummy starts to walk through the parting people toward the car. "Benji" is with him and translates the ancient Egyptian of "Imhotep's" speech, as the mummy states the "Evelyn" must accompany him to "Hamunaptra" and, if so, he will spare the others.
"Rick" has been drawing his pistols, but "Evelyn" stops him, saying she will go. She reminds the others that "Imhotep" must take her to "Hamunaptra" to perform the ritual and they need to find the "Book of Amun-Ra". As he leaves with "Evelyn", "Imhotep" orders the townspeople to kill the others.
"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.
While, "Imhotep", as a sandstorm has lifted "Eveyln" and " Benji" up and is moving them to "Hamunaptra".
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.
"Winston" agrees to the rescue, "Rick" takes the forward gunner's place in "Havelock's" Royal Air Force biplane, while "Jonathan" and "Ardeth" are tied to the wings.
In flight, "Winston" notices a sandstorm like no other he has ever encountered on the Sahara Desert. "Imhotep" had to put "Evelyn" and "Benji" down to create it and being able to see the plane, "Evelyn" knows "Rick" is coming to her rescue.
"Evelyn" suddenly kisses "Imhotep", breaking his concentration and the storm stops, but the plane's engines are full of sand and it crashes. "Rick" helps "Jonathan" and "Ardeth", but finds that "Winston" was killed from a broken neck sustained in the crash. "Ardeth now disconnects the biplane's "Lewis Gun" to turn it into a hand-held weapon and the three men start their trek to the "City of the Dead".
The three men reach "Hamunaptra" fighting off the delays set by "Imhotep", entering the catacombs "Jonathan" makes the same mistake "Gad Hassan" made thinking the scarabs on the wall are jewels. One gets into his body through his hand and "Rick" cuts it out. Walking through the tunnel system, they come to a chamber and "Rick" notices a mirror on the ceiling, shooting at it, the mirror moved into position lighting up the treasure chamber with the "Statue of Horus" across from them.
A sound is heard coming from the floor and then three mummies appear and attack them.
The three men start shooting the three mummies as "Rick" and "Jonathan" head for the "Statue of Horus". "Ardeth" keeps shooting as "Rick" and "Jonathan" start to open a compartment in the statue and acid salt shoots out at the three mummies dissolving them.
While the above fight is taking place, "Imhotep", hears the gunshots and takes out the heart of "Anck-Su-Namun" from a canopic jar, crushes it and blows the substance on a wall painting of two Egyptian priests and they come alive as mummies in front of him. He orders the two to kill "Rick", "Jonathan" and "Ardeth" and call forth other priests.
With his powerful hand, "Imhotep" knocks unconscious "Evelyn Carnahan", whom he sees as the reincarnation of "Nefertiri", (See the first sequel, 2001's, "The Mummy's Return", for an explanation) and when she awakes, "Evelyn" is tied down and mummy priests are surrounding her and the mummy of "Anck-Su-Namun" chanting.
"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.
"Anck-Su-Namun's" soul is awakened in the mummified body next to "Evelyn". As "Imhotep" is about to plunge the ceremonial dagger into his sister, Jonathan" runs into the chamber shouting that he has the "Book of Amun-Ra".
"Evelyn" yells to "Jonathan" to get her off the table and use the book to stop "Imhotep", but her brother needs the key. She shouts to him that the key is in "Imhotep's" robes. "Rick O'Connell aka: Errol Flynn" bursts into the chamber with a golden sword taken from the "Statue of Horus", cuts "Evelyn's" chains, shreds the mummy priests surrounding her. "Ardeth Bay" having seen the tattoo on "Rick's" arm has told him it is the sign of a "Medjai" soldier.
"O'Connell" was still fighting off other mummified priests, when "Jonathan" reads the inscription on the cover of the "Book of Amun-Ra" and suddenly mummified Egyptian soldiers appear to assist "Rick" in fighting the forces of "Imhotep". "Evelyn" tells "Jonathan" that he can control the mummies, if he reads the entire inscription on the front of the "Book of Amun-Ra". The mummified body of "Anck-Su-Namun", holding the ceremonial dagger goes for "Evelyn" and the two fight.
Meanwhile, "Jonathan" is having trouble with the pronunciation of one word to complete what is written on the "Book of Amun-Ra", but even in a strangle hold by "Anck-Su-Namun", "Evelyn" is able to tell her brother the correct pronunciation. "Jonathan" now reads the complete passage out loud, the mummified soldiers stop attacking "Rick", "Jonathan" turns them against "Anck-Su-Namun" as they would have done during the rule of "Pharoah Seti I" for his murder, and the mummified "Medjai"
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.
"Evelyn" now having the key, opens the "Book of Amun-Ra" searches for the correct incantation to send "Imhotep" back to where he came from. "Rick" and "Imhotep" are engaged in a battle with the mummy getting the better of it. When, "Evelyn" finds the correct incantation and reads it aloud and in his chariot, the God "Anubis" appears and with one pass, removes the immortality of "Imhotep", and takes it back to the Underworld.
With anger, "Imhotep", who has remained still alive, attacks "Rick O'Connell", but with golden sword in hand, it is "Rick" that stabs the High Priest. The staggering "Imhotep" falls into the black moat of souls and is stripped of his flesh.
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.
In late 2015, executives at "Universal Pictures" were also looking for a counter to the "Marvel Cinematic Universe", and according to the website, "Collider":
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.
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 movie would open in the United States on June 9, 2017, after 38 other countries had seen it.
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.
For the screenplay there would be three credited writers, and three uncredited writers, including Alex Kurtzman.
It was the three uncredited writers that created the screen story the motion picture screenplay would be based upon. Besides Kurtzman, the other screen story writers were:
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.
Normally, if a source for a screenplay comes from literature, credit is given to the author and their work. Although no apparent source credit is given to either Robert Lewis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", or a 1903 novella by Bram Stoker, "The Jewel of Seven Stars", the screenplay appears to show credit is due the two authors.
Let me explain!
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:http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2019/03/the-complete-motion-picture-and.html
However, my same readers may not be familiar with the Bram Stoker horror story. I've mentioned the sequel to "The House of Hammer's", 1959, "The Mummy", 1971's, "Blood of the Mummy's Tomb", that starred Andrew Keir and Valerie Leon. That screenplay was loosely based upon "The Jewel of Seven Stars".
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.,
According to the website, "Goodreads", "The Jewel of Seven Stars", is about:
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.
Turning the first three writer's screen story into an actual working screenplay were:
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".
Like the three-story creators, the three screenplay writers do not seem to credit either Stevenson, or Stoker as a source, which again seems strange when you see the motion picture. I realize it is possible that six people working in the film industry and writing a screenplay about a female mummy and possession might not be unaware of the four films I've mentioned, or the two writer's works, but------
Tom Cruise portrayed "United States Army Sergeant Nick Morton". Thomas Cruise Mapother IV had just been seen in 2016's, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back", and followed this feature with 2017's, "American Made".
portrayed "Dr. Henry Jekyll,
and Mr. Eddie Hyde",
names from an obvious source.
New Zealand actor Russel Ira Crowe's
previous movie was 2016's, "The Nice Guys",
the actor followed this film with two short subjects and the 2018, "Boy Erased",
co-starring Nicole Kidman.
portrayed "Jennifer 'Jenny' Halsey".
Oxford, England born Annabelle Francis Wallis'
previous on-screen role was at 14th billing
in the British 2017, "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword",
she followed this motion picture with 20th billing
in the horror thriller, 2017's, "Annabelle: Creation".
Sofia Boutella portrayed "Princess Ahmanet". The Algerian French actress صوفيا بوتلة had just been seen with 8th billing in Charlize Theron's, 2017, "Atomic Blonde", and would follow this picture co-starring with Jodie Foster in 2018's, "Hotel Artemis.
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".
portrayed "United States Army Corporal Chris Vail". Mark Jake Johnson Weinberger
is an American television and voice actor. As a voice actor he had just provided the voice for "Grouchy Smurf"
in 2017's, "Smurf's: The Lost Village",
and followed this feature film with an appearance of the television series "Idiot Seeker".
However, fans of the television series. "New Girl".
known the actor as "Nick Miller",
and he portrayed the role from 2011
Overview of the Screenplay:
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.
"Nick" meets archeologist "Jennifer Halsey" and a bit of a romance starts to take place, but he has an ulterior motive, she has a map, he thinks it leads to treasure, so he steals it. Then "Morton" and "Vail" are sent out on a scouting mission, but detour via the map, treasure hunting.
A sand storm comes up and afterwards, the two find themselves looking at a buried Egyptian tomb, bringing the return of archaeologist "Jennifer Halsey". "Colonel Greenway" sees a way to get his problem off his hands and assigns "Morton" and "Vail" to the dig under "Halsey's" orders.
The army engineers under the direction of "Jennifer Halsey" uncover the complete tomb entrance and along with "Morton" and "Vail", she enters it.
Inside is the sarcophagus of "Princess Ahmanet",
"Nick Morton" becomes strangely attracted to it, or is it what's inside and unknowingly he starts the process to awake the princess. The following is the publicity line used by "Universal Pictures" to explain the story:
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.
On the plane accompanying the "Princess" are "Jennifer Halsey", "Nick Morton", and "Chris Vail".
The audience will learn the story of "Princess Ahmanet", who was caught attempting to bring forth the deity, "Set", actually the ancient Egyptian god of deserts, storms, disorder, violence, and foreigners, but in this movie he is just the "God of Death"!
Below, "Princess Ahmanet" and the "Dagger of Set" needed to bring the god back to life.
For her sacrilege, "Ahmanet" was wrapped as a living mummy, in a sarcophagus and entombed where no one could find her.
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" gets "Jenny" into a parachute and has her jump to safety.
"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.
Next, the dead "Chris Vail" appears and will reappear throughout the movie. "Chris" informs "Nick" that "Nick" has been cursed by "Ahmanet" who wants to use him as a vessel to bring back the Egyptian god, "Set".
"Jenny" and "Nick" are reunited over his strange return to life, and the fact that the mummy "Ahmanet" has escaped her sarcophagus.
She is feeding off of people, turning them into zombies, regenerating her body, and creating an army. Next, "Princess Ahmanet" recovers the "Dagger of Set", and goes after "Nick".
"Ahmanet" and her army chase "Nick" and "Jenny" into the sewers of London and capture them.
As "Ahmanet" prepares to stab "Nick Morton" with the "Dagger of Set", bringing back the Egyptian god within his body, she discovers the ruby is missing from the dagger. Which makes the dagger useless, unless the ruby is recovered and put in place.
Soldiers now appear, destroy the zombies, capture "Ahmanet", and free "Nick" and "Jenny". The two meet the soldier's leader, "Henry Jekyll". "Nick" now learns that all along, "Jenny" has been working for a secret society called "The Prodigium", dedicated to hunting down supernatural threats.
"Ahmanet" is chained to a marble slab by "The Prodigium" with Egyptian statues from the tomb around it to keep her under control. "Jenny" and "Nick" discover that "Henry Jekyll" wants "Set" to possess "Nick's" body, because "Dr. Jekyll" believes that would make the Egyptian god venerable to conventional weapons.
"Nick" becomes aware of a serum that "Dr. Henry Jekyll" uses to turn him into his other personality of "Mr. Eddie Hyde".
"Ahmanet's" power keeps building and she is finally able to escape. "Eddie Hyde" wants to keep "Nick" under guard and is not sure of "Jenny's" loyalty, but "Nick" uses "Jekyll's" serum on "Eddie" and the two escape "The Prodigium" with "Set's" dagger.
However, "Ahmanet" finds "Nick" and "Jenny", regains the dagger, and on the streets of London creates a gigantic sandstorm.
"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.
Guided by "Chris Vail's" ghost, "Jenny" and "Nick" flee into the London underground.
However, "Ahmanet's" zombies attack them, and the "Mummy Princess" captures and then drowns "Jennifer Halsey". "Nick" is brought before "Ahmanet", he sees "Jenny's" body, and around him the zombies all turn to dust leaving "Nick" facing "Ahmanet" with "Set's" dagger in her hand.
"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.
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