|The Mummy, 1932
|Directed by Karl Freund
Written by Nina Wilcox Putnam, Richard Schayer, John L.
Carl Laemmle Jr.
(and Stanley Bergerman, uncredited)
Boris Karloff..:..Imhotep/Ardath Bey
Zita Johann..:..Helen Grosvenor/Ank-sun-Amon David
Arthur Byron..:..Sir Joseph Whemple
Edward Van Sloan..:..Doctor Muller
Bramwell Fletcher..:..Ralph Norton
Noble Johnson..:..The Nubian
Kathryn Byron..:..Frau Muller
Leonard Mudie..:..Professor Pearson
James Crane..:..The Pharaoh
|Notice Henry Victor as "The Saxon Warrior;" he was part of
flashback scenes, which were cut, depicting
Anck-sun-Amon's incarnations from Egyptian princess to her
current life as Helen Grosvenor.
|In this romance spanning centuries, the title character, the mummy Imhotep (portrayed by Boris Karloff)
actually appears only briefly on the screen at the beginning as an actual mummy. Imhotep then reappears as
Ardeth Bey, who poses as an Egyptologist to get closer to his heart's desire ~ the tomb of his long-dead love,
the princess Ank-sun-Amon. He also discovers a young woman, whose father was English, mother Egyptian,
Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann). Helen is the reincarnation of his beloved princess. Imhotep believes once he
claims the life of Helen Grosvenor, and mumifies her body, Ank-sun-Amon will be returned to him. Helen finds
herself torn between the mesmerizing Bay and handsome young Egyptologist Frank Wemple, who steals Helen's
love in the current day.
The Ancient Egypt flashback sequences were used in several other mummy films, as they're done well for the
period. The film is virtually scare-free, capitalizing on mood, and dwelling on Helen, who seems almost
possessed. This movie is the first horror film I ever saw, since my mother is an Egyptology aficionado, and it
scared the heck out of me: I had nightmares about a mummy chasing me for years! Now that Iâ€™m a seasoned
horror movie veteran, it doesnâ€™t really have the same effect, but I enjoy it as a well-made film.