The Mummy (1959)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

British archaeologists discover the ancient tomb of an Egyptian high priestess. A mummy of a high priest who had been buried alive comes to life to seek retribution against the trespassers of the tomb.
Rating:
G
Genre:
Art House & International , Classics , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

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Cast

Peter Cushing
as John Banning
Christopher Lee
as Kharis, the Mummy
Yvonne Furneaux
as Isobel Banning/Princess Ananka
George Pastell
as Mehemet Bey
Eddie Byrne
as Insp. Mulrooney
Felix Aylmer
as Stephen Banning
Raymond Huntley
as Joseph Whemple
John Stuart
as Coroner
Denis Shaw
as Mike
Michael Ripper
as Poacher
Willoughby Gray
as Dr. Reilly
George Woodbridge
as Police Constable
Stanley Meadows
as James, Engerfield Attendant
Frank Singuineau
as Head Porter
Frank Sieman
as Bill at the Red Lion
Gerald Lawson
as Irish Customer
David Browning
as Police Sergeant
John Harrison
as Priest (uncredited)
James Clarke
as Priest (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Mummy

All Critics (8)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This barebones, arbitrarily assembled package of Hammer Horror films is redeemed by the gorgeous aural/visual restorations.

Full Review… | October 16, 2015
Slant Magazine

As before, it's Cushing who handles the lion's share of the dialogue as the human protagonist while the more physically imposing Lee plays the part of the monster.

Full Review… | October 10, 2015
Creative Loafing

Christopher Lee's ability to invest a walking corpse with both pathos and terrifying power is remarkable.

Full Review… | October 17, 2013
SFX Magazine

No excerpt available.

July 20, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for The Mummy

Cushing is such a chameleonic actor that he can transform substantially from one role to the next. In the 'Frankenstein' films, he is a haggard, misanthropic egomaniac who will sacrifice others for his gumption. In Hammer's sensational 'The Mummy', Cushing is the prodigal son of an archaeologist and he is positively youthful and benighted; the polar opposite of his demented doctor. Of course Hammer is reverential to the source material but it also incorporates some intriguing wrinkles into the story such as Lee's statuesque Kharis doesn't masquerades as a modern aristocrat because he is the murderous henchman of Mehemet Bey. Terence Fisher weans the utmost moodiness from the slow-burn tale with a foggy-bog resurrection. The embalming process is delineated in painstaking detail (from the caravan of organs to the final resting place) during a monologue by Cushing. With his towering height, Lee should be a germane candidate for the undead prowler but the facial makeup is too inexpressive to display an emotional range. However his piercing eyes are copacetic substitutes for the middling costume by Roy Ashton. 1959's 'The Mummy' can chalked up as another flamboyant, epic retelling from Hammer Studios. The most impressive element of Hammer's output is their economical celerity which practically ensures that they never overstay their welcome.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

For a movie called The Mummy, the movie is certainly about The Mummy... maybe too much so. I see this as just another excuse to get Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the same movie together, somehow. The film is so repetitive and explains the same things over and over again, even going so far as to having a lengthy backstory scene, that it's at a constant state of halt. It doesn't move like a natural narrative should, with fresh information and character development at all times. Maybe I'm just asking too much though. After all, this is a Hammer Horror production, and is a bit of a remake of the Universal original, but I think just a little bit more attention could have been paid in the details to make it better. The make-up work is good, and it's shot well, but its slow pace, or lack thereof, make it a difficult movie to sit through. Not that it doesn't have its charms, but it's definitely not perfect.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

½

Terrence Fisher's film The Mummy is one of the better takes on Universal Studios famous monster. Christopher Lee adorns the bandages in this Hammer Classic and he delivers a unique performance. This film is superb in its acting and plot. For a monster film, this version of The Mummy is a near flawless take on the classic tale. Peter Cushing delivers a great performance, but Christopher Lee steals the show. Director Terrence Fisher who previously worked with Lee and Cushing on previous Hammer Horror outings directs this classic horror tale. The Mummy evokes thrills and terror. Fisher crafts a solid film, and the cast deliver some strong performances. This is the first time I've watched a Hammer Horror production, and it won't be the last. Though I absolutely enjoyed the 1932 classic starring Boris Karloff, I have to give credit to Terrence Fisher for delivering a new vision on The Mummy. Overall this is a terrific horror film in its own right. Christopher Lee is great in the title role and much like Karloff before him; he makes the character his own. This film is a must see for Hammer Horror fans, and for fans of classic horror films. Christopher Lee adorns his bandages well, and delivers on-screen. This is a well crafted horror gem that makes The Mummy a monster to be reckoned with once more. This unlike the countless unimpressive sequels makes you cry out for your mummy.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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