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HISTORY

Nina Wilcox Putnam's and Richard Schayer's story was entitled "Cagliostro." The film's working titles were Imhotep and The King of the Dead . Jerry Ash is listed in HR production charts as the cameraman on the film, although Charles Stumar received screen credit. Following the credits the following words appear: "This is the Scroll of Thoth. Herein are set down the magic words by which Isis raised Osiris from the dead. Oh! Amon-Ra--Oh! God of Gods--Death is but the doorway to new life----We live today--we shall live again--In many forms shall we return--Oh, mighty one." According to NYT , Boris Karloff was billed at the time as "Karloff the Uncanny." This was Karl Freund's first directorial effort after photographing Dracula and Murders in the Rue Morgue for Universal. During the 1940s Universal produced a series of sequels, beginning with The Mummy's Hand (1940) with Tom Tyler as the Mummy; The Mummy's Tomb (1942); The Mummy's Ghost (1944); and The Mummy's Curse (1944); all starring Lon Chaney. According to modern sources, The Mummy's Hand and The Mummy's Curse contained scenes from the original The Mummy , while the latter's statue of Isis reappeared as the god Tao in the serial Flash Gordon , also released as the feature Rocket Ship (see below). Additional footage was shot of Helen in later incarnations according to modern sources, including an ancient Christian, a medieval princess, a Norse Viking and a French noble. Modern sources also note that Karloff's salary ... More Less

Nina Wilcox Putnam's and Richard Schayer's story was entitled "Cagliostro." The film's working titles were Imhotep and The King of the Dead . Jerry Ash is listed in HR production charts as the cameraman on the film, although Charles Stumar received screen credit. Following the credits the following words appear: "This is the Scroll of Thoth. Herein are set down the magic words by which Isis raised Osiris from the dead. Oh! Amon-Ra--Oh! God of Gods--Death is but the doorway to new life----We live today--we shall live again--In many forms shall we return--Oh, mighty one." According to NYT , Boris Karloff was billed at the time as "Karloff the Uncanny." This was Karl Freund's first directorial effort after photographing Dracula and Murders in the Rue Morgue for Universal. During the 1940s Universal produced a series of sequels, beginning with The Mummy's Hand (1940) with Tom Tyler as the Mummy; The Mummy's Tomb (1942); The Mummy's Ghost (1944); and The Mummy's Curse (1944); all starring Lon Chaney. According to modern sources, The Mummy's Hand and The Mummy's Curse contained scenes from the original The Mummy , while the latter's statue of Isis reappeared as the god Tao in the serial Flash Gordon , also released as the feature Rocket Ship (see below). Additional footage was shot of Helen in later incarnations according to modern sources, including an ancient Christian, a medieval princess, a Norse Viking and a French noble. Modern sources also note that Karloff's salary was still below $400 a week at the time of this production, and his make-up, which was applied by Jack Pierce, consists of cotton, rubber cement and paint. The Mummy was remade by the Hammer studios in England in 1959, with Terence Young directing and Christopher Lee in the title role. Universal produced its own remake in 1999, directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and Arnold Vosloo. The success of this version spawned a 2001 sequel, The Mummy Returns , with the same director and stars, and a 2002 prequel, The Scorpion King , directed by Chuck Russell and starring professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 32
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Dec 32
p. 34.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Dec 32
p. 27.
New York Times
7 Jan 33
p. 11.
Time
16 Jan 33
p. 19.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Imhotep
The King of the Dead
Release Date:
22 December 1932
Production Date:
mid Sep--mid Oct 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 December 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3478
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
72 or 78
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1921, the Held expedition to Egypt, which is led by Sir Joseph Whemple, has discovered the mummy of Imhotep. A high priest, Imhotep was buried alive in the Temple at Karnak. Doctor Muller, who believes in the occult, warns the rest of the expedition of the curse that is imprinted on the gold seals of the Pharoah Amenophis. Knowledge of the curse proves too much of a temptation for Whemple's Oxford assistant, who examines the Scroll of Thoth and goes insane as he sees Imhotep's mummy come to life and take the scroll. Eleven years later, Frank Whemple, Sir Joseph's son, together with Professor Pearson, leads another archaeological expedition. An ageless Egyptian, Ardeth Bey, shows them where to dig for the unplundered tomb of Ankh-es-en-amon, who was a daughter of royalty buried 3,700 years earlier. The tomb is a sensational find, and Ankh-es-en-amon's coffin is placed in the Cairo museum. At the same time, Helen Grosvenor, whose mother was Egyptian, is attracted to her ancestral homeland and is summoned telepathically to the museum as Bey tries to revive the body of Ankh-es-en-amon by reading the Scroll of Thoth. The Whemples find Helen unconscious at the museum door and take her home to recover, while a museum guard dies of shock upon discovering Bey, who then accidentally leaves the Scroll behind in the museum. Frank tells Helen that he fell in love with the beautiful Ankh-es-en-amon during the excavation, and that Helen resembles her. When Bey enters the Whemple home to see Helen, Muller, Helen's doctor, who believes Bey to be the revived mummy, confronts him with the Scroll and a photograph of the ... +


In 1921, the Held expedition to Egypt, which is led by Sir Joseph Whemple, has discovered the mummy of Imhotep. A high priest, Imhotep was buried alive in the Temple at Karnak. Doctor Muller, who believes in the occult, warns the rest of the expedition of the curse that is imprinted on the gold seals of the Pharoah Amenophis. Knowledge of the curse proves too much of a temptation for Whemple's Oxford assistant, who examines the Scroll of Thoth and goes insane as he sees Imhotep's mummy come to life and take the scroll. Eleven years later, Frank Whemple, Sir Joseph's son, together with Professor Pearson, leads another archaeological expedition. An ageless Egyptian, Ardeth Bey, shows them where to dig for the unplundered tomb of Ankh-es-en-amon, who was a daughter of royalty buried 3,700 years earlier. The tomb is a sensational find, and Ankh-es-en-amon's coffin is placed in the Cairo museum. At the same time, Helen Grosvenor, whose mother was Egyptian, is attracted to her ancestral homeland and is summoned telepathically to the museum as Bey tries to revive the body of Ankh-es-en-amon by reading the Scroll of Thoth. The Whemples find Helen unconscious at the museum door and take her home to recover, while a museum guard dies of shock upon discovering Bey, who then accidentally leaves the Scroll behind in the museum. Frank tells Helen that he fell in love with the beautiful Ankh-es-en-amon during the excavation, and that Helen resembles her. When Bey enters the Whemple home to see Helen, Muller, Helen's doctor, who believes Bey to be the revived mummy, confronts him with the Scroll and a photograph of the mummy of Imhotep. With his eyes glowing hypnotically, Bey causes Sir Joseph to suffer a heart attack when he tries to burn the Scroll and compels the Whemple's Nubian servant to steal it. Under Bey's spell, Helen goes to his temple, where he reveals to her their past: In ancient Egypt, after Ankh-es-en-amon died, Imhotep, who loved her, stole the forbidden Scroll and dared the gods by trying to bring her body back from the dead. Discovered performing this unholy deed, Imhotep was sentenced to be buried alive in an unmarked tomb, along with the Scroll. After returning to Frank, Helen, half-conscious, asks him to save her. Again summoned by Bey's incantations, Helen escapes from her nurse, Frau Muller. In the Cairo museum, Bey dresses Helen in robes and jewels belonging to Ankh-es-en-amon. Bey, who still loves her as he did centuries earlier, tells Helen she must be killed and mummified before he can raise her from the dead to become, like him, a living mummy. Bey burns the actual mummy of Ankh-es-en-amon, as he believes her soul has been reincarnated in Helen. Frank and Muller are powerless before Bey's spells, so Helen entreats the god Isis for assistance. The god's statue raises its arm to point a glowing ankh at Bey, who ages and crumbles to dust. Frank then calls Helen back to the world of the living as the Scroll of Thoth burns. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.