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 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 7:16 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Look at this clip, taken from "The Guardian" newspaper, of the restored version of "The Mummy", 1959. The music sounds interesting - dissonant and modern - but the action is hilarious! Who would be frightened in a film like this?!! A pensioner in a motorised shopping chair would be more threatening than this Mummy!!

http://www.theguardian.com/film/video/2013/oct/15/the-mummy-clip-hammer-horror-classic-video

He is bandaged from head to foot and cannot seem to get around that desk without difficulty!!

Oh, it's the old 'beauty and the beast' trope!! Or a rags to riches story! LOL

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 7:43 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

I first saw this one just a couple years ago on TCM. It wasn't perfect (Horror of Dracula is still my favorite of Hammer's takes on the Universal Monsters), but I did think it was much better than Universal's original.

 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 8:01 PM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

Franz Reizenstein's score for the 1959 version of THE MUMMY is one of the best scores in the Hammer Films canon. I'm not sure if the physical CD is technically out of print, but it seems to be available as a digital download from iTunes. Highly recommended for any Halloween playlist!

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/mummy-1959-original-motion/id473849996

And I must disagree, by the way, that Christopher Lee's monster is more hilarious than frightening! The Mummy may be a bit awkward at times -- as you'd expect from a shambling, heavily bandaged corpse -- but he is powerful, relentless, and unkillable by normal means (watch how he just shrugs off point-blank rifle shots and getting harpooned). I agree that it's not an especially terrifying film, but there's a certain respectable horror to it all. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 8:53 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

I've always loved this movie -- Lee, it seems to me, is uncanny in that his performance, though mute, somehow conveys the fact that every single pore and atom of this "monster" is in pain and agonizing longing-- from his soul to his desicated flesh -- pain walking the earth as it were. And then he finds his lost love again -- some respite perhaps to be attained from all of the unceasing pain -- I find his halting, lumbering gate to be full of a kind of surreal poetry. But then, I am a sucker for all things Hammer from this period of time. I also have discovered that, for some reason, I seem to have a deep psychological response to the way that Fisher used color in his films -- the palate just seems to resonate deep within me for no good reason that I can articulate.

I've ordered the blu ray of the restored version -- and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I do hope my viewing of the film in this version holds up! If it seems to be pure hokum at my advanced age, I will report never fear!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

it's a well made film, no doubt about that.Beautiful sets, nice to look at. Cushing leads a solid cast. Fine musical score by FRANK REIZENSTEIN.Top notch tech credits and competent direction by pro TERENCE FISCHER.I never quite like the movements of KHARIS here as the LON CHANEY JR films out of the 40's[wonderful eerie makeup there] but other then that it's a good effort in typical classy HAMMER style.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2013 - 9:22 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

John McMasters, that's an eloquent take on "The Mummy" and puts my tongue-in-cheek comments into contrast! I'd like to borrow one of those quotes of yours as it was just brilliant. Yes, you've seen the 'humanity' of the Mummy and, as I said earlier, it's the old Beauty and the Beast legend, albeit Hammer style.

However, I do think our modern audiences would find the film more funny than grotesque and frightening. And the 'shambling' corpse walking around with an arrow through it's body, sans the slightest hint of irony, really did make me laugh. I kept thinking of Gene Wilder somehow!

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 12:02 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Whilst I love much of Hammer's output, I must admit I find that The Mummy has aged far less well than many of it's stablemates...of course, just my opinion...but I know it scared a lot of people half a century ago...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 12:46 AM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

When the mummy bursts into the insane asylum to kill the man who dared to defy the curse, that scene is still frightening.
I can see that for fear there are different strokes for different folks. I couldn't get scared (or be entertained) by "The exorcist" or "The shining" even if I got payed for it.

D.S.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 2:45 AM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)



I don't recall noticing it while watching the movie, but listening to that now, I can hear a bit of Jerry Goldsmith's The Mummy, particularly at about 0:18 - 0:21. I wonder if Reizenstein's score served as a temp track.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 4:15 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I like this picture. Love the score. Fairly literate script. And anything with Felix Aylmer is worth watching. One thing about Lee's Mummy - his ears are similar to Eddie Parker's Obama ears in A&C MEET THE MUMMY. At least Tyler and Chaney's ears were wrapped back. Chaney did have some fine moments in his penny dreadfuls. Tom Tyler's entry was the best but he was nondescript in his characterization. Karloff's Imhotep still wins as a pure mood piece.

I thoroughly despise the modern mummy entries.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

I thoroughly despise the modern mummy entries.

Too bad. The first two are great fun (especially the first), although the third one suffered from a change in director who chose to emphasize hyperactive action over fun character interplay.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 12:43 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

I saw this film when it came out in 1959, I was 13. I don't think this scene is funny at all. In 1959 the kids were scared and the girls screamed. Remember people today are used to blood and guts in very violent films. I will say I think Lee looks and moves like a pro wrestler, much too fast and fluid for an (almost) dead mummy thousands of years old. It has a fine music score. I wouldn't know about the recent mummy films, I wouldn't waste my time. The last "new" film I saw was in 1983!

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

I thoroughly despise the modern mummy entries.

Too bad. The first two are great fun (especially the first), although the third one suffered from a change in director who chose to emphasize hyperactive action over fun character interplay.


The third film is to me, what Crystal Skull is to Mike Jenner. big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

There's just something about mummy's, esp. mummy's coming to life! I love the Universal series, even the cheap & cheerful ones (not so keen on the Karloff "good" one, I find it slow, & there's no mummy walking around!). I like the '59 Mummy, but prefer The Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb, I know it's not as good, but have happy memories of seeing it at the cinema on a double bill with The Gorgon. The modern movies are not really mummy films, but sort of sub Indiana Jones films.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 7:57 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)


Did you notice how Peter Cushing limps on a bad leg before he encounters the mummy?

Then, when the mummy attacks him his bad leg is now perfectly fine!

It's a miracle! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 11:36 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

These are all very interesting comments; thank you all very much, as I've enjoyed reading these.

My sense of the ridiculous comes to the fore every time I see these kinds of films and a limerence-affected Mummy is all the more humorous to me. I totally recall "The Invisible Man" (TV series from the '50's) whose Peter Brady seemed to wear much the same livery as this Mummy (sans dirt) and I suspect Lee's incarnation was a refugee from the same costume department.

It's the stilted walk, the saturnine appearance, the predictable gimp and the girl clad in enticing clothing (who evinced no sense of shock) which gave the game away for me. Sorry, but I've laughed a lot. And the way Cushing fell like a rag to the floor after 3 seconds of Mummy-grip was also funny. Those British archeologists certainly had a case to answer!!!!!

I find that the most terrifying films are those, for example Hitchcock, where everyday people experience dreadful things.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 11:57 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

But - I have to say - Hitchcock's forte was exactly that - the extraordinary happening to the ordinary...Hammer Films of that time however (generally) were far more comic-book-ish and garish in their approach...different emphasies, different audience, different culture too...they are often epitomised as high camp, but if you buy in to it (and even some of Hitch's stuff needed a good buy-in!) the entertainment values - and, just occasionally, even after all these years, the shocks - are there. The Curse of Frankenstein for example remains a great horror classic...hasn't dated anywhere near as much as many of even it's own sequels (or indeed, as much as The Mummy)

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 12:30 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

You make an excellent point and it's well taken!!

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 12:44 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Mark Gatiss did a superb documentary a couple of years ago - called "A History of Horror With Mark Gatiss" I think...one episode of which was entirely devoted to Hammer films and why they are what they are and the influence they had...well worth hunting out, if you are so inclined...actually, found it, some details here -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_History_of_Horror

....but of course, it's never going to make you, or indeed I, love The Mummy wink

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 10:02 AM   
 By:   Doctor Shatterhand   (Member)

Look at this clip, taken from "The Guardian" newspaper, of the restored version of "The Mummy", 1959. The music sounds interesting - dissonant and modern - but the action is hilarious! Who would be frightened in a film like this?!! A pensioner in a motorised shopping chair would be more threatening than this Mummy!!

http://www.theguardian.com/film/video/2013/oct/15/the-mummy-clip-hammer-horror-classic-video

He is bandaged from head to foot and cannot seem to get around that desk without difficulty!!

Oh, it's the old 'beauty and the beast' trope!! Or a rags to riches story! LOL


I highly recommend that you check out this film completely before you judge this short clip. It is true that the film is not as scary as some of the more graphic films of today, but Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were the Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff team of Hammer films back in the late 50s and 60s. The Mummy is one of Hammer's classic films and I agree is far better than the Universal films of the 1940s.

 
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