| 88 MINS | COLOUR | HAMMER |
In 1895 an archaeological team discover the tomb of an Egyptian high priestess, Princess Ananka. Due to a broken leg, John Banning doesn’t see the inside of the tomb. His father Stephen takes over the role of unearthing the various artifacts. Finding an ancient scroll, and reading the words aloud, he unwittingly brings to life Kharis, Ananka’s protector, who was buried with her thousands of years ago.
When Stephen Banning is driven to insanity by the sight of the mummy and left a wreck, Mehemet Bey, priest of Karnack, takes the opportunity to steal the scroll.
The mummy is secretly transported to England, and Mehemet, armed with the scroll vows vengeance on the tomb’s desecrators.
The deranged Stephen Banning, now confined to a care home for the mentally unstable, is killed by Kharis at the order of Mehemet Bey. When Kharis kills Joseph Whemple, another member of the expedition team, he does so before the eyes of John Banning, who shoots him with a revolver with no effect.
While a sceptical Inspector Mulrooney investigates, John notices that Isobel bears an uncanny resemblance to the Princess Ananka.
Mehemet Bey sends Kharis to kill John Banning, the last surviving member of the expedition. Kharis enters the guarded Banning’s house, with the help of Mehemet Bey, but Kharis pauses when he sees Isobel, whom he mistakes for the long dead Princess Ananka. When Mehemet Bey orders Kharis to kill Isobel, he refuses. Mehemet Bey tries to kill Isobel himself but is killed instead by Kharis. Kharis carries the unconscious Isobel into the swamp. John yells to Isobel. A now conscious Isobel tells Kharis to put her down. Kharis obeys. When Isobel has moved away from him, the policemen open fire, causing Kharis to sink into the swamp, still holding the Scroll of Life aloft.
Britishhorrorfilms: The whole thing is so great you can even forgive Peter Cushing for not spotting that his wife is the spitting image of the Egyptian Queen whose tomb he’s been searching for 20 years. The dolt.
Spookyisles: The Mummy is one of Universal’s weaker films anyway, even with the presence of its stunning regular team. The Hammer adaptation simply doesn’t innovate enough to make up for the original’s slightly stifled narrative and tone.
John Banning: Seems I’ve spent the better part of my life amongst the dead
- Directed by Terence Fisher
- Produced by Michael Carreras & Anthony Nelson Keys
- Music by Franz Reizenstein
- Cinematography Jack Asher
- Production company Hammer Film Productions
- The Mummy was a critical success. The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films wrote of the film: “Structurally little more than a string of picturesque and nice-lit killings, The Mummy’s melancholic presentation and romantic undertow grants it a certain atmosphere which elevates this bandaged brute far beyond its cinematic predecessors.”
Peter Cushing — John Banning | Christopher Lee –Kharis, the Mummy | Yvonne Furneaux — Isobel Banning / Princess Ananka | Eddie Byrne — Inspector Mulrooney | Felix Aylmer — Stephen Banning | Raymond Huntley — Joseph Whemple | George Pastell — Mehemet Bey, Alias Mehemet Akir | Michael Ripper — Poacher | George Woodbridge — Police Constable | Harold Goodwin — Pat | Denis Shaw — Mike | Gerald Lawson — Irish Customer | Willoughby Gray — Dr. Reilly | John Stuart — Coroner | David Browning — Police Sergeant