"He who robs the graves of Egypt dies."
The princess is Ananka (Yvonne Furneaux). The mummy is Kharis the high priest (Christopher Lee). The princess has died and was put into a tomb. Kharis buries her where she died instead of bringing her to her homeland. He sneaks into the tomb with the scroll of life and the intension of bringing Ananka back to life. When the other priests find him in the tomb they wrap him in linen and bury him alive to guard the princess.
In1895, in Egypt, British archaeologists John Banning (Peter Cushing), his father Stephen Banning (Felix Aylmer) and his uncle Joseph Whemple (Raymond Huntley) discover the tomb of Princess Ananka. In the tomb they also find the scroll of life. Stephen reads the scroll and accidently brings the mummy Kharis back to life. Stephen has a heart attack and goes insane.
Mehemet Bey (George Pastell) is a priest from the ancient religious sect sworn to guard the tomb. He steals the scroll and takes the mummy from the tomb. He brings both back to England. He then brings the mummy back to life and lets it loose in England to wreak vengeance on the tomb robbers.
"The Mummy" was released in 1959 and was directed by Terence Fisher. There are a lot of Mummy movies out there. And a lot of them are good. This is one of them. The film was produced by Hammer Studios and is a classic example of “Hammer Horror”.
If there’s one thing that Hammer does well its sets. They’re glorious. Sweeping staircases and rich tapestries. Detailed and gothic they exude ambiance. Even a mummy’s tomb is elegant. The sets alone tell a story. Add to that quality actors like Cushing and Lee and you are half way there to a wonderful watching experience.
Most mummy movies are similar in nature. Someone disturbs the tomb of an Egyptian princess that the mummy was assigned to watch. The mummy comes back to life and kills everyone who dared to desecrate the tomb. There is also a female lead that the mummy thinks is the long dead princess or reincarnated princess. Same here.
Even if you are a Karloff fan there’s room in your collection for this one. It’s the kind of movie that pulls you in to the point where you’re liable to forget to eat your popcorn.
Even though all he did was shuffle along, Christopher Lee suffered quite a few injuries doing this movie. A door he crashed through was accidentally bolted before the scene was shot. Lee dislocated his shoulder when he broke it down. The shot remains in the movie. He injured his knees and shins doing scenes in the studio-tank "swamp". He couldn't see where the different pipes and fittings under the swampy water were. The squibs used when he was being shot by Peter Cushing left burn marks on him. Lee also threw his back out carrying Yvonne Furneaux into the swamp.