The Mummy (1932)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Mummy</strong> (1932)

(On Cable TV, February 2018) I was surprised to find out that the original Universal Monster movie The Mummy is such a restrained piece of work. Eschewing easy scares and thrills, this surprisingly romantic film seems to run long even at 73 minutes, relying on repeated full-face shots of Bela Lugosi as Imhotep to carry much of the movie. It’s not bad, but it moves surprisingly slower than you’d expect. The brute-force stereotyped Egyptian flavour feels comfortable, but in-between the laborious exposition and the pauses for romance there is a lot of time to contemplate the way the film doesn’t move forward very quickly. At least Lugosi is convincing as the Mummy, and Zita Johann still looks surprisingly good with longer curly hair. As someone who saw the 1999 remake in theatres and immediately liked it a lot, I’m satisfied to have finally seen the original … but I’m not going to claim that it is anything other than a film of its time.

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