After successfully remaking Frankenstein (1931) and Dracula (1931), Hammer scored again with its take on The Mummy (1932).
This film, once again, reunited the winning trio of director Terence Fisher and stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Story-wise, the film takes elements from Universal’s Mummy sequels. John Banning (Cushing) is an archeologist who, while in Egypt, discovers the title character, Kharis (Lee), who is subsequently revived by Egyptian national Mehemet Bey (George Pastell), who instructs the mummy to kill Banning and his colleagues.
The whole party is killed with the exception of Banning, who is spared after Kharis lays eyes on Isobel (Yvonne Furneaux), Banning’s wife who bears a resemblance to Kharis’s long-deceased love, Princess Ananka. As a result, the mummy kills Bey in order to take Isobel with him.
Cushing and Lee are both great as always. The latter is sure to go down as the most physically strong mummy to grace the silver screen. His best moment, though, is when he lays eyes on Isobel as he’s about to kill Banning. Lee’s eyes beautifully express both shock and then sadness as Isobel understandably backs away from him. The Mummy films with Brandon Fraser would have been well served to have such interesting scenes (not to mention less CGI).
Hammer put out other Mummy films, none of which starred Lee or Cushing.