Film Review: The Mummy (1959)


Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are paired again for Hammer’s third reinvention of a classic Universal monster.  Christopher Lee’s take on the rag man is a pretty good one.  He gives the character menace while also inviting empathy, and he does so without saying a word.  The Mummy’s back story sequence is long and uninteresting, just as it is in the Boris Karloff version, but at least you actually get to see the title character in Hammer’s version (correcting one of my big gripes about Universal’s version).

As always with Hammer, the sets and photography are terrific, especially during the climax where Christopher Lee carries Yvonne Furneaux into the murky waters of a large, fantastic swamp — one of the most beautiful scenes in any Hammer movie.  Like most Hammer flicks, it’s not ambitious storytelling, but I love seeing the Brits throw everything they’ve got into a horror movie, especially at a time when Hollywood wouldn’t dream of giving the genre this kind of production value.

Rating: 3.25/5 ★★★¼☆ 


About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (

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