The Mummy (1932)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In The Mummy, a team of archaeologists accidentally revive the Egyptian Imhotep after 3,700 years. Imhotep was once a high priest, embalmed alive for trying to revive the vestal virgin whom he loved after she had been sacrificed. Once alive again, Imhotep sets out on a deadly quest to find his lost love.

‘The Mummy’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Mummy (1932)On an expedition to Egypt in 1921, archeologist Sir Joseph Whemple finds a 3700 year-old mummy named Imhotep. His colleague, Dr. Muller, examines the Egyptian priest, and discovers that the mummy’s viscera is still present. He concludes the mummy was alive when entombed!

The Scroll of Thoth, a parchment with an incantation capable of bringing the dead back to life, is found in a wooden box with Imhotep. Dr. Muller pleads with Whemple to burn the scroll before anyone dies from its curse. Unfortunately, Whemple ’s young and eager pupil, Ralph Norton, opens the scroll and begins to translate it; releasing the Mummy from death’s grip. Imhotep takes the scroll and leaves the tomb with it. Ralph goes made with laughter from the experience. His insanity will eventually drive him to kill himself.

Fast forward ten years. Imhotep now calls himself Ardath Bey, and he has fully assimilated into modern Cairo’s culture. He’s still seeks the modern reincarnation of Ankh-es-en-amon, the love of his life. The day Sir Joseph’s son, Frank, is scheduled to leave Cairo, Ardath pays him a visit. He tells Frank where to dig to find Ankh-es-en-amon’s tomb. They quickly dig up the gravesite, and they take the artifacts to the Cairo Museum.

Soon, Imhotep meets a young woman named Helen Grosvenor. She has a striking resemblance to Ankh-es-en-amon, and Imhotep realizes she is the reincarnation of his woman. He then sets out to kill her, mummify her, and resurrect her with the Scroll of Thoth so the two can be together forever.

When all looks lost for Helen, she suddenly remembers her 3700 year-old past life, and prays to Isis to save her. Isis hears her pleas, and sets the scroll on fire. With it’s destruction, Isis breaks Thoth’s spell, and Imhotep returns to the land of the dead.

Frank manages to weasel his way into Helen’s heart for a happy ending.

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Universal Pictures released The Mummy on December 22, 1932. Karl Freund directed film starring Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, and David Manners.

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