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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
The Mummy (Blu-ray + DVD) [1959]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 7 July 2017
It’s strange to think that only 15 years separates Hammer Films’ bright and colourful version of ‘The Mummy’ and the last of Universal’s Lon Chaney fronted Mummy series. And yet, here it is: buoyed by the success of their recent internationally successful horrors, Michael Carreras’ tiny British company forged on with this tale of Egyptian tombs and legends …

… except that this has all the Egyptian atmosphere of a telephone box. Hammer were careful to reconstruct their take on ‘Dracula (1957)’ and ‘Curse of Frankenstein (1958)’ to take into account the modest budget at their disposal; ‘The Mummy’ makes little such concessions. As a result it is, to my mind, highly over-ambitious and unconvincing. There is a poky, studio-bound feel to the Tomb of Ananka and its surrounding settings that even tremendous actors like Raymond Huntley, Felix Aylmer and of course Peter Cushing cannot distract us from. Later, we revisit the tombs in a familiarly protracted flashback sequence.

George Pastell makes the first of two appearances in this Mummy series, as respectful servant Mehemet Bey, and Michael Ripper is on hand as a poacher (in some much needed lightness during what is little more than a handful of cameos) once we are back in the easier-to-convey 1895 England. Christopher Lee’s Kharis is so angry about the tomb of his princess Ananka being desecrated that he comes back from the dead, resurrected from the studio-swamp Bey’s incompetent lackey’s have inadvertently left him. Cushing’s stoical John Banning happens to be married to Isobel (Yvonne Furneaux), the spitting image of Ananka.

It’s all a little staged and mannered and the story is highly reminiscent of a number of the Universal films, which were pretty familiar by 1944. Even some of the characters are very similar. Despite the intensity of the performers and the beautifully lit visuals, there is a staidness about Terence Fisher’s direction ensuring that, unlike Kharis, the film never really comes to life (although clever camera angles make it appear the mummy could indeed be the ten-foot tall he is purported to be).

Kharis is lean and powerful, and Hammer’s best looking mummy. Lee’s expressive eyes shine through the make-up, conveying the creature’s emotion as required, but this added sense of humanity ensures that, despite his power, Kharis isn’t particularly ethereal or frightening.

Events do liven up during the final reel, where Kharis and Banning once again come face to face. But, as with Hammer’s ‘Curse of the Werewolf’ the following year, an exciting finale is sadly too little, too late.
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on 1 January 2016
The film has been given some serious restoration work and the results are impressive. Every frame looks nicely restored yet still look authentic and not too shiny or digital. The film was made in the 1950s and on a budget so don't expect to compare it with modern Blu Ray releases.

What this film has going for it is great acting and characters, a script which takes the subject matter with as much humour and fun and is deserves, as a well thought out colour palate of muted, browns, soft blues, greys for the pub and when in Egypt Sandy colours, gold and white. When it does appear though strong colours really stand out such as the red cap and green cape the villain wears. Skin tones look natural and not too red. The film slowly leads up to a satisfying climax and left me very happy with the final product. Don't expect lots of blood and gore though.

I'd give this film 4/5. My main critique of the film would be that pretty much all the 'outdoor' scenes are quite clearly sound stages which does give the production a somewhat cheap feel. Also the manner of the mummy attacks and preceding dialogue feels repetitive, sort of going through the motions.

Picture is Full Screen, sound is DTS-HD Master Audio Mono.
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on 21 December 2017
For Hammer fans this a must own. I know there has been a great debate about the quality of this film in writing and production when compared to the first two pairings of Lee and Cushing for Hammer. Poppycock I say this is one of the best and has a wonderful sense of classic horror and adventure. Lee as the Mummy is closer to the Kharis version done by Universal in the 40's. But don't let that deter you as this is still an early Hammer film and as such strikes out nicely on it's own.
Written by Sangster,directed by Fisher, and starring Lee and Cushing it doesn't get better than this.
I feel the movie is grand and a fun nights entertainment. Highly recommend it for those new to horror as well as us older fans. This version is chock full of interesting extras and the commentary by Hearns and Rigby is as always informative.
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VINE VOICEon 28 June 2015
This is a fantastic re-mastering of the Hammer version of The Mummy. The picture quality looks really fresh but retains the pastel look of the original colouring. Previous to this release I believe you could only buy this as a region 1 DVD, so its great to finally have this in the UK.

This along with Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula make up the cornerstone's of Hammer's emergence as the British Horror Masters. It also marked another classic film pairing the late Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. A film with these two in it can do no wrong in my book. The film moves slightly away from the Universal film (starring Boris Karloff) and has the Mummy as simply a walking weapon to destroy. Lee is absolutely menacing as he was in Frankenstein.

The film slightly suffers from a slow middle section, but the finale is worth the wait. For me this is one of Hammer's best films and sadly the only Mummy film that they got right. The Blu Ray is a vast improvement on the old DVD I had, great picture and sound. Recommended.
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on 5 September 2016
The Blu-ray is Region B with both the 16x9 and the 1.37:1 aspect ratio versions with a running time of 88 minutes plus the Special Features.

DVD Disc 1 is Region 2 with both the 16x9 and the 1.37:1 aspect ratio versions with a running time of 85 minutes.

DVD Disc 2 is Region 2 with Special Features (the same as on the Blu-ray).

With CinemaScope and VistaVision whetting the public’s appetite for widescreen movies, studios still using 35mm cameras were able to mimmic those projections by masking their 35mm prints top and bottom. If the cameraman was aware of how his film was to be framed he could make the appropriate adjustment whilst filming in order to avoid the “top-of-head-cut-off”. ‘The Mummy (Blu-ray + DVD)’ has both the 1.37:1 aspect ratio (as filmed and seen on cathode tube TVs) and the 16x9 HDTV screen aspect ratio (as seen – more or less – in cinemas in the 1950s). A simple calculation demonstrates that about 11.5% of the image has been cropped from both the top and bottom of the 35mm image to produce the 16x9 image. I prefer to watch the 1.37:1 image.
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on 5 May 2015
Another classic horror film from Hammer Horror. Following on from their remakes of Frankenstein and Dracula comes the Mummy and it’s up there with the best work from this studio. Christopher Lee’s performance as the walking killing machine Mummy is superb, particularly so when you consider he has no dialogue in this role apart from a few lines in the flash back sequence. His body language as the returned to life Mummy is very menacing and convincing; he really is a superb actor at this sort of thing.
Peter Cushing also gives his usual highly polished performance and the on screen chemistry between him and Lee works brilliantly as indeed it always did.
Great to see Michael Ripper making a couple of appearances in there as well, it wouldn’t be Hammer without him!
I’ve rated the movie 4 stars only because I think it lacks some of the atmosphere of the Hammer Gothic films but that’s just down to personal preference.
A good old fashioned Hammer Horror film is exactly what you get here and I really enjoyed it. Recommended!
(The extras are also very good)
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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2017
In the 1890's 3 British archaeologists unearth the tomb of the Princess Ananka and awaken the high priest who has been cursed to live undead as a mummy to protect her. Years later in England the Mummy hunts those who disturbed the tomb. First film in Hammer horror's The Mummy series, the British Hammer horror remakes of Universal's classic monster movies continues. Hammer regulars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are on fine form here with Lee taking on the Boris Karloff role of The Mummy though it's a different character to Karloff's Mummy. Tense, creepy and macabre this is Hammer horror at it's very best.
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on 5 November 2013
This film was first released in 1959 and was the first of Hammer's mummy films. This film was one of Hammer's original "big three" of the late 1950s, along with The Curse Of Frankenstein and Dracula and seems to be regarded by many fans as being as good those two films. However, I don't think that The Mummy is a patch on those films and I will explain why. It is a very slow and talky film, with several flashback scenes that only slow the pace down even more. It has very little action or horror and is considerably less bloody than Hammer's other films, hence the PG certificate. The 12 certificate is, I assume, for some of the extra features on the disc. I regard this as the most tame of Hammer's 1950s output and even The Hound Of The Baskervilles is more gruesome than this film, which has the same certificate on DVD. I rarely watch The Mummy because, quite frankly, it is one of the few Hammer Horror films that actually bores me and I always struggle to make it to the end credits. However, it is well made and of Hammer's usual standard and stars the legendary Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, which is why I give it three stars. You could do much worse than this film, but just don't expect to be scared or thrilled. I recommend The Curse Of Frankenstein, Dracula, or even the aforementioned Hound Of The Baskervilles, if you are looking for a more dramatic Hammer film. Stay clear of this film if you are easily bored, or if you like action-packed films.
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on 31 March 2016
I've just watched the blu-ray of 'The Mummy' courtesy of Lovefilm before making the decision to upgrade my DVD. Whilst the picture quality is slightly better it has not persuaded me to 'add to basket'. I suspect that things have been compromised visually by including two versions of the film on one blu-ray disc and that this movie could still look a lot better than it does here. If you don't already own the movie then this edition is certainly the way to go, great on extras, greatly improved audio, the film presented in its correct aspect ratio and a 3 disc set for currently, a very reasonable price on Amazon. I saw The Mummy at the cinema when it was first released and it remains my favourite Hammer film but for now I'll wait for a 4K version or a different international release and no, I'm not viewing through strangely tinted specs. Three stars for the image quality but five for the whole package.
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on 14 February 2015
Of the three "Mummy" films, this middle Hammer version is the most entertaining. It may not be the creepiest, that's the Boris Karloff version and it may not be the flashiest, that's the Arnold Vosloo version but by Karnak this version is the one I most enjoy actually watching. Made in the days when colour films actually had colours in them (remember that?) and played with vim and gusto by everyone involved (my favourite side character is Georg Pastell as Ardeth Bey, at rather a remove from his Bond villain days) it's just wonderful to watch. Once again, Christopher Lee is almost silent (he has lines in flashback) and Peter Cushing is a terrific hapless hero. The score is far better than Hammer deserves and overall this is a great triumph of a film.

Well worth a purchase.
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