The Eyes of the Mummy – Germany, 1918

Die Augen der Mumie Ma (English: The Eyes of the Mummy or The Eyes of the Mummy Ma) is a 1918 German silent film directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

The movie stars Pola Negri as Ma, Emil Jannings as Radu, and Harry Liedtke as Wendland.

Eyes of the Mummy


A young, wealthy painter named Wendland travels to Egypt, where he hears about the tomb of Queen Ma, a site far out into the desert that has reportedly driven everyone who has visited it mad. Intrigued, the painter arranges to be taken to the tomb.

When he arrives, he is greeted by an Egyptian native named Radu, who leads him to a coffin in a dark room. There he sees the eyes behind the coffin slowly open and come to life, just before the Egyptian tries to attack him.

The painter wards off Radu, and finds that the coffin lid is actually an entrance to a small adjacent room, where a helpless young girl, also named Ma, is held prisoner by the Egyptian’s Svengali-like hypnotic powers. Wendland rescues Ma from the site and takes her back to Europe with him, making her his wife.

Radu, heartbroken at losing Ma, wanders into the desert and faints on the hot sands. A wealthy Prince finds him, nurses him back to health, and makes him his personal servant. When Radu comes to, he swears vengeance on Ma for leaving him…

“Why did a girl’s eyes behind a fake coffin actually drive people (like the man at the hotel) mad? Lubitsch tried, and for the most part succeeded, in building the suspense to the unveiling of the “Mummy”, but if the “Mummy” itself had been given a darker and more hideous treatment and had not been such a London After Midnight/Mark of the Vampire letdown, it would have worked much better.”



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