THE MUMMY’S GHOST (1943) Reviews and overview

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‘Nameless! Fleshless! Deathless!’

The Mummy’s Ghost is the 1943 American supernatural horror film directed by Reginald Le Borg (The Black Sleep; Voodoo Island; Diary of a Madman) from a screenplay written by Griffin Jay and Henry Sucher.

The Universal production stars Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine, Robert Lowery, Ramsay Ames and Barton MacLane.

A sequel to The Mummy’s Tomb, the Universal Pictures production began filming from August 23 to September 1, 1943, but the movie wasn’t released until July 7, 1944.

Acquanetta (Captive Wild WomanJungle Woman) was originally cast as Amina Mansori, but on the first day of shooting, while enacting a fainting scene, she fell on a rock. She was taken to hospital and treated for her concussion. But Universal, not wanting to hold up on production, replaced her with actress Ramsay Ames.

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Plot:

Andoheb, the ageing High Priest of Arkam (Karnak in the previous films), has summoned Yousef Bey to the Temple of Arkam to pass on the duties of High Priest. Beforehand, Andoheb explains the legend of Kharis to Bey.

Meanwhile in Mapleton, Massachusetts, Professor Matthew Norman, who had examined one of Kharis’ missing bandage pieces during the Mummy’s last spree through Mapleton, also explains the legends of the Priests of Arkam and Kharis to his History class who are less than believing.

After the lecture ends, one of the students, Tom Hervey, meets up with his girlfriend Amina Mansori, a beautiful woman of Egyptian descent. However, a strange, clouded feeling in her mind occurs whenever the subject of Egypt is mentioned…

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Reviews:

The Mummy’s Ghost isn’t up to the standard of its predecessor: there’s not enough mummy action, and a bit too much aimless running around; not good, in a film barely sixty minutes long. The screenplay is also guilty of constantly tweaking what the previous two films taught us were “the rules” of this franchise.” And You Call Yourself a Scientist

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The Mummy’s Ghost disarms any attempt at such an enterprise with a kind of confrontational candor. “Yeah, I’m stupid,” it says, “You got a problem with that?!” Its familiarity does breed just a wee bit of contempt, but it also has its moments of lowbrow fun. And hey, at 61 minutes, what do you really have to lose?” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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“The mummy has always been the least impressive of movie monsters and he is doing nothing to enhance his reputation in his latest incarnation in The Mummy’s Ghost. He is just repulsive without being picturesque or even particularly frightening.” The New York World-Telegram, 1944

The Mummy’s Ghost is easily the director’s best horror film, possibly his best film, period. Le Borg took credit for the unusual downbeat finale, although he admitted without any prompting that he was inspired by the climax of Frank Capra’s 1937 romantic-fantasy classic Lost Horizon.” Universal Horrors: The Studio’s Classic Films, 1931-1946

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“This was one of the better entries in Universal’s so-so ‘Kharis’ series of the ’40s, although viewers who catch it without the benefit of having seen its predecessors … would have to be forgiven for finding it nearly incomprehensible.” Tom Weaver, John Carradine: The Films

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“The film is just sorta so-so for the most part, but it does have a few moments that help it rise above mediocrity.  The flick features a couple of cool Mummy attacks and has a clever way of dispensing the usually boring exposition (via a college lecture). The Mummy’s Ghost also contains a rousing conclusion as well as a downbeat ending, which is out of the ordinary for one of these Universal programmers.” The Video Vacuum

Choice dialogue:

Andoheb: “Now swear by the ancient Egyptian gods, that you will never rest until the Princess Anaka and Kharis have been returned to their rightful resting place, in these tombs…”

Yousef Bey: “Has any man before ever offered his bride the gift of eternal life?”

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Cast and Characters:

Lon Chaney, Jr. … Kharis, The Mummy
John Carradine … Yousef Bey
Robert Lowery … Tom Hervey
Ramsay Ames … Amina Mansori / Ananka
Barton MacLane … Inspector Walgreen
George Zucco … Andoheb, The High Priest
Frank Reicher … Professor Norman
Harry Shannon … Sheriff Elwood
Emmett Vogan … Coroner
Lester Sharp … Doctor Ayad
Claire Whitney … Mrs Norman
Oscar O’Shea … Scripps Museum Guard

Technical details:

61 minutes
Black and white
Aspect ratio: 1.37: 1

Related:

The Shuffling Saga of the Mummy on Screen – article by Daz Lawrence

Trailer:

The classic Universal Mummy franchise:

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