THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1942) Reviews and overview

 

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‘The fear of the year’

The Mummy’s Tomb is a 1942 American horror film in which the creature is transported from his homeland to the US with the high priest Mehemet.

The movie is a sequel to The Mummy’s Hand (1940). The saga was continued in The Mummy’s Curse (1943) and The Mummy’s Ghost (1944).

Directed by Harold Young (The Jungle Captive; The Frozen Ghost) from a screenplay co-written by Griffin Jay (Cry of the Werewolf; The Mummy’s Ghost; The Return of the Vampire; et al) and Henry Sucher (The Frozen Ghost; The Mummy’s Ghost; Jungle Woman) from an original story by Neil P. Varnick (Captive Wild Woman).

The Universal Pictures production stars Lon Chaney Jr., Dick Foran, John Hubbard, Elyse Knox, George Zucco, Wallace Ford and Turhan Bey.

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Lon Chaney, Jr. disliked playing the role of Kharis the mummy because make-up artist Jack P. Pierce spent up to eight hours applying the bandages and ravaged face. A rubber mask was used for long shots featuring stunt man Eddie Parker. Features footage from The Mummy’s Hand (1940) and angry mob shots from Frankenstein (1931).

Plot:

Steve Banning (Dick Foran) recites the story of Kharis to his family and evening guests in his Mapleton, Massachusetts home. As he concludes his tale of the successful destruction of the creature, the scene switches back to the tombs of Egypt.

Surviving their supposed demise, Andoheb (George Zucco) explains the legend of Kharis (Lon Chaney, Jr.) to his follower, Mehemet Bey (Turhan Bey). After passing on the instructions for the use of the tana leaves and assigning the task of terminating the remaining members of the Banning Expedition and their descendants, Andoheb expires. Bey and Kharis leave Egypt for the journey to the United States.

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Bey takes the caretaker’s job at the local cemetery, sets up shop and administers the tana brew to Kharis. The monster sets out to avenge the desecration of Ananka’s tomb. His first victim is Stephen Banning, whom the creature kills…

Reviews:

The Mummy’s Tomb is a strong contender for the title of most entertaining big-studio B-horror movie of the 1940s. It has all the strengths of The Mummy’s Hand, but in a new setting that does wonders to enliven the basically rehashed story. Its more complex characterization of the mummy himself is another big improvement.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

” …while The Mummy’s Tomb is notable for introducing Lon Chaney Jr. to the role he’d play twice more in the years to come, The Mummy’s Tomb, as a whole, is flat, and not even a late appearance by a torch-wielding crowd of vigilantes, something of a staple in Universal’s horror canon, is enough to save the film from mediocrity.” 2,500 Movies Challenge

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“The plot is thinner, and something is lost in the transition from Egypt to Massachusetts; nevertheless, The Mummy’s Tomb will probably be an enjoyable diversion for fans of old fashioned monster movies.” At-a-Glance Film Reviews

“Visually, the movie has its moments. I still love the design of the mummy and the character looks great, but the movie does suffer from bad sets which look like bad sets. It is kind of what you expect from a Universal Monster movie at this point, but it still doesn’t have the production value of the first two films.” Basement Rejects

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“The plot, directing, pace are all very pedestrian. However, it is just another B-movie sequel so I shouldn’t expect much. The plot is a little more dark and serious than the last entry making it seem like our characters are in real danger. I never felt our characters were in danger in The Mummy’s Hand.” Blood Brothers

“There’s not much of a plot to the sequel, which basically rehashes what’s come before, but the big selling point of The Mummy’s Tomb is the very presence of Kharis, who is truly the star of the film, finally permitted time to stalk victims and complicate survival plans for anyone within reach. The creature doesn’t inspire the same fear factor as before, but newfound run time freedom is welcome, giving fans more bang for their buck.” Blu-ray.com

“The care and talent that was lavished upon The Wolf Man is sorely lacking in The Mummy’s Tomb […] so perfunctory, so small scale in ambition and execution, it seemed destined for the bottom-of-the-bill slot.” Universal Horrors

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Contemporary reviews:

” …much happens, but nothing that will surprise the horror fans.” Harrison’s Reports

” …no wonder the Mummy lasted for 3,000 years. In that tandem fashion, he may go on for another 3,0000 – heaven forbid!” The New York Times

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Cast and characters:

Lon Chaney Jr. … The Mummy – Kharis (as Lon Chaney)
Dick Foran … Stephen Banning
John Hubbard … John Banning
Elyse Knox … Isobel Evans
George Zucco … Andoheb
Wallace Ford … Babe Hanson
Turhan Bey … Mehemet Bey
Virginia Brissac … Mrs Evans
Cliff Clark … Sheriff
Mary Gordon … Jane
Paul E. Burns … Jim
Frank Reicher … Professor Norman
Emmett Vogan … Coroner
Brandon Beach … Reporter (uncredited)
Walter Byron … Searcher (uncredited)
Noble ‘Kid’ Chissell … Townsman (uncredited)
Harry Cording … Vic – Farmer (uncredited)
Grace Cunard … Farmer’s Wife (uncredited)
Frank Darien … Old Townsman (uncredited)
Fern Emmett … Laura – Wedding Dress Seamstress (uncredited)
Vinton Hayworth … Frank, Reporter (uncredited)
Otto Hoffman … Retiring Cemetery Caretaker (uncredited)
Dick Hogan … Boy in Car (uncredited)
Lew Kelly … Bartender (uncredited)
Rex Lease … Townsman (uncredited)
Charles Marsh … Townsman (uncredited)
Mira McKinney … Vic’s Wife (uncredited)
Patrick McVey … Jake Lovell, New York Record (uncredited)
Bob Reeves … Townsman (uncredited)
John Rogers … Ship’s Steward (uncredited)
William Ruhl … Nick (uncredited)
Janet Shaw … Girl in Car (uncredited)
Glenn Strange … Farmer Holding Horse (uncredited)
Guy Usher … Doctor (uncredited)
Eddy Waller … Police Scientist (uncredited)

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Filming locations:

Universal Studios – the Shelby House which was originally built for the film Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1927) was used for the Banning residence.

Filming:

Shooting began on June 1st 1942 and ended in mid-June.

Fun facts:

For unknown reasons, Wallace Ford’s character’s name is changed from Jenson from the previous film to Hanson in this film.

More Mummy movies

Trailer:

The classic Universal Mummy franchise:

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