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The Mummy (1999)

aka The Mummy

"The legend you know. The adventure you have yet to imagine."

Directed By: 
Details: 124 mins · English, Arabic, Egyptian · PG-13 (USA)

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Almost Classic

The Mummy is one of those movies that I remember fondly. My brother and I would watch it almost every weekend, and almost always twice in a row. We couldn't get enough of it, and I like to think that it was because the film was so well-done. Looking back, I can tell this is because of an increasingly rare commodity in the movie business: originality. In the wake of so many remakes, reboots, and sequels, it's good to go back to an early time in cinema when plot mattered and originality was the only thing that held sway.

Although not COMPLETELY original in its content, 'The Mummy' IS original in its writing. It's plain that research was done on the ancient Egyptian backstory, at least to the point of getting names and locations correct (Seti I was, indeed, the richest pharaoh). Brendan Frasier harkens back to the early days of cinema, when adventure films were intrepid, smart, funny, a little scary, and had significantly fewer explosions. Rachel Weiss plays the “prim-and-proper” Englis...(more)

The Mummy is one of those movies that I remember fondly. My brother and I would watch it almost every weekend, and almost always twice in a row. We couldn't get enough of it, and I like to think that it was because the film was so well-done. Looking back, I can tell this is because of an increasingly rare commodity in the movie business: originality. In the wake of so many remakes, reboots, and sequels, it's good to go back to an early time in cinema when plot mattered and originality was the only thing that held sway.

Although not COMPLETELY original in its content, 'The Mummy' IS original in its writing. It's plain that research was done on the ancient Egyptian backstory, at least to the point of getting names and locations correct (Seti I was, indeed, the richest pharaoh). Brendan Frasier harkens back to the early days of cinema, when adventure films were intrepid, smart, funny, a little scary, and had significantly fewer explosions. Rachel Weiss plays the “prim-and-proper” Englishwoman rather well, but such is the quality of the character development that she becomes a proper adventurer herself. It is so rare to see a strong, independent female lead who can kick ass, take a punch, and back it all up with smarts.

Another shining jewel of 'The Mummy' is its special effects. Although not spectacular compared to today's CGI, I like to think that it added an element of horror to the mummy scenes while still looking at least solid, if not real. The real shock value of any mummy lies the creaking of its old bones, dust trickling down through barren ribcages and silently onto the floor, and it is apparent that the special effects team was actively capturing that image while at the same time keeping with the intrepid, somewhat campy feel to the movie.

However, the real genius of 'The Mummy' lies also in its sequel, the aptly named 'The Mummy: 2'. Despite what I said about sequels, these two films considered as a whole become an even MORE intrepid adventure of danger, romance, and, you guessed it, more mummies. (less)

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Not as good as I remembered. I liked the plot well enough, and I love both Rick and Evelyn, but it seemed to put too much emphasis of the grossness (yes, that's a word) of the mummy coming back.

I still love Brendon Fraser though!

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gave

good

The special effects is very well made in this action-adventure movie. Fraser is a great hero, a bit stereo-type, but for this role it Works - the scoop though is John Hannah, he is brilliant :-)

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Cast:

Small Richard 'Rick' O'Connell
Small Evelyn Carnahan-O'Connell
Small Jonathan Carnahan
Small High Priest Imhotep
No_movie_poster Beni Gabor
Small Ardeth Bay
Small Dr. Allen Chamberlain
Small Dr. Terrence Bey
Small Captain Winston Havlock
Small Anck Su Namun
No_movie_poster Mr. Henderson
Small Mr. Daniels
Small Mr. Burns
Small Warden Gad Hassan
No_movie_poster Pharaoh Seti I
No_movie_poster Hook
No_movie_poster Hangman
No_movie_poster Camel Trader
No_movie_poster Mummy
No_movie_poster Mummy
No_movie_poster Mummy
No_movie_poster Mummy
No_movie_poster Mummy
No_movie_poster Mummy
No_movie_poster Mummy

Crew:

No_movie_poster Adrian Biddle Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Bob Ducsay Editor
No_movie_poster Cliff Robinson Art Direction
No_movie_poster Giles Masters Art Direction
No_movie_poster James Jacks Producer
No_movie_poster Jerry Goldsmith Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster John Bloomfield Costume Design
No_movie_poster John Hubbard Casting
No_movie_poster John L. Balderston Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Kevin Jarre Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Kevin Jarre Writer
No_movie_poster Lloyd Fonvielle Screenstory
No_movie_poster Megan Moran Producer
No_movie_poster Patricia Carr Producer
No_movie_poster Peter Howitt Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Peter Russell Art Direction
No_movie_poster Richard Schayer Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Ros Hubbard Casting
No_movie_poster Sean Daniel Producer
Small Stephen Sommers Director
Small Stephen Sommers Writer
No_movie_poster Tony Reading Art Direction

Taglines:

"The legend you know. The adventure you have yet to imagine."

"The sands will rise. The heavens will part. The power will be unleashed."

"Prepare. Beware. Behold."

"Adventure Is Reborn."

"Death is only the beginning."

"Uncover the secret. Unlock the legend. Unleash the power."

Plot:

In Egypt, 1290 BC, high priest Imhotep engaged in an affair with Anck-su-Namun, the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I. When the Pharaoh discovered their tryst, Imhotep and Anck-su-Namun murdered the monarch. As Seti's guards arrive, Imhotep fled while Anck-su-Namun killed herself, intending for Imhotep to resurrect her. After Anck-su-Namun's burial, Imhotep and his priests stole her corpse and travel to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, where they began the resurrection ceremony. They were caught by Seti's guards before the ritual could be completed, and Anck-su-Namun's soul was sent back to the Underworld. Imhotep's priests were mummified alive; Imhotep was cursed to immortal agony as he was not only buried alive, but with flesh-eating scarab beetles. He was buried under high security, sealed away in a sarcophagus below a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis, and kept under strict surveillance by warriors known as the Medjai.


In 1926, Jonathan Carnahan presents his sister, a Cairo librarian and aspiring Egyptologist Evelyn, an intricate box and map which Jonathan says he found in Thebes. After the pair discover the map leads to Hamunaptra, Jonathan reveals he stole it from an American adventurer named Rick O'Connell, currently in prison. Evelyn and Jonathan visit Rick; he tells them that he knows the location of the city because his unit of the French Foreign Legion found the location years ago. He makes a deal with Evelyn to reveal the location of Hamunaptra, in exchange for Evelyn saving Rick from being hanged.


Rick leads Evelyn and Jonathan's small expedition to the city, where the group encounters a band of American treasure hunters led by the famed British Egyptologist Dr. Allen Chamberlain and guided by Beni Gabor, a cowardly former comrade of Rick. Shortly after reaching Hamunaptra, the expeditions are attacked by the Medjai, led by the warrior Ardeth Bay. Ardeth warns them of the evil buried in the city, but rather than heed his warning, the two expeditions continue to excavate in separate portions of the city. Evelyn searches for the Book of Amun-Ra, a solid gold book reportedly capable of taking life away, but comes across the remains of Imhotep instead. The team of Americans, meanwhile, discover a box containing the black Book of the Dead, accompanied by canopic jars carrying Anck-su-Namun's preserved organs; Chamberlain takes the Book of the Dead while each of the Americans takes a jar as loot. Before opening the box, Chamberlain reads an engraving saying that any and all who open the box are cursed if Imhotep is awakened. The men ignore the warnings, but Beni refuses to assist them, and flees.


At night, Evelyn takes the Book of the Dead and reads a page aloud, accidentally awakening Imhotep. The expeditions flee to Cairo, but Imhotep follows them with the help of Beni, who bargains with Imhotep in exchange for his life. Imhotep absorbs the life from the American expedition, returning to full strength. Seeking a way to stop Imhotep, Rick, Evelyn and Jonathan meet Ardeth at a museum. After Evelyn reveals that Imhotep referred to her as Anck-su-Namun in Hamunaptra, Ardeth and museum curator Terrence Bay hypothesize that Imhotep wants to resurrect his lover again and will do so by sacrificing Evelyn. Evelyn hypothesizes that if the Book of the Dead brought Imhotep back to life, the Book of Amun-Ra can kill him again. After discovering the location of the Book, Imhotep corners the group with an army of slaves. Evelyn agrees to accompany Imhotep if he spares the lives of the rest of the group. Imhotep goes back on his word and leaves his slaves to kill the group. Luckily, Rick discovers an entrance to the sewers and they escape. Terrence sacrifices himself to buy the others time to escape.


Imhotep, Evelyn and Beni return to Hamunaptra, pursued by Rick, Jonathan, and Ardeth. Evelyn is rescued after an intense battle with Imhotep's mummified priests, and she reads from the Book of Amun-Ra. Imhotep becomes mortal, and Rick stabs him, forcing him into the River of Death. Rapidly decaying, Imhotep leaves the world of the living, vowing revenge with the same words he carved into his sarcophagus, Death is only the beginning. While looting treasure from the pyramid, Beni accidentally sets off an ancient booby trap and is trapped by a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs as Hamunaptra collapses into the sand. The heroes escape, although they lose the Book of Amun Ra in the process. Rick, Jonathan and Evelyn ride off into the sunset on a pair of camels laden with Beni's treasure.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2008-12-16

DVD : 1999-09-28