The Mummy's Tomb


1h 1m 1942

Brief Synopsis

A high priest travels to America with the living mummy Kharis (Lon Chaney Jr.) to kill all those who had desecrated the tomb of the Egyptian princess Ananka thirty years earlier.

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 23, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,464ft

Synopsis

In Mapleton, Massachusetts, Stephen A. Banning reminisces with his family about his archaeological trip to Egypt thirty years earlier: During the expedition, Stephen and his cohorts discover a cursed tomb, which houses a 3,000-year-old mummy, Kharis. Kharis, who has been kept alive on tana leaf juice, awakens and murders Dr. Petrie, one of the leaders of the expedition. The mummy then abducts Marta Solvani, the female member of the group, but she is saved by Stephen and his friend, Babe Hanson, who break into the tomb's secret chamber and set the mummy afire. Stephen then assures his family that Kharis died in the fire, unaware that the mummy was only maimed and is now being sent to America to take revenge upon the families of those who intruded upon his tomb. With Kharis is Mehemet Bey, the new high priest of the mummy's tomb, who takes a job as the caretaker of the Mapleton cemetery. At the first full moon, Bey feeds Kharis enough tana juice to give the mummy movement, and the creature breaks into the Banning home, killing Stephen. Stephen's physician son John becomes obsessed with finding his father's murderer, which causes him to neglect his girl friend, Isobel Evans. Learning of Stephen's death, Babe arrives in Mapleton at the next full moon, and while John is picking him up at the train station, Kharis kills Stephen's sister Jane. The killings generate headlines across the Eastern seaboard, and reporters flood Mapleton to cover the story. Babe tells John that the murders are the work of Kharis, and that the dust found on the throats of the murder victims is actually mold from the mummy. When the physician doesn't believe him, Babe goes to the sheriff, but is received with the same skepticism. He then tells his story to a group of reporters, and is overheard by Bey. Kharis rises again, and while the sheriff and reporters look for him elsewhere, the mummy kills Babe. The next day, John and Isobel find pieces of the mummy's bandages, which they take to university professor Matthew Norman, who confirms Babe's theory. John then learns that he has been drafted into the Army Medical Corp and must report for service in three days. He proposes to Isobel and they plan a quick wedding at the Banning home. Bey, who has become infatuated with Isobel, sends Kharis to abduct her. While the mummy is kidnapping the bride-to-be, John helps form a posse to capture him. One of the townspeople tells them of Bey's Egyptian background, and, learning of Isobel's abduction, the group heads for the cemetery. Bey informs Isobel that he plans to make them both immortal and take her as his bride. Before he can give her the tana leaf juice, however, the townspeople arrive at the cemetery, so Bey orders Kharis to take Isobel away until he can disperse the mob. Realizing that his true identity has been discovered, Bey attempts to shoot John, but is killed instead by the sheriff. The townspeople then chase Kharis back to the Banning estate. The house is set afire, and John uses the flames to free Isobel from the creature. After Kharis is incinerated in the fire, John and Isobel are reunited.

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 23, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,464ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The opening flashback sequence of this film, in which "Stephen Banning" reminisces about his trip to Egypt, is made up of footage from the 1940 Universal film The Mummy's Hand, directed by Christy Cabanne, written by Griffin Jay and Maxwell Shane from an original story by Jay and with photography by Elwood Bredell. The sequence includes actors Tom Tyler (The mummy), Peggy Moran (Marta Solvani) and Charles Trowbridge (Dr. Petrie) (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2982). According to modern sources, Universal also used stock footage from its 1931 film Frankenstein (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1465) and its 1932 The Mummy (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2980) in order to reduce costs on this film. Actors Dick Foran, Wallace Ford and George Zucco play the same roles in both this film and The Mummy's Hand, although Ford's character's name was changed from "Babe Jenson" to "Babe Hanson" in the later film. While onscreen credits and contemporary reviews list George Robinson as the director of photography, early Hollywood Reporter production charts credit Harry Neuman in that position. Paul E. Burns's character is named "Jim" in the film and the onscreen credits, but is identified as "Pedro" by the contemporary reviews. In this picture, Lon Chaney, Jr. made his first appearance as "The Mummy," a role he would reprise in two 1944 Universal films: The Mummy's Curse and The Mummy's Ghost (see entries above). Modern sources credit Eddie Parker as Chaney's stand-in. This was the third Universal film to feature the "Mummy" character, but only the second film in which the creature was referred to as "Kharis." For more information on the Universal "Mummy" films and other pictures featuring the Mummy character, see the Series Index and the entry for The Mummy (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2980).