My earliest memory of seeing the Mummy in action (slow motion if you prefer) is that of Lon Chaney as Kharis being burned up in a house fire with silky smooth Turhan Bey as his handler. If I recall correctly it was back when the Universal classics would appear on late Friday night airings. I know that’s when I first saw Frankenstein with Karloff and Colin Clive.
I never actually caught up to Boris and the 1932 film for many years after that. By then I had read countless articles and chapters on the film and knew more about it than many films I had seen. Stories about the long lost footage of the many reincarnations of actress Zita Johann’s character Helen Grosvenor.
With the Kharis films came Chaney and a slew of evil doers issuing the famed tana leaves. George Zucco, the aforementioned Turhan Bey, John Carradine and Martin Kosleck.
“Anck-es-en-Amon, my love has lasted longer than the temples of our gods. No man ever suffered as I did for you. ”
“He went for a little walk.”
“For who shall defile the temples of the ancient gods, a cruel and violent death shall be his fate, and never shall his soul find rest unto eternity.”
And along came Lon……………….
John Carradine in fine form as Yousef Bay covets the Princess Ananka for himself against the will of Kharis.
“It’s as though I were two different people. Sometimes it seems as if I belong to a different world. I find myself in strange surroundings with strange people. I cannot ever seem to find rest! And now Kharis! ”
Bud and Lou chipped in with another of their “Meet” films and then came Lee and Cushing putting the “Hammer” down.
Hammer had other titles in their catalogue and other films have turned up over the years including the reboot series for the CGI crowd. Even Tony (Stony) Curtis got in on the Mummy action late in his career in a rather guilty pleasure.