On December 22nd, 1932, Universal Studios premiered The Mummy starring Boris Karloff and a cast which included Zita Johann, David Manners, and Edward Van Sloan (also of Frankenstein).
Directed by Karl Freund who not only made his directorial debut but had cut his teeth as cinematographer to the great Fritz Lang on the classic science-fiction movie Metropolis, the screenplay was penned by John L. Balderston (who also worked on Karloff’s Frankenstein, Lugosi’s Dracula and would later write The Bride of Frankenstein) and based on a story by Nina Wilcox Putnam and Richard Schayer. (Non-Mummy side note: Freund would also go on to be a director on I Love Lucy).
Notice on the movie poster, Karloff’s full name is not required because the world knows him from bringing Frankenstein’s monster to ‘life.’ He is now ‘Karloff the Uncanny’. That is enough.
The beautiful Zita Johann poses in publicity stills – to the left, as Helen Grosvenor, the 20th-century daughter of the British governor of the Sudan and an Egyptian aristocrat. On the right, the woman from whom Helen is reincarnated, Ankh-es-en-Amon, the daughter of a Pharoah. a high priestess in the temple of Isis, and involved in a forbidden love affair with Imhotep.
After centuries of separation, Imhotep and Ankh-es-en-Amon are reunited in a new world. Imhotep suffered a great deal for his love. Will Ankh-es-en-Amon be willing to suffer so they can be together forever?