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Comparing the 1932 and 1999/2001
versions of The Mummy

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[NOTE:  This page contains spoilers for both the 1932 Mummy, the 1999 Mummy and 2001's The Mummy Returns.]
Do not use the graphics on this page without linking back here and giving the proper credit.  Thanks!

The 1999 Stephen Sommers version of The Mummy is actually an update/remake of the 1932 film of the same name starring Boris Karloff.  The two movies share several similarities, besides the title and their being made by Universal Studios.
More info on the 1932 Mummy from the Internet Movie Database
An excellent illustrated summary of the 1932 movie

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The special effects in 1932 were, of course, less impressive than those in 1999.
Yet digital trickery can only do so much.  Which glare is creepier?

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So, while Karloff may win a creepiness contest, Vosloo scores more points in the romance department!

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1932 movie with Boris Karloff 1999 movie with Arnold Vosloo
Mummy named Imhotep (pronounced Imhotep most of the time, sometimes Imhotep) Mummy named Imhotep (pronouned Imhotep)
The mummy's lover is the Princess Anck-es-en-Amon The mummy's lover is the Princess Anck-su-Namun
British archaeologists uncover the mummy and remark (with scientific aplomb) that they've never seen one so well preserved. British archaeologists/adventurers (and one handsome American) uncover the mummy and remark (with disgust) that they've never seen one so well preserved.
The sacred carvings have been chipped off Imhotep's sarcophagus to condemn him in both this life and the next. The sacred carvings have been chipped off Imhotep's sarcophagus to condemn him in both this life and the next.
Pharaoh Amenophis the Magnificent Pharaoh Seti the First

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I like the 1999 one much better.  The 1932 one looks like a dork! >_<

Archaeologists speculate that perhaps Imhotep was cursed for doing something inappropiate with a temple maiden. Rick and Evelyn speculate that perhaps Imhotep was cursed for "gettin' too frisky with the Pharaoh's daughter."
A cursed chest is found near the mummy, containing The Scroll of Thoth, which has the incantation to raise the dead A cursed chest is found near the mummy, containing canopic jars and The Book of the Dead, which as the incantation to raise the dead.
A young archaeologist reads the incantation silently, only mouthing the words.  After he sees the mummy up walking around he goes insane and spends the rest of his life in a straight jacket. A young librarian reads the incantation aloud.  After she sees the mummy, she gets scared but bravely carries on.
Set in 1932, after a ten-year gap between the prologue and the main action. Set in 192?, after a ? year gap between the prologue and the main action.
Anck-es-en-Amon was a priestess of Isis and the Pharaoh's daughter.  She was Imhotep's lover, although this apparently wasn't a problem at the time.  She died young of natural causes. Anck-su-Namun was a skilled fighter and the Pharaoh's favorite concubine/future wife.  She was Imhotep's lover, which was a huge problem at the time.  She died young by committing suicide rather than face the Med-Jai.

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Not much of a comparison, is it, guys? ;-)

Imhotep lives as a normal man (albeit a very, very creepy one), going by the name of Ardeth Bay. Ardeth Bay is the devastatingly handsome Med-Jai chieftan, and one of Imhotep's greatest enemies!
Excavation of Anck-es-en-Amon's tomb done by local workers under the supervision of Europeans. (2nd movie) Excavation of Hamunaptra done by local workers under the supervision of Meela and Lock-Nah.
Only male archaeologists Evy! :-)
The heroine is Helen Grosvenor.  Her father was European and her mother was Egyptian.  She quickly fell  in love with a British(?) guy. The heroine is Evelyn Carnahan.  Her father was British and her mother was Egyptian.  She quickly fell in love with an American.
Imhotep doesn't like to be touched, explaining it as "an Eastern prejudice" to the museum curator. Beni tells the eyeless, tongueless American that "Prince Imhotep doesn't like to be touched" for similar reasons.
Imhotep made a Nubian servant his mind-slave just by glaring at him and using the power of his scarab ring. Imhotep makes the people of Cairo his mind-slaves when the boils and sores plague hits.
Imhotep stares and chants over a sacred pool to see into the past and to attack people in other locations.  Later, he brings Helen there to help her remember her past as Anck-es-en-Amon. Imhotep chants over a sacred pool with The Book of the Dead to raise Anck-su-Namun's spirit from the underworld.  In the second movie, he brings Meela to a similar pool to help her remember her past as Anck-su-Namun (and return her soul.)

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Gaze into the pool...

Imhotep was referred to as "the Creature" a few times. Imhotep is referred to as "the Creature" just about every time the Med-Jai mention him.
Imhotep has a pet white cat but doesn't seem to get along well with dogs. Imhotep flees in revulsion and terror at the sight of Evelyn's white cat!
Imhotep was the High Priest of Karnak. Imhotep was the High Priest of Osiris.
Imhotep steals the Scroll of Thoth from underneath a statue and tries to raise Anck-es-en-Amon from the dead in her tomb, before her burial.  He is caught in the middle of the incantation.  Anck-es-en-Amon shows no signs of life.  Imhotep is dragged before the Pharaoh, who sentences him to be buried alive with the Scroll (to prevent further sacrilege.) Imhotep gets the Book of the Dead (from somewhere) and tries to raise Anck-su-Namun from the dead at Hamunaptra, before her burial.  He is caught in the middle of the incantation, just as her spirit is re-entering her body.   The Med-Jai sentence him to the Hom-Dai, in which he is buried alive.

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Caught in the act!

The heroine, Helen, turns out to be the reincarnation of Anck-es-en-Amon, but wishes to live her life as she always had, rejecting Imhotep's love. At first, Imhotep believes the heroine, Evelyn, is Anck-su-Namun, but soon realizes she isn't.  Evelyn doesn't want to be sacrified to raise Anck-su-Namun.   She later turns out to be the reincarnation of Nefertiri. As for Anck-su-Namun rejecting Imhotep...  That'll just get me starting ranting about TMR, so I'll shut up.  >_<
Anck-es-en-Amon appeals to Isis for help, and the goddess burns the Scroll of Thoth.  Imhotep immediately decomposes into a broken skeleton. Evelyn reads from the Book of Amun-Ra, and Imhotep becomes mortal.  Rick stabs him, and he immediately decomposes in a pit of black goo.

The scene where they wrap up Imhotep and put him in his sarcophagus is very similar in both movies.
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Interesting Quotes

Some dialogue from the 1932 Mummy fits remarkably well with the characters in the 1999/2001 films!

Boris Karloff's Imhotep to Zita Johann's Anck-es-en-Amon/Helen:
"My love has lasted longer than the temples of our gods.  No man ever suffered as I did for you."

Zita Johann's Anck-es-en-Amon/Helen to Boris Karloff's Imhotep:
(Could this be what Anck-su-Namun was thinking at the end of TMR?)
"No...I'm alive.  I'm young.  I won't die.  I loved you once, but now you belong with the dead.  I am Anck-es-en-Amon, but I...I'm somebody else, too.   I want to live, even in this strange new world."

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