Box art for The Mummy (1932)

The Mummy (1932)

drama, horror, sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers


The legendary Boris Karloff stars as the mummy Im-Ho-Tep, a high priest who is revived by British archaeologists 3,700 years after being embalmed alive for trying to save the woman he loved.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    92%
  • Audience Score
    71%

common sense

ON for kids age 9
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
Sex
0 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

This vintage classic is more funny than scary.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids will see two mummy-related deaths (a museum guard dies of shock off-camera; an archaeologist succumbs to mumbo jumbo). A few Egyptian slaves are run through with spears. Sensitive kids may find a living mummy mildly distressing -- and be disturbed by the Egyptian king who is mummified and entombed alive.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why this movie is so funny. Did the movie makers intend to be funny?
  • Why do you think a movie that terrified people in the 1930s doesn't scare you? Did the monster seem terrifying or realistic?
  • How have horror and monster movies changed since this one was filmed? Are the changes for the better, the worse, or neutral?
  • What

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    92%
    reviews counted: 8
    see all The Mummy (1932) reviews
  • Audience

    71%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: "It's alive! It's alive!"

- Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: The drama may be clumsy, but Freund's lighting is a wonder.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fresh:

- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

It's not exactly the crown jewel of the Universal Monsters, but Boris Karloff as Im-Ho-Tep is just too good. He makes the character frightening and realistic, unlike the rest of the movie which is nothing more than a rehash of Dracula. I feel like the attention to detail, lack of character development and pacing make this nothing but an average horror movie for the 30s. The Hammer & Stephen Sommers' versions do the character a lot more justice and make the story what it should have been here.

- ythelastman89, Monday, August 9, 2010

2 stars

The Prequel was not great as the Sequel was exciting.

- ScoopOnline, Saturday, December 19, 2009

4 stars

Where Frankenstein's creation is always a monster, and the Wolf Man is a monster only when the moon is full, the Mummy is, as Universal Studios puts forth here, not a monster at all - the Mummy is a man. True, he initially makes his appearance wrapped head to toe in bandages, but throughout the vast majority of his screen time he's a walking, talking, breathing fellow in dire need of moisturizer. In later incarnations, such as those produced by Britain's famous Hammer Studios, the mummy is little more than a mindless fiend intent on destroying everyone he meets, but here he's a character of depth, sophistication and dark ambition. Film fans expecting to be frightened out of their wits by this picture are bound to be disappointed. Instead they'll find a presentation that, with a few exceptions, is more thriller than horror. All this is more observation than critique. I love this movie, but not for the same reasons that I love other Universal Studios horror classics. The brilliance here lies in the dialog, in the intent, and in the performances. Where Frankenstein is unbound and the Wolf Man is unleashed, the Mummy is simply unwrapped.

- flixsterman, Saturday, July 18, 2009