Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to classicmovierev.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts.
Today’s movie is The Mummy’s Tomb (1942). The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) continues the story of The Mummy’s Hand (1940) some thirty years later. There’s not much of a story here and a large portion of the movie is clips from The Mummy (1932) and The Mummy’s Hand (1940). While sporting only a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is fun late night classic horror fare.
So, let’s jump into the show veterans and clip veterans.
Lon Chaney Jr. assumed the role of Kharis/The Mummy. Chaney was first covered in Episode 5 – Of Mice and Men (1939).
Wallace Ford returned as Babe, but this time Hanson instead of Jansen. Ford was covered in Episode 31 – Warlock (1959).
Dick Foran returned as archaeologist Stephen Banning, 30-years later. Foran was covered in Episode 127 – The Mummy’s Hand (1940).
George Zucco returned as Andoheb, a man content to wait 30-years to extract his revenge. Zucco was covered in Episode 127 – The Mummy’s Hand (1940).
Frank Reicher played Professor Matthew Norman. Reicher was covered way back in Episode 1 – King Kong (1933).
Glenn Strange who later played Frankenstein’s monster had the hugely important role of Farmer Holding Horse. Strange was first covered in Episode 76 – House of Frankenstein (1944).
Uncredited clips of James Crane as the Pharaoh were used from The Mummy (1932). Uncredited clips from The Mummy’s Hand (1940) include Sig Arno as the Beggar, Cecil Kellaway as Mr. Solvani, Peggy Moran as Marta Solvani, Charles Trowbridge as Dr. Petrie, and Tom Tyler as Kharis/the mummy.
John Hubbard played John Banning, the son of archaeologist Stephen Banning. Hubbard was born in Chicago in 1914. He was a minor leading actor during World War II, but fell into relative obscurity following his military service. Hubbard is best known for You’ll Never Get Rich (1941), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), Youth on Parade (1942), and Duel at Diablo (1966).
When not acting, Hubbard sold cars and managed restaurants. Hubbard died in 1968.
Elyse Knox played Isobel Evans. Knox was born in 1917 in Connecticut. After graduating from Traphagen School of Fashion she eventually became a top model. She jumped from modeling into newsreels to getting bit parts.
Wake Up and Live (1937) was the first of her 39 movies. For acting she is best known for Sheriff of Tombstone (1941), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), Hit the Ice (1943), and A Wave, a WAC and a Marine (1944).
While I usually don’t get into the personal life too much, with Elyse Knox, I have to. Her second husband was Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon. Knox retired from movies in 1949 to raise her children. Her children are Mark Harmon of “NCIS” 2003-2017 fame and Kristin who married singer and actor Ricky Nelson and was the mother of Gunnar and Matthew Nelson. Knox died in 2012 at the age of 94.
Turhan Bey played the role of mummy controller Mehemet Bey. Bey was born in Austria in 1922. Bey was another of those character actors that could play a variety of ethnic roles based on his looks. In the early 1940s, he began acting in Hollywood movies. I wonder why he left Austria, it seems so nice there. He is known for playing in adventure and horror films. Some of his films include The Climax (1944), Dragon Seed (1944) which is a must-see, with Katherine Hepburn playing as a Chinese peasant, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944), and The Amazing Mr. X (1948). After a 40 year hiatus, he returned to television and his last role was on “Babylon 5” 1995-1998. Bey died in 2012 at the age of 90
The movie begins with an old archeologist Stephen Banning (Dick Foran) underwhelming his son, John Banning (John Hubbard), future daughter-in-law Isobel Evans (Elyse Knox), and Mrs. Ella Evans (Virginia Brissac) with tales of ancient expeditions into the desert. It has been thirty years since the expedition. As he describes the search Ananka’s tomb, the movie goes back in time.
The movie shows clips from The Mummy’s Hand (1940).
Traveling with Stephen Banning are Babe Hanson (Wallace Ford), a good man in a gunfight, Mr. Solvani (Cecil Kellaway), a Brooklyn magician, his daughter Marta Solvani Banning (Peggy Moran), and Dr. Petrie (Charles Trowbridge) from the Cairo Museum.
The caravan traveled across the desert and into the mountains. They set up a base camp and begin excavating. Babe Hanson blasts an opening and that find the Seal of the Seven Jackals and are told by the locals that it is a cursed tomb. Of course, the white guys jump right in as the natives flee.
When they open the tomb, they find the sarcophagus is not sealed. When they open it, they find the body of Ardath Bey. In this movie, the mummy, named Kharis is played by Lon Chaney Jr. despite the Boris Karloff image.
They are amazed by the preservation. The time switches back and forth. They remove the mummy and find that he was buried alive. In modern time, Stephen Banning, tells the crowd that the mummy is being kept alive by a group of priests led by Andoheb (George Zucco) and his servant the Beggar (Sig Arno). The two watch the archeologists from above.
One day Andoheb catches Dr. Petrie alone with the mummy and after distracting him with the mummy’s pulse, he has the mummy kill him. Ali was killed next. The mummy attacks Mr. Solvani and kidnaps Marta (Peggy Moran). Banning recounts the tale of finding the temple where Andoheb was trying to make Marta immortal.
Babe (Wallace Ford) kills Andoheb outside of the temple. The mummy knocks out Banning and Babe prevents the mummy from getting the tanna fluid. Banning awakes and burns the mummy.
Banning, with his guest in Mapleton, Massachusetts, ends his story with the fact that he brought the body of Princess Anaka back but not “the mummy. Marta has passed away.
At the end of Banning’s tale, the scene switches back to Anaka’s tomb in Egypt. Andoheb is still alive and is in the role of the old high priest and he is briefing his replacement Mehemet Bey (Turhan Bey). Andoheb says Kharis/the mummy (Lon Chaney, Jr.) survived the fire and is only seared and maimed.
Andoheb explains how the tanna leaves work and sends Mehemet Bey to America to kill the remaining members of the Banning expedition and all of their families. Andoheb has arranged a job for Mehemet Bey at the cemetery in Mapleton. At the end of his speech, Andoheb dies. Bey and the mummy sail to America.
Bey takes the job and keeps the mummy alive with tanna leaves at each full moon cycle. Something howls but it can’t be a jackal as they don’t have those in America. Bey gives the juice of nine tanna leaves and sends the mummy to kill Banning. A few people see the mummy shuffling along. One man calls the sheriff (Cliff Clark) but the man is not interested.
The dogs start barking when the mummy comes by. John goes to investigate while the mummy catches the elder archaeologist and quickly kills him. Everyone heads that way but it is too late.
The Sheriff and Coroner (Emmett Vogan) examine the mummy marks on the neck of Banning but can’t figure the crime out.
Bey sneaks around and sees John and Isobel and he is quite taken with the young woman. Babe hears about the death of his friend and travels to Mapleton. This time what looks like a skinny German Shepard howls.
John picks up the elder Babe at the train station. When Babe hears about the gray marks on Banning’s neck, he knows it’s the mummy. Jim, the dog tender, takes a couple of shots at the mummy before passing out. When Banning’s sister, Jane Banning (Mary Gordon), comes outside, the mummy dispatches her.
Jim is in shock and cannot speak. Newspaper headlines are shown about the murder as reporters descend on the small town. Babe confirms that the story is real as is the curse. The marks on Jane’s neck convince Babe that it is the work of the mummy. Babe goes to the Sheriff and Coroner but they don’t believe his story.
When you can’t get help from the government, go to the press. Babe goes to a reporter in a restaurant and tells about the mummy. Bey is in the restaurant as well and overhears. As Babe tells the story, Bey heads out to get the mummy.
The mummy is sighted heading along High Street and the Sheriff and reporters head after him. Babe leaves the restaurant and is trapped in an alley by the mummy. The mummy kills Babe. Bastard!
John and Isobel find some mummy wrapping hanging on a bush. They contact Professor Norman (Frank Reicher). Norman confirms that the marks on the neck and on the cloth are mold and come from the same place. Norman says both the cloth and the marks on the throat have embalming spices like cinnamon, myrrh, and frankincense. Just need a little gold to pay for that.
John is given his commission to the Medical Corps in the Army. He proposes to Isobel and Bey, looking like a young Orson Wells, sees the woman again. Bey can’t get Isobel out of his mind. Bey sends the mummy to kidnap Isobel. Like master, like student. His plan is to make Isobel his wife and breed a line of High Priests of Karnak to take care of the mummy. The mummy has heard this story before and doesn’t want to go along. He almost attacks Bey.
The mummy shuffles to Isobel’s house and steals the young woman from her bed. The sheriff organizes a mob to go after the mummy. A man reminds the sheriff that the new cemetery caretaker is Egyptian. Is this racial profiling? The mob gets the news that Isobel has been kidnapped. The sheriff and John issue clubs and torches. No tiki torches.
At the cemetery, Bey lays out his plan to Isobel. She is not really into it but is relatively calm. The mob arrives at the cemetery as Bey is about to administer the tanna fluid to Isobel. Bey orders the mummy to hide Isobel until he can get rid of the mob. One of the men sees the mummy with Isobel. Bey starts spouting Egyptian curses. He pulls a gun to kill John but the sheriff guns him down.
The mob heads out after the mummy. For some reason, the mummy heads to the Banning house. John and the sheriff head into the house. The mummy knocks John down the stairs. The rocket scientists in the front yard start throwing torches at the mummy who is one the second-floor balcony.
John fights the mummy on the burning balcony and the mummy is winning. The sheriff shoots the mummy in the back and the mummy heads back towards them. The mortals escape past the mummy and down the trellis. The mummy dies in the burning house.
John and Isobel get married and leave town. They have a big farewell at the train depot.
Thank god that mummy is dead.
World-Famous Short Summary – Revenge is a dish best served cold, but this is ridiculous
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Beware the moors