This film is based on the 1932 Universal film of the same
The narrator of the film is Ardeth Bay, the leader of the Medjai in
the 1920s scenes. The Medjai were an actual group of elite military
police in ancient Egypt. Unlike in the film, there is no evidence
that the group still exists to protect the secrets of the
In the original 1932 film, Ardeth Bay was the alias of the
resurrected Imhotep as he passed himself off as a modern Egyptian.
The name "Ardeth Bay" is an anagram of "death by Ra". Ra was the
ancient Egyptian sun god.
In the narration, Ardeth informs us that the opening scene of the film is set in
Thebes, Egypt in the year 1290 BC. But we see what appear to be the
Great Pyramids of Giza and even the Sphinx. Thebes (modern day
Luxor) was a separate city from Giza, located several hundred
kilometers away. And there is no particular evidence that
Thebes ever featured any pyramids as great as the three at Giza.
During the opening scene we can see that the Giza(?) pyramids have
their pointed capstones in place, unlike the pyramids as they
currently exist; the capstones are generally assumed to have been
removed by thieves ages ago.
At 0:33 on the DVD, a typical pharaohnic headdress is seen as part
of a statue. The ornamentation on the forehead is the Uraeus, a rearing cobra, meant to
protect the pharaoh from attack. Notice that the statue appears to
still be under construction or, possibly, repair. As the camera pans
down and to screen-right, close observation will note that the
statue extends into a lion's body, seemingly making this the Great
Sphinx of Giza.
At 0:43 on the DVD, we see a statue of Anubis, the jackal-headed god
of the afterlife and mummification. Behind the statue is a stele
with a painted representation of what is probably Banebdjedet, the
ram-headed god of fertility.
As the camera continues to pan right, notice that at 0:48 we can see
a person in the crowded courtyard walking their dog!
At 0:57 on the DVD, a pair of criosphinx statues are seen.
The narrator tells us the opening scenes of Imhotep's transgression
and punishment take place under the rule of Pharaoh Seti I. Both of
these individuals were actual historical figures, though they are
highly fictionalized here and were not contemporaries. Later, Evie
tells Jonathan that Seti was the second Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty;
this is true and his rule was at about the time of 1290 BC as stated
in the narration.
When we are introduced to Anck-su-namun at 1:23 on the DVD, she is
not wearing any actual clothing...it is all painted on her except
for some jewelry and a thin strip of cloth hanging from her waist
down between her thighs. Possibly Pharaoh ordered this because she
was his and no other man was allowed to touch her, so if the
painted-on garment was ever found smeared by human hand, he would
know; this is what gives away Imhotep's touch shortly after her
introductory scene (at 2:05 we see that his hand has smudged the
paint on her shoulder and upper arm as he kisses her).
In the real world, Anck-su-namun was the queen of Pharaoh
Tutankhamun and was not a contemporary of either Imhotep or Seti I.
Seti I's wife was Tuya.
As Seti walks in on Anck-su-namun at 2:30 on the DVD, notice she is
stroking the head of the cat statue.
The Mummy Returns reveals that it was Evie, in her previous
life as Nefertiri,
who called the Pharaoh's guards (the Medjai) to go to his rescue,
forcing Imhotep to flee and Anck-su-namun to kill herself.
After Anck-su-namun kills herself, Imhotep and his priests steal her
body from Thebes and take her to Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead,
some distance from the capital. Hamunaptra is a fictional city made
up for the film.
In the film,
Anck-su-namun's vital organs have been removed and placed in five
canopic jars as part of the mummification/resurrection process. But
in the actual process of ancient Egyptians, only four jars were
needed, for the stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver (the heart was
left in the body and the brain was scrambled and pulled out in
pieces by an iron hook through the nose; Evie later claims that the
heart was removed as well, but general consensus is that the heart
was left in the body because it was believed to be the seat of the
soul). The four canopic jars traditionally were sealed with lids in
the shape of a human head, jackal head, baboon head, and falcon
head, meant to represent the four sons of Horus (Horus was the god
of the sky and of protection; he was the son of the original gods,
Osiris and Isis). These are the jars used in the film, with the fifth jar
lion head lid.
Upon capture by Pharaoh's guards, Imhotep is condemned to the Hom-Dai,
the worst of all ancient curses. The Hom-Dai appears to be a
fictional concept made up for the film.
The beetles poured into Imhotep's sarcophagus are not analogous to
any real world beetle. In the director's commentary on the DVD,
Stephen Sommers refers to them as a sort of "magical" beetle. The
ancient Egyptians did, however, actually look at the life cycle of
the dung beetle as a symbol for the human soul.
It is 1923 AD when Rick O'Connell and Beni discover Hamunaptra the
The white uniforms of his men and the green patch on Rick's collar
at 8:04 on the DVD identifies them as members of the French Foreign
Legion, an arm of the French Army in which foreign nationals may
At 8:07 on the DVD, Rick says, "Prenez vos positions!" This is
French for "Take your positions!"
The director's commentary on the DVD reveals that Rick's contingent
is fighting Tuaregs in 1923 Hamunaptra. The Tuaregs are nomadic
inhabitants of the Sahara desert. They were known for resisting the
colonial occupying forces of France in Northern Africa in the late
19th and early 20th Centuries.
Using freeze-frame on the DVD, there are several moments during the
battle with the Tuaregs when cameramen can be seen filming in the
After the battle between the French Foreign Legion and the Tuaregs
at Hamunaptra, the films shifts to three years later, 1926, where
the rest of the film takes place.
Evelyn (Evie) Carnahan is named in homage to Lady Evelyn Herbert,
daughter of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, George Herbert. George
Herbert was the primary financier of the excavation of Tutankhamun's
tomb in the Valley of the Kings in 1922.
At 12:30 on the DVD, we see Evie working as a librarian at the
Museum of Antiquities in Cairo. This is not quite a real museum, but
is probably based on the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities which has
been located in Cairo since 1902.
At 13:06 on the DVD, Evie drops a book to the floor while up on the
ladder. But at 13:09, with a clear shot of the floor, it is nowhere
to be seen.
Criticizing Evie's proneness to accidents,
the museum curator,
Dr. Bey exclaims, "Give
me frogs! Flies! Locusts! Anything but you! Compared to you the
other plagues were a joy!" Ironically, he is going to get
essentially all ten of the Biblical plagues when Imhotep is
resurrected later in the film. Doubly ironic is that Evie is the
cause of Imhotep's resurrection!
Attempting to convince Dr. Bey not to fire her
after the mishap with the collapsing bookshelves, Evie reminds him
that she is able to read and write ancient Egyptian, both
hieroglyphs and hieratic. "Hieratic" writing is a sort of cursive
version of hieroglyphs which was used by the priest class for
writing documents on papyrus.
Dr. Bey tells Evie to "clean up this meshiver". There does not seem
to be such a word in the English, Arabic, or Hebrew languages. But
there is the Arabic word "meshifer" which means "code". Some
Mummy fans at the discussion boards of theraider.net
may have figured out why that actually makes sense in the context of
When Evie hears a noise in the dark museum and begins searching for
the source, calling the names of her co-workers there, it's amusing
how she starts out with two Arab names (Abdul and Mohammed) and ends
with one that sounds distinctly non-Arab: Bob. Listen:
Abdul, Mohammed, Bob.wav
Evie is upset that the Bembridge scholars keep rejecting her
application. This is likely a reference to Bembridge School on the
Isla of Wight, England. It was founded in 1919 and closed in 1997.
Jonathan tells Evie that he found the key to the Books of the Living
and the Dead in a dig down in Thebes. But we soon learn that he
actually pick-pocketed it off of Rick O'Connell at a bar and Rick
claims he found it in Hamunaptra. Though Rick was in Hamunaptra in
1923, as depicted earlier, we don't see him discovering the key.
Perhaps it occurred off-camera or did he return to the half-buried
city in the intervening years?
During the discussion of Hamunaptra in Dr. Bey's office, Jonathan
mentions that the entire city was rigged to sink under the sand
dunes at Pharaoh's command, a foreshadowing of what occurs at the
end of the movie.
At about 18:35 on the DVD, notice that Dr. Bey seems to deliberately,
but nonchalantly, hold the ancient map too close to the candle
flame, setting it on fire. Deliberately because he is secretly a
member of the Medjai, sworn to protect the secret of Hamunaptra.
Evie and Jonathan find Rick being held, pending execution, in Cairo
Prison. Although Cairo does, of course, have prisons, this one is
fictional, as far as I can tell.
It's never revealed exactly what Rick did to be imprisoned and
sentenced to death. Rick's only answer to that question to the
warden was that he was "just looking for a good time".
Before meeting up with him at the Giza port, Evie refers to Rick as,
among other invectives, a complete scoundrel. Possibly this is an
in-joke to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, in which
Princess Leia refers to Han Solo as a scoundrel, while also being
reluctantly attracted to him.
At 25:06 on the DVD, the Americans on the boat, along with Jonathan,
are playing poker with U.S. currency. The design of the dollar bills
on the poker table are an accurate representation of the look of the
bills at that time.
During the poker game, note that Burns comments on how he wouldn't
be able to see to play without his glasses. This becomes important
later when his glasses get broken in the catacombs of Hamunaptra
while being pursued by Imhotep.
Evie tells Rick she hopes to find the Book of Amun-Ra in
Hamunaptra. This is not a real book in ancient Egyptian history. In
fact, in the time of the pharaohs, there were no books per se;
documents were preserved in the form of scrolls or tablets, not
Rick remarks that the Bedouin and Touaregs believe that Hamunaptra
is cursed. We met the Touaregs earlier during the French Foreing
Legion's battle with them at Hamunaptra. The Bedouin were another
nomadic Arab ethnic group of the deserts. The Bedouin now are mostly
settled in the modern cities of the Middle East.
The life preservers hanging on the boat seem to indicate it is named
the Sudan. Sudan is also the name of the country on the
southern border of Egypt.
At 29:04 on the DVD, Evie is reading aloud to herself from a book,
saying, "George Bembridge...in eighteen sixty--". This would seem to
suggest a person connected with the Bembridge School, but I've been
unable to find a real person by that name connected to the
Throughout the battle on the boat, the many six-shooter pistols used
by Rick and the Americans seem to fire more than six shots without
reloads (though we do see a couple of reloads occur).
Notice that Jonathan suddenly has the key again (in his right hand)
at 32:21 on the DVD. He must have pick-pocketed it from the burning
Medjai just before he stumbled over the railing of the boat.
At 36:34 on the DVD, the nighttime moon looks particularly fake.
Obviously, the rising of the dawn sun to point the way to Hamunaptra
takes place much too quickly, occurring entirely within seconds.
The prison warden who has accompanied our treasure-hunting trio
(revealed to be named Gad Hassan in the bonus materials on the DVD)
remarks that he hates bugs. This may be an in-joke referencing the
Indiana Jones franchise in which the eponymous hero is afraid of snakes.
Ironically, Hassan is killed by a bug, in the form of one of the magical scarabs in
the catacombs, later in the film.
As he climbs down the rope into the catacombs of Hamunaptra, notice
that the warden's left hand appears to be clutching at nothing at
40:59 on the DVD. The director's commentary on the DVD reveals there was actually a wire on the actors (later
digitally removed from the shot) to lower them down and actor Omid
Djalili had difficulty with the descent and landing, grabbing the
The underground sunlight via mirror-refractions used by Evie in the
movie is factual; this method was actually used by the ancient
Egyptians to light building interiors is some situations.
As they enter the underground chamber beneath the feet of the Anubis
statue in Hamunaptra, Evie states that the chamber is a sah-netjer,
a preparation room for entering the afterlife. However, the term
"sah-netjer" is generally considered, by real archaeologists, to
refer merely to a
shrine where offerings to Anubis were made.
After climbing down the rope to the sah-netjer, Hassan picks up his
bag at 41:17 on the DVD. Then he is seen picking it up again
moments later at 41:21.
As they begin to search the tunnels, Rick pulls the gun from his
left holster. But a couple scenes later his right holster is empty
instead and the left has a gun in it. Why would he change in the
middle of the search?
Rick wears a leather wristguard in most of the scenes but in a
couple of shots, as he is searching the catacombs of Hamunaptra with
Evie and Jonathan, it is missing.
When Hassan discovers the scarab adornments in the wall of the
catacombs, he refers to them as blue gold. Blue gold is an alloy of
gold and indium.
For one brief moment while shouting at the diggers, the Egyptologist
is wearing a monocle at 45:07 on the DVD. But in the moments
immediately before and after he is not!
The acid booby trap that strikes the three diggers of the American
contingent is described as some kind of salt acid. Salt acid is
another name for hydrochloric acid, though it is not generally
accepted to have been invented by humankind until the 15th Century
at the earliest.
ADULTS ONLY (kids, don't try this at home): If you use frame advance
on the DVD and stop at around 46:48, as Hassan is trying to stop the
scarab running through his leg and up his body, the tip of his penis is seen
sticking out of a hole in his pants.
The warden tears his shirt open trying to stop the scarab that is
crawling under his skin. But when he runs smack into a wall and
knocks himself out, his shirt is buttoned up again when he falls.
After the warden is killed by the invasive scarab in his body,
Jonathan finds a bottle of Glenlivet in his pack.
Glenlivet is a
Scotch whisky brand that has been brewed in Scotland since 1824.
When Jonathan says, "Glenlivet 12 years old," he is actually stating
the name of one of Glenlivet's products, not just its age; "The
Glenlivet 12 Year Old" is one of the company's core products.
At 50:17 on the DVD, Rick suddenly has a stick of dynamite in his
hand that he is able to light from a campfire to scare off the Medjai.
In the director's commentary on the DVD, Stephen Sommers reveals
that a shot of Rick grabbing the stick from a bag of the explosives
was cut in the editing room.
Evie tells Rick that her and Jonathan's father was a very famous
The Mummy Returns
it is revealed to be a man named Howard Carnahan.
Evie reveals to Rick that her mother was an Egyptian, which helps to
set up the revelation in
The Mummy Returns
that Evie is the
reincarnation of Nefertiri, the daughter of Seti I.
Fingernail scratch marks are seen on the inside of the sarcophagus
lid at 56:17 on the DVD and Evie remarks that the occupant of the
sarcophagus (Imhotep) must have still been alive when he was buried.
We know that yes, he was, but he was completely wrapped in
mummification bandages at the time, so how did he free his arms to
make the scratches before he died? Did the beetles eat the bandages?
The Egyptian archaeologist working with the Americans discovers the
Book of the Dead inside Imhotep's canopic chest, a box that
holds the canopic jars (although in Imhotep's case the jars are
presumably empty since he was entombed alive). There are real world
manuscripts referred to in modern times as the Egyptian Book of
the Dead, but they are not like the one seen here and are
actually varying scrolls of funerary rites which they referred to as
the Book of Coming Forth by Day; these books are meant to
tell the soul of the deceased the proper procedures and incantations
for proceeding to the afterlife.
It appears that each of the four individuals present when the
canopic chest was opened received one of the four unbroken canopic
jars as reward (the fifth, lion-head one was found broken). Notice
that the archaeologist has one sitting on the table in front of him as
he attempts to open the Book of the Dead at 57:42 on the
DVD. Moments later we see the three Americans each carrying one as
well and bragging about their treasure to Rick.
At 58:12 on the DVD, a small tattoo
can be seen on the back of Rick's
right hand; we see it again at
1:17:49. Is it related to the one
later revealed to be hidden under
the wristguard of the same arm in
The Mummy Returns (though in the later film, the small
tattoo is no longer present!)?
As the group around the campfire wonders why Imhotep was cursed and
buried alive, Rick jokes that he probably "got a little too frisky
with the Pharaoh's daughter." His statement is ironic for a number
of reasons. First of all, we saw that Imhotep's punishment was
indeed for getting too frisky, but with the Pharaoh's concubine
Anck-su-namun, not his daughter. Second, Evie, who is sitting
right next to Rick at the time, is revealed in
The Mummy Returns to be the reincarnation of the same
Pharaoh's daughter, Nefertiri! Third, the real world Anck-su-namun
(spelled Ankhesenamun) was the daughter of Nefertiti, the real world
version of Nefertiri.
At 59:01 on the DVD, notice that the archaeologist is sleeping with
not only the
Book of the Dead
clutched in his arm, but his canopic jar clutched in the other.
Notice that when the sudden wind gust blows through camp after Evie
Book of the Dead at 1:00:00 on the DVD, it appears to be
very localized; the tents in the background do not show any wind
turbulence striking them at all!
The Egyptologist translates the inscription on the chest found in
the tomb as "Death will come on swift wings to whomsoever opens this
chest". This phrase was borrowed from the real world inscription
(often referred to as "curse") that was reportedly inscribed near
the door of King Tutankhamen's tomb, "Death shall come on swift
wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King."
As the pursuing scarabs run across the stone bridge in the catacombs
starting at 1:03:11 on the DVD, notice that some of them are falling
off the ledge.
Why doesn't the resurrected Imhotep recognize Evie as the
reincarnated Nefertiri (as is revealed about her in
The Mummy Returns)? The two women look the same except for hair and
clothing style. In fact, Imhotep initially seems to mistake her for
Anck-su-namun, though they look nothing alike. Maybe his memory had
not fully returned in his current state and he knew only that he
recognized the face and placed the wrong name to it?
The pictograph on the wall at
1:05:32 on the DVD appears to be a traditional representation of a
dung beetle rolling a dung ball, symbolic of the death and rebirth
of the human soul in Egyptian spirituality.
Image from The Mummy
dung beetle rebirth symbolism in
Tomb KV6 in the Valley of the Kings
When he is first confronted by the mummy, Beni attempts to protect
himself by asking for divine protection in several different
languages and holding up several religious charms he carries with
him as pendants, including a Christian cross, an Islamic crescent
moon and sword, a Buddha, and a Jewish Star of David. Imhotep
recognizes the Jewish star and Hebrew language spoken by Beni as
being that of the slaves. According to the book of Exodus
in the Old Testament, the Jewish people were held in
slavery by the Egyptians until led out of Egypt by Moses somewhere
in the time of 1500-1200 BC, but it's unclear how historically
accurate this representation is.
When the mummy shows Beni the treasure that can be his if he will
serve him, where does that handful of gold jewelry come from? The
mummy moves his right hand down almost as if he's reaching into his
pocket and then brings it back up and he suddenly has a handful of
Escaping from Hamunaptra after the rising of Imhotep, the
now-combined expedition eventually makes its way back to Cairo and
is given sanctuary at Fort Brydon. A British flag (as well as the
Egyptian one) flies at the top of the outer wall. In the director's
commentary, Sommers reveals that he named the fort after the British
character of Colonel Brydon in his 1994 adaptation of the The
Jungle Book, played by Sam Neill. Does this mean that the
events of Sommers' adaptation of
The Jungle Book takes place in the Mummy universe?
Probably not, since they were produced by different studios, but it's
fun to speculate.
It seems as if Evie must have already been staying at Fort Brydon
before the expedition, because she is later seen to have a fair
number of personal items in a room there, from clothing to books to
a typewriter. There also appears to be a painting in progress in
background at 1:09:55 on the DVD. Perhaps this was where
she was living during her employment at the Cairo Museum, though it
seems odd that she wouldn't have a normal apartment or house in the
city. Possibly her late father's reputation as a famed explorer
allowed her some favor with the British army or government.
Notice that Evie has a cat in her room at the fort at 1:08:48 on the
DVD. This sets up the later scene where the cat's presence frightens
off Imhotep since cats were considered sacred by the ancient
Egyptians. It's not explained what the cat is doing there in the
first place, but, if this is her residence through her job at the
museum as speculated above, it may simply be her own pet, or at
least a stray she has befriended.
In the director's commentary, Sommers says there was a bit cut from
the scene that explained it, but he does not elucidate. The
novelization reveals that the cat's name was Cleo (probably a
reference to the Greek queen of Egypt, Cleopatra [c. 204–176 BC]).
At 1:09:03 on the DVD, Evie dumps a pile of clothes on a bench in
her room. Then at 1:09:24, they are gone.
At 1:09:50 on the DVD, notice that Rick stalks out of Evie's room
clutching a teddy bear.
In the director's commentary, Sommers reveals that the scene was
shortened and, originally, Rick was supposed to suddenly walk back
in and give her teddy bear back and storm out again.
Notice that after Beni sardonically thanks Burns on Imhotep's behalf
for the use of his eyes and tongue, Imhotep begins to lick his
decomposed lips with the tongue he stole from Burns at 1:11:55 on
At about 1:11:59 on the DVD, notice that Burns' scream fades almost
imperceptibly into the Egyptian music playing at the bar in the following scene.
When Imhotep returns to life, he
is said to bring the Biblical Ten Plagues with him, most of which we
see in some form in the movie. Most likely the plagues struck only
Egypt (or possibly only Imhotep's immediate environs), and not the
entire world. The plagues are listed below.
Plague: Water Turned to Blood
||We see this in the
form bloodied water emerging from
the fountain at Fort Brydon in
||This is not seen in
the film. It presumably occurred
||This is not
mentioned directly in the film,
though some of the flies seen as
part of the Fourth Plague could have
||Imhotep spews a
plague of flies outside Fort Brydon
This is not seen in the film. It
presumably occurred off-camera.
The "hypnotized" followers of Imhotep in Cairo have boils on their
||A plague of hail
strikes Cairo, but is also
accompanied by a swarm of falling
meteorites that strike the city!
||The locusts are seen
in Hamunaptra right after Evie
inadvertently awakens the mummy by
reading from the
Book of the Dead.
||This takes the form of a solar
eclipse seen in Cairo. It is
unrevealed whether this was truly
caused by the moon blocking the sun
as in a real eclipse. If this was
the case, it would have caused
darkness in many parts of the world
and would indicate tremendous power
in Imhotep (or at least the curse
itself) to be able to move the
orientation of the Earth/Moon to
cause the eclipse, otherwise the
eclipse would have been easily
predictable. Also, the obfuscation
occurs much too quickly compared to
a real eclipse and then seems to
pause at total eclipse to leave the
land shrouded in darkness for some
time. Possibly, some other, smaller
mass was levitated through the sky
to block out the sun in a manner
that affected only Cairo and its
environs; this seems the more likely
explanation. Also, if the moon
itself was reoriented for the
effect, did it go back to where it
before once the eclipse ended? Or
was the course of the moon
permanently altered? The eclipse has
receded by the time our heroes
arrive at the RAF airfield to seek
Winston's help; in the Biblical
account of the Ten Plagues, the
darkness lasted three days.
Plague: Death of the Firstborn
||In the Bible, this was
the death of the firstborn children
of all living things in the land of
Egypt, from humans to animals.
This is not seen in the film.
Possibly it occurred off-camera or
maybe Imhotep was not alive long
enough to manifest all ten of the
plagues. If it did occur, this would
have been a major shock to the
At 1:12:27 on the DVD, a sign behind Evie labeled "'B' Company
Offices" shows the symbol of the actual Egyptian flag of the time, a
green background with white crescent moon and three stars. This was
the national flag from 1922-1953.
When the plague of hail strikes Cairo, it is for some reason
accompanied by a meteorite shower upon the city. Notice that at
1:12:33 on the DVD, one of them impacts the largest of the Great
Pyramids of Giza, the Pyramid of Khufu. A couple more are also seen
to splash down in the Nile River. Seconds later, a few more are seen
to strike the pyramids as well as many buildings in the city.
At 1:12:57 on the DVD, right after Rick grabs Beni, a roar is heard
off-camera that makes Rick turn and look in the direction of the
sound, distracting him enough to let Beni escape. The roaring sound
is never identified, but sounds rather like the stereotypical
Hollywood sound effect of a roaring dinosaur! Listen:
Just seconds later, Rick and Evie run in on Imhotep, still in the
lounge area of the fort with the now-desiccated husk of Burns, from
whom the mummy has just sucked out the life force. The mummy makes a
similar roaring noise as his body grows new tissue and organs, but
not as loudly as before.
At 1:17:08 on the DVD, the Egyptologist's tassel is missing from his
fez. It is present in earlier and later scenes.
As Rick is "interrogating" Beni, at 1:18:12 Beni says, "Piszkas
allat." Possibly this is Hungarian for "filthy animal". (This
was argued on a
discussion thread at IMDB
which is, unfortunately, no longer available online).
When Rick first bursts into Evie's bedroom at 1:21:45 on the DVD, it
does not really look like he could be carrying the cat behind him as he is
|The Egyptian god
carved into the obelisk at 1:23:25
on the DVD may be the falcon-headed
war god Monthu. It may also be
Monthu (or possibly Horus) who
appears on the shields of the
soldier mummies in Hamunaptra later
in the film.
When Imhotep raises his arms at
1:23:31 on the DVD, there appears to
be a scarab symbol on the right
sleeve of his robe. At 1:33:59,
there is another scarab symbol on
the back of the robe.
At 1:23:26 on the DVD, the director's commentary points out that the
eyes of the Imhotep-follower to Beni's right have been digitally painted
out because the extra in the role kept looking at the camera! There
is no reason given why this particular follower would have whited
eyes when the rest don't; maybe this individual suffered from an eye
In the director's commentary on the DVD, Sommers points out that a
bloody bandage is seen on Daniels' arm; an earlier scene had been
cut in which Daniels gets shot in the arm.
Beni is seen translating Imhotep's words for those around him. How
likely is it really that Beni would just happen to be able to
understand ancient Egyptian?
The airfield where Winston keeps his
plane is revealed by a sign as the British Royal Air Force
airstrip in Giza, maintained for the
No. 91 Auxiliary Squad. The
additional sign below the main one
is not legible. The RAF is Britain's
At 1:30:26 on the DVD, Winston's shirt has a patch on the left
breast that appears to say Royal Air Corps. The Royal Air Corps is
another name for the British Army Air Corps. The Army Air Corps
often works in conjunction with the RAF.
From his comments, it seems as if Winston's desire is to die flying
a mission, probably feeling he's outlived his usefulness in any
Winton's biplane has registration number B5539. According to the
aircraft registration standard as it existed before 1928, the "B" in
the registration here indicates a craft belonging to a
non-autonomous British colony. In 1926, when this takes place, Egypt
was autonomous, however. Possibly though, Winston's plane was never
re-registered and maintained its original registration number.
However, the aircraft model seen here is a Stampe SV.4, which was
not designed until 1933, so it's presence here is an anachronism.
The life-size plane model that was constructed for the scene of the
wrecked plane in the sand at the end of its aerial battle with
display in the Flying Aces Museum at Compton-Abbas Airfield,
England as late as 2005; I'm not sure if it's still there.
Painted on the front of Winston's plane is the Eye of Horus. In
ancient Egypt, this symbol was known to be painted on the prows of
boats as a sign of protection to ensure safe travel at sea.
Starting with the sequences on the airplane, Rick is shown wearing a
black neckerchief. Later, at 1:42:14 on the DVD, we see him just finishing
wrapping the cloth around his left hand. He must have injured
himself digging out the compartment of the Book of Amun-Ra
at the base of the Horus statue.
The shot of Winston's plane flying from 1:32:17-1:32:19 is from a
flipped strip of film. The registration number on the plane is
In the scenes from 1:33:31-1:33:59 Evie is suddenly wearing a black
scarf around her neck. It is not seen either before or after.
After crashing among the dunes, Winston's airplane sinks into
quicksand. It is unlikely that areas of the Egyptian desert with no
close-by body of water would develop quicksand. There is a slight
chance it could develop above the underground water source of a
desert oasis, but then there would normally be at least some
vegetation around to indicate the presence of water and even then it
is highly unlikely the plane would just happen to have crashed on
that spot. It is also not likely the plane or animals/people would completely sink into
quicksand, due to its high density compared to living matter or, in
this case, the mostly hollow fuselage of the plane. The scene may
have been included as more of an homage to such tropes which
appeared in many old-time adventure movies.
Once Ardeth Bay removes his head covering, it reveals that he has
additional tattoos on his forehead besides the two on his cheeks.
At 1:38:40 on the DVD, Rick fires one of his pistols at the
uppermost mirror in the treasure chamber in order to align it to the
sunlight streaming in from above. Obviously, it is highly unlikely
that his shot would be so perfect as to align the dish exactly
At 1:39:39 on the DVD, Jonathan and Ardeth have suddenly switched
places during the fight against the priest mummies.
At 1:40:06 on the DVD, Evie awakens from unconsciousness, chained
down to the sacrificial altar. We're not shown how she was rendered
unconscious in the first place, she having been otherwise conscious
during her entire abduction by Imhotep. The original script reveals
that Imhotep backhanded her when she objected after Beni informed
her that Imhotep wanted to remove her organs, and she fell to the floor unconscious. (The original script is available to read at
At 1:40:29 on the DVD, Jonathan lights the ancient torch stand next
to the statue of Horus. It's unlikely that there would still be
viable fuel to light in such an old torch.
After Beni has dragged out a sackful of loot, he runs to grab a
camel to load it onto. Since the current group of people all arrived
at Hamunaptra without camels, how did these get there? Were they all
left behind when the expedition fled after the rise of the mummy
earlier in the movie?
When Rick and Jonathan open the compartment at the base of the Horus
statue to retrieve the golden Book of Amun-Ra, why is there
no salt acid booby trap protecting it as there was with the Book
of the Dead in the Anubis statue earlier in the film?
Rick seems to enjoy striking matches on the side of men's faces. He
does it to light a stick of dynamite on Ardeth's face at 1:40:37 and
again on his own face at 1:42:37. This despite the fact that there
was plenty of stone around on which to strike a match! Also,
research seems to suggest that it is extremely difficult, if not
impossible, to light a match on the stubble of a man's face; it's an
old trope of Hollywood movies though.
Imhotep seems to have acquired five new canopic jars for the
sacrifice of Evie. Most likely he obtained them from among the relics
within Hamunaptra itself.
In the director's commentary, Sommers points out that at about
1:43:36 on the DVD, we can see through the mouth, to the table, of
Anck-su-namun's mummy as it comes back to life.
At 1:44:21 on the DVD, the sword Rick has taken from one of the
statues is somehow capable of cutting through the chains binding
Evie to the sacrificial altar.
The scene at 1:44:49 on the DVD, where Rick slices the head off a
mummy and the body bobbles its own head around in its hands, and the
scene of a severed mummy hand dragging itself to Rick's dropped
sword at 1:45:17, both remind me of something Sam Raimi might have
done as director of the 1992 horror/comedy film Army of Darkness.
As the soldier mummies march past the camera at 1:45:56 on the DVD,
the last two mummies in the formation appear to have lost their
shields, even though they were seen with shields just a moment ago before briefly
going out of sight by a turn in the formation. It seems that this
was a small error in the CGI rendering.
At 1:48:07 on the DVD, Evie tells Jonathan that the stork hieroglyph
is pronounced as "Ahmenophus". In the original script, Jonathan
describes the pictoglyph as "an Anck symbol, with two little
squiggly lines above it, and a bird, a stork!" I've been unable to
confirm if either of these versions would actually be pronounced as
the word "Ahmenophus".
If you freeze-frame at 1:48:16 on the DVD, it can be seen that Rick
has suffered some injuries to his back in his fight with the
When Evie shouts to Rick to keep Imhotep busy, he responds, "No
problem" at 1:49:54 but it can be seen that his lips are not moving
as he speaks.
In the director's commentary, Sommers points out that the now
immobile soldier mummies can be seen in the background at 1:52:16 as
Rick, Evie, and Jonathan race through the crumbling catacombs of the
As Hamunaptra collapses in on itself, Rick and Evie, as well as the
camels, all flee the scene. At 1:54:55 on the DVD, Rick and Evie are
still running some distance away as we see Hamunaptra and its
surrounding environs collapsing, yet the camels have already stopped
and are calmly standing around, some are even laying down! Obviously
these are real camels who are notoriously difficult to train to do
what you want and they certainly have no reason to be reacting to a
CGI effect in the background that didn't even exist yet.
Although it presents a romantic image, it seems like it would be
an uncomfortable ride in the long run for Evie to be riding side-saddle
in Rick's lap on the camel at the end of the film. There were plenty
of camels, so she should have been able to ride one of her own as
she did the first time they all journeyed to Hamunaptra.
Although it's somewhat presented as if it was a fortuitous
coincidence, it seems more likely that Rick picked the camel he did
at the end because he saw that it was loaded up with a sackful of
Beni's loot from the treasure chamber. There's enough baubles
sticking out top of the bag that it should have been easily
noticeable. In subsequent stories, the now-married Rick and
Evie are rich from the selling of this treasure.
At the beginning of the movie, narrator Ardeth Bay tells us that the
curse placed on Imhotep was so horrible it had never been used
before. If it's never been used, then how does the Book of Amun-Ra
know what the results will be if he is released from his sarcophagus
What happened to the military men at Fort Brydon? We don't see them
fighting the invasion of Imhotep's followers into the fort. Maybe
the vast majority were sent out into Cairo to stop looting and
deal with the effects of the Ten Plagues striking the city.
What happened to Imhotep's "hypnotized" followers in Cairo after
he returned to Hamunaptra? Did they become normal again? If not
then, then after Imhotep was sent back to the underworld?
How did Ardeth Bay survive the onslaught of mummies in which he was
caught up? He seems to sacrifice himself to allow Rick and Jonathan
to escape with the Book of Amun-Ra, but then turns up alive at
the very end of the film.
In the director's commentary, Sommers reveals that Ardeth was
originally scripted to die, but he decided to keep the character
alive because the actor (Oded Fehr) was so good and he had a feeling
the character would be popular, so wanted him available if they were
to make a sequel (which, of course, they did with
The Mummy Returns).
Did anyone come back for the poor camels left behind in the desert
at the end of the movie? These were domesticated camels, so it seems
unlikely they would be particularly adept at survival in the wild
Notes from the Director's Commentary on the DVD
The language spoken by the ancient Egyptian characters such as
Imhotep, Seti, and Anck-su-namun was as close as the producers could get to
the actual ancient Egyptian language. Sommers had hired an expert to
learn how the words should be used and pronounced, to the best of
Beni is described as being Hungarian.
Beni's dialog to his American cohorts indicates that it takes
several days by water and camelback to reach Hamunaptra from Cairo.
your strength gives me strength.wav
Abdul..? Mohammed..? Bob..?.wav
like this fellow.wav
looking for a good time.wav
100 pounds just to see him hang.wav
I only gamble with my life, never my money.wav
what do you think is out there?.wav
know my treasure.wav
it seemed like a good idea at the time.wav
I was so very, very worried.wav
little buddy Beni.wav
more balls than brains.wav
awfully tempting, wasn't it?.wav
I don't see your name written on it.wav
what is a place like me doing in a girl like this?.wav
I am a
whomsoever opens this.wav
I hate it when these things do that.wav
that's called stealing.wav
you must not read from the book.wav
he had his eyes and his tongue ripped out.wav
Prince Imhotep thanks you for your hospitality.wav
you little stinkweed.wav
better to be the right hand of the Devil than in his
if he turns me into a mummy.wav
I'll be seeing you again.wav
you probably won't live through it.wav
Winston Havlock, at your service.wav
here I come laddies.wav
I loved the whole sand wall trick.wav
nasty little fellows such as yourself.wav
Bembridge scholars never wrote about this.wav
death is only the beginning.wav
may Allah smile upon you always.wav
would you like a little kissy-wissy?.wav
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