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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com

The Mummy
Story by Stephen Sommers and Lloyd Fonvielle & Kevin Jarre
Screenplay by Stephen Sommers
Directed by Stephen Sommers
Released in 1999


In the long-lost ancient Egyptian city of Hamunaptra, a 3,000 year old legacy of terror is unearthed from the desert.

 

Read the complete The Mummy movie synopsis at Rickipedia

 

Didja Know?

 

This film is based on the 1932 Universal film of the same name.

 

Didja Notice?

 

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 pharaohs.

 

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 having a 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 first time.

 

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 serve.

 

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 background.

 

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 the scene.

 

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 books.

 

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 institution.

 

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 wire.

 

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 explorer. In 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 opens the 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 Pictograph of dung beetle rebirth symbolism in Tomb KV6 in the Valley of the Kings (from Wikipedia)

 

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 gold jewelry!

 

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 her room in the 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 the DVD.

 

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. Listen: scream-to-music

 

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.
First Plague: Water Turned to Blood We see this in the form bloodied water emerging from the fountain at Fort Brydon in Cairo.
Second Plague: Frogs This is not seen in the film. It presumably occurred off-camera.
Third Plague: Gnats This is not mentioned directly in the film, though some of the flies seen as part of the Fourth Plague could have been gnats.
Fourth Plague: Flies Imhotep spews a plague of flies outside Fort Brydon in Cairo.
Fifth Plague: Pestilence Pestilence is contagious disease. This is not seen in the film. It presumably occurred off-camera.
Sixth Plague: Boils The "hypnotized" followers of Imhotep in Cairo have boils on their faces.
Seventh Plague: Hail A plague of hail strikes Cairo, but is also accompanied by a swarm of falling meteorites that strike the city!
Eighth Plague: Locusts The locusts are seen in Hamunaptra right after Evie inadvertently awakens the mummy by reading from the Book of the Dead.
Ninth Plague: Darkness 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 had been 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.
Tenth 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 nation.

 

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: roar. 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 later shown.

 

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.
Obelisk in The Mummy Monthu Soldier mummies

 

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 affliction.

 

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 Air Force.

 

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 other way.

 

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 Imhotep was on 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 inverted!

 

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 right.

 

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 IMSDB.)

 

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 assorted mummies.

 

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 sinking city.

 

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.

 

Unanswered Questions

 

At the beginning of the movie, narrator Ardeth Bay tells us that the Hom-Dai 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 prison?

 

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 for long.

 

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 modern knowledge.

 

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.

 

Memorable Dialog

 

your strength gives me strength.wav

the other plagues.wav

Abdul..? Mohammed..? Bob..?.wav

I like this fellow.wav

I lie to everyone.wav

looking for a good time.wav

every damn day.wav

a very good time.wav

100 pounds just to see him hang.wav

any last requests?.wav

a complete scoundrel.wav

I only gamble with my life, never my money.wav

what do you think is out there?.wav

I know my treasure.wav

it seemed like a good idea at the time.wav

I was so very, very worried.wav

my little buddy Beni.wav

more balls than brains.wav

awfully tempting, wasn't it?.wav

I hate bugs!.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 librarian.wav

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

Anck-su-namun?.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 path.wav

glass of bourbon.wav

Anck-su-namun.wav

Imhotep.wav

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

goodbye, Beni.wav

may Allah smile upon you always.wav

would you like a little kissy-wissy?.wav 

 

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