Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Opening of The Mummy (1932)

As we examine the origin and history of visual effects, from time to time we will come across masterpieces of the art of the opening title. There is a short list of such openings, openings that define the genre and which are as good as the cinema has ever done. Others, though a little more dated, are still important and can be appreciated if you can find your inner child and put yourself in the movie theatre in 1932.

Here we review the first 90 seconds of the 1932 classic The Mummy directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff.

I quote the words from the Scroll of Thoth:

      Oh ! Amon Ra! Oh ! God of Gods !
      Death is but the doorway to new life
      We live today, We shall live again,
      In many forms shall we return, Oh Mighty One.

The sequence on Youtube:

Careful readers will notice the single credit for Special Effects on card #4 above.  Also note the reference to the character "Frau Muller" who perhaps reprises her role in Young Frankenstein (1974).

Now remember what we are talking about here. A classic Universal horror film in the days before television, before even color film, intended to be viewed on a Saturday afternoon for a nickle. To my mind, the titles and music are perfect and completely introduce the movie.

You should do as well when you do the opening titles for your movie.

The Mummy on IMDB

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