Dick Foran

The Mummy’s Tomb (1942, Harold Young)

The Mummy’s Tomb is better than its predecessor, without a doubt. Harold Young’s direction is strong. It’s not quite scary, but he’s at least going for scary.

It’s sort of like an episode of “Cheers;” it takes place in small town Massachusetts and there’s a mummy roaming the streets. You can see the “Cheers” gang, having headed out of town for a weekend getaway, where there’s a mummy terrorizing their weekend.

It’s a sixty minute movie–which is some of the reason I watched it–I figured I could handle it. I didn’t account for ten minutes being from The Mummy’s Hand. The most interesting thing about the film is how it takes two of the first film’s principals–Dick Foran, Wallace Ford–and puts them in old age makeup two years after the last film–just to kill them off.

The leading man, John Hubbard, gets third billing (but deserves sixth). Elyse Knox is a decent damsel in distress. Turhan Bey, who barely has anything to do as the bad guy, is at least amusing. His character replays Zucco’s character from in the first film, only in New England instead of Egypt. There’s this secret society of high priests who can get one a job as graveyard caretaker anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately, Lon Chaney Jr. isn’t much of a mummy. Apparently, he didn’t like the character, didn’t like the makeup. It shows.

At least it’s only sixty minutes and there is a great crane shot at the end.



Directed by Harold Young; screenplay by Griffin Jay and Henry Sucher, based on a story by Neil P. Varnick; director of photography, George Robinson; edited by Milton Carruth; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Lon Chaney Jr. (Kharis, the Mummy), Dick Foran (Stephen Banning), John Hubbard (Dr. John Banning), Elyse Knox (Isobel Evans), George Zucco (Andoheb), Wallace Ford (‘Babe’ Hanson), Turhan Bey (Mehemet Bey), Virginia Brissac (Mrs. Ella Evans), Cliff Clark (Sheriff), Mary Gordon (Jane Banning), Paul E. Burns (Jim, the caretaker), Frank Reicher (Prof. Matthew Norman) and Emmett Vogan (Coroner).

The Mummy’s Hand (1940, Christy Cabanne)

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this film.

There’s no discernible reason for it to be called The Mummy’s Hand. I can only guess it has to do with the way they cut the trailer, maybe having the hand come out as a shocker.

It’s not a traditional Universal horror film; it’s one of the first where they cut the budget. Until this point, the films were higher profile (the first three Frankenstein films, even Dracula’s Daughter).

The script is lousy, but it also introduces these bad comic elements–mostly from Wallace Ford, playing the idiot sidekick. The film also has George Zucco as the villain (not the mummy, but the mummy’s master). It’s impossible to take Zucco seriously as a villain in this one–especially since he’s a lecherous villain, lusting after Peggy Moran in these creepy scenes.

She probably gives the film’s best performance; she doesn’t have much competition. Dick Foran’s the lead, who is almost as dumb as Ford.

Cecil Kellaway is good as Moran’s father. Charles Trowbridge as the smart guy who helps the two morons, he’s fine.

Watching The Mummy’s Hand, you can see it as a straight comedy, with the bang, pop, zows of the 1960s “Batman” show, with a laugh track. They kind of need a laugh track. They ape lines from Dracula. It feels desperate.

Vera West gives Moran an amusing Egyptian desert nightgown and Jack P. Pierce’s makeup is great.

It’s hard to make it through the seventy minutes.



Directed by Christy Cabanne; screenplay by Griffin Jay and Maxwell Shane, based on a story by Jay; director of photography, Elwood Bredell; edited by Philip Cahn; music by Hans J. Salter and Frank Skinner; produced by Ben Pivar; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Dick Foran (Steve Banning), Peggy Moran (Marta Solvani), Wallace Ford (Babe Jenson), Eduardo Ciannelli (The High Priest), George Zucco (Professor Andoheb), Cecil Kellaway (The Great Solvani), Charles Trowbridge (Dr. Petrie of the Cairo Museum), Tom Tyler (Kharis, the Mummy) and Sig Arno (The Beggar).

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