Christopher Lee Weekend – The Mummy (1959)

mummyDirector: Terence Fisher

Writer: Jimmy Sangster (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Eddie Byrne, Felix Aylmer, Raymond Huntley

 

Plot: In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Hammer Horror

 

Story: The Mummy starts in 1895 when British archaeologists John (Cushing) and Stephen Banning (Aylmer) searching for the ancient Egyptian tomb of Princess Ananka which they do discover only for Stephen the father finding himself in a retirement home believing a Mummy Kharis (Lee) came to life furious for disturbing the resting place of Princess Ananka.

3 years later John finally gets some sense out of his father who gives him an ominous warning that the mummy is coming for him and anyone who was involved in the opening of Ananka tomb.

 

Thoughts on The Mummy

 

StoryAs the only Mummy films I had seen were the Rick O’Connor ones I did know the basic outline of the story and this is a very much watered down version of that. We have the archaeologists who discover the tomb and get caught in the middle of the curse which for the 1950s was still around because of the Tutankhamun discovery. This doesn’t get too over the top which let’s face it is why we all love the 1999 version of the film. this does have a simple enough story to follow and can be enjoyed by all the Hammer Horror fans.

Adventure/Fantasy/HorrorWe are thrown into the fantasy horror world of the undead of Egyptian God coming back to avenge the people who opened their resting place. This doesn’t have the biggest scares but is also using the music to create the tension and fear involved in the film.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters come off fitting what would be considered upper class archaeologists which are used to make us not care for them like later editions. We also have the extremist Egyptian who still believes in the God that is guarding the tomb. The performances are all good but when it comes to looking at the characters they all suit the timing of the film.

SettingsThe settings are mixed between the Egyptian tomb which the body was found and what is made to look like the English countryside where the Banning’s live. The settings are not used to the full extent of the scenes going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy watch and shows how Hammer Horror really knew how to make horror.

 

Overall: Classic Hammer Horror that can be enjoyed by all the fans out there.

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North by Northwest (1959)

northDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Ernest Lehman (Screenplay)

Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G Carroll, Josephine Hutchinson, Philip Ober

 

Plot: A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: North by Northwest starts as New York advertising executive Roger O Thornhill (Grant) is taken my Phillip Vandamm (Mason) and his man believing he is George Kaplan a spy. Setting up to kill Roger he is filled with booze but escapes by finding himself arrested.

Roger teams up with his mother Clara (Landis) to figure out who this Mr Kaplan with the people in the hotel believing him to be and no one believing the story of his events, searching for the truth takes him right across the country where he meets the beautiful Eve Kendall (Saint) who aids in his escape but not everything is what it seems for Roger.

 

Thoughts on North by Northwest

 

StoryThis is the classic Hitchcock thriller that tells us the simple story of being miss-identified by all the wrong people with nowhere to turn to. This is a thriller that shows us that the idea that could easily be what inspired many a movie in modern times. The story had plenty of twists and turns along the way which at the time would have kept you guessing what will happen next at the time.

Action/Mystery/ThrillerThis has action when the chase scenes with the mystery of what is going on happening very early on with the thrilling side of the story keeping you guessing from the start to the finish. All the genres mix together to give us one of the most ground breaking thrillers of all time.

Characters/PerformanceRobert is a great everyday man who ends up in the middle of the bigger conspiracy going on with each of the people he meets either offering something new or a threat for his life. Cary Grant is brilliant in this role showing he was the star of the era with the rest of the cast all shining close to his level throughout.

SettingsEach setting is used to show how Robert is looking to escape or answers to what is going on. We have the iconic scenes in the crop field, Mount Rushmore and the opening shot overlooking New York.

Final ThoughtsThis will always be looked at as one of the best thrillers of all time that did truly inspire so many of the films we get in modern cinema.

 

Overall: An absolutely classic that could never be beaten.

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