The Mummy’s Hand (1940)

mummys hand poster 1940 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Atmospheric, full mummy make-up

Classic horror often doesn't have much story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Mummy’s Hand

Studio:  Universal Studios

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 20, 1940

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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Can’t a mummy rest in peace?

The discovery of a vase showing the location of the tomb of Ananka leads Steve Banning (Dick Foran) and Babe Jenson (Wallace Ford) to bring in the performer “The Great Solvani” (Cecil Kellaway) and his daughter Marta Solvani (Peggy Moran) to finance an expedition into the desert.  The search for Ananka’s tomb brings problem as its keeper Professor Andoheb (George Zucco) doesn’t intend for it be found.  Armed with the cursed mummy Kharis (Tom Tyler), Andoheb is out to stop Banning from finding the tomb…even if it means giving Kharis the tana leaves that could drive him mad.

Directed by Christy Cabanne, The Mummy’s Hand is Universal’s follow-up to The Mummy of 1932.  The film is generally collected with the original Mummy and its sequels The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost, and The Mummy’s Curse.

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The mummy lives…to kill!!!

While The Mummy’s Hand is considered a sequel to The Mummy, The Mummy’s Hand has no real ties to the original film.  The mummy in this film is Kharis and not Boris Karloff’s mummy who was named Imhotep.  This film represents a new storyline which is carried through the other Universal Mummy pictures.

Story wise, The Mummy’s Hand is pretty typical to horror from this period.  The movie has the dashing leading man and the woman who grows to love him.  It has the humorous sidekick (there are two instead of one) and the evil foreign outsider who plans to destroy them.  Also, like many of the movies, it is short and to the point…with little resolution.  Andoheb is shot down, Kharis is burned, and everyone lives happily ever after (until the sequel).

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Mummies don’t like guns!!!

The main lead actors as mentioned are pretty generic stock characters.  As opposed to the first mummy which had Boris Karloff as the great Imhotep who quickly became unwrapped, this one features Tom Tyler as a fully wrapped up mummy.  Other than some close-up shots of his eyes, there is little that Tyler can do express himself in the mummy costume, but he doesn’t live up to Karloff.

The full mummy costume is what the film has going for it.  I remember as a child liking this movie more than the original mummy simply because there was a “mummy” in it.  It isn’t as good as the original film…both in looks and quality, but it does have a horrible creature that younger kids might like to scare themselves with.

The Mummy’s Hand started off a new string of Universal Mummy movies.  The next film brings in genre actor Lon Chaney, Jr. to play the mummy.  The Mummy’s Hand was followed by a true sequel in The Mummy’s Tomb in 1942.

Related Links:

The Mummy (1932)

The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)

The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)

The Mummy’s Curse (1944)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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