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Sunday, September 30, 2012 09:35 PM
(Last updated on Monday, October 1, 2012 08:28 AM)
The Mummy Returns
 by Fëanor

(UPDATE: I rewrote this post a bit. I didn't like my original wording, and I missed some important details.)

We just watched the original Mummy again on TCM. I do love that movie. It struck me, probably not for the first time, that the movie has a surprising feminist subtext. All the representatives of male power and knowledge in the movie - all the doctors (like Dr. Muller, the expert on the occult, played by Edward Van Sloan, who is really just reprising his role as Van Helsing from Dracula, but under another name) and scientists and even the Egyptian mummy prince - are revealed to be either completely powerless or ultimately fail. Interestingly, the most idiotic and bumbling of all the men is the nominal "hero," Frank Whemple (played by David Manners, who is pretty much also just reprising his role from Dracula, in which he was the nominal bumbling hero John Harker). Nothing he or his male compatriots do is effective in any way against the villain. The only female character, Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann), is the target of the romantic advances of both the villain and the hero, and the nominal "victim" of the story, but she's also one of the cleverest and funniest characters. She makes fun of Frank and always comes out on top in their various conversations. And she's the one who finally defeats the Mummy, by calling on the power of the Goddess Isis. Her power is what reaches out across the centuries and strikes down the mummy, while the men look on, dumbfounded. It's good stuff.
Tagged (?): Monsters (Not), Movies (Not), Mummy (Not)
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