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The Mummy$
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Doris V. Sutherland

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325956

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325956.001.0001

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Conversations with The Mummy: Critical Reactions

Conversations with The Mummy: Critical Reactions

(p.87) Chapter 6. Conversations with The Mummy: Critical Reactions
The Mummy

Doris V. Sutherland

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the critical reception of The Mummy (1932). When the film was screened, professional film critics were intrigued by the central figure of Boris Karloff, the actor who had been transformed into a living mummy. The Los Angeles Times even offered a prescient take that foresaw Karloff's future place in the film pantheon. As for the film itself, however, the critical reception was more lukewarm. Critics who had grown tired of horror cinema found little in The Mummy to change their opinions. The chapter then looks at re-evaluations and later evaluations of the film. Critics continue to find weaknesses, but they also continue to find rewarding new ways of approaching The Mummy. On the whole, The Mummy has managed to stand firm despite early critical indifference and subsequent changes in audience tastes. The film's position as the start of a subgenre has ensured that The Mummy retains immortality as a popular culture artefact.

Keywords:   critical reception, The Mummy, film critics, Boris Karloff, living mummy, horror cinema, popular culture

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