|| Rick || Evelyn || Jonathan || Ardeth || Imhotep || Anuck-su-namun || Seti || Beni || Dr. Bey || Warden Hassan || Dr. Chamberlain || Burns || Daniels || Henderson || Winston ||
Formerly of Chicago, Illinois, Richard O'Connell was a member of the French Foreign Legion, where he was second in command.
At face value, he has a rough exterior. But do not let that distract you from his soft and caring interior. Yes, he is quite
daring but he is also dashing--he speaks French, what could be more dashing than that?!
He is known for getting into trouble--or, as he puts it just "looking for a good time". Looking for a good time in Egypt is
exactly how American, Rick O'Connell landed himself a job in the Foreign Legion, battling ferocious Tuareg Horsemen. Furthermore,
because of his need for adventure, he ends up in Warden Hassan's prision in Cairo, Egypt. He ends up here because he was found
to be disturbing the peace at a local bazaar; he consumed just a bit too much alcohol. But drinking to access and disturbing
the peace ends up being a slight offense, compared to the even bigger offense he is later accused of doing: deserting the
French Foreign Legion. For this offense, he is sentenced to death.
Through mere coincidence, a woman and her brother visit Cairo Prision; it is on the day of his hanging that the former visiter
saves O'Connell's neck, literally. It was nearly the beginning of his end, but it was just the beginning of a self-fulfilling
adventure: kill the bad guy, rescue the damsel, save the world. In the end, he does just that, with the added bonus of winning
the heart of the damsel.
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Thirty-something proper English librarian, feminist, and amateur Egyptologist extraordinaire, Evelyn Carnahan is quite a woman.
Her love of research and her curiosity and clumsiness never fail to get her into a bout of trouble--be it knocking over all
of the shelves in the Cairo Museum or reading from a cursed woman's Book of the Dead.
Formerly from England, Evelyn has spent most of her life in Egypt. She decided to reside in Cairo after a plane crash took
the lives of her mother--an Egyptian--and her father--Howard Carnahan, a famous explorer who became famous for his celebrated
detailed drawings of important objects and murals found in the Valley of the Kings as well as for his crowning achievement
in the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. After their deaths, Evelyn and her older brother, Jonathan, received their
parents' estate as well as a few hundred pounds a year each.
Despite being an unwealthy woman, Evelyn has made something of herself. Although she may not be an adventurer or an explorer
or a treasure seeker or a gun fighter, she has exceptional skills in reading and writing ancient Egyptian; deciphering hieroglyphics
and hieratic; and properly coding and cataloguing the vast library of the Cairo Museum. So, eat your hearts out, Bembridge
Scholars! Evelyn just might replace you in your "intellectual" endeavors. After all, she proved them wrong once--finding that
the Book of Amun-Re' was burried beneath the statue of Horus and not beneath that of Anubis--she can do it again. Take that,
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And then there is Jonathan, the elder of the Carnahan siblings—a thirty-something as well, but looking more like a forty-something.
He is a ne’er-do-well, a dilettante where Egyptology is concerned, and an utter fraud as an archeologist. Although his
is a scholar as well, he focuses his attentions more on exploring every watering hole in Cairo than on his studies. Barely
getting by on his yearly stipend from the family trust fund, Johnny boy still manages to buy his way into alcoholic libations,
courtesy of many-a bar in Cairo—be they the plush cocktail lounges of the Continental and Shephard hotels or the waterfront
dives only a few English gentlemen have dared enter. Nonetheless, his excursions do sometimes lead to efficacy, at least in
the case of the origins of on ancient Egyptian artifact, supposedly found during a dig near Luxor [ancient Thebes]—a
small golden octagonal puzzle box, otherwise know as the Key to Hamunaptra. Never mind the fact that Jonathan came upon this
rare find in an establishment known as the Sultan’s Casbah—a dump catering to European rabble in one of the less
reputable corners of the French Quarter—where he had lifted the box from the pocket of one Richard O’Connell.
Knowing well enough the punishment for pick-pockets à la Cairo, Jonathan was not about to return the box, knowing that somehow
or someway he would get caught, whereupon he would loose two precious body parts, useful for scratching one’s nose.
Knowing of Mr. O’Connell—a rather unfortunate meeting, at that—only helped to find him, chez Warden Gad
Hassan, owner of Cairo Prison. Little did Jonathan know that his lust for shiny things would lead him to the biggest bit of
trouble in which he has ever been: closely encountering a walking, talking, 3,000 year old mummy.
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The epitome of all Arabic warriors—and our narrator of this movie, Ardeth Bay is anyone’s ideal hero. However,
he is more than one’s everyday, run-of-the-mill savior. Rather, he is one leader from one of the twelve tribes of a
sect known as the Med-jai, descendents of Seti the First’s loyal protectors of the same title, a cult thought lost in
antiquity. For 3,000 years, the Med-jai were responsible for protecting the treasure and the secret of Hamunaptra unknown
to grave robbers and treasure seekers. The job entailed the keeping the secret of the location of the resting place of one
of the most nefarious evils the world has ever known as well: an ancient Egyptian priest, darer of the gods’ angers
and sufferer of the hom-dai—an ancient Egyptian curse, reserved only for the most evil of blasphemers. A man named Inhotep.
Supplied with a golden scimitar at his waist, crossed by a dagger of the same material that is long enough to serve as a sword,
Ardeth Bay, whose face is tattooed with ancient markings of his cult, along with his band of brothers and newly acquired American
and Briton companions—O’Connell of the former origin and the Carnahans of the latter, determines to defeat what
his ancestors had vowed to keep secret for 39 generations: the bringer of death.
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The place is Thebes, City of the Living, home of Imhotep, tall, copper-skinned, sinewy and handsome as any god; he is Pharaoh’s
High Priest of Osiris and keeper of the dead. As Seti the First’s High Priest, Imhotep carried out many duties, including
acting as his advisor, giving him his loyalty as a servant, and bestowing upon Pharaoh all the qualities of a trusted friend.
However, it was not only a friendship that these two men shared, but also the love of one woman. She was not just any woman,
though, but a beauty who no man but Pharaoh could touch. It was his lust for Anuck-su-namun—the beauty in question—that
landed Imhotep into a cursed predicament. Because of his love for her—one that she reciprocated—he dared to cross
that line by touching her, by kissing her. That wrong move alerted the suspicions of Seti. However, as soon as Seti realized
that his trusted priest had betrayed him, Imhotep directed a knife through Pharaoh’s torso.
In order to escape prosecution, Imhotep—at the demand of Anuk-su-namun—flees, whereas his lover kills herself
before the Med-Jai can capture her. Imhotep knows that he can resurrect her, thus after she is mummified, he steals her corpse
and her canopic set from their sacred burial place. Then, he takes all contents to the deep recesses of Hamunaptra. Daring
the gods’ anger, he proceeds to resurrect his eternal love, but is subdued by the Med-Jai—who get wind of his
whereabouts—, before he can finish the ritual.
Punished for his blasphemy, Imhotep and his priests are condemned to be buried alive. Well, Imhotep’s priests get the
lesser of the operation; Imhotep endures the hom-dai, an ancient Egyptian curse that is reserved only for the most evil of
blasphemers. Tongue wrenched out and wrapped in linen bandages soaked in fetid slime, Imhotep endures one last indignity:
a swim with a horde of flesh-eating beetles that would slowly eat away at him as he would they, keeping him alive for all
eternity, the living dead. If ever he were to arise, he would bring with him the Ten Plagues of Egypt, he would be a walking
disease, a plague upon mankind, an unholy flesh-eater with a strength of ages, power over the sands, and the glory of invincibility.
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Anuck-su-namun, an olive-skinned goddess, the favorite mistress of Seti the First, an ethereal Theban beauty who captured
Imhotep’s heart and soul, was condemned as evil for murdering the former man.
Being the mistress of Seti’s palace at Thebes has its benefits, however: having an entire wing of the joint dedicated
to you; being draped, bathed, and scented with all the wealth of Egypt; and enjoying the fact that you are the most powerful—and
most beautiful—woman in all of the known world. One the other hand, there is a price to be paid, an ‘indignity’
for being the possession of such a powerful—mind you, jealous, as well—ruler. This indignity being the daily mounts
to the anteroom of your section of the palace to spend hours upon hours of having your personal servants apply fresh coats
of golden paint to every nook and cranny of your person. Yes, a high price to be paid to both the wearer of the paint and
the person whose fingers smear it; a precaution as well, for such a beautiful woman is never without admirers, especially
if one of your admirers is just as gorgeous as you are.
For this reason, it is no wonder she falls in love with Imhotep, Seti’s High Priest and trusted friend. Engaging in
secret rendezvous, Anuck-su-namun and Imhotep conspire to kill Pharaoh, who may be old but has many years left. It would mean
a long wait to be expected if he does not die tomorrow. Thus, she and Imhotep settle on a plot to murder Pharaoh, to set her
free from his possession—another incentive is to gain a bonus that would come after his death: a large pension and his
entire Theban estate. Once Seti is out of the picture, she would become Imhotep’s wife, the High Priest of Osiris; she
would be able to do anything she wanted in that position whereas she was a puppet attached to Seti’s fingers in her
current situation. Alas, all the more reason to kill him!
However, Pharaoh’s omnipresent royal body guards—a band of Med-jai—foils their plan. Imy flees—at
Anuck-su-namun’s demand—whereupon she commits suicide, knowing that her amore would do anything he could to rescue
her soul from the jaws of Ammit, the monster that sits beside the scale of justice.
Now in mummiform—wrinkly and dry; hacked open and stitched shut—with lungs, kidneys, intestine, stomach, and heart
housed in five sacred canopic jars, Anuck-su-namun lays waiting to be resurrected. Nevertheless, before her love can finish
the job, the Med-jai overrun the underground room at Hamunaptra. Even after their master’s death, they are still loyal
to him. On the other hand, are they just avenging his death?
However, it is not once but twice she had to endure the shift from the hells of the Underworld to the sweetness of the Overworld;
it was twice that her eternal love had failed to resurrect her. No matter, she will continue to dwell in the watery abyss
of Nun, the stomack of Ammit, the rotting holes of Tuat, until she can finally be and rule with her soul mate. Now, if only
there was a sacrificial lamb.
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Seti I—the embodiment of Re’ and the image of Horus upon his throne—was the second pharaoh of the Dynasty
XIX and was said to have been the most wealthy of all the rulers during the same era; he was even wealthier than Ramses the
Great. Thebes was Seti’s crown jewel, Hamunaptra was his treasure chest, and Anuck-su-namun was his most prized of
all his possessions, an Egyptian beauty.
The third of his riches was one whom he loved dearly, so much, in fact, that he gave her an entire section of his palace.
However, being the most precious possession of Pharaoh comes with a price; because of her sultry and seductive ways and goddess-like
looks, Seti demanded she be gilded with golden paint and outlined with black kohl so he could tell if a man had touched her.
It was in her antechamber that this daily ritual took place; it was also in this room that Seti’s most trusted friend,
servant, and advisor in addition to his mistress—Imhotep and Anuck-su-namun—plotted to murder Seti so they could
forever be together as High Priest and his wife. The plan was to kill Seti—old, yet with many strong years left; they
would use a Hittite’s dagger, making the murder look like that which was planned and executed by an enemy. Imhotep
and the Pharaoh’s mistress set the time of action: the next night, when Seti returned from his dinner of the state.
However, Seti had always been suspicious of his wife and came home early, putting a dent in the lovers’ plan. Upon
his return, he learned that his suspicions had foundation and that his wife had a secret lover, someone unknown to him as
Racing past the creo-sphinx flanked ally leading to his mistress’ section of his palace, he left his loyal Med-Jai guards
in his dust; his haste was probably not the best action, as he surprised the two conspirators into making sooner his murder.
In addition, his haste furthered the distance between him and those who could possibly save him.
Disregarding any concern for his safety, he burst through the golden doors of Anuck-su-namun’s antechamber. Upon observing
his wife’s flaw in her paint job, he demands the name of the man who had the audacity to touch her. Whirling ‘round,
Seti came face-to-face with his friend; he also came stomach-to-blade with his own sword, drawn from its sheath and employed
by Imhotep. Unarmed and unguarded, Seti was helpless against his youthful attackers. Alas, this great ruler was not quite
the immortal god whom his subjects believed him to be, but a moral man.
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A weasel of a man of nefarious character and slight of frame, Private Second Class Beni Gabor, formerly of Budapest, befriends
a fellow Legionnaire—Rick O’Connell, of course. Well, “friend” is not exactly the word that would
describe the rapport between these two men; this resourceful little scoundrel was the closest friend of Rick that the latter
could find, as friends were of limited supply in such a rough-and-tumble situation.
We first meet our sneaky little friend at the mile-wide battlefront at Hamunaptra. How he got there was means of what his
career was before his legionnaire days: robbing churches, temples, cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues—his prime specialty,
as Hebrew is one of seven languages he speaks. It was because of this “hobby” that lead to his being wanted in
Hungary. Who could blame him for his vial acts—collecting the best of loot, which can only be found in the holiest of
places, protected by young and weak altar boys—considering he has an imaginary family to feed. With the aid of the Battalion
de Marche of the French Foreign Legion, which catered and enlisted many men who were wanted by the police of their homelands,
Beni escaped what Hungary planned to perform on him for his sardonic works.
But being chased by savage Tuaregs was worse than what he could imagine could have happened to him at home. It is worse when
a mangled monster mummy backs one into a corner of an underground chamber. What was the point of leading the American treasure-hunters
to Hamunaptra, only to be in this situation? Oh yes, money in return for his services. If it weren’t for the deal—payment
only half given before the trip; half paid later once the expedition gets back to Cairo with loot in hand—he would have
pointed them in the “right” direction and headed back to his old business of sneaking and stealing. But no, he
had to tag along this time!
Yes yes. Greed gets him back to Hamunaptra, greed makes him become the right hand of the devil—er, Imhotep, and it is
just the same deadly sin that leads him to his painful end—a swim in the dark and enclosed in a tomb with a horde of
parasitic parade of noxious flesh-eating scarab beetles. Yet another soul lost to Hamunaptra.
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No relation to Ardeth Bay, of course. One of Cairo’s finest scholars and curator of the Museum of Antiquities of a city
of the same name, Dr. Bey is as simple as they come. At first glance, that is just the observation one of ignorance might
think—say, someone like Evelyn Carnahan—, for his is not just a curator, but a member of a religious sect known
as the Med-Jai—a line of protectors of the City of the Dead, one that spans 39 generations. A position he never thought
he would ever really need to bring forth, until the day his one and only librarian comes to him with, not another worthless
trinket like those she has shown him before, but a puzzle box that bears a familiar insignia on the top. Could this be the
Key to Hamunaptra? No, he assures Miss Carnahan. “A forgery,” he further remarks, referring to a map that bears
the official royal seal of Seti the First and Ahmar isos Osirion in hieratic inscription. Oh, but he knows what this little
find could mean, if used properly—or improperly: making known the secret location of Hamunaptra and of the location
of the creature that could mean the end of civilization, as we know it! Deliberately placing the map too close to a candle,
he sets it ablaze, but not too much, as it is only the section of Hamunaptra he needs to be rid of. Let us see them get to
the ancient city now! After all, it is for the best. Many men have sought out Hamunaptra; most have never returned to tell
If only the mess in the library could erase the thought of a trek to the City of the Dead from his librarian’s head!
But no! Smart women, who needs them!
Thus, they part—Evelyn and her entourage to Hamunaptra; Dr. Bey to round up his Med-Jai pals. However, their separation
is only short, as they meet again, this time to save the world, rather than see over a new shipment of ancient Egyptian artifacts.
At the worst, he would do anything to save humankind, even if it meant to sacrifice his own life, and to help the only means
of saving the world—a cheeky American, a fellow Med-Jai, an awkward Briton, and yes, his one and only librarian.
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The foulest, rudest, and most greedy of all Egyptians, Warden Gad Hassan—owner of Cairo Prison and responsible for many
hangings, dismemberments, and tortures that go on within its walls—is the epitome of all Arabic slime and thickset greasy
men. His appearance—leftover meals hanging about his mustache, a five o’clock shadow upon a chin that probably
sees a razor no more than one a week, and noxious stains and smells inhabiting the threads of a cream-colored suit—is
not match for his greedy heart and dirty mind. A greedy heart that justifies his lust for material things and a dirty mind
that justifies his lust for his want for physical pleasures are all that rule him. However, all these traits are not match
for the wits of Evelyn, whose quick sharpness and offer of 25% of whatever she and her entourage find at…Hamunaptra
catch the heart and the mind of Hassan.
To protect his investment, he goes to Hamunaptra. Hamunaptra…how that name rings sweetly in his ears; he can even picture
the riches that might be found beneath the dunes of this lost city.
But, what is this? The dainty Englishwoman is looking for a book? Due to the callings from every corner of his conscience,
the warden goes on his own selfish expedition; an expedition that eventually leads to a just-as-tortuous death as he bestows
upon his prisoners, being the vessel in which an ancient flesh-eating scarab beetle that digs its way up to the most vital
section of the body, the brain. Driven to madness, our smelly little friend meets his end, with a smart smack into a wall
of stone. Hamunatrap has claimed yet another resident.
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A small and aging cad of an Egyptologist and a man of science, Dr. Chamberlain becomes the head of an American expedition
to Hamunaptra. Granted, the good doctor is a scholar, but there is a hint of something else is his motives.
Formerly attached to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, he left under a cloud of scandal; treasure hunting-related, no doubt.
It is exactly this that lures him and his trio of American cowboys—Henderson, Daniels, and Burns—to the ancient
City of the Dead.
Upon excavating at the ancient site, dedicated to the embalming god, Anubis, he and his burly pals, a guide named Beni and
an army of turbaned fellahin workers come upon the secret compartment that contains the historic Book of the Dead. A true
Egyptologist would have heeded the warning written atop this chest in hieroglyphics. However, greed takes over the doctor
and he unveils the—er, treasure. His greed does not go unpunished, mind you; by opening the chest, he unleashes a curse
that is as old as civilization, a curse that would make him the third victim of a walking, talking mummy named Imhotep.
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Although Burns is cut from the same cloth as Henderson and Daniels and even O’Connell, he is more reserved the they.
However, this bespectacled young man of late twenties has the same treasure-seeking bug as do his American chums, as he comes
equipped with this trusty toolkit, which Rick O’Connell lifted from him—er, or perhaps it was not; the old eyes
are not what they used to be.
If he ever wished to be ride of his poor eyesight, he got his wish, for Imhotep granted it by ripping them out of their sockets.
Oh, and he extended the “favor” by ripping out his tongue as well.
With his new deformities, Burns could neither see nor speak—well, with a nub for a tongue, he could speak, just not
very well. However, such a handicap spared him the terror of meeting the horrid form of Imhotep’s, covered only by a
stone-like mask and a diaphanous black galabeeyah, who, at first, Burns took for a buyer for his canopic jar. It would not
be so; no buyer, no physical therapy back in the States; no even going back to the States. Even before he realizes it, Burns
becomes the first victim of the curse of the mummy.
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Quiet, brooding, and yet easy-going, Daniels is our lasting cowboy, as he escapes Imhotep’s wrath thrice—er, maybe
Imhotep just saved him for last. Whatever the case, this “sacred mummy” pursues him and his associates.
This pursuit is not without an eventful proceeding experiences: jumping out of a burning boat, racing through the desert by
horseback, being chased by Med-Jai, and then later pursued by flesh-eating scarabs, and fleeing from a crowd of entranced
boiled and soared zombies. It is the last event where he finds that he can no longer outrun the curse of the mummy, his slight
handicap—a broken arm, courtesy of a Med-Jai warrior—hardly playing an incapacitating factor.
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A lover of bourbon and of good ol’ cigars; a cheerfully arrogant and a loud American, Henderson gets more than what
he bargains for when he throws down a gauntlet to Rick O’Connell, betting him five hundred smakeroos as prize money
for the party that reaches Hamunaptra first. Of course, he did not expect losing the bet. If he knew exactly what lay beneath
the City of the Dead, he would never have been so quick to get there. Alas, treasure-seeking fever overtakes his immune system,
which gets him into trouble when he, his American brethren [Daniels and Burns], and the good doctor [Dr. Chamberlain] pry
the top off of a cursed chest, containing the Book of the Dead and five sacred canopic jars—or treasure, according to
them. Of course, this does not faze him or the others, as he is an American cowboy and is afraid of nothing. However rough-hewn
Henderson’s courage may be, it all turns to dust when he is faced with a faceless killer, which sucks the life out of
him, making Henderson the third person to die from the curse of the mummy. Apparently, he and his American friends booked
a steamer out of Cairo a little too late.
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An old friend of Jonathan’s, Captain Winston Havlock of the Royal Air Force, is the last of His Majesty’s soldiers
still stationed at Cairo. The other “ladies” either died in the air and were buried in the sand or were transferred
elsewhere, to better duty.
We first encounter Winston—prior fighter pilot of the Great War, now taxi to British soldiers—at Fort Stack (according
to the book; Fort Brydon, according to the movie), an environ of the southernmost corner of Cairo, named after the assassinated
governor of the Sudan, Sir Lee Stack. More in the bottle than in the air, Winston frequents a nearby bar in the dingy dive
near the fort, where other soldiers of His Majesty are mixed with low-grade women and low-grade rotgut, in search of a good
time. Sound familiar?
Later on, we meet Winston again. Of all the things he had planned at the precise moment—taking tea at the seemingly
ghost town-ish headquarters of His Majesty’s RAF [five miles beyond the fort]; staring at his threadbare biplane, which
stands atop a pothole-ridden sorry excuse for an asphalt runaway, sans control tower; or seeing to it that someone makes better
living quarters out of the Quonset huts of the ghost town—Winston never imagined that he would receive an offer he could
not refuse. This offer—that which has not a darned thing to do with His Royal Majesty’s air force and which is
dangerous—came from the plea of Jonathan and Rick, who need his—ahem…er—help in getting them to Hamunaptra.
Of course, this offer is given with plenty of reticence and the ones who are offering know that their considered means of
transportation really does not need a plane to fly higher than a kite, as Jonathan would say.
Once in the air, however, Winston proves Johnny boy and Rick wrong; it is not Winston’s drinking before flight that
one should worry about. Rather, it is this walking—and flying—death wish’s insane hope to join his laddies.
Somehow, flying with Winston—the suicidal pilot—becomes a less-than-inspiring idea to Rick. To late now, for here
comes Winston! He fears nothing—be it a sand devil or Hamunaptra! The latter, sadly—or maybe not so sadly—takes
his life, with a crash into a sand dune with his biplane.
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Collins, Max Allan. The Mummy. New York: Berkley Boulevard. 1999.
Mummy, the. Dir. Stephan Sommers. Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah. 1999. DVD. Universal Studios. 7 May 1999.
Copyright © October 2006 - November 2007 The Mummy Chronicles. All Rights Reserved
Latest Update: November 25, 2007
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