Movie Review: The Mummy's Hand (1940)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1940 monster movie starring Dick Foran and Peggy Moran.

Synopsis: A struggling archaeologist purchases a vase at an Egyptian bazaar that appears to contain clues to the location to the tomb of Princess Ananka and convinces a magician to help fund his expedition. However, instead of finding her tomb, they instead uncover Kharis, a living mummy kept alive for thousands of years to guard the entrance of Ananka's tomb.

Who's In It?


Since I took today off from work (I still had one vacation day left), I decided to let my oldest daughter stay up a little longer last night and had some father/daughter movie time with her. Since this was a movie we have both wanted to see for a while, I picked it and, as it turns out, it was actually a pretty decent film.

Even though none of the actors are the same and the main characters names were changed, this movie is a loose sequel to the film "The Mummy," which, surprisingly, is actually one of my least favorite classic Universal monster films, despite the fact I'm a big Boris Karloff fan. As a result of that, I wasn't really sure if I would enjoy this movie or not. However, in many ways, this film is actually considerably better than the original.

One thing, in particular, I liked about this film was Kharis' (Tyler) scary appearance. He was what I would expect an ancient, cursed Egyptian mummy to look like. In particular, I loved his darked-out eyes, something that made him even more terrifying.

Another thing I liked about this movie was the way it at least attempted to have some magic surrounding Kharis. This was one of my biggest complaints about the Karloff version, which seemed content to just have his character strangle people and not show much in terms of supernatural ability.

Also, while I'm usually not a huge fan of comic relief in horror films, I did, admittedly like the way comedian Wallace Ford created a light-hearted mood at times during this film. Some of his jokes were actually surprisingly funny and, unlike many other movie characters in similar roles, he managed to be serious when the situation called for it.

My only real complaint about this film was I wasn't a huge fan of the high priest (Zucco), simply because his motives seemed to be all over the board. First he's trying to protect a tomb. Then, out of the blue, he's trying to kidnap Moran's character to be his eternal wife (despite knowing Kharis was cursed for the very same reason). I think it would have been better if the movie gave us a bit more background about him, including whether or not he had this planned from the start or if it was a last-second thing.

Final Opinion

As I said, I'm not a huge fan of "The Mummy." However, I did find I liked this movie and, after watching it, am going to be looking for the sequels so I can see what happens next.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 12/31/2015, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/29/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here does not have The Mummy's Hand among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So I expect not to be watching it any time soon.

Have you seen any prequels or sequels from back in the 1940s? How would the mummy films fare as colorized prequels, reboots, remakes or sequels nowadays?

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