|“|| Evelyn: Look, I... I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker,|
or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
Rick: And what is that?
The Mummy is a 1999 American action horror film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Kevin J. O'Connor, with Arnold Vosloo in the titular role as the reanimated mummy. It is a loose remake of the 1932 film The Mummy.
In this film, adventurer Rick O'Connell travels to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, with an archaeologist and her brother. There they accidentally awaken Imhotep, a high priest from the reign of the pharaoh Seti I who has been cursed for eternity.
In Thebes, Egypt, 1290 BC, high priest Imhotep has a love affair with Anck-su-Namun, the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I. When the Pharaoh discovers the affair, Imhotep and Anck-su-Namun assassinate him. Imhotep flees, while Anck-su-Namun kills herself, intending for Imhotep to resurrect her. Imhotep and his priests steal her corpse and travel to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, but the resurrection ritual is stopped by Seti's bodyguards, the Medjai. Imhotep's priests are all mummified alive, while Imhotep himself is sentenced to suffer the Hom Dai, the worst of Egyptian curses, buried alive with flesh-eating scarab beetles. Imhotep is sealed away in a sarcophagus at the feet of a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis and kept under strict surveillance by the Medjai to prevent Imhotep's return.
In 1926, Jonathan Carnahan presents his sister, Evelyn, a Cairo librarian and aspiring Egyptologist, with an intricate box and map, which leads to Hamunaptra. Jonathan reveals he stole the box from an American adventurer, Rick O'Connell, who discovered the city three years earlier while in the French Foreign Legion. Rick makes a deal with Evelyn to lead them there if they release him from prison.
Rick leads Evelyn and her party to the city, where the group encounters a band of American treasure hunters guided by Rick's cowardly colleague Beni Gabor. The expeditions are attacked by the Medjai, led by the warrior Ardeth Bay. Against Ardeth's advice to leave the city, the two expeditions continue to excavate. Evelyn searches for the famous Book of the Living, a book made of pure gold. Instead of finding the book, she, Rick, and Jonathan stumble upon the statue of Anubis and the remains of Imhotep buried underneath. The team of Americans, meanwhile, discover the black Book of the Dead, accompanied by canopic jars carrying Anck-su-Namun's preserved organs.
At night, Evelyn takes the Book of the Dead and reads a page aloud, accidentally awakening Imhotep. The expeditions return to Cairo, but Imhotep follows them with the help of Beni. Imhotep returns to full strength by killing the members of the American expedition one by one, and brings the ten plagues back to Egypt. Seeking a way to stop Imhotep, Rick, Evelyn and Jonathan meet Ardeth at a museum. Ardeth hypothesizes that Imhotep wants to resurrect Anck-su-Namun again and plans to do so by sacrificing Evelyn. Evelyn believes that if the Book of the Dead brought Imhotep back to life, the Book of the Living can kill him again, and deduces the book's whereabouts. Imhotep corners the group with an army of slaves. Evelyn agrees to accompany Imhotep if he spares the rest of the group.
Imhotep, Evelyn, and Beni return to Hamunaptra, pursued by Rick, Jonathan, and Ardeth. Imhotep prepares to sacrifice Evelyn, but she is rescued after an intense battle with Imhotep's mummified priests. When Evelyn reads from the Book of Amun-Ra, Imhotep becomes mortal again, and Rick forces him into the River of Death. Imhotep leaves the world of the living, but not before vowing revenge by saying "Death is only the beginning." While looting treasure from the pyramid, Beni accidentally sets off an ancient booby trap and is trapped by a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs as Hamunaptra collapses into the sand. Ardeth rides away as Rick and Evelyn kiss and, with Jonathan, ride off into the sunset on a pair of camels laden with Beni's treasure.
- Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell
- Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan
- John Hannah as Jonathan Carnahan
- Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep
- Kevin J. O'Connor as Beni Gabor
- Oded Fehr as Ardeth Bay
The film could not be filmed in Egypt because of the unstable political conditions at that time. Instead it was filmed in Morocco, where it had the support of the Moroccan army, which made gave security to the cast and crew during the filming .
There, in Morocco, the filming of this movie began in Marrakech on May 4, 1998, and lasted seventeen weeks. During this time the crew had to endure dehydration, sandstorms, and snakes while they were filming in the Sahara desert.
The special effects, which did cost $15 million, were provided by Industrial Light & Magic. They created the Mummy by using a combination of live action and computer graphics. They achieved it by matching the digital prosthetic make-up pieces on Vosloo's face during filming.
The film was a huge commercial success. It led to two sequels—The Mummy Returns and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor—as well as an animated series and the prequel/spin-off film The Scorpion King.