Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marie Windsor, Richard Deacon
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is both a very funny comedy, as well as a respectful Universal Monsters entry in the Mummy series. The Mummy is is following the same typical formula — former high priest Kharis (renamed to Klaris here for no reason) who has been cursed to never-ending life for his forbidden love for an Egyptian princess. In this entry, the Mummy can be controlled by a mystical amulet — which accidentally falls into the possession of Abbott and Costello.
There are two different factions feuding over the Mummy – one led by the current high priest of the (mythical) cult of Karnak (played by Richard Deacon, remembered for his role of Mel Cooley on The Dick van Dyke Show), and a group of fortune hunters led by Madame Rontru (Marie Windsor).
Bud and Lou, stranded in the Middle East, unwittingly get caught in the middle, with Bud trying to make a buck if possible, and Lou trying simply to say alive.
Editorial Review of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy courtesy of Amazon.com
After 15 years of hit movies for Universal Studios, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello left the studio in the twilight of their partnership with the last of their monster comedies. Decked out in desert safari gear, the boys go looking for a job with an Egyptologist and wind up in the middle of a conspiracy concerning the murdered professor, an ancient mummy, and a magical medallion that, true to form, bumbling Costello manages to eat for dinner. Marie Windsor, the boss lady of a gang of treasure hunting crooks, dresses in a harem outfit to vamp for our chubby little hero, and the eternally stiff Richard Deacon hilariously plays the leader of an Egyptian mummy cult like a high school principal decked out for Halloween. Directed by longtime collaborator Charles Lamont, it’s a typical Abbott and Costello farce with disappearing corpses, mistaken identities, and wacky word plays (“Take your pick” riffs on “Who’s on first” with garden tools). While not as clever or spirited as their original monster mash Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, the vaudeville veterans are still masters of the double take and fast-talk patter, and the picture climaxes with a screwball chase that involves not one, not two, but three mummies skittering through the phoniest looking pyramid this side of community theater. You were expecting realism? The boys appeared together once more on film, in Dance with Me, Henry, and then split up. —Sean Axmaker
[Editor’s note: Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is also available as part of The Best of Abbott and Costello, Volume 4
Funny movie quotes for Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
Madame Rontru (Marie Windsor): [looking at a fluroscope of Freddie’s insides] A marble, two buttons, a safety pin…
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): I lost a tie clasp two years ago, see if that’s in there.
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): Ask Klaris, he’s the one that got us into this.
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): And he’s going to get us out of it.
The Flower Girl: Flowers?
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): [points to one bunch of flowers] How much are these?
The Flower Girl: A dollar.
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): [points to another bunch] How much are these?
The Flower Girl: A dollar.
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): I got no money.
[throws a bouquet back on the tray]
The Flower Girl: No money?
[picks up the bunch he threw back]
The Flower Girl: They’re a little wilted, you can have them for nothing.
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): [finding Professor Zoomer’s body dressed in his long underwear] Is this the body you found earlier?
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): Yeah, but before he had clothes on.
Waiter with Flaming Kabob: A waiter will be with you in a moment.
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): Hey! The meat’s on fire!
[throws a glass of water at the kabob but hits Abbott instead]
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): Where will we find the Mummy?
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): Don’t worry. the Mummy will find you!
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): I overheard Doctor Zoomer say he needed a couple of men to accompany his mummy back to the States.
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): Is she afraid to travel by herself?
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): She? No, Lou. This mummy is a he. What’s wrong with that? Some mummies are men, some mummies are women.
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): Such a strange country.
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): What’s strange about it Lou?
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): Your mummy, your mummy. Wasn’t she a woman?
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): I never had a mummy.
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): What did your Father do? Win you in a crap game?
Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott): What’s the matter?
Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello): I thought you were gonna slap me!
Madame Rontru (Marie Windsor): There is no curse that a gun or a knife can’t cure.
Trivia for Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
- Though Bud Abbott’s character in this film was named Peter Patterson and Lou Costello’s character’s name was Freddie Franklin, they addressed each other by their own, real names (“Heeeeey Abbott!”) throughout much of the picture.
- This was Bud Abbott and Lou Costello’s last film for Universal.
- In this film, the name of the mummy has been changed from “Kharis” to “Klaris.”
- Lou Costello had been suffering from a recurrence of rheumatic fever prior to filming, hence his slightly sickly appearance.