Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)
|Category||Comedy / Horror||Theatrical Trailer|
|Year Of Production||1955|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Charles Lamont|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 mono|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It was the fate of many of the famous Universal monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, the Invisible Man and the Wolf Man, to go from objects of fear to objects of fun when they come into contact with Universal’s ace comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who together made 25 pictures for Universal. Their last for Universal was Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.
Bud and Lou (they are named Pete Patterson and Freddie Franklin in the closing credits but throughout the film they call each other Bud, Abbott or Lou) are down on their luck drifters in Egypt. They overhear that Professor Zoomer (Kurt Katch) has just found the mummy of Klaris (the mummy character was called Kharis in the earlier sequels to The Mummy (1932), in which the mummy was called Imhotep, if any that makes any sense) and is looking for a couple of men to accompany it to America. Bud and Lou go to Zoomer’s house to volunteer their services but the Professor has been killed by two henchmen sent by Semu (Richard Deacon), head of a mysterious cult dedicated to protecting Klaris and the tomb of Princess Ara and its treasure, which Klaris guards. The location of the tomb of the princess is disclosed on a medallion which Lou accidentally swallows. So now Semu’s men are after Lou and Bud, as is the deadly Madame Rontru (Marie Windsor), who wants the treasure. Can our boys evade Semu, Madam Rontru and the revived Klaris with their skins, and their sense of humour, intact?
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is not really a monster film, or even a mummy film; instead it is a vehicle for the comedy duo to display their usual style of slapstick humour with its sight gags, pratfalls, twisted dialogue, such as a sequence about a pick being a shovel which is pure Abbott and Costello, disappearing bodies, hidden passageways, trapdoors and pure confusion, ending with three mummies on screen! Some things in the film feel dated, such as the four musical interludes which bring the plot to a dead halt, but there is a lot of fun to be had seeing the boys in good form.
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
The film looks pretty good. Backgrounds can be soft but faces and close-ups are firm. There is controlled grain but otherwise this is a clean print without obvious marks or artefacts. Blacks, greyscale and shadow detail are good.
Large white subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.
The only audio is English DTS-HD MA 2.0 (mono).
Dialogue was always easy to understand. The effects, including crowd noises, slaps, falling walls and the music are nice and crisp and the music clean. There is obviously no surround or subwoofer use. The music supervisor is Joseph Gershenson but there is no credit for the score as such.
I did not notice any hiss or distortion.
Lip synchronisation was occasionally out but nothing serious.
|Surround Channel Use|
The film commences without a menu, but you can use the pop-up menu via the remote to select chapters, subtitles and the film’s unrestored trailer.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This Blu-ray release of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy starts with the US FBI antipiracy warning. There has been a release of the film in the US and UK that apparently includes biographies, but I cannot find a release of the film in Australia except as part of The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection (see the summary below).
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is the comedy duo’s last film for Universal, and their second last film together. By now they have honed their routines to a fine edge and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is a good example of their craft; you get a femme fatale, three mummies, a host of heavies and a whole heap of fun. Fans of the pair will not be disappointed.
The film looks good on Blu-ray, the audio is the original mono. A trailer is the only extra.
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is available in Universals’ 4 disc The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection. The Mummy (1932) and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy are on single Blu-rays while The Mummy’s Hand (1940) and The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) are on one Blu-ray and The Mummy’s Ghost (1944) and The Mummy’s Curse (1944) on another. This is a great way to catch up with the complete older Universal Mummy collection.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|