Today is the post-Halloween birthday of EDWARD VAN SLOAN. A brilliant character actor who had parts in four classic horror films of the 1930’s. “Frankenstein”, “Dracula’s Daughter”, “The Mummy” and his best remembered role, as Dr. Van Helsing in “Dracula”, squaring off against Bela Lugosi.
Scene from The Mummy (1932), directed by Karl Freund, starring Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, & Edward Van Sloan.
Freund was the cinematographer of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Tod Browning’s Dracula, and his German Expressionist style gave this film its haunting, dreamlike, atmosphere. The story follows an Egyptian priest condemned to eternal life who finds the reincarnation of his lost love.
While there have been a ton of supposed sequels and remakes, none have ever followed the original story, and have, IMO, suffered greatly for it. The supposed 1999 “remake”, for example, tossed aside interesting characters and a compelling story in favor of lots and lots of CGI. The closest to an actual remake would be Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which took its back story and romantic plot from this film, rather than Stoker’s novel. So, at least we know somebody could make a good remake of this film rather than the hacks that made that 1999 movie.