Review of “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy” (1955)

trailer from YouTube

Some weeks ago, Svengoolie disappeared without explanation when the masterpiece discussed below was scheduled. We were looking forward to it as something silly, so the dearly beloved found it at the library. Silly is what we got.


Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are for some unexplained reason in Cairo and looking for a way to get back to the United States. While sitting in Café Baghdad (because Cairo and Baghdad are practically the same place, I guess), they overhear the archeologist Dr. Gustav Zoomer (Kurt Katch) tell the press he’s discovered the mummy of Klaris, the prince of evil, and that somewhere in the sarcophagus is a clue that will lead to the discovery of the tomb of Princess Ara. As soon as he can find two trustworthy men, he will ship it to the States.

The States! That’s where our heroes want to go.

Unfortunately for the doctor, our hapless heroes are not the only ones who overhear the doctor.

One person reports to a group of men sitting around a table outside, noting that they must tell Semu about Dr. Zoomer’s discovery and return Klaris to his people. Another goes to an apartment and gives the news to Madame Rontu (Marie Windsor). She’s not worried about the curse of Klaris. She relies on guns and knives, and she wants the treasure that Zoomer will uncover with the Princess.

Later, Dr. Zoomer is in his office, recording the directions to Princess Ara’s tomb and treasure. He looks up to see two men entering. One shoots a blow dart at him, hitting him behind his ear. He collapses.

Our heroes approach Dr. Zoomer’s office. Abbott explains why they’re there—to ask for the job and find a way back to the States. After indulging in a little wordplay, they knock on the front door. There’s no answer, but the door is open. Of course, they go in.

In another room, the bad guys lift the sarcophagus of Klaris (they’re really strong bad guys) and walk a few steps. They hear someone calling for Dr. Zoomer, set their burden down, and hide in some standing, unoccupied sarcophaguses.

Bud comes in, looking for the archaeologist. After checking a few obvious places, he opens the lid of Klaris’s sarcophagus. The mummy (Eddie Parker) growls and sits up, sending Bud screaming from the room to an incredulous Lou.

Hard as it may be to believe, the boys find a medallion with directions (in hieroglyphics) the Princess Ara’s tomb. The bad guys have been scrambling for it. Bud thinks they can sell it.

Eventually, the boys travel to the sacred resting site of Klaris, with both groups of people trying to kill them (and each other). The place is riddled with trap doors and secret passageways. For some reason, never explained, a giant lizard prowls the underground.

Don’t ask for anything to make much sense.


Madame Rontu decides to outsmart the other guys by bonking the mummy on the head, burying it outside, and substituting one of her henchmen, all wrapped up to look like a mummy. The faux mummy will attack the rivals. What could go wrong?

Bud comes across their discarded wrapping while he and Lous are supposed to be digging a hole. He gets an idea, and thus three mummies show up.

The flick is full of the pratfalls Abbott and Costello are known for. More than one pretty girl flirts with Lou and dismisses Bud.

And there are the verbal miscommunication exchanges:

Bud: “How stupid can you be?”

Lou: “How stupid do you want me to be?”


Bud: “I overheard Doctor Zoomer say he needed a couple of men to accompany his mummy back to the States.”

Lou: “Is she afraid to travel by herself?”

Bud: “She? No, Lou. This mummy is a he. What’s wrong with that? Some mummies are men. Some mummies are women.”

Lou: “Such a strange country.”

Bud: “What’s strange about it, Lou?

Lou: “Your mummy, your mummy. Wasn’t she a woman?”

Bud: “I never had a mummy.

Lou: “What did your father do? Win you in a crap game?”

Costello and Abbott are given player names in the credits but use their own names throughout the movie.

This is the last of the seven “Abbott and Costello Meet…” movies and appeared late in their careers. It may strike some viewers as tedious as the obvious always happens, but it is cute and, above all, silly.

I could not find it available for download for free, but libraries can often get it if you’re interested.

Title: Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

Directed by
Charles Lamont

Writing Credits
John Grant…(screenplay)
Lee Loeb…(story)

Cast (in credits order)
Bud Abbott…Pete Patterson
Lou Costello…Freddie Franklin
Marie Windsor…Madame Rontru
Michael Ansara…Charlie
Dan Seymour…Josef

Released: 1955
Length: 1 hour, 19 minutes

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

7 thoughts on “Review of “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy” (1955)

  1. that, meet the Invisible man & meet Frankenstein are the best of the Meet films. A lot of their late 40’s & 50’s films are pretty bad though.

      1. That used to be my favorite of theirs, but I laugh out loud ob repeat viewings of their earlier effort Who Done it ?

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