A few words about…™ Dracula & The Mummy – Complete Legacy Collections — in Blu-ray

Terrific Value 5 Stars

A couple of years ago, I began referencing Universal’s classic home video releases as coming from the “new” Universal, as there was a different mindset in place.

Their latest forays into the genre that they essentially created, beginning in the 1920s, remain in top technical form.

The finest surviving elements have been located, scanned, restored, and preserved, and the resultant Blu-ray releases, along with DCPs, for those lucky enough to see these films theatrically, are now in place.

While there is, once again, a bit of duplication in titles from past Blu releases, the prices do not reflect it, especially with The Mummy Collection currently $25 on Amazon for six films and extras of high quality.

If ordering, be very aware that Amazon’s prices seem to reflect a certain schizophrenic nature at the moment, with multiple prices for the same product.

Great sets of films. Superb Quality. Terrific value, at around $4 per title.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

4k Up-rez – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

 
        

Published by

Robert Harris

administrator

62 Comments

  1. dpippel

    Robert, can you comment on how the previous Blu-rays released as part of the Universal Monsters – The Essential Collection set compare to these?

    I'm not RAH, but the titles that were previously issued are identical on these sets. The only exception is the House/House disc which leaves off Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.

  2. I had a zip through the Mummy set that arrived today, & they look great, far better than they've any right to. Well done Universal, if I'd had to pay twice what I did, there'd be no complaints from me.

  3. I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one. The murders are pretty ludicrous with people ALLOWING themselves to be strangled by simply being frozen in fear or not even trying to fight back, and I've never seen someone wrapped in bandages walking around through a fiery mansion and none of them ever alighting until the very end. That seemed preposterous. Much less enjoyable than the first two films. But the transfer is once again impeccable.

  4. Matt Hough

    I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one.

    This is one (though not the only) instance when the 9-minute Super 8mm Castle Films edit was actually better than the full-length feature it came from.

  5. Matt Hough

    I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one. The murders are pretty ludicrous with people ALLOWING themselves to be strangled by simply being frozen in fear or not even trying to fight back, and I've never seen someone wrapped in bandages walking around through a fiery mansion and none of them ever alighting until the very end. That seemed preposterous. Much less enjoyable than the first two films. But the transfer is once again impeccable.

    I think this is one reason those of us who came in later generations (which is probably all of us in this discussion) probably thought the Mummy was the lamest of the Universal monsters to filter down into pop culture. It was hard for us to imagine being so scared of a slow moving, bandaged creature, slowly reaching out. When I first saw the original with Boris Karloff, I was so pleasantly surprised with how much it holds its own in the Universal pantheon. Same goes for the first Hammer Mummy film.

    The later Mummy films (including Abbott and Costello) did not serve the Mummy well.

  6. These Universal monster releases have the most beautiful video presentations imaginable. Absolutely gorgeous. I wish they had just added a few supplements like lobby cards or posters like they used to do on those wonderful laserdisc editions. Now, can we please get THE OLD DARK HOUSE? Please, Universal, give us your fine-grain master for this!

  7. There are many reasons why most of the later films are inferior, aside from the fact that most sequels are inferior to originals (although "Bride of Frankenstein" is arguably far superior to "Frankenstein"), but chief among them is that Universal went into receivership in the 1930's and Standard Capital took over the studio in 1936 and threw out the Laemmle's. Most of the monster films after that are very inferior.

    While there were always a few exceptions, for the most part, U became a low-budget studio, releasing The Dead End Kids in the 30's and "Francis the Talking Mule" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" films in the 40's.

  8. zoetmb

    There are many reasons why most of the later films are inferior, aside from the fact that most sequels are inferior to originals (although "Bride of Frankenstein" is arguably far superior to "Frankenstein")

    I read this again and again. While Bride is a good sequel, I don't think it's superior to the original. One place where Bride really loses me is the revelation of the "little people." The movie descends into a farce during that scene, it always pulls me out of the movie.

  9. Matt Hough

    I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one. The murders are pretty ludicrous with people ALLOWING themselves to be strangled by simply being frozen in fear or not even trying to fight back, and I've never seen someone wrapped in bandages walking around through a fiery mansion and none of them ever alighting until the very end. That seemed preposterous. Much less enjoyable than the first two films. But the transfer is once again impeccable.

    That sequence in THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1942) left me with the impression that Universal was trying to add some Frankenstein style excitement. For the 1940s, these Mummy sequels sure do get a bit dark at times.

    Race Bannon

    I think this is one reason those of us who came in later generations (which is probably all of us in this discussion) probably thought the Mummy was the lamest of the Universal monsters to filter down into pop culture. It was hard for us to imagine being so scared of a slow moving, bandaged creature, slowly reaching out. When I first saw the original with Boris Karloff, I was so pleasantly surprised with how much it holds its own in the Universal pantheon. Same goes for the first Hammer Mummy film.

    The later Mummy films (including Abbott and Costello) did not serve the Mummy well.

    At least in the '40s sequels, the Mummy remained (Fairly) consistent, particularly in it's movements, although the mythology changed somewhat from film to film. Abbott and Costello's Mummy didn't even have a complete mask, and no left leg limp, two elements that did remain constant in the previous Mummy sequels. That said, Bud and Lou's Universal Swan Song wasn't without its bright spots, and of course, ALL of these films look great on Blu-ray, and I look forward to being able to revisit them whenever the mood strikes me!

    Heck, I'll probably even be in for The Creature films, which I suspect may be out, along with The Invisible Man Legacy Blu-ray sets this fall – At least I hope so!

    CHEERS! 🙂

  10. zoetmb

    There are many reasons why most of the later films are inferior, aside from the fact that most sequels are inferior to originals (although "Bride of Frankenstein" is arguably far superior to "Frankenstein"), but chief among them is that Universal went into receivership in the 1930's and Standard Capital took over the studio in 1936 and threw out the Laemmle's. Most of the monster films after that are very inferior.

    While there were always a few exceptions, for the most part, U became a low-budget studio, releasing The Dead End Kids in the 30's and "Francis the Talking Mule" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" films in the 40's.

    Well I don't know about B-grade. Certainly, the studio became more streamlined and willing to invest in franchise film-making; safe bets in lieu of original content; but lest we forget Uni still had Abbott and Costello – those golden boys who almost single-handed pulled the studio back into the black; and Deanna Durbin musicals, and Blondie and Dagwood, and oh yes, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson – the best Holmes ever. Budgets were tight, but a lot of this franchise film-making has endured well beyond the era that produced it.

    The monster movies suffered, but made a startling comeback with Creature from the Black Lagoon; the likes of its two sequels I surely wish Uni would get around to releasing as a box set like these. I'm not a fan of all the double dipping. The Frankenstein set also included a bunch of these deep catalog titles. I would have much preferred Uni simply give us a reissue of the monster box set containing everything without any of the 'copycatting' going on here. I have three separate discs of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

    Have to say, I'm over the moon Uni has given us A&C meet The Mummy. Now if we could just get them to do an A&C box set to include The Time of Their Lives, Who Done It?, One Night in the Tropics, and, Hold that Ghost (for starters), I'd really be getting ready to throw a ticker-tape parade.

  11. I watched the last of the Mummy sequels tonight, and like its siblings, it looked simply magnificent. Again, only an hour, and part of that was spent recapping the origin story with clips from the original and first sequel. Still, paced well and held my interest for the hour.

    Tomorrow night (unless something untoward occurs on Friday), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy which I'm REALLY looking forward to.

  12. Nick*Z

    Well I don't know about B-grade. Certainly, the studio became more streamlined and willing to invest in franchise film-making; safe bets in lieu of original content; but lest we forget Uni still had Abbott and Costello – those golden boys who almost single-handed pulled the studio back into the black; and Deanna Durbin musicals, and Blondie and Dagwood, and oh yes, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson – the best Holmes ever. Budgets were tight, but a lot of this franchise film-making has endured well beyond the era that produced it.

    The monster movies suffered, but made a startling comeback with Creature from the Black Lagoon; the likes of its two sequels I surely wish Uni would get around to releasing as a box set like these. I'm not a fan of all the double dipping. The Frankenstein set also included a bunch of these deep catalog titles. I would have much preferred Uni simply give us a reissue of the monster box set containing everything without any of the 'copycatting' going on here. I have three separate discs of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

    Have to say, I'm over the moon Uni has given us A&C meet The Mummy. Now if we could just get them to do an A&C box set to include The Time of Their Lives, Who Done It?, One Night in the Tropics, and, Hold that Ghost (for starters), I'd really be getting ready to throw a ticker-tape parade.

    FYI Blondie was Columbia.

  13. Tony Bensley

    Heck, I'll probably even be in for The Creature films, which I suspect may be out, along with The Invisible Man Legacy Blu-ray sets this fall – At least I hope so!

    CHEERS! 🙂

    I hope you're right, I'm ready for them.

    Nick*Z

    Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson – the best Holmes ever.

    Uh, no, that would be Jeremy Brett. IMHO. Brett was fantastic in the role and also had the advantage of appearing in versions very faithful to the original stories. And his Watson wasn't turned into a bafoon.

  14. warnerbro

    Now, can we please get THE OLD DARK HOUSE?

    I understand that this will be coming from Cohen, not Universal, and not from Image (who released the DVD). Should be nice.

  15. Johnny Angell

    I hope you're right, I'm ready for them.

    Uh, no, that would be Jeremy Brett. IMHO. Brett was fantastic in the role and also had the advantage of appearing in versions very faithful to the original stories. And his Watson wasn't turned into a bafoon.

    Ditto.

  16. Nick*Z

    The monster movies suffered, but made a startling comeback with Creature from the Black Lagoon; the likes of its two sequels I surely wish Uni would get around to releasing as a box set like these.

    I am quite certain this will happen, and predict (gulp) that REVENGE OF THE CREATURE as well as the original film will be presented in 3D. I've no idea whether or not 3D Film Archives would have any involvement in this, but that would be great.

    Meanwhile, Germany released REVENGE OF THE CREATURE on Blu-ray a while back, and it's a monstrous travesty (as in, don't buy it!). The 3D version is anaglyph and is piss-poor, impossible for your eyes and mind to align it so that it actually works as a dimensional experience. Total waste of disc space. The 2D version is also screwed up, in that it's presented at a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. God, did they drop the ball with this release. I bought it, I sold it. Didn't even keep it as a place-holder!

  17. Dick

    I am quite certain this will happen, and predict (gulp) that REVENGE OF THE CREATURE as well as the original film will be presented in 3D. I've no idea whether or not 3D Film Archives would have any involvement in this, but that would be great.

    Meanwhile, Germany released REVENGE OF THE CREATURE on Blu-ray a while back, and it's a monstrous travesty (as in, don't buy it!). The 3D version is anaglyph and is piss-poor, impossible for your eyes and mind to align it so that it actually works as a dimensional experience. Total waste of disc space. The 2D version is also screwed up, in that it's presented at a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. God, did they drop the ball with this release. I bought it, I sold it. Didn't even keep it as a place-holder!

    I picked up the German version too :-(…..sure hoping for a set with Revenge in 3-D soon!!

  18. warnerbro

    Are you serious about OLD DARK HOUSE? It is my all-time favorite! Where can I see info on this? Thank you! I was so disappointed in the Kino DVD release.

    14th paragraph down in this Variety post:

    http://variety.com/2016/film/global…ques-rivette-movies-north-america-1201887790/

    There is no official announcement that this would be released on Blu-ray, but why wouldn't it?

  19. No 3D work has been reported to be in process on Revenge of the Creature and we know Bob has requested to do it for Universal. So if the Creature films are released in a box set I don't think it will coming soon unless it does not include a 3D version of Revenge. But I expect the Invisible man and possibly another Universal Horror collection to come close to Halloween.

  20. Randy Korstick

    No 3D work has been reported to be in process on Revenge of the Creature and we know Bob has requested to do it for Universal. So if the Creature films are released in a box set I don't think it will coming soon unless it does not include a 3D version of Revenge. But I expect the Invisible man and possibly another Universal Horror collection to come close to Halloween.

    I have the Creature in 3D and the other two on DVD. Without a 3D Revenge, I see no need to buy another Creature boxset.

  21. Johnny Angell

    I have the Creature in 3D and the other two on DVD. Without a 3D Revenge, I see no need to buy another Creature boxset.

    Agreed but since it will take awhile to complete I definitely don't see a creature box set released this year unless it was non-3D. That was the only point I was making. I think Universal realizes that a lot of people want a 3D release so I think they will wait until next year for this one.

  22. Well, I'd be fine with an Invisible Man Legacy set and a collection of non-Monster Universal horror classics (The Black Cat, Murders in the Rue Morgue, etc.) this fall, then maybe Creature and a second horror classics set next year.

  23. I watched Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy tonight and was so pleased with the widescreen HD presentation. Despite a few soft shots (I'm sure part of the original photography, not the fault of the transfer), the video quality is excellent and certainly clean as a whistle. Sound is mighty fine. And I'm sorry, but some of it is very funny to me. I did see it as a tiny little boy at the movies, and the Mummy kind of scared me (like it did Lou) then. Maybe it's one of those movies from my childhood that I can't escape initial impressions about.

    A fun way to complete a very nicely produced box set of films.

  24. B-ROLL

    FYI Costco has both of these sets (as well as the newer GCI set) for $24.99 each (with the Fandango Cash for $8.00)

    I joined Costco a week ago, but I don't see any Blu-rays in the store nor online.
    Where do you find them?

  25. aPhil

    I joined Costco a week ago, but I don't see any Blu-rays in the store nor online.
    Where do you find them?

    On the other side from where the dead tree thingies (I believe some call them "books" ) are 😉 … Some stores may not be carrying them … The "Business" Costcos https://www.costcobusinessdelivery.com/ never did -though they sometimes have good deal on refurbished electronics …

    This http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201706?pg=96#pg96 page from the Costco Connections show some new releases (with item numbers) that SHOULD be in stores …

  26. I know it's asking a lot, but hopefully when the final 2 legacy sets hopefully make it, then Uni will follow their DVD catalog (the Karloff set, Lugosi set, Inner Sanctum, and the 2 horror mixed sets)

  27. I got my Dracula and Mummy sets in Blu Ray last week and had a problem with Disc One of the Mummy. In the first few minutes the disc jammed then tried to splutter on then jammed again. It took a lot of fiddling about before I could get the door open to remove the disc, I immediately contacted the World Biggest Warehouse for a replacement but after four days got no answer and then wrote several hours ago about this and still no reply. Unusual as they usually answer and correct within a couple of hours or less. Everything else seems to run thru OK. I have had this problem before on discs but not very often.

  28. moviepas

    I got my Dracula and Mummy sets in Blu Ray last week and had a problem with Disc One of the Mummy. In the first few minutes the disc jammed then tried to splutter on then jammed again. It took a lot of fiddling about before I could get the door open to remove the disc, I immediately contacted the World Biggest Warehouse for a replacement but after four days got no answer and then wrote several hours ago about this and still no reply. Unusual as they usually answer and correct within a couple of hours or less. Everything else seems to run thru OK. I have had this problem before on discs but not very often.

    Assuming you're talking about Amazon, don't call them. Just go to your order and select the button for getting a replacement.

  29. BobO’Link

    I now have one minor negative about the Dracula set. The Spanish version of Dracula doesn't appear to have been restored at all. I've not yet pulled out my DVD Legacy Collection version but I'd say the print is the same. While it overall looks very good, there's significant damage on several scenes. Vertical scratches, dirt, etc. show up in some scenes in Dracula's castle, scenes on the boat taking them to England, and in the Opera house. There are others but those really stuck out. I'm not too upset as this is my least favorite of the Dracula films and only receives very limited viewings but it still would have been nice to have it look as good as the other films.

    I watched it over the weekend on my old Monsters blu-ray set. I noticed those issues, as well. I assume they didn't have a pristine copy to use, but they did the best they could.

    The disc in the new set should be identical (I have it, but haven't opened it yet). I don't think they did anything additional on the new set for that disc.

  30. Richard Kaufman

    The mummy movies are like old friends. I rewatch all of them in a binge on subsequent nights from time to time. Crazy nonsense, but wonderful nonetheless.

    I totally get the "old friends."

  31. BobO’Link

    I now have one minor negative about the Dracula set. The Spanish version of Dracula doesn't appear to have been restored at all. I've not yet pulled out my DVD Legacy Collection version but I'd say the print is the same. While it overall looks very good, there's significant damage on several scenes. Vertical scratches, dirt, etc. show up in some scenes in Dracula's castle, scenes on the boat taking them to England, and in the Opera house. There are others but those really stuck out. I'm not too upset as this is my least favorite of the Dracula films and only receives very limited viewings but it still would have been nice to have it look as good as the other films.

    The problem with the scenes that you mention was discussed many years ago. At least a full reel of the Spanish Language version was missing from Universal's vaults, and that missing portion was only known to exist on a print from Cuba. That portion was borrowed and copied to the best of Universal's ability.

    Other than the footage that had to be replaced with the print from Cuba, the rest of the Spanish Language version looks great
    (with most of it looking slightly superior to the elements available to restore the Lugosi version).

  32. aPhil

    The problem with the scenes that you mention was discussed many years ago. At least a full reel of the Spanish Language version was missing from Universal's vaults, and that missing portion was only known to exist on a print from Cuba. That portion was borrowed and copied to the best of Universal's ability.

    Other than the footage that had to be replaced with the print from Cuba, the rest of the Spanish Language version looks great
    (with most of it looking slightly superior to the elements available to restore the Lugosi version).

    Short of Universal or anyone else discovering a superior 35mm print of Reel 3, I believe there's little more that can be really done to improve the Spanish Language edition of DRACULA (1931) viewing experience! My only minor quibble is that superimposed Copyright 1992 Universal credit on the opening title appears to be destined to remain forevermore; although I suppose if that was the only way Universal could prevent a kajillion PD knockoff versions from being issued to Home Video, not to mention YouTube in this day and age, it beats having it remain unreleased!

    CHEERS! 🙂

  33. BobO’Link

    That's very interesting. I've not followed discussions on the various releases of these films and didn't know a full reel was missing. That certainly explains the sudden appearance of the print damage and its just as sudden disappearance. But, in watching some of the restoration featurettes, I'd think they could have done more to repair that segment. As you say, the rest of the film looks superb with only occasional, minor, issues. That makes me wonder if the film's inclusion as an "Extra" is their way of saying they don't think that reel is worth full restoration efforts for a film that, to non hard core classic horror fans and historians, is mostly a curiosity.

    It might be that Universal has the hope that someday a superior source will surface for the missing reel. I'm not a fan of the Carlos Villarias version, and I think that it being unavailable in the USA for so long gave rise to the myth that it was somehow superior to the English Language version. With that said, outside of the damaged reel, the rest of the movie (image quality-wise) looks really really good.

  34. One of the first screenings of the rediscovered Spanish Dracula was in Dallas with Lupita Tovar Kohner introducing the 35mm print of the film. I was in the audience. At the time of the screening, the third (?) reel was still missing. The print, however, was outstanding, as if untouched by time. Ms. Tovar was charming and lovely. The film surprised us by being less stodgier and far sexier than the English version. The missing reel was found later, in Cuba, sourced from a 16mm print. It will never look better than it does now.

  35. BobO’Link

    You're in for a fun ride. 🙂

    While the sequels are not great cinema they are very fun when viewed in the right frame-of-mind. Put yourself in the head of a 8-14 year old in the 40s/50s and you'll be thrilled.

    What he said, also remember that they were made to fill out a double-feature program. So use them accordingly 🙂

    Make up your own "A Night at the Movies" program: some trailers, a Pete Smith short, a serial chapter, a Mummy sequel, newsreel, trailer, an "A" feature, and the National Anthem. 🙂

  36. Peter Apruzzese

    What he said, also remember that they were made to fill out a double-feature program. So use them accordingly 🙂

    Make up your own "A Night at the Movies" program: some trailers, a Pete Smith short, a serial chapter, a Mummy sequel, newsreel, trailer, an "A" feature, and the National Anthem. 🙂

    I may do something like that! I enjoy having a stack of shorter films around like this to go through over a couple weeks, they're great as either the "B" end of a double features, or for nights where I don't really have enough time to watch a movie but don't want to go to bed yet either. (A little earlier this year, I watched all of John Wayne's "Three Mesquiteers" b-movie westerns from 1938-1939 and had a lot of fun with that.)

    Every year, I try to wait until October to do horror or monster movies with the idea being it's a Halloween tie-in, but for the past few years, October has been my busiest months in terms of either work or going on vacation or getting married etc., so I just never seem to be free in October. So I thought I'd jump on this now instead of waiting for this October (when, coincidentally, I will be busy for most of the month again.)

  37. Josh Steinberg

    I just ordered The Mummy set – with the exception of the first film, the rest are blind buys. Amazon had the Frankenstein set from last year for $21 so I grabbed that too.

    I just got the MUMMY set. While the films are certainly not great art (though I have a soft spot for THE MUMMY'S HAND) the quality of the HD masters are truly amazing. The photography gleams, especially in the first two sequels, which were photographed respectively by chiaroscuro masters Woody Bredell (PHANTOM LADY, THE KILLERS) & George Robinson (SON OF FRANKENSTEIN).

  38. Josh Steinberg

    I just ordered The Mummy set – with the exception of the first film, the rest are blind buys. Amazon had the Frankenstein set from last year for $21 so I grabbed that too.

    Amazon is now selling The Mummy and Dracula Legacy sets for $20.99 each. I was trying to wait for $19.99 each, but what the hell. I grabbed both and used some Reward points to bring my total to $16.95 each including state taxes.

  39. The Mummy set would be worth $21 as you're getting 5 new-to-BD titles, but I can't justify the Dracula set at that price with only 2 new titles (on a single disc) and the rest needless duplication. If they are not going to release separates, then I'll wait until I can get it for $15 or less.

  40. Mark-P

    The Mummy set would be worth $21 as you're getting 5 new-to-BD titles, but I can't justify the Dracula set at that price with only 2 new titles (on a single disc) and the rest needless duplication. If they are not going to release separates, then I'll wait until I can get it for $15 or less.

    Dracula's Daughter alone is worth twenty bucks.

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