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Saturday May 18th 2024

The Mummy | 1999

The Mummy location: Mentmore Towers, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire
The Mummy location: the interior of the ‘Museum of Antiquities in Cairo’: Mentmore Towers, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire | Photograph: wikimedia / Swanker

The splurgy horror comedy revamp of the classic legend is a little too knee-deep in CGI effects, but went on to be enormously successful, spawning sequels and spin-offs.

It’s set, naturally, in ‘Egypt’, but was filmed mainly in Morocco. ‘Cairo’ of 1925 is Marrakech, and the lost city of ‘Hamunaptra’ was a vast set built at an old fort inside a dormant volcano crater about 12 miles southwest of Erfoud, in the southeast of the country. The same place became the villain's desert hideout in Bond movie Spectre.

The locations are not all quite so exotic, though.

While the exterior of the ‘Museum of Antiquities in Cairo’ is in Marrakech, its interior is that of Mentmore Towers in the village of Mentmore, Buckinghamshire. Built in the 1850s for the Rothschild family, the house is seen also in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, its exterior in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and most famously as ‘Wayne Manor’ in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. It’s been empty for many years as various plans to turn it into a hotel have come to nothing, and not open to the public.

The port of ‘Giza’, where the party boards the Nile ship, is another large set, this time built at Chatham Historic Dockyard, Chatham, about 35 miles southeast of London, in Kent. More recently, the Dockyard provided the ‘French’ streets for Les Misérables, ‘Pentonville Prison’ for Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and the laundry for Suffragette.

After the ship goes down in flames, they come ashore at Frensham Ponds, another much-used location, on the A287 about five miles south of Farnham in Surrey.