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NOVA: The Mummy Who Would Be King
NOVA The Mummy Who Would Be King
Actor: Stacy Keach
Director: Gail Willumsen
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     0hr 56min

It is a tantalizing idea: a shriveled mummy that has lain neglected on a dusty museum shelf at Niagara Falls could be the remnants of a long-lost Egyptian pharaoh. While a trail of clues hints at how the looted mummy made...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Stacy Keach
Director: Gail Willumsen
Creators: Bill Mills, Gail Willumsen, Leonard Feinstein, Jill Shinefield
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, History, Science & Technology, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/02/2006
Original Release Date: 01/03/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/03/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 0hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Mummies and Detective Work
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 01/31/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"If you love "The New Detectives," "Forensic Files," and all those other shows where they use biological, technological, and molecular evidence to solve crimes, then you will love this. From crossed arms, to the placement of genitalia, to a diary, Egyptologists determine that a mummy that wound up near Niagara Falls was a pharaoh.

It's easy to assume that all ancient artifacts move from excavation site to well-maintained museum. This documentary, however, shows that certain artifacts have fascinating modern stories to tell. The work says old museums were freak shows. Earlier audiences wanted to see two-headed calves more than Egyptian mummies. I am actually surprised that the mummy survived its first decades in North America after so much mishandling. This work implies that a pharaoh's mummy is important, but an Egyptian nobleman's mummy is useless. I'd think any 3000 year-old relic would be important.

My alma mater (Brown University) is the only American school with an Egyptology undergraduate major. One of the requirements for the degree is to study some German. This documentary helps explain why. The bust of Nefertiti rests in Berlin and many Germans are excited Egyptologists. Here's this symbol that I associate with African-American feminists being embraced by the Claudia Schiffers and Helmut Kohls of the world.

There is one scene where actors pretend to be Egyptian undertakers. However, I wouldn't say this documentary had a ton of cheesy reenactments. Well, of the old kind. When the documentary says, "Person A contacted Person B," they film the real Person A pretending to contact the real Person B: a bit cheesy, but easy on the eyes.

The work shows that Egyptologists are diverse in terms of gender, race, nationality, and linguistic background. Still, the ending is an essentialist letdown in that when an Egyptian official says, "I can smell a pharaoh!" and that concludes the controversy."