Tony Curtis was by 1955 an accomplished enough actor to get through the costumed derring-do of The Purple Mask minus the awkwardness he’d displayed in his earlier swashbucklers. Curtis is cast as Rene, a foppish 18th century French nobleman who doubles as the Purple Mask, a Royalist supporter who kidnaps officers of the Republic and ransoms them back to Napoleon (Stefan Bekassy) for a hefty fee. Managing to elude Napoleon’s minions through most of the picture, Rene gives himself up only when the love of his life, the beautiful Laurette (Colleen Miller), is placed in danger. Even when facing the guillotine, however, Rene has a few tricks up his lacey, perfumed sleeve. The Purple Mask was based on La Chevalier au Masque, a play by Paul Armont and Jean Manouissi. …The Purple Mask

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