The Purple Mask (1955)

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The Purple Mask (1955) Poster

In 1803 France, Napoleon Bonaparte (Robert Cornthwaite) orders the capture of notorious highwayman "Purple Mask" (Tony Curtis), who routinely rescues imprisoned nobles and harasses the Revolutionary officials.


6.3/10
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25 April 2018 | bkoganbing
4
| Tony Curtis looked good in period costumes.
Try as he might Tony Curtis in his long career never really lost that Bronx speech pattern. It was the reason he got the horselaugh when he did these swashbucklers. He was so much better in modern dress and when The Purple Mask came out it was 2 years from his breakthrough part in Sweet Smell Of Success.

In this film Curtis plays a Zorro like character who dons a purple mask and goes around freeing members of the old nobility. The Reign Of Terror maybe over, but the first Consul Napoleon Bonaparte still has a use for the guillotine to chop off a noble head or three.

Which is where the Purple Mask comes in. By day Curtis is a dancing master as his Clark Kent/Don Diego self. But come the night he's Counterrevolution superhero The Purple Mask and one nasty customer with a sword.

Curtis liked it enough all right. I think The Purple Mask was nothing to write home about.

In his memoirs Curtis rather unfairly attacked Angela Lansbury who was at a low point in her career and was desperate for roles and appeared in this in a rather nothing part as a maid. She clearly said she did The Purple Mask for a paycheck. Curtis took the statement rather personally and was most unfair to Lansbury in his memoir.

Other familiar faces in The Purple Mask are Colleen Miller, Gene Barry, Dan O'Herlihy and John Hoyt. I'm sure The Purple Mask was no high point in their careers.

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