The Louis Jourdan Website - No Minor Vices
Director: Lewis Milestone
Writer: Arnold Manoff (story & screenplay)
Other cast members: Dana Andrews, Lilli Palmer, Jane Wyatt, Beau Bridges
Released by MGM for Enterprise Productions November 1948
Louis Jourdan plays an unconventional artist who befriends a pediatrician and his wife, only to disrupt both practice and and home life.
Considering that it was created primarily to cover the losses of another picture (“Arch of Triumph” which bancrupted Enterprise Productions), NO MINOR VICES was rather daring in its offering of romantic lead Dana Andrews playing straight man to an ebulliant Louis Jourdan in a romantic farce whose originality was apparently ahead of its time.
The opening set of the neurotic but whimsical artist's apartment engenders high expectations, and in the middle of this surreal environment, we discover Louis Jourdan's eccentric character determined to confuse the placid and self assured pediatrician played by Dana Andrews. The quirky banter continues throughout the film along this line between the two, and eventually envelopes the doctor's wife (Lilli Palmer) as well in the never-ending swirl.
Predictably enough, it turns into a triangle, but what was a neat idea and start, then trundles along without surprises, as the trio offer one another a series of lessons for living.
The big surprise is the casting of Louis Jourdan in a comedy part, and to watch him carry it off quite admirably, if puzzlingly alternating accents from his own to American to slightly British though no one would question the character with a Continental name speaking in his natural way.
As if he'd been playing such unconventional parts for a decade, Louis Jourdan amply demonstrated his talent for comedy, but this was an independent picture for which (like “Letter From an Unknown Woman”) he was on loan from David O. Selznick who would nonetheless go back to lending him out as a love object in the next picture.
Praisingly described as “cubist humor” by the New York Times, the movie has a sense of modern-day situation comedy, and the thought of the trio each week facing some new challenge seems a pleasing idea. A little more story to go with the charm of the acting (or some tighter editing), and NO MINOR VICES might have been a picture whose exposition of the human condition people are still talking about.
This picture is definitely one for Louis Jourdan fans to check out. Watch the entire film online
The artist claims a million neuroses
At the clinic he meets a precocious patient
A comical suicide threat
Bringing the couple together