All's Not Well in Ashwell
Doctor Perry Ashwell (Dana Andrews - Night Song) has just finished a visit to a patient when he comes across artist Octavio Quaglini (Louis Jourdan - Letter from an Unknown Woman) banging away at a piano. After Perry does a quick analysis of Octavio as being a self critical artist he invites him back to his clinic. It is there that Octavio not only causes a bit of chaos but meets Perry's attractive wife, April (Lilli Palmer - Cloak And Dagger), and as someone who defies convention can't stop himself from turning on the charm and insisting on her becoming his model.
"No Minor Vices" is one of those movies which doesn't entertain for what it is about but entertains because of who is in it and what they bring to the movie. As such this story of European artist Octavio entering the lives of Perry and April Ashwell and causing chaos ends up kind of hit and miss. Oh there are some entertaining scenes such as when Octavio's misbehaviour gets a young child in trouble leading to a tanned backside or when he comes across April cooking lobsters and says that the one which isn't cooked must be chosen democratically. But for the most "No Minor Vices" doesn't flow and often comes across like a series of set pieces.
But as I said it is the actors who make "No Minor Vices" with a nice diversity between them and their characters. As such Louis Jourdan makes the movie as artist Octavio who with out a care in the world lives with gay abandon and enjoys playfully charming April Ashwell. The contrast between him and Dana Andrew's performance as the know it all doctor who likes things his way works well with plenty of conflict and frustration. This is definitely the case with Lilli Palmer in the middle as the model wife who finds herself enjoying having to deal with the attention and playfulness of Octavio wanting her to be his model.
What this all boils down to is that "No Minor Vices" isn't a great movie, it is barely a good one but it does feature some entertaining performances especially from Louis Jourdan whose playful charm is what makes the movie.