Sabrina (1954) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Linus and David Larrabee are the two sons of a very wealthy family. Linus is all work -- busily running the family corporate empire with no time for a wife and family. David is all play -- technically employed in the family business but never showing up for work, spending all his time entertaining, and having been married and divorced three times. Sabrina Fairchild is the young, shy, and awkward daughter of the household chauffeur, who has been infatuated with David all her life, but whom David hardly notices till she goes away to Paris for two years and returns an elegant, sophisticated, beautiful woman. Suddenly, she finds she's captured David's attention, but just as she does so, she finds herself also falling in love with Linus, and she finds that Linus is also falling in love with her.

  • The well-to-do Larrabee sons are as different as night and day. Older brother Linus is all business, running the family corporate empire while younger brother David, a playboy, chases after whatever pretty face next comes his way - all except Sabrina Fairchild's, the chauffeur's daughter. She's been infatuated with David for years without reciprocation. That changes after she's been away to Paris for two years. Returning as an elegant, sophisticated beauty, she finally catches David's eye, but the timing stinks. The Larrabee family is sealing a business deal by marrying David off to a sugar baron's beautiful daughter. To save the deal, Linus steps in with calculating intent on wooing Sabrina away from David then sending her back to Paris, alone but highly recompensed. But in matters of the heart, sophisticated Linus finds himself more caught up with Sabrina than he even remotely anticipated.

  • Sabrina Fairchild grew up in an apartment over a garage on the sprawling Long Island estate owned by the Larrabees, for who her widowed father works as the family chauffeur. Fairchild and the other estate servants are aware that Sabrina has always been in love from afar with the Larrabees' younger son, several times married but currently single playboy David Larrabee, who has never noticed her except as the gangly kid on the estate. The Larrabees' older son, Linus Larrabee, has always been the responsible hard working one of the two siblings, he focused so much on making money now running the Larrabee conglomerate of businesses to have a personal life. As such, neither he or Sabrina ever really noticed each other beyond their roles on the estate, not really knowing anything about the other. David also works for the company, in name and on paper only, as he goes about his fun loving activities as his day to day life. Linus, however, is not averse to using David's personal life for business benefit, such as publicly announcing David's imminent marriage to Elizabeth Tyson, the daughter of a prospective business partner, an engagement about which David knows nothing. David likes Elizabeth as a casual girlfriend, but he has no intention of getting remarried. This move coincides with Sabrina's return after a two year absence away at culinary school in Paris, something she initially did not want to do in not wanting to be away from David, because and despite her unrequited love for him, which was also one of the reasons Fairchild sent her away. Sabrina's time away has let her grow into her own skin, she now believing that she truly can shoot for the moon, whether that moon be David or anything else. David falls in his brand of love with this new sophisticated version of Sabrina, who he didn't even recognize upon first sighting. Linus, in turn, subversively takes whatever direct action to ensure David marries Elizabeth regardless of his new infatuation with Sabrina. Through these proceedings, Sabrina may truly come to realize what her moon is and if it is achievable, that road which may have some possible heartache along the way.

  • The Larrabees are a wealthy family, living in a palatial estate on Long Island. Oldest brother Linus is the formal, dour businessman, running the family company. David is a playboy. Among the staff living on the estate is the family chauffeur, Thomas Fairchild, and his shy, awkward, plain daughter, Sabrina. Sabrina has had a crush on David for most of her life but he has hardly noticed her. Sabrina goes to study in Paris and comes back, two years later, a changed woman. She's sophisticated and beautiful and soon catches David's eye. However, David is engaged to Elizabeth Tyson, the daughter of a business mogul whose company Linus wants to merge with that of the Larrabees. If Sabrina wrecks the David-Elizabeth relationship it would likely spell the end of the business merger. Linus sets out to prevent Sabrina from getting in the way but in the process falls for her himself.

  • Chauffeur's daughter Sabrina returns home from two years in Paris a beautiful young woman, and immediately catches the attention of David, the playboy son of her father's rich employers. David woos and wins Sabrina, who has always been in love with him, however their romance is threatened by David's serious older brother, Linus, who runs the family business and is relying on David to marry an heiress in order for a crucial merger to take place.

  • A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur, but it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The daughter of a chauffeur (Sabrina, played by Hepburn) has been madly in love with the youngest playboy son (David, played by Holden) of a Long Island society family. Although he was never serious about the young woman, she dreams he will one day fall madly in love with her. She moves to Paris to become a chef, and returns to Long Island a changed woman on the outside. Inside, Sabrina is still madly in love with David. When David invites her to a ball at the mansion, she is delirious with delight. This affair, however, jeopardizes not only David's impending marriage, but a business deal brokered by his older, responsible brother, Linus (played by Bogart). Linus arranges an unfortunate "accident" that lays David up for several days. Linus then proceeds to woo Sabrina - even convincing David he's doing this for him. Linus pretends that Sabrina has made him curious about what it would be like to leave his corporate world behind and live in Paris. Sabrina believes she's seeing a "secret side" of Linus Larabee, and starts falling in love with this new Linus. Linus entices Sabrina to run away with him and move back to Paris - even though he has no intentions of leaving with her. At the last minute, Linus realizes he cannot hurt her like this and arranges to send David (who has recovered from the accident) in his place. David realizes Sabrina no longer loves him, and (surprisingly) his older brother is in-love with Sabrina. So David arranges to have true love find its course, and the two lovers sail to Paris.

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