Sabrina (1954) Poster

(1954)

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A Fine Cast & A Well-Crafted, Worthwhile Story
Snow Leopard13 October 2004
A lot of things work together to make this an entertaining and satisfying picture. With Billy Wilder's story-telling skill, Audrey Hepburn's unsurpassed charm, plenty of talent in the rest of the cast, and a worthwhile story, there is a lot of credit to go around.

The story is based the kind of interesting but slight premise that Wilder handles masterfully, and as a result the story is filled with both funny moments and thoughtful moments, all of which work well. There is a variety of well-chosen settings, always interesting but never pretentious.

Bogart and Holden both play their roles flawlessly. The two of them make an interesting combination with Hepburn, and it works even better than you could hope. John Williams also plays the proper English chauffeur as few others could have. There are also a number of good moments for the others in the supporting cast.

With all the other strengths, it may still be Hepburn's picture most of all.

In "Sabrina", she has a role that allows her quite a variety of scenes as her character grows and changes. It plays to all of her strengths, and makes Hepburn herself the most appealing aspect of an enjoyable and well-crafted picture.
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8/10
Audrey Hepburn is simply charming
beejer23 February 2000
Sabrina is a movie that was made for Audrey Hepburn. She is simply charming as the title character. The story is Cinderella like in that Sabrina, a chauffeur's daughter with a crush on the playboy son of her father's employer, goes to Paris and returns as a mature sophisticated lady who charms everyone she meets.

The picture is enhanced by the direction of Billy Wilder and the casting of Humphrey Bogart and William Holden (Why did they make him blond?)as the Larabee brothers who vie for Miss Hepburn's affections.

But the film is clearly Miss Hepburn's and one can see why she was one of the most beloved actresses of her time. Watch Sabrina and you too will fall in love with her. A marvelous film.
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8/10
Audrey in Long Island dressed by Givenchy
jotix1007 July 2005
Billy Wilder, a genius when it came to adapting films from another medium, teamed up with Samuel Taylor, who wrote the play, "Sabrina's Fair", and Ernest Lehman, to create a a delightful comedy that will remain an old favorite because of the great charm the creative men imbued this movie with.

Some comments on this forum remark about the disparity of age between Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn. They all seem to forget that Ms. Hepburn played opposite with men much older than her, namely, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Fred Astaire, Gregory Peck, just to name a few. The actress was always effective and showed she had an enormous charisma no matter who was her leading man.

"Sabrina" looks as good today, as when it was first released thanks to the timeless black and white photography of Charles Lang. The big asset of the film was the unusual pairing between Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn. Both actors were wonderful together, as we witness in the film. William Holden, as the younger Larrabee, is excellent as well.

The film is a delightful comedy that, in comparison to Sidney Pollack's misguided and undistinguished attempt to bring it to the screen can't even compare with the witty and elegant film Mr. Wilder gave us.
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8/10
One of the best romantic comedies
perfectbond19 September 2003
The romantic comedy genre isn't one I usually gravitate towards but since it did star two of my all time favorite actors, Bogart and Holden, it was required viewing for me. I enjoyed the movie immensely despite some issues I had with the plausibility of Sabrina's transformation. The film is moving, thanks mostly to Linus's restrained courting and Sabrina's relationship with her father, and there are wonderful comic moments, thanks to Holden's perfectly timed wise quips and lighthearted nature which clash with the senior Larabee's pragmatism. Hepburn is as charming here as she is in Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany's. The ending makes perfect sense given David's commitment problems and the fact that in my opinion Elizabeth seems more alluring than Sabrina, though our heroine is perfect for Linus. Terrific film, 9/10.
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8/10
"It's all in the wrist!"
moonspinner5526 May 2002
Audrey Hepburn as a mousy chauffeur's daughter? Yes, and she's beguiling trying to gas herself in the garage (before quickly cracking a window) because gorgeous, rich playboy William Holden doesn't notice her. But it's nothing that a little time away in Paris won't cure... Hepburn is absolutely radiant in this picture: dark brows over big Bambi eyes, sensual, flirtatious lips, and that long, long neck. She embodies the spirit of the Cinderella heroine, and director Billy Wilder milks her gamine appeal for all the millions it is worth. Holden is blithe and lively, and Humphrey Bogart manages to make his stuffy unease rather charming. Clever, biting, romantic, sweet, this version of "Sabrina" has it all. ***1/2 from ****
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Deeeeeeelightful!
Bucs196022 October 2002
The master of many genres, Billy Wilder, does his magic here with this delightful comedy. Although maybe not one of his best, it still holds up after over 50 years.

There has been a lot said about the casting of Bogart as Linus, the stuffy businessman and I disagree with most of it. I think that Bogart is perfect for the part of the seemingly humourless, financial wizard older brother. Granted, he is not the prettiest actor....never was.....he's a generation older than Audrey Hepburn.....and reportedly hated the movie and his co-stars. All that aside, he rose to the occasion and his playing of the role is subtle. Seeing him come to the realization that he is falling in love with Sabrina is so well done that it sneaks up on you.

Audrey Hepburn is just magical, as she always was.....there is nothing more to say about her....words fail me.

William Holden is surprisingly good in a comic role but why the blonde hair?

He's breezy, unreliable and thoroughly likable and it becomes obvious that Sabrina is much too good for him. However incongruous it may seem, she belongs with Bogart.

The support in this film is top notch.....John Williams....what a great British character; Walter Hampden is a scream as the drinking, cigar smoking father who just wants an olive for his martini. Look for Nancy Kulp as one of the service staff before her days as Jane Hathaway on Beverly Hillbillys.

This is a wonderful film........watch it, you won't regret it!
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5/10
Bewitched, bothered...
Howlin Wolf9 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, as I can't see it stated anywhere else; I just have to write it down and see if anybody at all agrees with me. It's very unwise for a Hollywood production to have the stars they've cast shoulder all of the burden of trying to make the script seem convincing.

I don't think the screenplay did a very good job at all of explaining just why these two men were so attracted to Sabrina (save for the fact that she happens to be played by one Audrey Hepburn... ) The character of the chauffeur's daughter behaves in the manner of an entitled brat - just because she can't have the man she wants, she writes a bitter little suicide note until she's shuffled off to Paris.

Upon her return, only her appearance has changed; her character still remains somewhat aloof, but she's discovered how to utilise her looks to twist men around her little finger. This has the effect of making the two vying suitors we're shown seem shallow. This is a perception that is only confirmed when one of them attempts to woo her using the same seduction techniques he's already tried out on dozens of other girls (yet Sabrina seems amused by this, rather than dissuaded!) Meanwhile, the older brother takes advantage by trying to kiss her under the pretence that he's acting in his missing sibling's stead (as if that type of advance would really go over smoothly... ?!)

Throughout the entirety of the film it felt like we were meant to harbour affection for these characters just by virtue of who was playing them; Sabrina/Audrey because of her elfin beauty and gauche naiveté, Linus/Bogart because the payoff is a reversal of what happens in Casablanca and he gets to be with the girl for once. I didn't buy their motivations as anything recognisably human, and therefore didn't derive much satisfaction from the resolution of the story...

I think that established persona's and star wattage should only be relied upon to achieve so much. The underlying construction of what they were given to work with just didn't seem solid enough to me. The one benefit to casting icons is that there are very few 'boring' scenes, there are just quite a few scenes that don't appear to make much narrative sense.
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Wonderfully told love story
Petey-1027 August 2004
Audrey Hepburn plays Sabrina Fairchild, who goes to Paris as a girl and returns as a woman.Before she left Sabrina was interested in David Larrabee (William Holden) but he didn't show any interest on her.But things have changed as she comes back from Paris.She's not the same teen girl anymore.She's an attractive woman.And David notices that too.And so does David's brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart). Sabrina (1954) was directed by one of the greatest directors of all time, Billy Wilder.The acting work is unique.Audrey Hepburn, who is one of the most beautiful women of all time, does her job very well.Not only was she beautiful, she was also extremely talented.You could always trust on William Holden and Humphrey Bogart.They were both brilliant.This is a very well written movie.The comedy and the romance both work just great in this movie.Sabrina was made fifty years ago but that doesn't mean it wouldn't work today.Great romantic tales will always work.
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10/10
Audrey Hepburn-what a sweetheart!
CPRychlik18 January 2004
All I can say is Audrey Hepburn was the most attractive actress that I've ever seen, and she certainly proves this in this movie.Even in the beginning of Sabrina,Hepburn's voice-over instantly draws your attention to this attractive,well mannered actress.Then when you see Audrey for the first time,it is love at first sight-what a beautiful lady she was!Billy Wilder gets a thumbs up for selecting Hepburn as Sabrina-you could say that Hepburn was Sabrina.She had that unusual charm and magical beauty that very few actresses have(even today).If you get this movie,you'll fall in love with Audrey-just like I have.If you compare this movie to the 1995 remake,this movie wins hands down.Sadly,they don't make movies like this anymore.Am I an Audrey Hepburn fan?Of course I am! I always have been and I always will be.
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9/10
Wilder and Hepburn make a classic!!!
alfiefamily30 November 2004
This is the reason why you watch movies. This is why people feel so strongly about them, make them part of their lives, and love to talk about them. It reminds us of what is good about the movies and makes us long for a time when you can have this kind of talent, both in front of and behind the camera, make wonderful,touching, hilarious films.

"Sabrina" may not be the best film that Wilder, Bogart, Holden, or Hepburn made, but it came along at a time when all four of them were going through the best part of their careers.

Holden was not too far removed from winning the Oscar for "Stalag 17" and was about to enter a "golden" period, starting with "The Country Girl" and continuing on until "Bridge on the River Kwai. Bogart ( a last minute replacement for Cary Grant), had just completed "The Caine Mutiny". Hepburn had just won the Oscar for "Roman Holiday", and Wilder had "Stalag 17" and "Sunset Boulevard" completed, and would have a string of hits that started with "Sabrina" and continue on until "One, Two, Three" in 1961.

All of the stars were properly aligned for "Sabrina". Although I think Grant might have been better in the part, Bogart worked hard to be semi-tough and likable. I'll be honest and say I found it disturbing to see him try to win over Hepburn. His features were too worn and hard to be completely winning. He and Holden worked well together, which is amazing when you consider they couldn't stand each other off screen.

Hepburn, of course, is gorgeous. She's the perfect combination of charming, elegant, tom-boyishness, and beauty.

Wilder does it again with his screenplay and directing. First he assembles an excellent supporting cast, especially Walter Hampden and John Williams. Then he keeps the comedy coming and seldom lets up for us to catch our breath. His use of the camera is terrific too. I love the shot of Bogart at his desk in the distance, while the camera shoots through several doorways.

Top notch production, first rate cast and wonderful screenplay and directing add up to a classic every movie lover should own.

9 out of 10
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10/10
With its humorous script and its stars' immense charm, Sabrina remains a resonant romantic gem
robfollower4 March 2019
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.

Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden . Ignore the critics who say this is one of Billy Wilder's minor works. It is a major movie, a masterpiece of romantic comedy, and it still looks as fresh as a daisy. A charming reworking of the classic Cinderella story. Sabrina featurs a terrific cast, headed by William Holden, Humphrey Bogart (in a comedy role!), and best of all Audrey Hepburn. With its humorous script and its stars' immense charm, Sabrina remains a resonant romantic gem. 10/10

Hubert de Givenchy, designer of Audrey Hepburn's most iconic looks.

Givenchy first met Hepburn in 1953, a year after he founded the celebrated Givenchy couture house, the brand confirmed. They formed a close bond, and he went on to design several of her most memorable movie outfits .

Givenchy designed the strapless, floral gown in 1954's "Sabrina."

Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy outfits was to become Hollywood Icon.
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10/10
It's As Simple As Getting Caught In The Rain In Paris
edwinallarren5 May 2012
The scenario is set up whereby a well to do Long Island Family, with all the social register trappings of success and prominence, wind up purporting their New York societal clout through lavish parties! These parties exude a facade of pecuniary omnipotence from the benevolent aristocracy, via the Larabee family. Amidst all the accoutrement of the wealthy Larabee household, are a chauffeur and his daughter who live above the garage of this domicile which houses eight beautiful cars. Now what? The daughter (Audrey Hepburn) develops a precocious crush on one of the Larabees, David (William Holden). All of this is very natural for a susceptible, barely out of adolescence, emotionally distraught female. She is fixated on a young, good looking, devil may care bachelor of a plutocratic offspring. The initial dilemma for Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) is that David does not really even notice her, however, after she spends two years in Paris, she returns, and, David becomes seriously intrigued with the woman, Sabrina, as opposed to the girl, Sabrina, he knew a couple of years back, whom he never paid attention to. Therefore, Sabrina's love interest of idealism with David has resonated to fruition, thus making Sabrina's childhood heart throb,her potentially significant other.. "Isn't it Romantic?" (Just like the song which was ubiquitously playing throughout the film). So, what's the glitch to this entire panacea? Meet the brother.. Linus,(Humphrey Bogart), and now, for Sabrina, it becomes a proverbial instance of choosing between impetuous passion vs debenture bonds. At first, the fiscally responsible brother, who is running the Larabee empire, Linus Larabee, (Humphrey Bogart) escorts Sabrina around, only in a perfunctory capacity as a result of David's hapless absence. Invariably, a relationship manifests itself between Linus and Sabrina, (Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart), however, it does not involve hanky-panky, it merely entails a largess of candid conversation: The gist of these conversations being along the line of " You saved me from being ravaged by carbon monoxide": "All I can think about is the plastics' merger": "I can make a soufflé out of oyster crackers": "What's French for where's my sister's yellow pencil?": "Paris is the city for lovers, that's why I spent only 35 minutes there"; and finally, "If you caught in the rain in Paris, leave your hat and umbrella at home". Sabrina is afflicted by an impressionable infatuation, for David, and for Paris, however, the acutely insightful reality pertaining to the relationship she has with Linus, (Humphrey Bogart) ultimately puts infatuation in its proper perspective. Romance games lose out to the auspicious necessity of cultivating a simple human understanding of one another. Such a characteristic is an indelible element in human behavior which establishes the ultimate foundation for true love! This film, "Sabrina", contains a wealth of talent both on and off the screen. It stars: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, and Wiliam Holden. Writers and directors are listed as follows: Samuel Taylor (Writer of the stage play, "Sabrina") Ernest Lehman (Known for works such as; "North By Northwest", "The Sweet Smell of Success" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") and last ,and most importantly: Billy Wilder (Known for a bevy of classics, including "Sunset Boulevard" and "Double Indemnity"). This film is a fabulously witty romantic comedy! The remake with Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear was testament to the fact that "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery". When it comes to the precarious remora of relationships, many encompassing aspects include; money, intense lovemaking, and dangerously idealistic cavorting.. "Isn't it Romantic?", Yet, when it comes to truly being in love: "Isn't it Utterly Human?". I give this film: Five Stars- An absolutely, emphatically, perfect ten flick!
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10/10
The Wilder Shores Of Love
writers_reign27 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
It seems to be not just stating but over stating the obvious to say yet again that Billy Wilder was a writing-directing genius, that Audrey Hepburn was not only drop-dead gorgeous but also a gifted actress, that Bogie and Bill Holden were consummate professionals who were virtually strangers to bad performances but I'm being constantly reminded that there are people reading these Boards whose parents may not have been born in the era when Sabrina was made and I guess you could argue that those of us a tad longer in the tooth have some kind of moral obligation to discuss artistes whose work is now becoming available on DVD in an effort to help them distinguish the wheat from the chaff. Virtually all the books about Wilder - and possibly Hepburn and Bogie as well - mention the tension on the set between lone wolf Bogie and cosy threesome Wilder, Holden and Hepburn and the amazing thing is that this doesn't show on screen. Wilder makes a big thing out of the fact that the 'Baron' - an outstanding cameo by Marcel Dalio - is making souffles at Hepburns Cooking School in Paris as if to reinforce what he (Wilder) himself is doing from beginning to end in this delightful confection. Everyone was on top of their game and boy, does it show. This is one of those films that no one should even DREAM of remaking because that's like trying to reconstitute as an adult a snowflake that enchanted you as a child. Untouchable, unmissable. As another poster said, this is why we go to the movies, for moments like this. Magic.
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5/10
Oddly Conceived Letdown
Kevin-941 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
As a fan of Billy Wilder, old movies and this trio of stars, I was looking forward to this. But I feel it's a bit of a letdown.

Audrey Hepburn, as usual, is luminous (and she is, as usual, paired off with a suitor far too old for her). But part of the problem is what the story does with her character. She pines away for Holden, and then goes away to cooking school in Paris. Why does she go? Did she want to go? Unknown. While away, she writes her father a letter saying she is over Holden. But then, when she returns, she (in a rather absurd coincidence) runs into him at the train station. The two connect. So she wasn't over him after all? Or was she over him, but then fell back in love when she saw him? What was her plan if she hadn't coincidentally run into him? Who knows? Later, Bogart and Holden sort out which of them gets to "have" her, which is rather sexist and also robs her of her agency. (Surely a charming girl like that must have other options besides a buffoon and an old man.)

Holden hasn't been given much of a character to play. He's all charm and nothing else. The script never rounds him out with grace notes that might have helped us to understand why he lives such a vacuous life. As an actor, Holden has consistently shown an ability to locate the darkness buried inside his characters, but he never seems to tap into that quality here.

(It might have been interesting if Hepburn, during the course of dating Holden finally realized what a shallow loser he is and dumped him. And then maybe Holden, in turn is forced to reexamine his life. But the story never explores that darker, more interesting possibility. Instead, Hepburn is a pawn in the men's games.)

As for Bogart, he was, of course, one of our great stars and did amazing work in dramas and crime stories. But in a light romantic comedy like this, he's very much out of his element, like Holden is. (Bogart took the role after Cary Grant turned it down.) Bogart manages to capture the cold sourness of his character just fine, but he never locates the man's gradual transformation into a guy in love. He never seems interested in Hepburn at all, which is oddly something of an accomplishment, given how beautiful Hepburn is.

The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that Bogart is too old, unattractive and emotionally cold for Hepburn to ever give him the time of day. When these two would-be lovers are reunited at the very end of the film, they hug rather than kiss. It's as if the filmmakers are acknowledging the absurdity of that these two might actually be right for each other. Or perhaps they know that there's something rather gross about the fifty-ish Bogart kissing the twenty-ish Hepburn.
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10/10
A truly delightful movie
headhunter4627 April 2005
Rent it, buy it, borrow it if you must, but please watch this movie. It was so enjoyable that within minutes I completely forgot it was black and white. The characters are portrayed so convincingly I never had the impression they were "acting". It was really a charming movie. Even Linus, as played by Bogart, had some really humorous lines all deadpanned as if he were a bit serious when speaking them. The movie flows seamlessly from one scene to the next and never left me craving better dialogue. Modern day movies just don't seem to have the grace of films like this one. It was a treat to be reminded of how people viewed life in that era. A Cinderella story it is indeed, but it is so much more than that.
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10/10
Superb film
caa82121 November 2006
Although it's more of a feminine word, and not one which I normally use - this movie is one which I would describe (in addition to "superb") as "delightful." Humphrey Bogart made a few more films prior to his death, in his 50's, a little over two years after this movie was released. He was the type of actor (like Nicholson and Redford today), for whom aging did not provide any obstacle, in terms of needing a radical change in his roles -- and we all missed a great deal by his being felled by cancer, without the many additional films he would otherwise have made.

The three leads - Bogart, accompanied by Audrey Holden and William Holden, are perfect in their roles. They are throughly engaging in whichever of the three permutations any two are together, as well as when all three are on-screen at the same time.

The three primary supporting actors - Bogart's and Holden's wealthy parents, and Hepburn's chauffeur father, are very likable and their parts well-played. The remainder of the supporting cast is excellent, as well.

The enjoyment of this film is in no way dependent on any real suspense - the outcome is no surprise, and most of the ongoing events predictable. This is one of those stories where the pure charm of the actors and characters, and a wholly-engaging story stand by themselves for its success.

This is also an outstanding nostalgic piece for the film and life styles of the 1950's, and as a memorial to three of movie history's most remembered and honored "A" list personalities.

(Since I first saw this film, viewing it again also has a special enjoyment for me, During the latter 1980's - early 1990's, my company employed a marketing consultant for several projects. His office was in the building at 30 Broad St., in New York City. This is the same building actually used in this picture, and with a special sign made for the film, was "The Larabee Building," with the family's home offices. I had occasion to visit my colleague, a native New Yorker, there, many times - as well as seeing a lot of the city as you can enjoy with persons like him and his wife, lifelong, well-connected city residents.)
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9/10
The best movie of all time
Laura Brink5 February 2001
Sabrina (Hepburn) is a chauffeur's teenage daughter, who longs to live a life of luxury. David (Holden) is the younger of her employer's two sons, and has been married a number of times. Linus (Bogart), the older one, is interested only in the stock market, having no time for women. Sabrina has loved David her whole life, but he "doesn't even know she exists". Trying to rid herself of him, she decides to leave for Paris, where she attends a cooking school. Sabrina returns later, looking like a glamorous woman of the world, and David falls for her.

I don't want to say any more, but I advise everyone to immediately go rent this movie. I promise you that if you are a fan of any of the cast members, enjoy old movies, or have seen the remake, you will thoroughly enjoy this classic.

Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, and Humphrey Bogart give fabulous performances in "Sabrina" (1954).
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9/10
Classic Cinderella story, Audrey is amazing
ztruk200127 March 2005
Audrey Hepburn, Billy Wilder, Hubert de Givenchy, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, Charles Lang. With names like that attached to a project, do you even need a movie? Fortunately we got one. A great one! Sabrina is a charming and moonlit romantic comedy from two masters of the genre. Billy Wilder and Audrey Hepburn. It's essentially a retelling of the classic Cinderella story. The girl who is poor but falls in love with a prince and is made over beautifully to get his attention. There's no wicked step-sisters in Sabrina and no-magical faerie God-mother, but who cares. Hepburn is Sabrina the daughter of a chauffeur to a rich family named the Larrabee's. The Larrabee patriarch has two sons played by Bogart and Holden. Bogart is the older and more business savvy brother. He is realistic and practical and regards the family's name and fortune with the utmost care and regard. This is contrary to Holden who is more of a careless playboy seeking fun and women in life. He's been married three times, always falling in love or at least confusing lust with love. Hepburn at the start of the film is desperately in love with Holden and watches him at a ball from up in the tree under the moonlight. To help her get over her crush she is sent to refining school in Paris where see learns how to cook, speak, and dress. Basically she becomes a lady. What emerges is a swan from the ugly duckling and for the first time Holden sees her and falls in love. However time has passed and Sabrina doesn't exactly feel the same way anymore. Plus Bogart expresses his own interest in the elfin' and glamorous chauffeur's daughter. Watching all this play out in such a romantic and funny way is pure cinema. All the elements come together in this film. Hepburn looks magnificent in Hubert de Givenchy's gowns and dresses. The scenes on the racquetball court are whimsical and absolutely priceless. Frederick Hollander's musical score is breathtaking and haunting, sending the audience far away from their problems and allowing them to become completely involved in the characters and story. Really to tell the truth there isn't much plot, but the story is good because it's so simple. Sabrina isn't a complicated movie at all, nor is it very in depth in exploring what true love is. But at the heart it's a faerie tale. It doesn't need to be realistic or profound. If you're looking for answers about the true nature of love and self-sacrifice then you won't find any in Sabrina. However if you're looking to be swept off your feet and taken to a far away place where naive, blind, and moonstruck romantic love are the rule then this is the movie for you.
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another Cinderella story
didi-56 June 2004
'Sabrina' looks at first glance to be one of those rags to riches tales, as Audrey Hepburn's chauffeur's daughter takes herself to Paris and comes back a sophisticated young lady. However, she isn't the one who undergoes the most striking transformation in this charming romantic comedy.

William Holden plays the playboy son of the house (and he could probably have done this kind of role in his sleep) while Humphrey Bogart of all people plays his crusty business-focused older brother. Bogart is surprisingly good in this in a rare foray into comedy. Hepburn of course is just luminous. John Williams, as Hepburn's deadpan snobby chauffeur father is good fun, as is Ellen Corby (grandma from 'The Waltons') as Bogart's secretary. And how nice to see 1910s movie idol Francis X Bushman in one of his later character roles (as the father of Holden's intended).

This Billy Wilder movie compares well with his more cited titles such as 'The Seven-Year Itch', 'Some Like It Hot', 'Sunset Blvd.', and 'The Lost Weekend'. It is also much better than the remake with Harrison Ford which limped out in recent years.
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3/10
Emotionally unconvincing and miscast
robert375025 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I love Audrey Hepburn, and she's radiant in this, but the casting did not work. It was completely unconvincing for her to fall in love With Bogart's character. Bogart disliked the director, Hepburn, and Holden, and it shows. He's dour and has zero chemistry with Hepburn. The chemistry between Hepburn and Holden is obvious (she fell in love with him off screen, despite his being married). For that matter, there was nothing likable about Holden's irresponsible playboy. It annoyed me that Sabrina would try to kill herself over him. The denouement, when Bogart embraces her, looked and felt like a an old curmudgeon embracing his niece instead of two lovers finding each other. Bleah. Worth watching only to admire Hepburn's beautiful presence.
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6/10
Why Didn't Cary Grant Do This?
bkoganbing3 November 2006
Sabrina would probably have gotten several stars higher on the list had Billy Wilder gotten Cary Grant who he originally wanted to play the part of Linus Larrabee.

Grant was originally supposed to play the role, but according to a recent biography of Wilder, dropped out at the last minute. Wilder went scrambling for a replacement and got Humphrey Bogart instead. He also would have preferred to work with Joseph Cotten who played the part on Broadway, but Paramount said he wasn't a big enough movie name for equal billing with Bill Holden and Audrey Hepburn.

In fact Cary Grant was asked and didn't do three Wilder films, this one, Five Graves to Cairo and Love in the Afternoon. Eventually though he did wind up working with Audrey in Charade.

Bogey was miscast and he knew it. He also knew that this was Hepburn's film and it was Holden's studio. For whatever reason he was reportedly surly and obnoxious on the set. He's got no spark whatsoever in his performance as Linus.

But Hepburn has the spark as does Holden. They were having an affair on set so Sabrina's crush on Holden rings true.

Very simply Audrey is the daughter of John Williams, the chauffeur on the Larrabee estate in Long Island. Walter Hampden's the head of the clan and he's got two sons. Sober and industrious Humphrey Bogart and playboy William Holden. Gawky teenager Audrey is crushing out on Holden. Williams decides to send her to Paris and cooking school where she matures.

So much so, she catches the eye of both Larrabee boys. Who will she end up with?

Fortunately for Bogart he got an Oscar nomination for The Caine Mutiny in the same year so Sabrina didn't do him any harm.

Audrey's fans will adore her in this part. Bogey's fans should skip this one.
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Classic Romantic Comedy
Chrysanthepop5 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
On the surface, 'Sabrina' may not look like a comedy but that's because the humour is very subtle. There's a party scene where everyone is enjoying themselves, Sabrina and David are having a romantic moment while Linus is in the next room testing the unbreakable plastic. Sabrina's suicide attempt in the garage was hilarious.

Coming back to the film, 'Sabrina' is a classic romance. The chemistry between Hepburn and Bogart is very sweet. While it may look like a film about Sabrina's journey to be with her love, it turns out to be someone else's journey. There are some lovely moments between Bogart and Hepburn. The background score adds to the romance. On the surface Hepburn and Bogart may seem like an odd couple but as we see how Billy Wilder brings them on screen, the oddness vanishes. Both the actors are superb. Bogart downplays his part while Hepburn is charmingly vivacious. Holden does well.

My only complaint is the David-Alice angle. In the end, why does David decide to go through with marrying Alice since he clearly does not love her? Was that just to create a happy ending? There are some nice location shots of France and America. We don't see much of France but the little we see seems a little too romanticized. The cinematography is good.

Billy Wilder's 'Sabrina' is a classic and for me it has stood the test of time. I have seen both remakes earlier and they certainly let down. A great movie for classic romance lovers!
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8/10
Bogie's Society Film
theowinthrop23 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Tennis, anyone?" That trite statement actually comes from a play. It was spoken by a young, struggling actor of some rugged handsome looks, sometime in the 1920s. He said it with a now - famous trademark lisp. Yes Humphrey Bogart said that line. You see, when he started out in Broadway productions he was a juvenile actor. He played young social butterfly types (hard to believe, isn't it?). But there was a rational reason to think this, among the producers on Broadway - young man Bogart came from a prominent upper middle class family in Manhattan. His father was Dr. Bogart, a physician to wealthy people. His mother was an magazine artist. So yes...one could easily see that young Mr. Bogart would be used to saying things like "Tennis anyone" now and then...and so could play the young friend of the hero or the caddish social butterfly false lover or...well you can picture it! It is with great respect to Humphrey Bogart's determination to be a real actor...to play real people...that he broke out of this cul-de-sac of juveniles and ended up in the roles he is loved for: Rick Blaine, Sam Spade, Charlie Allnut, Fred C. Dobbs, Philip Marlowe, Captain Phillip Francis Queeg, Duke Mantee, Baby Face Martin...characters we know are real for better or worse. Not light hearted society types we will never meet in a million years.

Yet Bogie did return to this arena once in his later career - after his only Oscar. In 1954 he played Linus Larribee, older of a pair of brothers (his younger brother is William Holden as David Larribee) who are the heirs to an industrial and shipping empire headed by their father Oliver Larribee (Walter Hampden). Into their upper class lives descends Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn), the daughter of the family chauffeur Fairchild (John Williams). She has long had a crush on David, a real playboy, and once even tried to commit suicide (to be saved by Linus, without his realizing it was a planned suicide). She goes to Paris to study cooking, and returns after two years a sophisticated, attractive woman. And she turns the world of the Larribees upside down.

There is a merger in the works between Larribee Industries and the largest sugar cane plantation owner in Puerto Rico (Francis X. Bushman), whose daughter (Martha Hyer) has always liked David. David is not crazy about this, and when he is reintroduced to the new Sabrina he is knocked off his feet. This jeopardizes the entire business plan (which involves using the sugar to manufacture a new type of all-purpose plastic that the Larribees have the patent rights to). Linus, who is the "ant" to David's "grasshopper", is determined to undue the effect of Sabrina on his brother, and (if necessary) romance her himself. He does...only to find that she is quite intoxicating, and that he is falling in love with her.

It has been suggested that Bogart was wrong in this film (like Gary Cooper was in Billy Wilder's other Hepburn comedy, LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON), because he was too old and his image didn't fit. Well, it is true that we have another May - September relationship here, and that Bogart's personae after his string of memorable performances was not as a financial type. Cary Grant, the original choice for the role, might have seemed better. But Grant is as much a misfire here as Bogart appears to be. The problem is Holden. One can see Bogart as a hard working type and Holden's older brother quite easily, but Grant (with his English accent)would have made Holden seem out-of-place. They would have had to change the Larribees into a transplanted English family in America to make Grant fit in perfectly. That might have worked - but it would have strained belief.

Bogart rarely played comic roles after 1940, but in his late 1950s films he did do comedy a bit more (here, in BEAT THE DEVIL, and in WE'RE NO ANGEL). He demonstrates a natural gift for delivering comic lines (after David has an accident with a pair of drinking glasses he sat on, he is recovering and wants to write a poem to Sabrina about the accident - when he asks Linus/Bogart for a rhyme with glass, with a slight pause Linus/Bogart suggests "alas"). His performance is enhanced with his film partners Holden, Hepburn, and Williams and (best of all) Hampden.

Williams is quite upset at the idea of his daughter marrying any of the Larribees. He is quite class conscious (and admits it), and in one of Bogart's best moments he tells Williams he is a snob! As for Hampden, one can only bless Wilder for casting him. Walter Hampden was one of Broadway's leading stars (especially in Shakespearean roles) between the teens and the 1930s. His production of HAMLET was considered one of the best ever on the American stage. But he arrived late in Hollywood, and although an impressive character actor rarely got any impressive role. His performance as Oliver Larribee, the last vestige of robber baron elitism in American society is wonderful. This includes his hiding his huge cigars from his wife (he is caught smoking in Linus' clothes closet at one point) to his sputtering about a young débutante with an Adlai Stevenson button. He and Bogart share some nice give and take scenes, courtesy of Wilder's directing, here - just in time for Hampden, who died a year after this film was produced.
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3/10
Bewildering yarn
onepotato220 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I think I finally turned the corner on this thing called "mass entertainment." Any movie that doesn't aim higher than being M.E., just is not going to cut it for me. 'Sabrina' is mass entertainment. If you never find anything questionable while you watch movies, you'll like this.

'Sabrina' is a viewpoint-shifting mess. By the time it's over we've seen her situation from three different angles, to no discernible benefit; it doesn't feel intentional. The trio of leading characters are all wanting. In a fair number of remarks, Linus (Bogart), a stuffed shirt, obviously thinks Sabrina is pretty dumb. His remarks are the kind a snob makes. It doesn't matter that Sabrina doesn't notice. She's got problems too. She's convinced she wants the movies 'idiot' for most of show. In many, many scenes, Hepburn is just an irritating, girly princess. Hepburn was blessed with astonishing looks but that's not enough, and in about half her movies she's downright petulant and annoying. And the way directors play up her little girlishness is pretty creepy.

Bogart looks rather good for someone who's going to die in three years. He looks too old for Hepburn, but he doesn't really look old, per se.
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8/10
You can't get any wilder than Sabrina. Sabrina is a beautiful movie.
ironhorse_iv28 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have to say, this romantic movie is indeed, a classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood. It was made from one of the best directors of all-time, Billy Wilder. Based on the play, Sabrina Fair; Sabrina tells the story of Sabrina Fairchild (Aubrey Hepburn), a very shy young woman, who lives with her father, Thomas (John Williams). Thomas works for the Larrabee Brothers, David (William Holden) and Linus (Humphrey Bogart) as their live-in chauffeur. Things become very complex, for Sabrina when David fall head over heels for her, after she spent a year, at a Paris cooking school and returns home, transform, into a glamorous classy socialite. Fearing that David, will ruin their company with his cheating and womanizing ways; businessman Linus, starts to take steps in wooing the young woman, in an attempt to prevent David from destroying an oncoming company merger, and his own marriage. Can Linus, stop David from falling in love, or will Linus end up, falling in love with Sabrina, himself? Watch the movie to find out! Without spoiling too much of the film, I have to say, that I was never a huge fan of love triangle films. I always found them, a bit mean-spirited and wishy washy. The plot isn't that strong, when you think about it. It's kinda weak. First off, it takes forever, for the plot to get going. We have to wait, a long time for Sabrina to get back from Paris. I was really, hoping for a quicker pace. The film drags on, a little too much. Second off, the plot is very shallow. It's really hard to believe, that Sabrina wouldn't get notice. I know, it's based on 1950s standards, but she's way too gorgeous, even in the beginning. I really doubt, she had anything really bad about her, that she would try to commit suicide. Honestly, with the pony-tail, and plain clothes in the beginning. She looks a very attractive normal young woman. She's look like, a girl that I would, have love to date at the time. She's way too beautiful. After all, it's Aubrey Hepburn for goodness sakes. This film has that, shallow, 1999's She's All that, unbelievable in attractive. I really doubt, people were that, thin-headed, back then. Films like this, really lacks in storytelling, because of the weak conflict. They isn't as much drama for the script to work with. After all, they still, pretty damn rich, no matter, what the outcome, is. I really hate, how often ignorance, the 1% are, in this film. It's telling the lower social classes to act rich to get notice. Wow-really wow. How- snobby. I was never a huge fan of 1950/1960's glamour type movies, because I felt that they allow the fashion to be a bit overbearing. It was a bit much in the second half of the film. The glamour really went overboard. I really doubt, going to Paris for cooking school, would make you into a fashion model. I really hatred, what Sabrina has become. She rarely show, any of her cooking skills. In my opinion, the whole idea of her, going to Paris, was just there to push, the fashion onto the masses. The costume designs in this film are more famous, than the story. A lot of people, will probably, remember the dress, Aubrey Hepburn wore in this film, than anything else. I hardly remember, anything else. Don't get me wrong, the costumes are great, but I would have, love for the writing and humor to out shine the look of the film, more. The writing was kinda lacking. One thing, the movie could have, done better, is if the filmmakers allow the film to be filmed in color footage, than black and white. It kinda hurts, the look of the film. Despite, the positive themes that the movie is sending out, everything in this film, looks so gloomy with the black and white footage. There wasn't any good reason for this film, not to be in color. It's not a film noir, after all. It's supposed to be a Cinderella story, so it needs to be in color! This film was Audrey Hepburn's second film, meant to capitalize on her rising popularity from her Academy Award Best Actress win from the 1953's film, Roman Holiday. Audrey Hepburn does her best, despite being typecast, yet again as another socialite. The acting from her is very top-notch, here. She's very cute, and really shines when she has to. I don't really think she deserve to nominate for Best Actress for this film, but I'm just glad, they didn't play her, as an obnoxious gold-digger-like character like she would later play in other films. The supporting cast is pretty good. William Holden looks and acts like a believable playboy. During production of the film, Hepburn and Holden entered into a brief, but passionate and much-publicized love affair. Meanwhile, Bogart complained that Hepburn required too many takes to get her dialogue right and pointed out her inexperience. Bogart at this time, was very irritable, frail and insecure with himself as romantic lead. He really didn't want to do, it. He only took the role, when first choice, Cary Grant drop out. He didn't get along with anybody, during this film. He thought Aubrey Hepburn was a spoiled brat. He and William Holden couldn't stand each other. He was very ill, and would die, a few years later this film, from throat cancer. Despite that, Humphrey Bogart is great, as the stern, business-driven, older brother. The May-December Romance didn't bug me, as it could had. He wasn't miscast. The music is pretty good from Friedrich Hollaender. I love the use of La Vie en rose. It's match, so well with the film theme. In 1995, the film was remade with Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, and Greg Kinnear in the respective roles. It's not that good. Overall: While, the movie has some faults. It's still a great watch. A must watch for any movie lover.
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