Audrey Hepburn was one of the most popular stars in Hollywood in the 50s. When you watch Sabrina, it is easy to see why. She is absolutely delightful in this romantic comedy drama. It’s a bit of a Cinderella story, mixing fantasy with a heavy dose of romance and glamour. Sabrina is an absolute must see film for Audrey Hepburn fans.
As the movie begins, Sabrina is a timid, introverted young girl with low self esteem. She has a mad crush on David (William Holden), the son of the fabulously wealthy Larrabees. Sabrina watches from afar as the Larrabee family host a lavish party, as she desperately wishes she could be there. Her father is the chauffeur for the family.
David is a ladies man who spends his time partying and having a good time. His older brother Linus is the exact opposite. Linus is a workaholic with little interest in dating women or finding someone to marry.
Sabrina is in despair and thinks her life is at a dead end. She goes to Paris for a couple of years to attend a culinary school and returns a totally changed woman. She’s confident, happy, and feeling positive about her life. David is immediately smitten with the “new” Sabrina.
However, it doesn’t take Linus long to notice Sabrina too. What will Sabrina do?
This clip includes one of my favorite scenes. Linus (Humphrey Bogart) begins to romance Sabrina in a rather unlikely location. The musical score throughout the film is perfect for a romantic story. And note that gorgeous gown she is wearing!
Audrey Hepburn achieved major stardom with her first major role in Roman Holiday. It earned her an Oscar, and Hollywood was anxious to feature her in another romantic role. I think she is perfect as Sabrina, although the same cannot be said for Humphrey Bogart in his role. He was 30 years older than Audrey. He seemed to be miscast in this film. In addition the two men did not seem like brothers at all. However, that is about the only weakness this film has. Audrey did tend to play with leading men who were many years older than her. I think it was due to her stardom at such a young age. Producers wanted to cast her with men who were her equal at the box office.
It’s a joy to watch Sabrina bloom into such a confident, vibrant woman. Her costumes are first rate, as you would expect. After years of fantasizing about attending one of the Larrabees lavish parties, Sabrina is finally the belle of the ball. It’s pure fantasy, and fun to watch.
There are several nice moments in the movie. I loved it when Sabrina sang “Lie Vie En Rose”, while she was in the car with Linus. Translated, the title means looking at life through rose colored glasses, which isn’t such a bad thing. It somehow seems very fitting for this movie. Sabrina’s life did indeed become a lot rosier and happier. I love that aspect of the story. You can’t help but love Sabrina and want what is best for her.
The film was remade in the 1990s with Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear. I have not seen it, but know it was not a success as the original was. Ford was a major box office draw in that decade, but perhaps it was too much to expect a sequel with three screen legends could possibly work.