Sunday, April 03, 2011
Sabrina (5 stars)
Sabrina, an adorable romantic comedy from 1954, is one of my twenty all-time favorite movies. Another fabulous work of director Billy Wilder, it stars Humphrey Bogart, the classy and elegant Audrey Hepburn, and the oh-so-handsome William Holden. The story is about the two sons of the wealthy, socially prominent Larrabee family. Older son Linus (Humphrey Bogart) is basically an unemotional workaholic. He lives and breathes the family corporation and has little time for fun or love. Younger son David (William Holden), on the other hand, is the family playboy, who has been involved with several women, sometimes to the detriment of the family business. He's all about fun and games and doesn't really give a hoot about business.
Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn), the daughter of the family chauffeur, has been in love with David since she was a little girl, but, of course, David barely notices her. With unrequited love breaking her heart, and after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, Sabrina is sent off to a culinary school in Paris. There, she nurses her broken heart and becomes a fashionable woman of the world. By the time she returns home to New York, she barely looks like the same young girl that she had once been. In fact, she looks so different that, when David happens upon her at the train station, he has no idea who she is....a fact that amuses Sabrina. David is totally enamored of the woman she now is, and even after learning her identity (that she is the chauffeur's daughter), he continues to be smitten.
But David's family in no way is open to a romance between him and Sabrina. After all, she is only the chauffeur's daughter. Add to that, they have successfully gotten David engaged to a girl that will unite their business with another. Therefore, the family will do whatever it takes to keep David and Sabrina apart.
When a minor accident sidelines David for a time, brother Linus steps up to the plate. Under the guise of filling in for David, he wines and dines Sabrina, with one goal in mind all the while...to get her out of town and out of David's life. And it doesn't matter to Linus if Sabrina gets hurt in the process...business is business, after all. Unfortunately for Linus, and to Sabrina's great surprise, Sabrina begins to realize that it was a childhood infatuation she had for David, that she really doesn't love him after all. In fact, she is drawn to Linus, and she is pretty sure he is falling for her as well. What she doesn't know is that Linus has only been pretending to fall for her in order to get her out of the picture...or has he? He doesn't really want to accompany her to Paris (and out of New York), does he?
Okay, so this little cliffhanger is where I will leave off. After all, I want you all to watch the movie for yourselves...and I don't want to completely spoil your viewing pleasure. So, definitely, look for this one. It's out on DVD and should be readily available through Net Flix or your local library. I know you will love it. (And if, like me, you are crazy about William Holden, you'll love it even more.)
For the record, Sabrina was done as a remake in the mid 90's, with Harrison Ford in the Humphrey Bogart role. I am not a huge fan of remaking the classics, so I didn't see it. However, my daughter did, and while she thought Holden and Hepburn could not be improved upon, she did think Harrison Ford was better suited for the role of Linus than Bogart was. I'm the first to admit, that much as I enjoy Humphrey Bogart, I thought he was quite stiff and uncomfortable as Linus. With the exception of Casablanca, he's not really a romantic lead, and he seemed a bit unbelievable in the role. Even so, though, I love the original Sabrina and highly recommend it.