My Film Of The Fortnight – Sabrina (1954)
October 2, 2012
By: Gabby Ferro
Audrey Hepburn was a crucial part of my development into becoming a full blown film nerd. I was given a box set of her movies as a gift (from my grandma, a fellow movie lover) when I was quite young. I watched and re – watched those videos (ah the days of videos!) so many times. I am surprised those videos lasted as long as they did. Both Roman Holiday and Sabrina were the movies I instantly fell in love with. Both of these films are perfect, timeless romantic comedies. They are brilliant examples of what makes Classic Hollywood so special.
Besides Disney movies, Sabrina was the first film I fell in love with. This romantic comedy is one that many have been modeled on. The film follows Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn), a young chauffeur’s daughter, who is hopelessly in love with David Larrabee (William Holden), the younger member of the family her father works for. David is a womaniser and Sabrina watches as he woos many of the females visiting the lavish Larrabee residence. Sabrina realizes her love of David is hopeless, and tries to get him out of her system by attending a cookery course in Paris. Whilst in Paris, she transforms from a scruffy child to a sophisticated and glamorous woman.
When she returns, she looks like the Audrey Hepburn we all know and love, effortlessly stylish and stunningly beautiful. David is of course immediately besotted with her, which creates quite the reaction from his father, Oliver Larrabee. Oliver Larrabee is an incredibly likable character, despite his old fashioned nature, because how funny Walter Hampden is in the role. Due to his father’s protests against David’s relationship with Sabrina, Linus (Humphrey Bogart), David’s older brother, decides he will stop this relationship himself. He does this by attempting to win Sabrina’s heart and divert her away from the family and get her back to Paris. His plans are of course complicated by the development of his feelings for Sabrina.
William Wyler was a genius director and writer, he made so many perfect films and somehow made them all so easy to enjoy time and time again. Sabrina is, therefore, an example of the excellence of his screen-writing and direction. The cinematography is wonderful, which is another reason why this film has not aged a day since its release. Another perfect element is the cast. Though Humphrey Bogart felt he was far too old to play the part of Linus, this is addressed in the film, and therefore is not so much of an issue. Also, Humprey Bogart is brilliant as the cynical Linus, who despite himself, is slowly won over by the charms of Sabrina. William Holden is in his element playing the playboy David, and adds a great deal of energy to his role. Audrey Hepburn is, as always, perfection personified. She is stylish, warm, full of energy and plays out her emotions in each scene with such grace, it makes it easy to get wrapped up in the film. Her smile is enough to win over even the coldest scrooge and she is just such a joy to watch in this or any film.
Overall, I would say that this is the perfect movie to settle down with some ice cream and get lost in the magic of Classic Hollywood.
As always, please leave a comment to share your thoughts on this fortnight’s film.