REVIEW: Sabrina (1954)
Film Review 36
Release Year: 1954
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart & William Holden
Plot: A chauffeur's daughter had been in love with her master's son her whole life but her love went unnoticed until she got a makeover. He fell in love with her "instantly" & vowed to marry her, but his family made other arrangements.
A few many years ago Rasha and I stumbled upon an Audrey Hepburn collection and from then on, we decided to collect classic films. Being the first bunch in our collection, we practically scanned every single film in it! I don't think there was a day that went by, for a good year or two, that we didn't watch at least one from that collection.
I had seen "Sabrina" as a child and it was one of my favourites. I had also seen the 1990s version around the same time and hated it. I guess I always was a strictly classic girl.
I think if ever you wanted to introduce someone to the golden age of Hollywood, you should definitely start with "Sabrina".
It starts with introducing each character and their very unique personalities, then moves on to the main character's love interest, then how she plans to make him fall in love with her, then how the plan backfires but ends in a happily ever after. All this, presented with a glimpse into the glamorous lifestyle and great fashion of the 1950s high society. All the elements of a well balanced, classic Hollywood film.
Humphrey Bogart played Linus, the eldest son in the Larrabee estate. Surprisingly, he wasn't the first choice but rather a last minute replacement for Cary Grant who'd accepted another film offer whilst production was in place. I think Grant and Holden probably looked more like brothers but I don't regret Bogart in his place. Even though I think Grant would've done a great job, I feel the role was meant for Bogie. It was my first ever Bogart film and it's the role that got me interested in him.
I must say though, there were instances when Bogart was lacking emotions and made somewhat for awkward scenes with Hepburn - when they cancelled their dinner date and stayed in his office - but it also added to his very businessman personality, where he's more familiar with making deals than communicating with people.
Bill Holden played, David, the younger brother who's somewhat of a carefree playboy. I loved Holden in this part because he did well in comic roles. Although his character starts out being immature and selfish, in his final scene, we are shown a completely different side to him. I like that he still kept his sarcastic nature even when he matured.
Audrey Hepburn played, Sabrina, who's an optimistic and overly dramatic daughter to the chauffeur of the Larrabee family.
In most of her films, Hepburn gets a makeover of some sort. If not physically, then there has to be a change in her maturity. I think those roles suited her very well.
Her makeover in "Sabrina" didn't alter her personality, rather, it fed on her immaturity but like David, she grew up through the experiences she got from getting it.
The supporting actors were all exceptional, I can't think of anyone in their places. Both fathers were hilarious and were both out of place. The rich father acted childish while the chauffeur was a bit snobbish.
My favourite scene was when the Larrabees found out about David going with Sabrina, and the father started lecturing him:
"Now, I'm not saying that all Larrabees have been saints. There was a Thomas Larrabee who was hung for piracy, and there was a Benjamin Larrabee who was a slave trader, and there was my great-great uncle, Joshua Larrabee, who was shot in Indiana while attempting to rob a train, but there NEVER was a Larrabee who behaved as David Larrabee has behaved here tonight!"
I highly recommend this film, if you've never seen it before. If you like fairytales like Cinderella, then this is a special version of the story. The peasant girl (chauffeur's daughter) falls in love with the prince (master's son) so she gets a makeover from the fairy godmother (the baron) to catch his attention...but of course, being a Hollywood take, it ends with a twist.