Sabrina


Year 1954

Humphrey Bogart   as  Linus Larrabee
Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina Fairchild  
William Holden as David Larrabee
Walter Hampden as Oliver Larrabee
John Williams as Thomas Fairchild  
 
Director - Billy Wilder
Screenwriters - Billy Wilder
  - Samuel A. Taylor
Playwright - Samuel A. Taylor

The movie Sabrina is based upon a play and it shows. It's the story of a chauffeur's daughter named Sabrina (Hepburn) who is in love with playboy David Larrabee (Holden) but has no chance with him until she goes to Europe and comes back all cosmopolitan and everything. Then, everyone wants her.

The Larrabees are wealthy thanks to Linus Larrabee's (Bogart) handling of the family company. He's all work and no play and the opposite of his brother. He's of course the real prize and it's up to Sabrina to find out.

It's a fairy tale like "Cinderella" without the blood of the "Ashputtle" roots. (Did you know that in "Cinderella" one of the step-sisters lost her heel so that she could fit into the shoe? And by "lost" I mean had it cut off.)

There's not much more to it than that. David falls for Sabrina. Linus doesn't want his brother to marry the chauffeur's daughter so he keeps her occupied until David gets over her, While he's doing this, he falls for her himself and she for him.

I suppose there's some socioeconomic class statement in there somewhere, but it's too trite to be meaningful.

The acting is good across the board with character actors and actresses making their roles credible. Believing that Bogart and Holden are brothers is a stretch.

Besides the simplicity of the movie, where it really falls down is the staginess. Everything takes place in rooms and stays in the rooms. There's no fluidity. And that can be said of the dialog as well. If there's not a joke being cracked, then the dialog is dry and pedestrian. There are too few jokes to make up for all of the dry spells. Oh, things happen but they're dull boring things.

Billy Wilder is supposed to be some sort of genuis. Some Like It Hot was a good movie, but most of Wilder's stuff trudged along. The Fortune Cookie is supposedly funny, for example. Trust me, it's not. Oh, it has the odd yuck here and there, but it's not a comedy.

The same can be said of Sabrina. It's plodding. If it wasn't for the personalities of the actors and actresses, not the characters, mind you, the actors and actresses, then this movie would be a total waste of time.

But it's fun to see Bogart being debonair, Hepburn being cute and regal, and Holden being a good time womanizer. Wilder did capture the hearts of the stars.

No blasphemy, nudity, or profanity. Decent chick flick potential. Weak direction, weak acting from the stars, a lame script, and a movie that looks like a filmed play. But if you like any of the stars, it's not the worst movie any of them were ever in.


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