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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sabrina (1954)

The young daughter (Audrey Hepburn) of the chauffeur (John Williams) to a wealthy Long Island family has been infatuated with the younger playboy son (William Holden) of the household, who is barely aware she exists. She is packed off to Paris for her education but when she returns, she is quite sophisticated and soigne and this time catches his eye. But the family sees this as a threat to the engagement (and business merger) and potential marriage to the wealthy heiress (Martha Hyer) to a sugar fortune. ROMAN HOLIDAY made an immediate international star of young Hepburn and this follow up film solidified her star status. Based on the play SABRINA FAIR by Samuel Taylor, Billy Wilder's film is an elegant and stylish adult fairy tale, Cinderella style. It's a very slight piece and its success is principally due to its three principals. Humphrey Bogart as Holden's older brother has often been criticized as miscast (reputedly he thought so too) but his rather austere presence is what makes his part and the film work. He and Hepburn make for an odd coupling but the mismatch somehow seems natural. Remade by Sydney Pollack in 1995. With Ellen Corby, Walter Hampden, Francis X. Bushman, Nancy Kulp, Marcel Dalio, Marjorie Bennett and Marcel Hillaire.

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