Classic Movie Review: Sabrina (1954)

Title: Sabrina
Release Date: October 15, 1954
Director: Billy Wilder
Production Company: Paramount Pictures

This romantic comedy focuses on the title character, Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn), a young woman who grew up on a Long Island estate of the Larrabbee family as the daughter of the chauffeur (John Williams).  Growing up alongside the Larrabee sons, she forms a lifelong crush on the carefree, playboy older brother, David (William Holden, in a very different role from Sunset Boulevard).

Sabrina goes to Paris for two years to study cooking, and returns feeling more confident and stylish.  She’s also able to attract David’s attention for the first time, although unfortunately he is engaged to marry another woman. David’s brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart, playing against type as a workaholic business man) has arranged a merger with the company owned by David’s fiancee’s family.  He arranges to put David out of commission, and begins seeing Sabrina himself, with the ultimate goal of shipping her off to Paris again.

It is not a spoiler to note that Sabrina and Linus end up having feelings for one another.  Romcom conventions typically have a couple fall in love and commit to one another over short time and expect the audience to be happy about that.  But Sabrina otherwise defies formula and offers a lot of humor and charming performances along the way.

Rating: ***1/2