Classic of the Week: Sabrina (1954)

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Sabrina is a 1954 American romantic comedy drama film directed by Billy Wilder and stars Audrey Hepburn, Humphey Bogart and William Holden.

The story is about Sabrina Fairchild (Hepburn), the young daughter of the Larrabee’s family chauffeur, who has been in love with David Larrabee (Holden) all her life. David is a frequently married, indolent playboy, crazy for women, who has never noticed Sabrina because she is still a child to him. Sabrina notices David with a woman and becomes sad and jealous. She leaves her father a suicide note, turns on every car in the car in the garage, and tries to kill herself by carbon monoxide poisoning. She is unsuccessful when David’s career obsessed brother Linus (Bogart) steps in and turns off the cars. She doesn’t tell him what she was trying to do. She takes back the suicide note from her father’s room.

After being sent to culinary school in Paris, she returns home an elegant and attractive lady. At a formal party, David notices her, not recognizing it’s Sabrina. He is drawn to her.

Linus fears that David’s marriage is in trouble. Linus tries to trick Sabrina into falling for him. In the process he ends up falling in love with her, knowing she is still in love with David. Knowing this, he buys tickets for a ship to Paris for her and David. But who really shows up?

This is a funny, cute and heartwarming film. Both men fall head over heels for Sabrina after she becomes a lovely sophisticated woman. She has a fondness for both of them, but especially David. She is forced to follow her heart in choosing which one she really and truly loves. Both men are also forced to decide with their hearts who is better for her and loves her more.

Hepburn, Holden and Bogart are fabulous in this film, perfect for their roles. This film will bring smiles, tears and anger, but never is there a dull moment. Unlike other romantic comedies that features two characters in love with the same one, this one isn’t cheesy, no bad acting, corny lines, or sex. It is one that can be watched over and over, always producing sad, angry and happy feelings. Not many romantic films today, can do this, make you feel all those emotions. This is a truly wonderful motion picture, perfect for a date.

This is not a complete family film, because there is some smoking, drinking, mild violence and trying to commit suicide. This is harsh for young children, although they may not understand unless explained. Overall this film is a masterpiece. Wonderful! Just wonderful! 11+ 5/5

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