The Chauffeur’s Daughter: Sabrina
Mar 4, 2004
Review by George Chabot
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, Music, Comedy
Cons:Lightweight story but the actors carry it off with aplomb
The Bottom Line: Sabrina is one of the best romantic comedies ever put on celluloid. If you can only see one, Sabrina would be a good choice.
Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
I may not know much about the Dow-Jones averages but I do know kisses, and that one tasted like goodbye. William Holden
Sabrina is a romantic comedy done back in the days when it was considered art, rather than a forgettable Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock summer vehicle.
Directed by Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17), Sabrina boasts a cast like we seldom see today: William Holden and Humphrey Bogart play a pair of brothers, the younger a playboy wastrel and the elder a staid business tycoon. Both are millionaires many times over. Audrey Hepburn at her cutest plays the title role, the chauffeurs daughter who eventually has both men wrapped around her little finger. Due to class differences, the family and chauffeur agree to send the young Sabrina (Hepburn) away to Paris when she shows too much interest in younger son William Holden. When she returns two years later she has blossomed into the beautiful Audrey Hepburn that has charmed so many viewers the world over. Of course, she captures the wandering eye of the jaded Holden without difficulty, however, hes engaged to another woman, the heiress of a giant corporation that is scheduled to merge with the brothers firm. This goes counter to elder brothers business plans so he begins to woo Sabrina himself to keep the deal from falling through.
There are a quite a few comic moments in the film including parallel situations where Holden and the father each sit on a champagne glass and a bottle of olives, respectively, thereby wounding their nether regions. Bogart comes up with a plastic hammock with a hole through it for Holdens wounded posterior, etc. During the time Holden is incapacitated, Bogart begins a whirlwind courtship of Sabrina, in a staid businessman sort of way, I mean. In another scene, Walter Hampden shows his ineptitude by trying various ways of fishing the last olive out of a bottle that also is good for a laugh.
Audrey Hepburn is radiant as Sabrina showing a charm that is all too rare in actresses today and revealing just why she was so beloved. The material is undoubtedly lightweight but the quality of the acting elevates it above the norm for this genre. Holden does a good job of portraying the shallow but well meaning younger son while Bogart adds new dimensions to the settled man of the world who really is not in touch with his own feelings. Walter Hampden and John Williams add excellent support as the patriarch of the family and the chauffeur, respectively.
The 1954 film is available in 4X3 theatrical format in either DVD or VHS modes from Paramount. The Black and White 122 minute DVD also contains a making of documentary as an extra.
Trivia: Although nominated for six Academy Awards, Sabrina only won one for Best Costume Design. Edith Head was credited as the costume designer but Huber Givenchy was actually the one who dressed Audrey Hepburn.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
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