Sabrina Fairchild ( the lovely Audrey Hepburn) is the daughter of a chauffer working for the rich and successful Larrebee ( love that name! )family. She lives with her father in an apartment above the garage in the grounds of the Larrabee’s sprawling Long Island estate. Ever since she was a little girl she has had a huge crush on the younger of the two Larrabee sons ‘David’ played in the film by William Holden. He is a charming three times married playboy when we meet Sabrina staring longingly from the cover of a tree at him dancing at a party in the family mansion. He has never really noticed the sweet chauffeur’s daughter.
Sabrina is sent away to Paris to a cooking school by her father and her letters back home about soggy soufles entertain the staff at the Larrabee mansion. Her father hopes on her return she will have forgotten her dreams about David. On the day of her return it is indeed David who picks her up from the train station ~ though seeing a sophisticated woman of the world he does not recognise her as the chauffeur’s daughter at all.
So Sabrina is back from Paris with presents for her father and the staff, a french poodle ( tellingly called David ) and a chic transformation. The younger Larrabee is immediately smitten and invites her to a party at the mansion that night ~ despite being newly engaged to a wealthy plastic tycoons daughter ‘ Elisabeth’. Sabrina has just the dress for such an occasion.
Worried about his brothers sudden infatuation with Sabrina so close to the wedding to Elisabeth/ business merger with her fathers plastics company , Linus Larrabee ( Humphrey Bogart) makes it his mission to get this new love interest out of the picture. As the driving force behind the Larrabee Business Empire Linus is considered stuffy and married to his job. He never the less decides to spend some time with Sabrina himself whilst David is indisposed ( A painful squashed wine glass incident!), make her fall in love with him and put her on a boat to Paris…..without showing up himself.ooooh the cad !
Things seem to be going to plan for Linus. Sabrina finds herself falling in love with the workaholic brother and enjoys their time together. What doesn’t go to plan though are the feelings that Linus develops for her. But can he ever admit them, even to himself? Will Sabrina find true love with a Larrabee or does her heart belong in Paris?
This is a really sweet romantic film and earned Audrey Hepburn another Oscar nomination after her success in her previous movie Roman Holiday. Billy Wilder directed this 1954 classic and Sabrina’s outfits were designed by Edith Head and Givinchy. The only slight niggle I have is the quite Huge age differences between Audrey and her leading men. But I guess the established actors back in the fifties were more mature! Another Hepburn film I adore though. Who are your favourite leading ladies and leading men from the 1950s?