Directed by Billy Wilder
Based on the stage play by Samuel A. Taylor
Screenplay by Billy Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, Ernest Lehman
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, John Williams
Sabrina (Hepburn) has always longed to be loved by David (Holden), the son of her father’s employer. As the chauffeur’s daughter, Sabrina has been overlooked by the wealthy playboy. After traveling to Paris, Sabrina returns and catches David’s eye. The newly engaged David is quickly pushed aside by his brother Linus (Bogart), who’s trying to protect the family business. Now Sabrina and Linus are getting to know one another as he looks for a way to keep her from David.
As with the 1995 film of the same name, this movie is based on the stage play by Samuel A. Taylor (Vertigo). This film was directed by Billy Wilder (The Apartment), using a screenplay by Taylor and Ernest Lehman (North by Northwest). Wilder would be nominated for Best Director for this one, while he would share the Best Screenplay nomination with Taylor and Lehman. This film also features a wonderful cast that includes Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca), Audrey Hepburn (Charade), William Holden (Network), and John Williams (Dial M for Murder).
This is a wonderful Cinderella story, told with some of the best writing of the era. Billy Wilder not only directed this movie, but he also put his wonderful touch on the screenplay. Wilder, Taylor and Lehman put together a wonderful story that is fun to see as it unfolds. The story is whimsical, sentimental, romantic and colorful. The end result features wonderful dialogue that has great comedic moments along with wonderful expressions of love and romance. The twists and turns of the story might be a bit predictable, but they’re paid off with great scenes throughout the movie. Overall, this is film features great writing.
The acting in this movie is wonderful, especially from the four actors mentioned above. Humphrey Bogart and William Holden create an interesting chemistry as brothers with wildly different views on life. Bogart is witty and serious, but also shows his ability to play the romantic role. Despite the age differences between Bogart and Hepburn, the chemistry between them is believable and enjoyable. William Holden does a great job as the irresponsible playboy, making his part of the movie really fun to watch. Audrey Hepburn is great in this film as well. She brings her character to life as a naive young woman, and transforms her into a strong confident woman. This movie would earn her a second Oscar nomination in as many years. (She was nominated the previous year for Roman Holiday.) Finally, John Williams does a wonderful job as Sabrina’s worried and protective father.
The rest of this film comes together perfectly. The music, the editing, and the cinematography all create a beautiful film. One of the best aspects of this film is the costuming, especially as it relates to Hepburn. Her elegance is accentuated by the great choices made in her wardrobe. This film serves as another example of her style and grace. For this success Edith Head (The Sting) won an Oscar for Best Costuming. The film was also nominated for Best Set Decoration and Best Cinematography.
If you’re a fan of the classics, this is one you should see. I would also suggest this to fans of romantic comedies or romance films. This has a great story, and is told with wonderful actors. If you love any of the cast, this is one to see. I give this one 4.7 out of 5 stars.