Thursday, May 28, 2009


Sabrina (1954)
Originally uploaded by ARARAR
It is no secret that Billy Wilder is my favorite director, but I can say that of all his films Sabrina is not one of my favorites.

In the film, Sabrina Fairchild is the daughter of the chauffer to the powerful Larabee family; growing up adjacent to the Larabee house has made young Sabrina become infatuated with the youngest Larabee son, David. The problem is that David doesn’t even know Sabrina exists, he is far too caught up in chasing after the daughters of the socialites in his circle. Sabrina’s father decides the best course of action to get Sabrina over David is to send her to cooking school in Paris; while in Paris Sabrina is absolutely miserable, until she meets a friend that helps her begin to mature into the sophisticated Parisian woman she can be. Upon graduation Sabrina returns to the Larabee estate and decides to use her newfound feminine charms to win the newly engaged David. In order to keep David from ruining his engagement (and therefore the plastics deal the Larabee’s are working towards) older brother Linus does his best to occupy Sabrina’s time.

I can’t name anything large or specific that makes Sabrina mark low on my list of Billy Wilder films. One of the key elements for me is that it tonally just feels very different from all of his previous films; Sabrina was made after some of his best - Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Blvd. and Ace in the Hole - and Sabrina is just borderline bland next to those.

I also have to say that I don’t know if I enjoy Humphrey Bogart in the role of Linus. Call me ageist but to me he is just too old to be playing Hepburn’s love interest. The tow also don’t seem to be performing towards each other; Hepburn is interacting with Bogart, but Bogart doesn’t seem to be responding to her.

I still enjoy this movie and think Wilder is a film god, I just think he made such astronomically great movies that this one just being “good” seems sub-par.

Director: Billy Wilder
Writer: Billy Wilder, Samuel Taylor & Ernest Lehman
Linus Larabee: Humphrey Bogart
Sabrina Fairchild: Audrey Hepburn
David Larabee: William Holden

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