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TCM 31 Days of Oscar – Sabrina (1954)

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

I’ve challenged myself to watch a movie every day from Turner Classic Movie channel’s 31 Days of Oscar. And I’m going to be focusing on the movies I haven’t seen yet, with maybe just a few rewatch movies.

Here is my 14th day and movie of my challenge to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.

Sabrina (1954)

Sabrina 1954

10 out of 10 All Stars

1954 Romance film. Starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, John Williams and Nancy Kulp.

The 360° Game: stars off with Born Yesterday (1950) starring William Holden, and she was in Sabrina with Humphrey Bogart who was in the next film, Casablanca.

And the Oscar goes to… Best Costume Design, Black-and-White: Edith Head.

And the Oscar does not go to… Best Actress in a Leading Role: Audrey Hepburn. Best Director: Billy Wilder. Best Writing, Screenplay: Billy Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor and Ernest Lehman. Best Cinematography, Black-and-White: Charles Lang. Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White: Hal Pereira, Walter H. Tyler, Sam Comer and Ray Moyer.

Short Synopsis: A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family’s chauffeur. (113 mins.)

Sabrina 1954

My Thoughts: Sabrina is one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies (the other is Roman Holiday). It’s one where I have watched again and again without getting tired of it. The story of the duckling chauffeur’s daughter going to Paris and coming back as a swan is a fairytale that I love, almost like a Cinderella story. In this case Sabrina learns that she’s got to take charge of her life.

Sabrina: [writing to her father] “I have learned how to live, how to be IN the world and OF the world, and not just to stand aside and watch. And I will never, never again run away from life. Or from love, either.”

There are so many good quotes from this movie like that one. And oh the fashion. Every detail of the Paris fashion is lovely, right down to the grey French Poodle, names David.

Sabrina 1954 Fashion


A note before I start watching this… why I chose this movie: Rewatch of a favorite movie. I have lost count on how many times I’ve watched this movie. Plus, it’s an Audrey Hepburn favorite of mine.


The 1954 film and the 1995 Remake

Sabrina - Audrey Hepburn

One of my favorite parts of the 1954 film is the opening, with Audrey Hepburn narrating.

Sabrina Fairchild: [voiceover] Once upon a time, on the north shore of Long Island, some thirty miles from New York, there lived a small girl on a large estate.

And as for the opening music, the 1995 version did not have La Vie en Rose. I love that song and was disappointed it wasn’t in the beginning of the remake. Instead there’s the sound of the sailboat pier along with a piano tune.

And it’s a real treat having Audrey Hepburn sing La Vie En Rose.

I’m currently reading Pride and Prejudice, and the opening narration reminded me of Austen’s opening to her book. It’s also because of the way Audrey says these lines. It’s like a magical fairy tale style.

Sabrina 1995

Julia Ormond couldn’t pull that off. She tried, but she ended up needing help with the music and from the Larrabee’s. Audrey Hepburn said these lines all on her own. And as you could probably tell I really prefer Audrey Hepburn (or anyone else actually) than Julia Ormond.

Plus they forgot about “the man with no particular title who took care of a goldfish named Charlie.” That part was cute I thought.

And then there’s the Larrabee family of 4 people – a father, mother and two sons. I still think Humphrey Bogart is too old to play the older brother, Linus, he is 30 years older than Audrey. But he does do a good job non the less. William Holden played really good at being a Rake. And I can really see him falling in love with Sabrina’s love for him. It took him sitting on a pair of champagne glasses and time on the plastic hammock to think about what love was (Greg Kinnear had to be heavily drugged up).

Sabrian 1995

As for the remake, I did like Harrison Ford as Linus. He did pull off the same serious attitude that Humphrey had. Ford was also able to give him some emotion so that he wasn’t someone immune to human feelings and such.

The Larrabee parents, either the creators thought that Nancy Merchand is such a strong actress that she can fill both Nella Walker and Walter Hampden‘s roles. She was funny and it was nice seeing the mother have some role at the Larrebee Company. Or maybe they just didn’t have enough money left over to cast the father. Or maybe there wasn’t anymore actors willing to step up for the role, just as it’s rumored that the creators wanted Winona Ryder (and a few other actresses) but she turned down the role as Sabrina because she felt that she couldn’t fill in the shoes of Audrey Hepburn. Even Sydney Pollack got Billy Wilder‘s permission to direct the remake of his film before accepting the job.

Rake Greg Kinnear

Greg Kinnear as David was ok. He did do a good job with being a Rake and adding some comedy. But I much preferred William Holden. Speaking of Greg, he was able to act like a playboy 20 years ago, but failed when he tried being that type again in the U.S. remake of the original Australian show – Rake (I recommend seeing the original).

I will give the 1995 film credit for taking all the gadgets and cars for this film into the almost 21st Century, like the indestructible flat screen tv to the Ferrari. The Paris scenes was nice, although I thought I was watching a film of Paris rather than Julia Ormond’s adventures there, thus making Sabrina a backdrop story in those scenes. I much preferred Audrey’s experience at the cooking school, plus there’s another great quote said by the Baron.

Sabrina 1954 Love

I still love the original’s ending so much more. With Linus watching the Cruise ship leaving it almost tugs at my heart. But then, Harrison did do a good job in talking about what a fool he’s been.

And my final thought is was it really necessary to remake this classic movie?! I don’t think so, and have only been rewatching  this because of Harrison Ford, Nancy Merchand and Laurel Holly.

Sabrina 1954 Getting over the cure

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4 thoughts on “TCM 31 Days of Oscar – Sabrina (1954)

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