A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Sabrina Fairchild, the shy, awkward daughter of a live-in chauffeur (John Williams), pines for womanizing David Larrabee (William Holden), younger son of her father's employer. David is much too distracted chasing skirts around the family tennis courts to notice pony-tailed Sabrina. Leaving the Larrabee's Long Island mansion for a year to attend a Paris cooking school transforms Sabrina from girlish to glamorous. She cuts her pony-tail, too. When she returns to the Larrabee home, David falls head-over-heels in love with her -- at least, with her legs. His no-nonsense brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) and hardliner father (Walter Hampden) will do anything to end the romance. Future interests of the Larrabee Corporation depend on a merger with David's father-in-law-to-be.
Is it any good?
Still new to Hollywood in 1954, Audrey Hepburn delivers a delightful performance as the title role in SABRINA. Her style alone could carry the film. But with director Billy Wilder and costars Humphrey Bogart and William Holden, it doesn't need to. The script is tightly written and flawlessly executed. Romance supersedes comedy here, and since Wilder excelled at both genres, the result is a film classic.
The film has a serious side, as Linus manipulates Sabrina throughout, but its sincerity makes the viewer engrossed in the characters' lives. Moreover, Sabrina's understated humor (and fashionable '50s fare) makes it a pleasure to watch. Don't miss the elder Mr. Larrabee's cutting quips, and be on the look-out for his impersonation of his one-time daughter-in-law performing a deodorant commercial. If it's your first experience watching this movie, plan to do it in a single sitting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the issues of class raised in this film. How does Sabrina's father feel about class division? What about Mr. Larrabee? Why does Sabrina transfer her affection from David to Linus? She accepts the Larrabees' bargain in the end -- is it for the money? Sabrina doesn't want to be a cook like her mother. What are her other options?