Most romantic film #47: Sabrina (1954)

Another hommage to Paris, where Sabrina goes to become a grown-up with much better clothes.

This is phenomenally better than the 1995 remake. In this version, Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) has a huge crush on David Larrabee, a rich playboy (William Holden). Sabrina’s father is the chauffeur for the Larrabees, and he worries about Sabrina’s monumental crush. After all, she’s still an awkward teenager.

To solve the problem, he sends Sabrina to Paris to study at the Cordon Bleu, where she is at first a complete failure… but then learns many lessons. This is how she arrives home:

Oh la la!

After two years in Paris, Sabrina returns to her Long Island home, thoroughly sophisticated. She still has a crush on David, although he is now engaged to the daughter of a business associate. David’s marriage makes good sense for the Larrabee company…

When David notices Sabrina and endangers the Larrabee partnership, older brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) steps in to kill the David-Sabrina affair by romancing her himself. And comic entangements ensue.

Directed by Billy Wilder, with a stellar cast and costumes by Edith Head and Givenchy (who clothes Hepburn consistently), the whole thing is charming, classy, and witty. And genuinely funny. If you’ve never seen Bogart be funny, this is it.

This is the phenomenal ball gown Sabrina wears. And from the front…

And, again, some much better than the sleepy version of 1995 starring Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. Bleah.

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