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Sabrina (1954)
USA 1954
Directed by Billy Wilder
Running time 113 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Against-type casting in this soufflé-light romantic comedy puts Humphrey Bogart as a square business tycoon and William Holden as his profligate, womanising younger brother together with object of their affections, Audrey Hepburn, in a story of triangulated love.

Although Hepburn is cute and has a style all her own I’ve never found it particularly appealing and there is an aspect of her faux naiveté that partakes of the juvenilism typical of 1950s popular culture and from a modern day perspective makes her relationship with the 56 year old Bogart rather creepy. Had the male leads gone to Cary Grant and Tony Curtis, for example, and with a couple of musical numbers thrown in (the closest we get is Hepburn singing "La Vie En Rose") this would have had a lot more zip. Nevertheless the script, written by Wilder together with Ernest Lehmann and Samuel Taylor from the latter's play Sabrina Fair is witty enough and Wilder adept enough with this kind of material to make it watchable.

 

 

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