|Directed by||Billy Wilder|
|Produced by||Billy Wilder|
|Written by||Samuel A. Taylor (play Sabrina Fair)
|Music by||Frederick Hollander|
|Editing by||Arthur P. Schmidt|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||September 9, 1954 London premiere|
|Running time||113 min|
Sabrina is a 1954 film directed by Billy Wilder, adapted for the screen by Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, and Ernest Lehman from Taylor's play Sabrina Fair (in the UK, the movie has the title Sabrina Fair). It stars Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, and William Holden.
Sabrina Fairchild (Hepburn) is the young daughter of the Larrabee family's chauffeur, Thomas (John Williams), and has been in love with David Larrabee (Holden) all her life. David is an oft-married, idle playboy, crazy for women, who has never noticed Sabrina, much to her and the staff's dismay. Sabrina then attends culinary school in Paris and returns as an attractive and sophisticated woman. David, after initially not recognizing her, is quickly drawn to her. David's workaholic older brother Linus (Bogart) sees this and fears that David's imminent wedding with a very rich woman may be endangered. If the wedding were to be canceled, so would a great corporate deal with the bride's family. So Linus tries to redirect Sabrina's affections, and in the process falls in love with her.
The ending contains Sabrina leaving for Paris on a boat, after Linus has told her to leave and never come back. In a board meeting, realizing his mistake, he manages to get on the boat, and they sail away together to Paris.
In this film Hepburn sings "La vie en rose" (French for "Life in Pink" and euphemism for seeing the world through rose-colored glasses), the signature song of French singer Édith Piaf - which had been highly popular in the English-speaking world as well as in France, since Piaf came out with it in 1946. The occasion for Hepburn to sing it is at the episode of Sabrina's return from Paris, when she is far more assertive than before setting out, and her life does turn rosier.
During production of the film, Hepburn and Holden entered into a brief but passionate, and much-publicized, love affair. Bogart, meanwhile, complained that Hepburn required too many takes to get her dialogue right and pointed out her inexperience. However, his behavior towards Hepburn was better than his behavior towards other members of the cast and crew.
Bogart was very unhappy during the filming and was convinced that he was totally wrong for this kind of film, mad at not being Wilder's first choice, and didn't like Holden or Wilder. But his offbeat casting produced one of his best and most celebrated performances. Bogart later apologized to Wilder for his behavior on-set, citing problems in his personal life.
Although Edith Head won an Oscar for Best Costumes, most of Hepburn's outfits were created by Hubert de Givenchy and chosen by the star herself. Edith Head refused to be shown alongside Givenchy in the credits, so she was given credit for the costumes, although the Academy's votes were obviously for Hepburn's attire. Edith Head did not refuse the Oscar. The film began a life-long association between Givenchy and Hepburn (it has been reported that when Hepburn called on Givenchy for the first time in Paris, he assumed that it was Katharine Hepburn in his salon.)
It also served as the inspiration for the Hindi movie Yeh Dillagi, starring Akshay Kumar (1994). While there are changes to the plot, it was a considerable success at the box office. It also boosted the careers of Akshay Kumar and Kajol, both of whom got best actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards for their performances.