There’s not a lot to say about Sabrina, except that if you haven’t watched it, or watched it lately, you should do so immediately.
Humphrey Bogart is kind of ridiculous (he was apparently a backup choice for the role, dealing with personal Bogie issues, and grumped at everyone through all of filming). And even though Audrey Hepburn was obviously born to play this role, her dreamy drawl begins to wear on one by the end of the movie. And the two of them together? Maybe one of the most awkward onscreen kisses in history.
But it doesn’t matter. It’s magic.
The second-to-last time I watched Sabrina, I actually listened to it. Precisely two years ago Robyn and I were driving from Coronado Island to L.A. and we put it on her iPod, safely tucked the device into the cupholder so as to watch the road!, and listened to it the whole way back so we wouldn’t fall asleep.
Amazingly, it works!
I mean, maybe it works better for those of us who have seen the movie 57 times. But from the “once upon a time” opening to the sound of crunching champagne glasses, the movie as-is (with the exception of the long dialogue-free scene where Sabrina writes her suicide note) functions remarkably well as a radio play.
Except if you go that route, you miss out on the fact that this is simply one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know what it is. I’m not a production person. I don’t know if they did something special with the film or with the lighting…but there is something about the crispness of the light, dark, and shadow in Sabrina that I have never seen (or at least, never noticed) in any other black and white movie.
I can’t explain it beyond that. Maybe you can. But practically every scene in this movie is gorgeous.
Oh, and it’s funny!
And it contains useful life lessons like, “There’s a front seat and a backseat and a window in between” and “Never an umbrella in Paris.”