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A movie directed by Sydney Pollack

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"Save Me Sabrina Fair, You're the Only One Who Can..."

  • Jan 2, 2002
Pros: An excellent fairy tale. Ford, Ormand, and Kinear play their parts to perfection.

Cons: When all is said and done, this is just another Cinderella story.

The Bottom Line: Fabulous lines, romance, good writing, romance, and great actors. One of my all time favs.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.

The film opens with a wandering aerial shot and the soothing, innocent voice of Sabrina Fairchild telling us what sounds, at first, like the beginning of a fairytale. We quickly realize she is, in fact, telling us the story of her life.

She grew up on a sprawling picturesque estate on Long Island, but she lived there as one of the invisible people, merely the daughter of the Larrabee’s chauffer. We are drawn close by the softness of her voice and the dreamlike beauty of the scenes before us, as the story and her life unfolds before us.

Sabrina as a young girl just coming of age, is intelligent, well educated, shy, self-conscoius, innocent, and quite hopelessly infatuated with David Larrabee. David is the younger son and he is everything his elder brother, Linus, is not.

Charismatic, impulsive, irresponsible, romantic and completely oblivious to anything outside of his self-involved life, David is the prince in all of Sabrina’s dreams. Well aware of his daughter’s fascination, Sabrina’s father arranges for her to go to Paris. Where she will learn to see life anew through a camera lens and, hopefully forget about the dashing Larrabee ne’er-do-well.

When Sabrina returns, she has blossomed into a striking, stylish, and confidant young woman, and David at first, does not recognize her. Sensible, straightforward Linus knows her at once, of course, and quickly becomes concerned that Sabrina’s beauty and quiet grace will upset all the family plans for his younger brother who is already engaged (finally) to Elizabeth. Worse still, it might unravel the major deal Linus has going with Elizabeth’s father!

He takes ruthless, if highly amusing, steps to ensure that Sabrina will not become the fly in the family ointment. Engineering a rather well deserved diversion for David, Linus whisks Sabrina away from the estate on a semi-plausible occupation. Much to his own amazement, this campaign does not seem to be playing out in quite the manner he had intended though. “How's it going? Terrible! So far, I'm more effected than she is! I’ve nearly cried twice!” he marvels to his mother.

Will the “world’s only living heart donor” find his heart only to loose it to the enchanting Sabrina? What will David do once the medication wears off and he is recovered from his “accident”? Who will save whom and can this spell be broken by a single kiss? Will ‘Sabrina fair’ have the inner strength to do what must be done and mend her twice-broken heart…alone?

This charming remake of a 1954 film by Billy Wilder manages to be touching, romantic, funny, and surprisingly superior to the original. While still a Cinderella story, Sabrina gains far more independence, strength, and flair than she did the first time around. Which quite took me by surprise as Sabrina was originally played by Audrey Hepburn (and Humphrey Bogart as Linus), who has been one of my especial favorites for ages now.

Let’s face it though, being a fashion photographer has far more appeal than becoming a 'good cook', even if a cook was a far more acceptable role for women in the fifties. The ’54 version, while almost identical to this version in most respects, just seems cheapened by the astringent stereotypes of that era that can’t help seeping through the seams.

The original is still well worth a look (it Is Hepburn after all!), but this version is the one to own! Much is said through expression and body language by many of the actors. Maude Larrabee is priceless and the relationship between David and Linus is quite interesting. Director Sydney Pollack and the excellent cast did a simply marvelous job. Even the soundtrack seems to drift out of the mists of a fairytale.

So, if you are looking for a little romantic magic by moonlight, let Sabrina sweep you off your feet!


Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Good Date Movie
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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review by . May 28, 2000
Pros: ..     Cons: ..     Staying in the same ‘aren't I happy' movie line, I caught a little ditty called Sabrina, mainly because it starred Harrison Ford, and I am always willing to give Ford a watch - sometimes good, sometimes bad. And sometimes just plain mediocre, as I found this movie to be.      The predictable story line - beautiful (now) girl whose father is chauffeur, outrageously rich and handsome men, tender winsome looks, girl …
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Quinn Blackburn ()
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Hello, my name is Quinn... yes, that really is my first name. :o) I also answer to Mom, and occasionally Entwife. I enjoy Beauty wherever I find it... Nature, Music, Art in all its forms... I believe … more
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About this movie


Sydney Pollack directs Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond in this remake of the 1954 Billy Wilder romantic comedy. Ford and Greg Kinnear portray a pair of brothers who are both potential heirs to the Larrabee family fortune. David, a dashing playboy, and Linus, a sensible stodgy businessman, both end up vying for the affections of Sabrina (Ormond), the chauffeur's daughter, after she returns elegantly transformed from a sojourn in Paris. Pollack presents an effortless contemporary telling of this classic Cinderella story.
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Director: Sydney Pollack
Release Date: 1995
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: Paramount Home Entertainment (January 15, 2002)
Runtime: 2hr 7min
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