Audrey Hepburn Sabrina: Sabrina, a bonafide Cinderella fairy tale, is the story of a lowly chauffeur’s daughter who is transformed into a chic young woman after a European trip.
‘Sabrina’ makes clear that the process of sophistication a young woman endures is not because of money or success (as the anticipated reward). For a young woman’s coming of age, and motivation to be sophisticated, romance is the payoff.
At least that is the theme of Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina.
Sabrina wants to better herself and her situation because she has fallen in love with someone in a higher social order
. – Diane Maychick
Audrey Hepburn Sabrina – The Story
Background and synopsis of Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina
Audrey starred as Sabrina Fairchild, the young daughter of the Larrabee family’s chauffeur, Thomas.
She falls in love with the family’s younger son, David Larrabee, a playboy.
It becomes obvious that he does not see her that way. In one instance, she watches David as he woos a young woman that evening on the family tennis court. Sabrina is so distraught that she attempts suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in her father’s garage.
But David’s other brother, Linus, saves her. Her father begins to realize his daughter’s fantasy life is getting more severe and dangerous. He then sends her away to a cooking school in Paris, hoping that she will return as a chef.
Sabrina turns out to be a hopeless cook, but she befriends an aging baron who has interest in changing her image and begins to educate Sabrina in the ways of the cultured, wealthy, European aristocracy of which he is a leading member.
When she graduated from cooking school, she returns to Long Island a poised and elegant young lady. While she was waiting for her father to pick her up. David spots her but does not recognize her and tried to picked her up by offering her a ride.
The producer, Wilder highlights David’s by now tired lines of seduction, while contrasting Sabrina’s refined style and accomplishment in the art of conversation. He then realizes who she is when she directs him to their home.
The tables are turned. Sabrina is confident and is noncommittal. He openly woos her and just when she decides to reciprocate, Linus interferes.
Linus, the responsible older brother who runs the family empire notices David’s attraction for Sabrina. He fears that he would jeopardize his wedding with a very rich woman. If the wedding was cancelled, Linus will lose a big corporate deal with the bride’s family.
So he makes a play for Sabrina himself, to distract her from his more flamboyant brother. Sabrina becomes smitten. However, Linus remains focused on his only agenda with Sabrina – to further his family’s business. He pretends to marry Sabrina only to concoct a plan to get her out of the country.
On the pretext of a honeymoon trip, he tells her he’s booked passage on a ship bound for Europe; in reality he doesn’t shop up and she sails alone.
As Linus was acting out his grand plan up to the point where Sabrina sails away, he did not realize it then but he actually falls in love with her. David sees this and in a moment of love and compassion for his brother, confronts him and challenges him to stand up for his feelings in a board meeting.
Realizing his mistake, he manages to get on the boat via helicopter, and they sail away together to Paris.
Audrey Hepburn Sabrina – Behind The Scenes
Behind the scenes of the production of Sabrina and Audrey Hepburn
During the filming of Sabrina, Audrey often spent isolated weekends at home in her garden apartment. She lived in a modest two rooms on Los Angele’s Wilshire Boulevard, refusing all invitations to go to dinner, saying “I need to refuel.”
She also fell in love with her co-star William Holden, who was married. They both apparently had feelings for each other. Once, Audrey admitted her feelings to him and worried out loud if he would ever get over leaving his wife and starting a new family.
Holden then revealed that he can’t start a new family because he had a vasectomy.
Her desire for her own family was so strong that she broke it off with Holden. She was determined to go after what she wanted.
How Audrey Hepburn Sabrina Happened
How did “Sabrina” come about and how Audrey Hepburn was involved in its production from the start to the end.
- She pioneered it.
Audrey actually deserves more credit to causing this movie to happen than most people know.
She read Samuel Taylor’s play “Sabrina Fair” which was brought to Broadway with Margaret Sullavan in the lead.
She asked her then agent, Lew Wasserman to persuade Paramount to buy the property as a vehicle for her.
- She fell in love with her co stars.
Though a married man, Audrey couldn’t help herself and fell in love with William Holden. They got along very well in the movie.
- Perhaps the first man to DISLIKE Audrey Hepburn.
Perhaps the first man to DISLIKE Audrey Hepburn, was her other co-star Humphrey Bogart.
“Probably out of jealousy over the fact that his love, Lauren Bacall, had been turned down for the title character of Sabrina, he resented the attention being heaped on Audrey.”
He was actually a replacement for Cary Grant who pulled out at the last minute.
- It was through this movie she met one of her best friends, Hubert de Givenchy.
Edith Head was hired to work with the clothes ‘Sabrina’ wore before she heads off to Paris. Hubert de Givenchy was hired to dress Sabrina for her ‘post-paris’ wardrobe.
Audrey became his muse and they entered into a life long friendship. Hubert even carried her coffin when she passed away in 1993. Read more about Audrey’s death.
Ref: An intimate Portrait by Diane MayChick
You might also be interested in: