Human Science

Sabrina (1954 version)

Sabrina is a story of a chauffeur's daughter who rises socially to the top ranks of society as a result of the psychological purity and truth in her personality.

The movie Sabrina (1954 version) directed by Billy Wilder, adapted for the screen by Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, and Ernest Lehman from Taylor's play Sabrina Fair . It stars Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, and William Holden.

In 1995, a remake of Sabrina was produced, starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear in the roles originally played by Bogart, Hepburn and Holden, respectively.

Synopsis - Sabrina(1954)

Sabrina (1954) Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden

A very pretty daughter of rich man’s driver was obsessed with the rich man’s younger son, David, a shallow, handsome youth whom she watched from the treetop all her life. Her father lived over the garage of the estate and over the years she observed the house parties from the treetop. David’s span of attention to the numerous girls he was attracted to was two visits. His elder brother Linus, who was running the father’s billion dollar business, was unmarried and a devoted businessman negotiating a billion dollar merger with the Tyson company. David and Sabrina were childhood mates, but they had not met for a few years.

David’s mother sent Sabrina to Paris for work experience with a friend, where she attends a culinary school, learns photography and the Parisian way of life. (Contrary to the original movie, in the 1995 version of the movie, Sabrina attends a fashion design training course in Paris, not a culinary course as in the 1954 version.)Sabrina returned home after a few months with a different hairstyle and even prettier looks. David saw her on the roadside and offered her a lift, not recognising her. He invited her to his mother’s birthday party at home.

Audrey Hepburn and William Holden in Sabrina (1954)

This was a dream come true for Sabrina. Linus, the elder brother, recognised her when they reached the house, and when David realised she was Sabrina, he was surprised. She went to the evening party and danced with David. She lost her breath. It was obvious to the mother and to Linus that David was falling in love with Sabrina. But David had already become engaged and was supposed to marry Tyson’s daughter and cement the merger. So Linus decided to wean Sabrina away from David. He took her away for two days when David was in bed due to an accident. Linus was subconsciously attracted to her, and proposed to take her to Paris. She became confused, overwhelmed, but Linus persisted. She physically responded to him, and when he saw that, he felt sorry for his trick and disclosed his lie to her. Disillusioned, she went to Paris with the ticket he gave her after taking leave of her father who revealed that he had earned two million dollars over the years through stock investments. Linus narrated the developments to David. Then he changed his mind and wanted Sabrina to be with David instead of the Tyson girl. David became furious with Linus for trifling with Sabrina’s feelings, attacked him and offered Sabrina to Linus, realising that Linus really loved Sabrina. Linus rushed to Paris and joined Sabrina.

Sabrina: Character analysis

Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954)

The girl was Truth itself. Her emotion may have been an unreal obsession, a silly sentiment for the unattainable, but it was TRUE in itself. It was fulfilled for her as an invitation to dance. The weight of her truth with respect to her surface intensity was exhausted by that one dance. It hurt David as he was unworthy of her truth, and in view of the abysmal distance in society between them.

Linus who tried to trick her out of the way, never knew that one cannot trick truth away. He was tricked into it. Her truth, ultimately, won a true lover (Linus) who was truly devoted to her. Her truth was so complete that David’s mother did not approve of Linus ditching Sabrina and in the end Linus changed his view, wanting David to marry her. Sabrina being moved by Linus’s attention and kissing him without knowing what she had done, expressed the truth of attention and it was true attention. It never meant she preferred Linus to David. Her psychological truth accomplished for her socially. Spirit can accomplish more. Desert in the higher psychological plane can accomplish abundantly in the lower social plane when it is pure.

Sabrina (1995 version)

Her accomplishment

The components of her accomplishment were

  • Her pure purity.
  • Her loyalty to her inner image.
  • Atmosphere of GOODNESS of their house where she lived at the lowest level.
  • Her father’s earning two million which exhausts his efforts, so that life can begin.
  • A physical worker (her father), devoted to mental exercise of reading is an upward evolutionary move.
  • He earned and saved $15,000, thus creating a physical base that was necessary and he exhausted his entire effort, again by a mental work of investing in stocks.
  • Neither the father nor the child ever thought of money or gain.
  • Both their motives were pure to the core.

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