Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Sabrina (1954)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Sabrina (1954)

In Billy Wilder's delightful romantic comedy, the light-hearted story was a version of the Cinderella tale, in which two brothers in a rich Long Island society family both competed (with differing motivations) for romance with their chauffeur's pretty daughter Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn):

  • in the film's post-credits opening, chauffeur's daughter Sabrina Fairchild (with a voice-over) introduced the grounds of the large Larrabee estate on Long Island, NY and the many servants to take care of the lifestyle required, including widowed family chauffeur Thomas Fairchild (John Williams): "Once upon a time, on the north shore of Long Island, some 30 miles from New York, there lived a small girl on a large estate. The estate was very large indeed and had many servants....Also on the estate, there was a chauffeur by the name of Fairchild, who had been imported from England years ago together with a new Rolls-Royce. Fairchild was a fine chauffeur of considerable polish like the eight cars in his care. And he had a daughter by the name of Sabrina....There were four Larrabees in all -- father, mother and two sons....Linus Larrabee, the elder son, graduated from Yale, where his classmates voted him the man most likely to leave his alma mater $50 million. His brother David went through several of the best eastern colleges for short periods of time and through several marriages for even shorter periods of time. He is now a successful six-goal polo player, and is listed on Linus's tax return as a $600 deduction. Life was pleasant among the Larrabees, for this was as close to heaven as one could get on Long Island"
Film's Opening Voice-Over Narration

The Larrabee Estate

Chauffeur's Daughter Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn)

The Larrabee Family

The Larrabees

Linus Larrabee (Humphrey Bogart)

David Larrabee (William Holden)
  • Sabrina Fairchild was tremendously beautiful and charming - initially viewed as she snooped on the Larrabee's annual party on Long Island from a perch in a tree; she was particularly enamoured and had a "crush" for the youngest ultra-rich Larrabee son: light blonde, ne'er-do-well, womanizing, unattached playboyish David Larrabee (William Holden) who was three times divorced; his older brother was stuffy, formal, workaholic, middle-aged, conservative and uptight businessman Linus Larrabee (54 year-old Humphrey Bogart) who was running Larrabee Industries Ltd. and associated companies; David regarded Sabrina as somebody who just worked for the family
  • an envious Sabrina watched anxiously as David took a bottle of champagne and two glasses (stashed into his back pockets) from the party to the family's nearby indoor tennis where he seduced giggly socialite Gretchen Van Horn (Joan Vohs) with his charming manner
  • Sabrina's father Thomas scolded his lovesick daughter for aspring beyond her class status: ("Don't reach for the moon, child") - but then depressed and in despair about her unrequited love for David, she returned to her bedroom and wrote a suicide note to her father, and then tried to asphyxiate herself in the closed garage via carbon monoxide poisioning; she was dramatically rescued by Linus and carried back to her bedroom above the garage - he told her: ("Of all the idiotic things, haven't you ever heard of carbon monoxide? It kills people")
  • during the next section of the film, Sabrina was urged by her father to find a cure for her hopeless romantic urgings and ambitions; she departed for Paris for chef and culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu; while there, she confessed her unhappy love life to her confidante 74 year-old Baron St. Fontanel (Marcel Dalio): ("I might as well be reaching for the moon"); he advised: "Oh, you young people! You are so old-fashioned. Have you not heard? We are building rockets to reach the moon!"; Sabrina failed miserably at cooking in the school, but was trained in becoming more sophisticated and poised
  • meanwhile back at home, Linus manipulatively encouraged David, for solely business reasons, to enter into an engagement and marriage of convenience (and $20 million business deal) to wealthy socialite-heiress Elizabeth Tyson (Martha Hyer) of the Oyster Bay Tysons; Elizabeth's father owned one of the largest sugar cane holdings in Puerto Rico - sugar was a product needed for the Larrabee's manufacture of plastic; David was skeptical about an almost-immediate summer wedding: "I'm supposed to be offered up as a human sacrifice on the altar of industrial progress. Is that it?"; Linus persuasively responded: "You make it sound so vulgar, David, as if the son of the hot dog dynasty were being offered in marriage to the daughter of the mustard king. Surely, surely you don't object to Elizabeth just because her father happens to have twenty million dollars? That's very narrow-minded of you, David" - Linus admitted that he had already proposed the 'merger' marriage to Mr. Tyson, and the offer had been accepted
  • Linus delivered a forward-looking speech to David about progress via American capitalism and its benefits for everyone in society: "A new product has been found, something of use to the world. So a new industry moves into an undeveloped area. Factories go up, machines are brought in, a harbor is dug, and you're in business. It's purely coincidental, of course, that people who never saw a dime before now suddenly have a dollar, and barefooted kids wear shoes and have their teeth fixed and their faces washed. What's wrong with a kind of an urge that gives people libraries, hospitals, baseball diamonds and movies on a Saturday night?"
  • after two years in Paris, Sabrina had become more mature, chic, glamorous, well-grounded, and realistic about love affairs - she wrote to her father just before returning: "I have learned how to live, how to be IN the world and OF the world, and not just to stand aside and watch. And I will never, never again run away from life. Or from love, either"
  • after returning from Paris, Sabrina had been transformed into a costumed Cinderella - now she was a refined, sophisticated and cultured 22 year-old woman with a new hairdo and sleek clothes; in a memorable scene when Sabrina was noticed and picked up at the Long Island (Glen Cove) railroad station by an astounded David, he flirted with her BUT didn't immediately recognize her: ("Who are you?"); he offered to take her home, and as they pulled into the Larrabee estate, he shouted out: "You don't live here!", but she asserted that he was her neighbor ("Hi neighbor!") and he finally recognized who she was
  • now back home, Sabrina's father cautioned her about falling in love with David again, since he was engaged (and was planning to be married in 10 days): "He's still David Larrabee, and you're still the chauffeur's daughter, and you're still reaching for the moon" - she clarified for her father how David was now interested in her: "No, father. The moon's reaching for ME"
  • at a Larrabee party hosted that night, single-minded David attempted to sneak away from his fiancee Elizabeth to romance and dance with Sabrina - who was wearing a gorgeous Parisian gown; Sabrina happily accepted David's attentiveness, and while dancing cheek-to-cheek with him, she answered his question about where she had been all his life: ("Right over the garage")

Sabrina's Stunning Entrance at Party

David's Romancing of Sabrina at Party

Sabrina: "Right Over the Garage"
  • David schemed to set up a rendezvous with Sabrina in the indoor tennis court as he had with other socialites, but was waylaid by Linus and Oliver (who realized David's interest in Sabrina would endanger his arranged marriage); Oliver groused: "This boy should be drummed out of the family...No gentleman makes love to a servant in his mother's house!...You have embarrassed not only your mother but also our chauffeur...You will get rid of that girl immediately, do you understand, and you'll apologize to your fiancee!"; fortuitously, Linus was able to convince David to sit down, and he suffered a rear-end bruising (due to the two hidden champagne glasses in his back pockets)
  • instead of meeting up with the injured and incapacitated David (who eventually required 23 stitches), Sabrina encountered his replacement brother Linus at the tennis court, where they spoke about her love for David; Linus admitted the obvious problem: "He's completely forgotten he's engaged....There goes the engagement"; he added as they shared a few drinks together: "I'm sorry it isn't David here instead of me. But it's all in the family"; he again mentioned the phrase: "It's all in the family," before a close hug and some slow-dancing with her, followed by a kiss: "Here's a kiss from David" - and another one: "It's all in the family"
  • the stodgy Linus continued his maneuverings to wean Sabrina away - to romance her and distract her from David, to save the planned marriage and protect the 'merger' deal; during a day of sailing the next afternoon, Sabrina mentioned how she thought Linus could never fall in love: "Always wearing your black homburg, and carrying a briefcase and an umbrella. I thought you could never belong to anyone, never care for anyone"; the self-confessed "cold businessman" Linus confessed to Sabrina that he actually had two long-lost loves; he claimed (similar to Sabrina) that he almost committed suicide over one past romance; Sabrina suggested for him to do what she did - travel to Paris as a remedy for his troubles: ("Oh, but Paris isn't for changing planes, it's, it's for changing your outlook, for, for throwing open the windows and letting in, letting in la vie en rose"); Linus replied sadly: "Paris is for lovers. Maybe that's why I stayed only thirty-five minutes"
  • gradually, however, Linus began to fall in love with Sabrina; in a scene in Linus' office before wining and dining her - and taking her on a date to the theatre with dinner and dancing, he offered Sabrina a mixed drink; she became visibly impressed by his position of power and influence: "Look at all these gadgets. Just imagine. You press a button and factories go up. Or you pick up a telephone and a hundred tankers set out for Persia. Or you switch on the dictaphone and say, 'Buy all of Cleveland and move it to Pittsburgh.' You must be awfully clever"
  • without her knowledge, he had dishonest intentions regarding her future; Linus was planning to sail her back to Paris on a French cruise liner within a week to get her out of the way (although she assumed that he would be traveling alone to Paris to rejuvenate his own unfulfilled romantic life)
The Devious Linus Was Also Gradually Falling in Love with Sabrina

Plans to Sail to Paris - But Who Would Be Going?

Linus Romancing Sabrina

Sabrina Singing: "La Vie en Rose"
  • on the drive back home in David's convertible (driven by Linus), Sabrina sang "La Vie En Rose" in French - (a reference to looking at the world through rose-colored glasses); she advised Linus to alter his usual serious demeanor and stiff clothing in Paris: "We can't have you walking up and down the Champs Elysees looking like a tourist undertaker! And another thing, never a briefcase in Paris and never an umbrella. There's a law"; he replied with a hint: "How am I ever going to get along in Paris without someone like you? Who'll be there to help me with my French, to turn down the brim of my hat?"; he suggested another possible scenario: "Suppose I were ten years younger. Suppose you weren't in love with David. Suppose I asked you to - well, I suppose I'm just talking nonsense"
  • meanwhile, David seemed oblivious to Linus' subversive scheming, and encouraged Sabrina to 'date' and be with Linus, even though she was still blindly in love with David: "Oh, I know how you feel, Sabrina. It must be an awful bore, but if Linus wants to take you out, let's be nice about it. It's very important. He's our only ally. Don't you see, Father will try to cut off my allowance and send me off to Larrabee Copper in Butte, Montana, and we don't wanna go to Butte, Montana, do we?" - he continued by filling her head with fantasy dreams as he hugged and kissed her: "We'll have a wonderful time, darling. We'll build ourselves a raft and drift across the Pacific like Kon-Tiki. Or climb the highest mountain, like Annapurna, just the two of us"
  • as the film was coming to a close, Linus revealed his devious plan to his father Oliver to temporarily rid them of Sabrina - he ("Who said I was going? She is going. She'll think that I'm going, but I'm not really going...I'm going to tell Sabrina that I'll meet her on the boat. When the boat is ten miles out at sea, she'll find out I'm not on the boat. My cabin will be empty. Just a note of apology and a few presents to soften the blow"); he would pay for Sabrina's living expenses in Paris and support her with a car, apartment, bank credit ($50,000), and 1,500 shares of preferred Larrabee stock would be granted to her father
  • during a late night in Linus' office, Sabrina confessed her sadness about his departure to Paris: "Tell me I'm imagining things. Tell me you never even thought of taking me on the boat to Paris with you. Tell me to put on my coat and go home before I make a complete fool of myself. But don't let me go home. I couldn't bear it. This is the last time we're going to see each other"; she repeated earlier advice to him: "You haven't forgotten my instructions, have you? Never an umbrella in Paris, and under all circumstances rain the very first day"
  • when she saw two tickets to Paris on Linus' desk, she believed that he had booked passage for both of them; she was jubilant and asked him: "Why didn't you tell me? You do want to take me with you, don't you?...I know why you didn't tell me, because you think it's wrong. They'll say I'm too young for you, there'll be an awful scandal, and the market will go down" - and she hugged him
  • in a dramatic revelation, Linus dashed her hopes and dreams; he admitted his plan was to send her back to Paris alone - as part of his scheme to keep her away from David: "Sabrina, l - I wasn't going to take you to Paris. I was going to send you....Yes, all alone...I'm sorry...High finance. Expansion. Marriage. A merger. A new plaque on the Larrabee Building. You got in the way" - even so, Linus responded positively about their short time together: "I'm ashamed to say I enjoyed every minute of it"; she departed with her ticket to sail away alone, and sadly said farewell with these words: "I was happy in Paris. I think you would have been, too. Goodbye, Mr. Larrabee"
  • the next morning (on the day of the boat's sailing, Thursday), Linus announced that he was going to cancel the Larrabee plastic merger at the board meeting, and call off his brother's wedding - he had arranged for David to take his place to Paris with Sabrina
  • shortly later in Linus' office, David told his brother that he had suddenly put "two and two together" about Linus' devious schemes to be with Sabrina (and he punched him in the face) - but then he said he had concluded that true-love had grown between them: "Funniest thing. Linus Larrabee, the man who doesn't burn, doesn't scorch, doesn't melt, suddenly throws a twenty million dollar deal out the window. Are you sure you don't want to go with her?'re in love with her" - David knew that Linus was secretly in love with Sabrina
  • during the same day's board meeting on the subject of the Larrabee-Tyson merger (as the French ocean liner pulled out of the NYC dock), Linus was planning to announce that the deal had "sailed away" - and that David was on his way to Paris with Sabrina - it would cause a decisive death-blow to the marriage and the merger; however, David appeared and showed off an afternoon newspaper announcement of Linus' elopement with Sabrina to Paris: "It says here that Linus Larrabee, that's you isn't it, and Sabrina Fairchild, that's she isn't it, have quietly reserved adjacent deck chairs on the Liberte, sailing today"
  • in the film's major plot twist, David explained that the expected romance between himself and Sabrina had been transferred to Linus: "Linus Larrabee, wizard of finance, man of distinction, chairman of the board of Larrabee Industries, getting mixed up with his chauffeur's daughter....She went after me for awhile, but then she switched to Linus"; he also accused Linus of being duped for his money by Sabrina, causing Linus to punch his brother in the face for besmirching her!; David was left sprawled backwards onto the board meeting's table
  • after orchestrating an entirely different scenario and role reversal (that placed the importance of love over business), David encouraged Linus to end up with Sabrina in Paris - (David: "I was just helping you make up your mind - you ARE in love with her! Well, what are you waiting for?") - meanwhile, David's own marriage and merger would proceed as scheduled; David had arranged for Linus to sail to Paris with Sabrina - a tugboat was prepared to take him to the ocean liner; Linus rushed off from the meeting to rendezvous with Sabrina - on the boat to Paris

Board Meeting

David's Sudden Appearance at the Board Meeting

Linus Punching David in the Face
  • in the film's ending before a fade to black, Linus hugged a surprised Sabrina on the deck of the ocean liner

Sabrina Spying on the Larrabee Party From Tree

Suicide Note

Suicide Attempt in Closed Garage

Sabrina in Parisian Culinary School

Advice to Sabrina From the Baron in Paris

The Many Larrabee Industries Ltd. Companies

Linus' Argument For Capitalism

Sabrina's New Found Maturity After Two Years in Paris - Writing A Letter to Her Father

Sophisticated Sabrina Waiting at the Train Station

David Greeting Sabrina at the Train Station ("Who are you?")

David's Fiancee Elizabeth Tyson

David's Accident with Champagne Glasses in His Back Pockets

Linus With Sabrina at the Tennis Court

Sabrina in Linus' Office: Very Much Impressed with Him

Sabrina - Still in Love with David Even While Dating Linus

Two Ocean Liner Tickets - For Linus and Sabrina

Sabrina's Late-Night Confession to Linus - She Thought He Was Leaving for Paris

Sabrina's Discovery of the Two Ocean Liner Tickets

Sabrina's Dashed Dreams - She Was Going to Be Sent to Paris ALONE

Goodbye, Mr. Larrabee

David Punching Linus for Deviously Falling in Love with Sabrina

Linus on Tugboat to Rendezvous with Sabrina on Ocean Liner to Paris

Film's Ending: Linus and Sabrina Together on Their Way to Paris


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