SABRINA (1954) B/W 112m dir: Billy Wilder

w/Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams, Martha Hyer, Joan Vohs, Marcel Dalio, Marcel Hillaire, Nella Walker

When rich playboy Holden falls in love with the chauffeur's daughter (Hepburn), stodgy older brother Bogart is is coerced into easing her away from him.

From Variety's review of the film: "A slick blend of heart and chuckles makes Sabrina a sock romantic comedy. Script is long on glibly quipping dialog, dropped with a seemingly casual air, and broadly played situations. The splendid trouping delivers them in style. Leavening the chuckles are tugs at the heart. ...

"The fun is in the playing. Bogart is sock as the tycoon with no time for gals until he tries to get Hepburn's mind off Holden. The latter sells his comedy strongly, wrapping up a character somewhat offbeat for him. Hepburn again demonstrates a winning talent for being 'Miss Cinderella.'"

From The Movie Guide: "Three recent Oscar winners and the sure guidance of Wilder helped make this familiar Cinderella story into something more than it might have been under other auspices. Holden was 36 at the time, a bit old for a dissolute playboy. Further, he is eclipsed by Bogart's performance as his older brother, an unaccustomed comedy role that showed Bogie could play for laughs as well as sneers. Wilder had already won an Oscar, and co-author [Ernest] Lehman was to be the recipient of the coveted statuette later, so this was a formidable team. The story isn't much, its the treatment and the witty dialogue that set it apart from the ordinary. ...

"A charming, if oft-seen, tale, paced with alacrity by Wilder from the adaptation of [Samuel] Taylor's hit play which had starred Margaret Sullavan, SABRINA was a resounding hit at the box office and with the critics and proved that silk purses were still possible from less than perfect sources. Bogart had been making movies for more than two decades, but this was his first effort for Paramount. He and Wilder did not get along and had differing views of what was funny. Whoever won those battles will never be known, but the results were satisfying, as Bogart played drawing-room comedy with aplomb."

An Oscar was awarded to the film for Best B&W Costume Design (Edith Head). The film was also nominated for Best Director, Actress (Hepburn), Screenplay, Cinematography, and B&W Art Direction.

Beware the 1995 remake.