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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinderella has nothing on her
I was surprised at how good this movie is. A remake of a movie starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden, directed by one of the greats of American cinema, Billy Wilder, is not exactly the kind of task for the faint of heart. The fact that Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses Don't They? (1969), Tootsie (1982), Out of Africa (1985), etc.) decided to do it...
Published on December 17, 2002 by Dennis Littrell

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sabrina
I bought this movie for my daughter. She enjoys it and watches it often. I would recommend this movie. Its a good clean movie for the family to enjoy.
Published on January 7, 2012 by Midnight


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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinderella has nothing on her, December 17, 2002
This review is from: Sabrina [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I was surprised at how good this movie is. A remake of a movie starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden, directed by one of the greats of American cinema, Billy Wilder, is not exactly the kind of task for the faint of heart. The fact that Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses Don't They? (1969), Tootsie (1982), Out of Africa (1985), etc.) decided to do it must have raised a few eyebrows in Hollywood land.

And let's just say I had preconceptions as I sat down to watch this. No way could this be anything near as good as the original. And for the first twenty minutes or so I was not dissuaded. Julia Ormond, who was given Miss Hepburn's title role, seemed nothing far removed from ordinary; and Greg Kinnear, who played the playboy David Larrabee, seemed a poor imitation of William Holden. Of course Harrison Ford, I told myself, is another story, since he is the embodiment of the fulfillment of the desire of many woman, and a fine, accomplished leading man. He would be, I suspected, the lone bright spot. In the original, Humphrey Bogart, a little past his prime, and in not exactly the best of moods, and not entirely pleased with the relatively inexperienced Audrey Hepburn, played the cool tycoon Linus Larrabee with some distracted forbearance in what many consider one of his lesser performances. Surely Harrison Ford could improve on that.

He did, but what really surprised me was just how diabolically clever the oh, so romantic script by Barbara Benedek and David Rayfiel turned out to be. I mean, Cinderella move over. Sabrina could not have achieved a more glorious existence had she died and gone to heaven. It is hard to imagine a more fulfilling fantasy for a chauffeur's daughter than what transpires here.

Quickly here's the premise of this celluloid fairy tale/romance: Pretty but ordinary Sabrina, born of working class parents, her father the chauffeur of the ultra rich Larrabees, grows up living above the garage in the palatial Larrabee estate. She watches the lavish parties thrown by the Larrabees from a spot in a tree and falls madly in the kind of puppy love that never goes away with the younger of the Larrabee brothers, David, who is the kind of guy who gives playboys a bad name. When she comes of age, she goes away to Paris (apparently to work for a fashion magazine: in the original Sabrina, she goes to a cooking school in Paris), picks up confidence and a new kind of eye-popping sophistication, comes back and...well, gets noticed.

The basic skeleton of this, the story from the first Sabrina (1954), which is dreamily romantic enough and then some, is greatly augmented here with some very fine psychological touches including developing Sabrina's character beyond the pretty and stylish to something bordering on the wise and heroic. Suffice it to say that we come away feeling she deserves every rainbow's end she gets. I can see Benedek and Rayfiel exclaiming with riotous joy as they are writing the script (trading e-mails perhaps): "They want romance, they want woman's fantasy? They want Sabrina to have a pot of gold and true love everlasting? How about riches beyond counting and the doting attention of the two handsome, very rich brothers? She can take her pick. We've give 'em romance, we'll give 'em dreams come true!" And they do. Not only that, but they keep us guessing about who gets the girl until the last possible moment, and they do that very cleverly.

Of course it helps to have professional direction by Sydney Pollack and a fine cast including Harrison Ford--at his best, by the way--and Julia Ormond, a hard-working and talented actress (I recall her from Smilla's Sense of Snow, 1997), who knows how to be cute without fawning, supported by Greg Kinnear, Nancy Marchand, John Wood and Angie Dickinson. I mention Miss Dickinson because, as the mother of a perspective bride about to throw an incredibly lavish wedding, she gets to deliver this "let them eat cake" line: "We thought we'd use recycled paper" (for the wedding invitations).

The script is full of similar witticisms, some verbal, some like eye candy. For example, when Sabrina removes her glasses (the usual Hollywood signal for the adolescent ugly duckling to become a beautiful swan) after gaining sophistication in Paris, she quotes aptly but surprisingly from Gertrude Stein: "America is my country and Paris is my home." (Of course Gertrude Stein never heard of Paris, Texas--but that is another film, and besides, I digress...)

I also liked it when Sabrina is in the arms of her Paris would-be lover who kisses her, and--noticing that she is not as engaged as she might me-observes with perfect decorum, "I'm embarrassed that you're somewhere else."

Memorable was the shot of Harrison Ford momentarily looking jealous and hurt. By the way, he has a number of good lines, and he delivers them well. I especially liked it when he sadly confessed: "I was sent to deal with you. I sent myself."

It is probably better if you haven't seen the original and can experience this on its own merits without the odiousness that sometimes comes with comparisons. Comparing Audrey Hepburn with Julia Ormond is like comparing Grace Kelly with Jennifer Lopez. They really are very different people. And comparing Billy Wilder's 1954 film (from the play by Samuel Taylor) is a little like comparing Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera with Andrew Lloyd Webber's.

Bottom line: see this for both Harrison Ford who wears the business-first character of the "only surviving heart donor" very well, and for Julia Ormond whose intense and beguiling performance makes us forgive her for not being Audrey Hepburn.

--Dennis Littrell, author of "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!"
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy it without comparing it to the original, July 15, 2004
This review is from: Sabrina (DVD)
In addition to this movie I've also seen the older one starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, and I found that both can be enjoyed almost as two different kinds of films. Though not without its moments of drama, the Bogart/Hepburn film was lighter, more sparkling and witty, but also a little more shallow. In that movie, I couldn't understand the attraction between Bogart and Hepburn; they never seem to connect across their age gap.
In this remake of Sabrina, Julia Ormond gives a performance that's more mature and has more depth. Once she goes to Paris and grows up, she truly grows up (unlike Hepburn, who is loveable but too childlike). The love that develops between her character and Harrison Ford's is more believable; the movie takes more time and trouble to develop a plausible relationship between the grown up chaffeur's daughter and the billionaire without a social life. In addition to that, it also has witty dialogue and funny moments, just like the original.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a romantic comedy..., September 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Sabrina [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This remake of the 1954 Sabrina starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart adds its own wonderful twist on a classic. Harrison Ford is Linus Larrabee, the eldest son of the Larrabee family who took over the reigns for his father and turned the multi-million dollar family business into some "serious cash." Greg Kinnear makes his onscreen debut and makes the younger brother, David, into a lovable hopeless lover. Sabrina, played by the incandescent Julia Ormond, admires David from afar, and is the daughter of the family's chaffeur. After a trip to Paris turns Sabrina into a stunning beauty, David finds it hard to keep his attentions on his lovely fíance, Elizabeth Tyson (Lauren Holly). Linus proceeds to court Sabrina for what seems to be "business purposes", but is he really hinding his feelings for the beautiful Sabrina? Nancy Marchand plays as Maude Larrabee, David's and Linus's mother, and has some real gems for lines, adding to the devilishly clever sarcasm that makes this movie absolutely hilarious. Definitely one of the best movies I know of.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, more meaningful/romantic version than original, January 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Sabrina (DVD)
If you look through the reviews for this version and those for the old B&W, you'll see that there is a little debate going on about which is better. Really, both films have their merits. The original was cute and unpretentious, presenting a fragile Audrey Hepburn in some fashionable clothing (including that absurd gown she dragged through the tennis court scene). But this recent version has the benefit of having a much more appealing hero. Harrison Ford, though he is awkward in romantic roles, is still a far better choice than the clumsy and unattractive Humphrey Bogart. Ford plays the lead, Linus Larrabee, the oldest of two brothers and the responsible (even greedy) one. Greg Kinnear gives a brilliant performance as the younger brother, David, a playboy with only women on his mind. Caught between the two is Sabrina, even more brilliantly played by Julia Ormond. Unlike Hepburn, who presented a shy and awkward Sabrina, Ormond plays the role with not just shyness or insecurity, but an underlying gentleness that fleshes out the character, making her very real and very appealing. Each scene, she delivers just the right amount of insecurity combined with the right amount of emotion, and each line is delivered perfectly. Yet you are never aware that she is acting. The interactions between Kinnear and Ormond have tremendous "chemistry", more so than those she has with Ford. But between Julia and Greg, or rather their characters, there is so much honesty and quite frankly such superb acting that what you are witnessing is not some celebrity actors playing themselves playing a role, but two true actors who make it all look natural. (I know, something Hollywood typically doesn't appreciate.) Their scenes bring a passion and a reality to the film that is rather inspiring -- I'd like to see these two paired again, this time as the lovers and not those who end up "just friends". The storyline is played gently, more for comedy than drama. This film owes a lot to its predecessor, but I have to vote that this is the better, more charming, more emotional and more natural version. The cast of supporting characters is marvelous and expert, including Nancy Marchand as the Larrabee matriarch, John Wood as Sabrina's sensible father, Angie Dickinson and Richard Crenna as the Tysons of Tyson Electronics and a billion dollar merger if David marries their daughter, a physician played by Lauren Holly. Dana Ivey is Mack, Linus' secretary, who has all the funny lines ("We were up to our arms in your underwear drawer. It was like touching the Shroud of Turin.")All the supporting cast do a wonderful job of, well, supporting the stars. The pace never lags, the fun and the drama don't stop. The DVD version has excellent sound and color picture. This is a good investment if you want to see a film that is adult, gently dramatic, clever, and pure pleasure.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Corrects the many plot/character flaws of the original., March 12, 1999
This review is from: Sabrina [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The first major flaw in the original is Sabrina's attempted suicide. It is unbelievable and makes her a much weaker character than in the remake. The new Sabrina would never hurt her father that way and in spite of her obsession with David, she has a quiet inner strength that develops throughout the film. The pathetic presence of the father in the original is marvelously corrected in the remake. With Linus as the paternal figurehead and his mother as the strong matriarch of the family, the entire atmosphere changes for the better. David Laraby is far better cast not as a man who can't stay married but as a good man who just needs to rise up from under Linus' shadow. The "new" David has character and charm and likability far superior than the original. The viewer likes him even though he doesn't necessarily like what he does. The characters in the remake are far more believable, the dialog is clever, memorable, and very funny in many places. The romance between Linus and Sabrina develops far more believably in the 1995 version. This Sabrina is very wise and digs deep into Linus' soul and shows him things about himself he has never seen. He is at first uncomfortable with that, but it ultimately does a transformational work in him. Another serious flaw in the original is the quickness with which Sabrina forgives the horrible things Linus has done to her. Linus has deeply violated and hurt her. In the remake she does not just fall into his arms at first sight of him. Linus must reach deep into her heart and heal the wounds he has caused. He opens up to her in a way he has never done to anyone and admits that she is the key to "saving" him from himself. Finally totally convinced of his sincerity and love, she falls into his arms. Critics are right when they say there is no comparison between the original and the remake. But far too many of them favor the wrong movie. The 1995 Sabrina will be a classic in its own right. It's excellent! It's a shame it has not yet gotten its much deserved credit.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia Ormond shines in role played by Hepburn!, January 6, 2000
By 
This review is from: Sabrina [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Being a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, I NEVER thought I would find the remake as entertaining as the original. But was I ever wrong!
Julia Ormond's transformation to the luminously beautiful "woman of the world" Sabrina, is every bit as believable as Hepburn's earlier transformation. Ormond's chemistry with Harrison Ford is far more believable and charming, as Linus tries to distract Sabrina from her obsessive fascination with his younger brother, David, now engaged to the daughter of a business associate.
Harrison Ford gives his portrayal of Linus the needed humanity that Bogart's portrayal lacked. Linus, in Ford's capable hands, revealed the weight of being the older, more responsible brother, in whom the family fortune rested. Yet, Linus yearned to fall in love, and until Sabrina's return from Paris, and their mock courtship, he didn't believe it could ever happen. I really believed he was falling in love with Ormond's Sabrina.
Ford's Linus seemed genuinely heartbroken when he admitted the truth about the Paris trip to Sabrina. He watched with dismay, as her heart broke, to realize he'd been playing her for a fool during their romance. That's why their reunion in Paris, at the end, was so satisfying!
Greg Kinear's David was also more humane and less calculating, than William Holden's in the original version. I felt David's anger at his brother's deceptive romance of Sabrina. And so his punching Linus was a more realistic response.
I highly recommend this movie to all romantics! It also makes a great date film. A great update of an earlier classic, this film may well become a classic in its own right.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated, savvy and enjoyable, June 13, 2003
By 
This review is from: Sabrina (DVD)
Sabrina (played by Julia Ormond) was a geeky loner who sat up in a tree watching and fantasizing about a man named David (played by Greg Kinnear) - a lovable, charming ladies' man. She later spends a few years in Paris, and upon her return home, she is transformed into a sensual, sophisticated woman. Unknowingly, David picks her up after she was seen hitchhiking (albeit with a different appearance), and slowly begins to fall for her. They both seem to get the chance to have what they (or rather Sabrina) wanted a few years back.
And here is where the story takes a few twists. David's older, wiser, and seemingly callous businessman brother Linus (played by Harrison Ford) notices the sparks between David and Sabrina, and immediately concocts a scheme to break them apart. The reason for this is because the business of which Linus is involved, was going to reach an agreement for a nice business deal involving the parents of David's then-fiancée, Liz (played by Lauren Holly), but soon realizes if David falls for Sabrina, then he'll no longer have much interest in Liz, and therefore, the deal would be jeopardized. So, Linus takes it upon himself to try his best to get Sabrina out of the picture. He goes to low lengths in trying to keep David and Sabrina apart - one of them is the darkly hilarious scheme which involved keeping David on heavy sedatives, which were really intended to be minor painkillers due to an unfortunate accident involving drinking glasses. These would keep him bed-ridden and disoriented. Inbetween all of this, Linus manipulates Sabrina by trying to pass himself off as a subtly charming and romantic guy, which in return gains her affections. But, something goes haywire in the scheme -- Linus starts to fall in love with her.
It must be mentioned that the ending scene (the one before Linus flies off to Paris to find Sabrina) was quite clever, spellbindingly & inexplicably funny, but in a subtle, classy, European manner. Doesn't seem like the kind of thing you see in many films, especially in the romantic heading.
As of yet, I haven't seen the original version of this starring Audrey Hepburn, so I won't bother making any comparisons. The story is quite charming, and features a nice amalgamation of humor, wit, romance and intelligence. The performances were all well-done, and Julia Ormond was quite lovable as the perceptive, innocent, elegant and vulnerable Sabrina. Harrison Ford gave a nice performance as the cold, scheming, lackadaisical-in-temperament Linus, which really doesn't seem like much of a stretch for him (the temperament part anyway), and Greg Kinnear as always is charming and charismatic. Also features Hollywood legend Angie Dickinson. An enjoyable, sophisticated romantic film. Enjoy.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remake that improves upon the original in every way, December 2, 1999
By 
This review is from: Sabrina [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I don't care what anyone says; there's no need to compare 1995's Sabrina to the Audrey Hepburn classic. This one, in my opinion, is clearly superior than the original.

By default, film as an art form has evolved and matured far beyond where it was almost half a century ago. Unless the original was of undeniable achievement in every aspect from technical to artistic (which the original Sabrina wasn't, if we are being honest), the remake will usually be more refined due to the natural evolution of film making techniques, storytelling, and more sophisticated sensibility. Side by side, the 1995 SABRINA is more clever in dialogue, plot, and direction. Let's not get into how the Hepburn version is better simply because it's the original, or a legendary actress was in it. Remakes aren't inherently inferior, and Julia Ormond is an actress that commands respect, as her acting career has demonstrated. On top of that, Harrison and Greg made much more charming and convincing Linus and David than the original cast.

Another touch that made it better was changing Sabrina's Paris trip to becoming a photographer instead of a cook. It gave her so much more confidence and validated her as an individual who's accomplished in artistic achievement, and the artistic endeavor matched her sentimental personality far better.

It was also a great move to have Linus truly be the head of the family by taking out the father. That way, Linus became even more of a figure to be intimidated by, and the weight on his shoulders seemed that much heavier.

The original Sabrina didn't do a very good job at convincing us why Linus should fall in love with Sabrina. The 1995 version did a great job showing us how Sabrina managed to melt Linus's icy exterior by being sensitive, understanding, encouraging, and challenging to him.

What can I say? I love 1995's version. If you haven't seen it, please give it a try. You will be delighted.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would say it grows on you, but in fact, it matures..., March 8, 2004
This review is from: Sabrina (DVD)
When I learned they were remaking the original "Sabrina," I couldn't fathom any reputable actor would even attempt to fill Bogart's shoes. Yet Harrison Ford was a more than suitable choice. Julia Ormond, however, lacked the confidence Hepburn portrayed, making for a Sabrina not nearly as charming as the original.
Several years after seeing the remake in the theatre, I watched it again some Sunday afternoon, and was surprised by the affect it had. When not compared to the sassy, comical, melodramatic romance of the first movie, this new version - considered on its own merit - is a pensive, mature romance that takes its time considering small details, as Ormond emerges as Ford's humble equal, rather than being duped by infatuation.
I watch it about every other year now, and as I grow older, I only enjoy more this movie's careful attentiveness to detail and the lack of emotional manipulation characteristic of Hollywood romances.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome story of a business deal turned love affair, December 31, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Sabrina [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I love this movie! Julia Ormond is beautiful and talented, and her metamorphis from the shy daughter of a chauffer into a lovely young women is truly fun to watch. Harrison Ford is great in the role of Linus Larrabee, who fakes being in love with Ormond for business purposes and then unwillingly finds himself involved in the real thing. He is the character that all the audience starts out hating and ends up rooting for. Greg Kinnear does a good job of the playboy younger brother, and adds some comedy to this romance. The movie has some unexpected twists and the ending is everything you hope for but not what you expect. The scenery and filming is beautiful- especially the views of Paris and the Larrabee estate. Julia Ormond has the perfect voice for the beginning narration. All in all, this movie is my favorite!
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Sabrina
Sabrina by Sydney Pollack (DVD - 2002)
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