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Sabrina [1995 film] by Sydney Pollack
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Sabrina [1995 film]

by Sydney Pollack (Director), Barbara Benedek (Screenwriter), David Rayfiel (Screenwriter)

Other authors: Angie Dickinson, Harrison Ford (Actor), Greg Kinnear (Actor), Nancy Marchand (Actress), Julia Ormond (Actress)3 more, Scott Rudin (Producer), Samuel Taylor (Original play), John Wood (Actor)

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Rather lame remake of a classic

Unfortunately, I have come to this movie only after seeing (several times) Billy Wilder's classic version from 1954, starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. In comparison, Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear, respectively, pale almost painfully. Julia is stilted and lifeless from the beginning to the end, having nowhere near the charm, grace and poise of Audrey; Harrison looks clumsy and awkward in both his serious and his comic scenes, and he – despite all my affection for him – is simply not in the same class as Bogie; and Greg may be said to be the greatest disappointment, as he cannot hold a candle to the dashing and vastly underrated William Holden.

Nor do the changes in the script fare any better. The uproariously hilarious Larrabee father from the original movie is here completely omitted, while the role of the mother is unnecessarily expanded. Sabrina's Paris romance is as dull as anything and so are a number of other scenes, either lost in excessive sentimentality or artificially over/underacted. The scenes common to both movies are embarrassingly inferior in the remake. The latter, on the whole, attempts to be more serious than the original, but it only becomes a great deal less entertaining. Just compare the voice in the beginning that describes the Larrabee family and mansion: both the text and the delivery are way superior in Sabrina (1954).

I guess without the dubious benefit of comparison, the movie is not that bad, but it wouldn't get more than three stars even in this hypothetical case. If you have never seen the original version, I suppose this may be a fairly enjoyable way to spend two hours, although some scenes may come off rather flat. But if you have seen Billy Wilder's gem, better be prepared that the remake, though basically the same story, is a different affair altogether. In case you haven't, unless you have some inherent dislike to old movies, I suggest you give Audrey, Bogie and Bill Holden a try.

For my part, I wonder why Sydney Pollack and co. wanted to make this remake in the first place. They could hardly have won against such a rival and, for my part, I repeat, they lost rather badly. ( )
  Waldstein | Sep 3, 2016 |
A busy tycoon who has no room for love in his appointment book, clears his schedule for some ruthless corting to make sure his playboy brother threatens to blew a business deal. 127 minutes PG ( )
  cljacobson | Feb 20, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pollack, SydneyDirectorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benedek, BarbaraScreenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rayfiel, DavidScreenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickinson, Angiesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, HarrisonActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kinnear, GregActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marchand, NancyActresssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ormond, JuliaActresssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rudin, ScottProducersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, SamuelOriginal playsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wood, JohnActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Sabrina, the naive daughter of the chauffeur for an immensely wealthy family, is obsessed with David, the family's younger son. When Sabrina returns to Long Island from Paris as a sophisticated young woman, she begins a romance with David, who has meanwhile become engaged to the daughter of a wealthy family. This new romance threatens the business interests of Linus, the older son, so he pretends to court Sabrina in order to woo her away from David, but ends up falling in love with her himself.… (more)

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