Sabrina

Sabrina, from 1954, stars Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden.


Nominated for 6 Oscars, it was directed by Billy Wilder, and adapted for the screen by Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, and Ernest Lehman from Taylor's play Sabrina Fair.

Taylor is best known for writing the script for Hitchcock’s Vertigo.


Lehman got his start in the late 1930s, hunting down gossip for Walter Winchell and other gossip columnists.


He was a gifted writer who wrote the scripts for North by Northwest, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly! and was nominated for 6 Oscars.


Billy Wilder was an Austrian-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films.


Nominated for 8 Best Director Academy Awards, Billy Wilder is the second most nominated director in history, behind William Wyler, and out of these

nominations, Wilder won two and is one of the few to win Oscars as producer, director, and writer for the same film - The Apartment (1960).


He directed Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Stalag 17, The Seven Year Itch, The Spirit of St. Louis, Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, Irma La Douce and The Fortune Cookie. Wilder also co-wrote and directed the classic Sunset Boulevard.

Humphrey DeForest Bogart is widely regarded as a cultural icon. The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema.


His breakthrough as a leading man came in 1941, with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, he gave his classicc performance in Casablanca and cemented his trademark film persona, the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side.  He appeared in 81 movies and was nominated for 3 Oscars and won for The African Queen.


Cary Grant was initially offered the role of Linus but declined and Bogart got the part.


Bogart and William Holden couldn't stand each other and Bogart disapproved of the inexperienced Hepburn (he wanted his wife Lauren Bacall in the role).

Asked how he liked working with Hepburn, Bogart replied: "It's OK, if you don't mind 20 takes."


Bogart got paid $300,000, Holden got $150,000, and Hepburn $15,000.

 

Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium and while vacationing with her mother in Arnhem, Holland, Hitler's army took over the town. She fell on hard times during the Nazi occupation and suffered from depression and malnutrition.


After the war, Hepburn went to a ballet school in London on a scholarship and later began a modeling career and it seemed she had found her niche in life - until the film producers came calling.


Hepburn gained immediate prominence in the US with her role in Roman Holiday in 1953 and she won an Oscar as Best Actress.


She appeared in the 1957 classic Funny Face (1957) and in this film, for which she received another Academy nomination.


In 1959, she received yet another nomination for her role in The Nun's Story.

Many think the pinnacle of her career was her Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's in 1961, and she received another Oscar nomination.


Probably one of her most famous roles was in My Fair Lady (1964) with Rex Harrison. After a couple of other movies, she received another nomination in 1967's Wait Until Dark.


By the end of the sixties, she decided to retire and in1988, she became a special ambassador to the United Nations UNICEF fund, helping children in Latin America and Africa, a position she retained until 1993.


She was named People magazine's one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world and her hair style and clothes set the fashion standards in her day.

Her last film was Always in 1989 and she died in 1993 in Switzerland from cancer.


She made a total of 31 movies, received 5 Oscar nominations and won one.

 

Although Edith Head won an Oscar for Best Costumes, most of Hepburn's outfits were created by Hubert de Givenchy. Givenchy originally thought he would be providing wardrobe for Katharine Hepburn, as he had never heard of Audrey Hepburn before they were introduced. But this film began a life-long association between Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn.

 

Playing Mr. Tyson is Francis X. Bushman, who was a silent film matinee idol whose career started in 1911 and ran well into the 1960s. Noted for his muscular torso, Bushman appeared in nearly 200 feature film roles—more than 175 films before 1920, and 17 in his film debut year of 1911 alone.


As a young man, he began body building and developed a muscular physique and worked as a sculptor's model in New York City, often posing in the nude for the classes.


In 1925, Bushman’s agent was the outrageous Harry Reichenbach, known for sensational publicity stunts, and he pulled another one when he took Bushman to see studio executives at Metro Pictures.


As they walked with Bushman from the railway station to the studio, Reichenbach dropped pennies on the street. A bunch of people followed them, picking up the coins as they went, and the crowd gave studio executives the impression that Bushman was very popular and they signed him to a big contract.


In his later years, he made guest appearances on TV shows like Peter Gunn, Make Room for Daddy, Dobie Gillis, Perry Mason and Dr. Kildare.


Bushman donated his Hollywood Boulevard home to Sid Grauman,and Grauman’s (now Mann’s) famous Chinese Theater stands there today. Most of his silent films have been lost to film degradation but he was a huge star in the early days of film.

 

Thomas Fairchild, Sabrina’s father, is played by the British actor John Williams, who is probably best remembered for his TV commercial for the record collection of "120 Music Masterpieces", which became one of the longest running nationally seen commercial in U.S. television history.


Many are old enough to remember the ads...

One of the lines was, "I'm sure you recognize this lovely melody as "Stranger in Paradise".

But did you know that the original theme was from the Polovetzian Dance Number Two by Borodin?

So many of the tunes of our well-known popular songs were actually written by the great masters...like these familiar themes:".

 

Look for a young Marion Ross from TV's Happy Days in a bit part as the wife of the man who spills his drink at the party when William Holden purposely bumps in to him.


And watch for Nancy Kulp, as Jenny the maid, later known as Miss Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies, as the staff gathers to hear a letter from Sabrina.


You’ll also recognize Miss McCardle, Bogart’s secretary, played by Ellen Corby, more well-known as Grandma on the TV series The Waltons.