Sabrina (1995 film)

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Sabrina (1995 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySydney Pollack
Screenplay by
Based onSabrina
by Billy Wilder
Sabrina Fair
1953 play
by Samuel Taylor
Produced by
CinematographyGiuseppe Rotunno
Edited byFredric Steinkamp
Music byJohn Williams
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • December 15, 1995 (1995-12-15) (United States)
Running time
127 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$50–58 million[2][3]
Box office$87.1 million[3]

Sabrina is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Sydney Pollack from a screenplay by Barbara Benedek and David Rayfiel. It is a remake of Billy Wilder's 1954 film of the same name, which in turn was based upon the 1953 play Sabrina Fair.[4]

The film stars Harrison Ford as Linus Larrabee, Julia Ormond as Sabrina and Greg Kinnear (in his first starring film role) as David Larrabee. It also features Angie Dickinson, Richard Crenna, Nancy Marchand, Lauren Holly, John Wood, Dana Ivey and Fanny Ardant.

The film was released on December 15, 1995, by Paramount Pictures. It was a box office disappointment, but earned mostly positive reviews from critics.


Sabrina Fairchild is the young daughter of the Larrabee family's chauffeur, Thomas, and has been in love with David Larrabee all her life. David is a playboy, constantly falling in love, yet he has never noticed Sabrina, much to her dismay.

Sabrina travels to Paris for a fashion internship at Vogue and returns to the Larrabee estate as an attractive, sophisticated woman. David, after initially not recognizing her, is quickly drawn to her despite being newly engaged to Elizabeth Tyson, a doctor and billionaire.

David's workaholic older brother Linus fears that David's imminent wedding to the very suitable Elizabeth might be endangered. If the wedding were to be canceled, so would a lucrative merger with the bride's family business, Tyson Electronics, run by her father Patrick. This could cost the Larrabee Corporation, run by Linus and his mother Maude, over a billion dollars.

After Linus manipulates David into sitting on champagne glasses in his back pocket, resulting in injuries that require David to be on painkillers, Linus redirects Sabrina's affections to himself in order to keep David's wedding on track. Sabrina falls in love with Linus, even though she quotes others as calling him "the world's only living heart donor" and someone who "thinks that morals are paintings on walls and scruples are money in Russia."

In the process, Linus, surprising himself, also falls in love with Sabrina. Unwilling to admit his feelings, Linus confesses his scheme to Sabrina at the last minute and sends her back to Paris. Before she gets on the plane to Paris, her father informs her that over the years of chauffeuring the father of David and Linus, the partition was always open in the car and he was able to listen to Larrabee senior's business dealings. When Mr. Larrabee sold stock, the chauffeur would also sell and when Mr. Larrabee bought, the chauffeur would also buy. He then reveals that this has allowed him to amass a personal wealth of over $2 million although he continued to work as a chauffeur since he had a happy home and situation for the family. He is now able to give Sabrina the life he and her mother dreamed for her.

Meanwhile, Linus realizes his true feelings for Sabrina, and is induced to follow her to Paris by chiding from his mother and an unexpectedly adult and responsible David, who steps into his shoes at the Larrabee Corporation with detailed plans for the merger with Tyson. Linus arrives in Paris and reunites with Sabrina, revealing his love to her and kissing her.



The music was composed by John Williams and includes a song performed by Sting; both were nominated for Academy Awards.

In contrast to the 1954 film the modern version was filmed in more authentic locations. While the original used Hollywood sound stages for all its Paris scenes with the actors, except for a few stock shots, this remake made extensive in situ use of outdoor locations in Paris and the final scene in the film is of the reunited lovers on the iconic Pont des Arts. Likewise, the earlier movie used a Beverly Hills mansion to substitute for the Long Island estate but in the 1995 movie the location used to portray the Larrabee family's mansion was the 'Salutation' estate, which is on Long Island in Glen Cove, New York.[5] This home was built around 1929 for Junius Spencer Morgan III, who was a director of the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company.[6] His father was J. P. Morgan Jr., who was a banker and the son of J. P. Morgan, the renowned financier. The property is no longer owned by the Morgan family, but it is still in private hands and used as a residence.[7] The movie made extensive use of this mansion's interiors during the filming.[5][8] Another difference between the two versions is the famous line "Paris is always a good idea," spoken by Julia Ormond as Sabrina in the remake; there is a common misconception that Audrey Hepburn, portraying Sabrina in the earlier movie, also uttered the line.[9]

Winona Ryder was offered the role of Sabrina, but turned down the offer. Gwyneth Paltrow, who had just landed the lead role in Seven, also auditioned for the lead.


Box office[edit]

The film was a box office disappointment, with a result of US$53 million domestically, and total of $87 million worldwide.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film suffered from comparisons to the original version.[10] On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 63% based on reviews from 49 critics. The site's critics consensus states: "Sydney Pollack's Sabrina doesn't do anything the original didn't do better, but assured direction and a cast of seasoned stars make this a pleasant enough diversion."[11] On Metacritic the film has a score of 56% based on reviews from 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12][13][14][15] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "A−" on scale of A+ to F.[16]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards[17] Best Original Musical or Comedy Score John Williams Nominated
Best Original Song "Moonlight"
Music by John Williams;
Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards[18] Most Promising Actor Greg Kinnear Won
Golden Globe Awards[19] Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Harrison Ford Nominated
Best Original Song – Motion Picture "Moonlight"
Music by John Williams;
Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Grammy Awards[20] Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television Nominated
Yoga Awards Worst Remake Sydney Pollack Won


  1. ^ a b "Sabrina (1995)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Eller, Claudia (December 22, 1995). "Company Town : Forget Studio Excuses for Box-Office Duds-Make Better Movies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Sabrina (1995) – Financial Information". The Numbers.
  4. ^ "Sabrina | film by Pollack [1995] | Britannica". Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Sabrina: Beautiful Glen Cove". April 23, 2013.
  6. ^ Reeves, Tony. "Filming Locations for Sydney Pollack's 1995 remake of Sabrina, in New York, Massachusetts and Paris".
  7. ^ "Three Random Houses". December 26, 2011.
  8. ^ "IMDb: Most Popular Titles With Location Matching "Salutation House, West Island, Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, USA"". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Barrie Kerper". July 9, 2014.
  10. ^ Brennan, Judy (December 18, 1995). "It's All Fun and Games (and a Tie) at Box Office : Movies: 'Jumanji' and 'Toy Story' each pull in an estimated $11 million in ticket sales. 'Heat' produces some warmth with $8 million". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  11. ^ "Sabrina (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  12. ^ "Sabrina". Metacritic. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  13. ^ Schickel, Richard (December 18, 1995). "Kissing Cousins". Time. Archived from the original on June 23, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  14. ^ Maslin, Janet (December 15, 1995). "Movie Review – Sabrina – FILM REVIEW;An Ugly Duckling and Her Men 41 Years Later". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  15. ^ McCarthy, Todd (December 10, 1995). "Variety Reviews – Sabrina". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  16. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  17. ^ "The 68th Academy Awards (1996) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  18. ^ "1988-2013 Award Winner Archives". Chicago Film Critics Association. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  19. ^ "Sabrina (1995) – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  20. ^ "1996 Grammy Award Winners". Retrieved May 1, 2011.

External links[edit]