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Audrey Hepburn wore a coronet in Roman Holiday; she wore a fishnet in Ondine. Now, in Sabrina, Miss Hepburn begins to wear a little thin.
Margaret Sullivan, who struggled through the stage version of Samuel Taylors' concoction, can well sympathize with her plight. The story is a sorry garment indeed for leading ladies of such charm. If Miss Hepburn shows it off to better advantage, she has her tender years and coquettish personality to thank. Youth and coquettry are most appealing, but someone should commend to Miss Hepburn the additional value of acting. Almost everyone knows that she is a fine actress and a little proof would scotch the few contrary rumors.
Her newest exercise, Sabrina, is nothing more than a modern comedy of manners that tries too hard to be something else. The plot mixes equal parts of a million dollars, a pair of eligible sons of the household, and a Long Island estate. The attempts at moralizing, however, settle to the bottom and give the froth an unbalanced weight.
Hollywood has contributed a touch of the ludicrous by putting Humphrey Bogart under a homburg and trying to palm him off as a scion of the rich. Bogart is an obvious ringer in the role; you can almost see him wince as he talks about cans of "tomahto" juice.
William Holden's excuse for being in the movie is that he is large and muscular, and can make astounding faces. He is called upon to do this from time to time: when sitting down on two champagne glasses, when falling through a hole in a hammock, etc. Holden doesn't get to say a great deal in the movie, but he drives badly, a clear indication that he is wild, wicked and rich.
Somehow, Audrey manages to keep up a brave smile--albeit the same brave smile--through all the bumbling around her. She knows everything is going to turn out well with the film. And she's right, you know--it does.
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