Sabrina (1954) (Blu-ray)

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Released 1-May-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1954
Running Time 113:35
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Billy Wilder
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Humphrey Bogart
Audrey Hepburn
William Holden
Walter Hampden
John Williams
Martha Hyer
Joan Vohs
Case ?
RPI Box Music Frederick Hollander


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby TrueHD 2.0
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Portuguese
English for the Hearing Impaired
Dutch
Danish
Italian
Spanish
German
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
Japanese
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† The Larrabees are a very wealthy industrial family with two very different sons. The younger son David (William Holden) is a dashing playboy; he loves women and has already been married, and divorced, three times. The elder son Linus (Humphrey Bogart) is a staid, conservative businessman, controlling the familyís multiple businesses and with no time for women. The Larrabees live in a large estate on Long Island, with numerous servants including Thomas Fairchild (John Williams), a chauffeur whose daughter Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) lives with him in a room above the garage.

†††† Sabrina has had a crush on David since she was nine years old, and watches him from the wings as he pursues a succession of women during the parties held by the Larrabees on their estate. David takes no notice of an awkward, adolescent servantís daughter of course. Sabrina is sent by her father to Paris for two years to attend a cooking school. She returns to Long Island an elegant, sophisticated, cultured woman, and this time David takes notice and falls in love with her. The problem is that David is due to be married in two weeks to Elizabeth Tyson (Martha Hyer), the daughter of another wealthy family, and the marriage is to cement a lucrative business merger deal that Linus had negotiated. So that Davidís marriage, and the merger, can go ahead Linus decides to woo Sabrina himself and then place her on a boat back to Paris. Of course, things do not work out as Linus expects.

†††† Sabrina is a delightful romantic comedy directed and co-written by Billy Wilder. It is light weight Wilder for sure but he still manages to get in some barbs about the American dream and the film was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to Elia Kazanís On the Waterfront, a very different type of film. Audrey Hepburn was 24 at the time of filming and is absolutely luminous as Sabrina. She is gorgeous and her looks and screen charisma light up every scene she is in. She was also nominated for an Oscar for the role, having won the year previously for Roman Holiday, but lost out to Grace Kelly in The Country Girl, a film pretty much forgotten today. The supporting cast are also interesting with John Williams good as Sabrinaís father and Walter Hampden a heap of fun as the father of Linus and David. However the thing that stops Sabrina being an absolute classic to my mind is that neither William Holden nor Humphrey Bogart are totally convincing. It was reported that Bogart was a last minute replacement for Cary Grant and did not like Hepburn in the title role; he wanted his wife Lauren Bacall instead. As well Bogart and Holden could not stand each other which would have caused some friction on set!

†††† Despite this Sabrina is a lot of fun. It may be lightweight and romantic but is worth watching for Audrey Hepburn alone, who is wonderful.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Sabrina is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the original ratio being 1.37:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

†††† Sabrina is a black and white film made almost 60 years ago and it looks great in this HD transfer. Detail is very good and the film has an excellent depth and definition in pristine black and white. There is slight blur with some motion, and aliasing on vertical railings, but marks and scratches are nowhere to be seen.

†††† Subtitles are available in English, English for the hearing impaired, a wide range of European languages, plus Japanese.

†††† In this HD print Sabrina probably looks as good as it ever has.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† The audio choices include an English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track plus Dolby Digital 2.0 dubs in German, Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese. The film was theatrically released with a mono soundtrack.

†††† The dialogue is easy to hear. There is no surround or subwoofer use obviously and the effects lack depth and resonance but this is to be expected.

†††† The film uses adapted music including music composed by Richard Rogers, the Edith Piaf classic La vie en rose and Yes! We Have No Bananas.

†††† Lip synchronisation was fine.

†††† The audio reflects the original theatrical release and is perfectly adequate.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

†††† There are no extras, the same as the standalone Australian Blu-ray release.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††††Standalone Blu-ray releases of Sabrina include a US Region Free and Scandinavian Region B version, but the specifications seem similar to ours and none have any of the extras that were available previously on either the Region 4 Australian DVD, reviewed on this site here, or the Paramount 2 disc DVD; details of the extras on that release can be found here.

†††† I can find no listing of a similar Blu-ray set to the Audrey Timeless Collection elsewhere. A local bargain.

Summary

†††† Sabrina is a delightful romantic comedy directed and co-written by Billy Wilder and staring the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.

†††† The video is probably the best the 60 year old film has looked and the audio is fine. No extras.

†††† A stand-alone Blu-ray of Sabrina has previously been available in Australia. The same Blu-ray is now released as part of the three disc set Audrey Timeless Collection from Paramount that also includes Funny Face (1957) and Breakfast at Tiffanyís (1961). The set is a bargain for fans of Hepburn or classic Hollywood cinema if you do not already own the standalone Blu-rays.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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