Tag Archives: Sabrina

Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II Book Review

When it comes to Hollywood personalities, there are sometimes two people: the real person and the image crafted to sell tickets.

Audrey Hepburn is one of the most recognized and revered celebrities of Hollywood’s golden age. Movies such as Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady have endeared her to generations of film fans.

The new biography, Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, by Robert Matzen, tells the story of a portion of the late Ms. Hepburn’s life that is sometimes overlooked: her childhood during World War II. She was born in 1929 to a British father and an aristocratic Dutch mother. Her parents divorced when she was young. Her father left the family soon after and Audrey was raised by her mother.

When she was a pre-teen, World War II started. The Dutch believed that because their country was neutral during World War I, nothing would change. Little did they know how history would forever change their country and affect the future film icon that is Audrey Hepburn.

I loved this book. I was aware previously that Ms. Hepburn was a child during World War II, but I had no idea of how much the war would have a life long affect on her.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn

Today is the birthday of Audrey Hepburn.

In a world of Elizabeth Taylor’s and Marilyn Monroe’s, Audrey Hepburn was a breath of fresh air.

She was and still is a fashion icon to many, is still one of the best performers of her era and a philanthropist.  Growing up Europe during World War II, she understood how important it was for every child to have three solid meals a day.

One of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies is Sabrina (1954).

Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn) is the mousey, tomboy daughter of the chauffeur for the wealthy Larrabee family. Unknown to the younger son, playboy David (William Holden), Sabrina has a crush on him. After a stint in Paris, Sabrina returns home looking and acting very differently.  David is immediately taken with Sabrina, but he is engaged. He could break his engagement, but that would ruin a business merger that could change the fate of the family company.

Enter Linus (Humphrey Bogart), David’s logical, levelheaded bachelor older brother. Linus is brought into the equation to ensure that David’s engagement is not broken. He expects to convince Sabrina that there are other men in the world, but, things don’t go as planned.

A classic romantic comedy that is funny, heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining, it never fails to put a smile on my face.

Happy Birthday Audrey.

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Flashback Friday- Sabrina (1954 and 1995)

Audrey Hepburn is an icon. Her movies, her perfect fashion sense, have lived on 21 years after her passing.

One of her earliest movies, Sabrina, happens to be one my favorite classic Hollywood movies and the subject of this Flashback Friday post.

Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn) is the daughter of the Larabee family chauffeur. She is mousy, quiet and watching from the sidelines. She has a crush on David (William Holden), the younger Larabee  son who does not know that she exists.  After receiving an opportunity to live in Paris, Sabrina returns home, fashionable and elegant.

David quickly takes notice of her. But the problem is that David is engaged and breaking his engagement could potentially ruin a business deal with his future father in law.  David’s older brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) starts to spend time with Sabrina to try to sway her attention away from his brother. But Linus will soon find that he too is falling for her.

This movie is classic Hollywood at it’s best. Despite the age different between Hepburn and Bogart, their chemistry is perfect. What I love about this movie is the Cinderella-esque journey that happens to Sabrina. Her transformation from a gawky, unsure young girl to an elegant woman who thinks that she has finally gained the attention and affection of the man who she has secretly loved is magical.

In  1995, a lackluster remake of Sabrina premiered. Taking over from Hepburn, Holden and Bogart was Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear and Harrison Ford. While the movie tries to be what was then a modern update, there is something not quite right about.

I recommend first the 1954 original movie. And then if you like that movie, try the 1995 remake.

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Happy Birthday, Audrey Hepburn

Today is Audrey Hepburn‘s Birthday. If cancer had not taken her from us in 1993, she would have been 85 today. As a performer and a humanitarian, she will always been remembered not only for her immortal on screen performances, but for her humanitarian work.  Hepburn was a child during World War II and remembered vividly the experiences during the war. In her later years, she worked with Unicef on behalf of children who suffered the same malnutrition and hunger she she suffered.

My favorite Audrey Hepburn film is Sabrina. Co-starring William Holden (David Larabee) and Humphrey Bogart (Linus Larabee), Hepburn plays the title role. Sabrina Fairchild is the awkward, ungainly chauffeur’s daughter who has a crush on David.   She has the opportunity to live in Paris and when she returns home, is elegant and fashionable. Despite the fact that David is engaged, he still pursues her. His older brother, Linus starts to pursue Sabrina. His reasons are more related to the family business, if his brother should break the engagement, they would loose a very important business deal with David’s soon to be father in law. I won’t give the rest of the movie away if you haven’t seen it, but I recommend that you see it if you haven’t.

Hepburn is a fashion icon. In Breakfast At Tiffany’s she wore a Little Black Dress. Every woman since then has had at least one in her closet.  In an era when many of her female colleagues were curvy, Hepburn’s boyish frame stood out.

Wherever you are, Audrey, I raise my glass to you. RIP.

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