Study Guide

Sabrina Scene 1

Scene 1

Scene 1

  • Whoa, that's a big estate there at the beginning… and as Sabrina's voiceover tells you, a small girl lives on that large estate.
  • The voiceover starts with "Once upon a time…" —that's a key we're in a fairy tale.
  • The voiceover also lets you know that the estate is ginormous with oodles of servants. There's even a special servant to take care of the goldfish.
  • And more voiceovering; you learn that the chauffeur is from England. He's Thomas Fairchild, and his daughter is Sabrina (she's the star, you can tell from the title.)
  • It's the night of the Larrabee's big party; Sabrina gets into a tree to watch sadly from a distance. Poor Sabrina.
  • Hepburn is in a checked dress over a dark shirt and wearing a ponytail; she looks very, very young (she's supposed to be sixteen or thereabouts.)
  • Now the voiceover tells you about the Larrabees. Maude and Oliver are the parents. Linus Larrabee is a successful rich dude; David Larrabee is a lazy wastrel.
  • You see David swooping up a partner for the dance. David is elegant, even if he is a lazy good-for-nothing.
  • That's all for the exposition, Shmoopers.
  • Now you see Sabrina watching David dancing with his date, who's giggling in an aggressive manner that upsets poor, mournful Sabrina.
  • Thomas comes up to the tree and tells Sabrina to go finish her packing for Paris.
  • Sabrina asks who the girl dancing with David is (it's Gretchen Van Horn) and then says she hates her.
  • Because she's jealous. Because she loves David. (Plot point.)
  • Thomas tells her she's got to get over it.
  • He walks off and Sabrina stays to watch the party and eat her heart out.
  • David whispers to Gretchen and she scurries off.
  • David goes to meet her at the tennis court, passing Sabrina on the way (he barely acknowledges her. It's like he can't see it's Audrey Hepburn.)
  • Sabrina follows David to the indoor tennis court. Gretchen is there giggling.
  • She and David flirt while Sabrina watches.
  • There's a suggestion that they're going to do more than flirt, but it's not that kind of film, so you (and Sabrina) don't get to see it.
  • Sabrina weeps and runs away. Poor Sabrina. (You can just repeat "poor Sabrina" to yourself throughout this opening scene.)
  • Thomas says Sabrina is going to Paris for cooking school. He also says Sabrina's mom, a cook, is dead.
  • Sabrina is still mopey.
  • The song "Isn't It Romantic?" plays; presumably it's playing in the party; cut to David and Gretchen dancing to the song.
  • Sabrina writes a letter to her dad. "I don't want to go to Paris. I want to die."
  • So that's ominous.
  • She slides the letter under her dad's door.
  • Sabrina goes down to the garage and turns all the cars on in an effort to give herself carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • She coughs a bit and slides down the wall.
  • Will she die? Come on; you're ten minutes into the movie. Audrey Hepburn isn't going to die.
  • Linus Larrabee opens the garage door. Sabrina tries to hide from him but he tracks her down.
  • She says she was checking the spark plugs. Does Linus believe her?
  • Hard to say. He gets her outside and when she passes out he carries her over his shoulder upstairs.
  • Linus reveals that Gretchen's mother can't find Gretchen (because she's fooling around with David.) Linus was in the garage to get the car to drive Gretchen's mom home.
  • And lights out, end scene.

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