The estate was very large indeed and had many servants.
There were gardeners to take care of the gardens and a tree surgeon on a retainer.
There was a boatman to take care of the boats, to put them in the water in the spring and scrape their bottoms in the winter.
There were specialists to take care of the grounds, the outdoor tennis court and the indoor tennis court, the outdoor swimming pool and the indoor swimming pool.
And there was a man of no particular title who took care of a small pool in the garden for a goldfish named George.
Also on the estate there was a chauffeur by the name of Fairchild, who had been imported from England years ago, together with a new Rolls-Royce.
Fairchild was a fine chauffeur of considerable polish, like the eight cars in his care.
And he had a daughter by the name of... Sabrina.
It was the eve of the annual six-metre-yacht races and, as had been traditional on Long Island for the past 30 years, the Larrabees were giving a party.
It never rained on the night of the Larrabee party.
The Larrabees wouldn't have stood for it.
There were four Larrabees in all - father, mother and two sons.
Maude and Oliver Larrabee were married in 1906 and among their many wedding presents was a town house in New York and this estate for weekends.
The town house has since been converted into Saks Fifth Avenue.
Linus Larrabee, the elder son, graduated from Yale, where his classmates voted him the man most likely to leave his alma mater 50 million dollars.
His brother, David, went through several of the best Eastern colleges for short periods of time, and through several marriages for even shorter periods of time.
He is now a successful six-goal polo player and is listed on Linus's tax return as a 600 dollar deduction.
Life was pleasant among the Larrabees, for this was as close to heaven as one could get on Long Island.»
Este trecho, lido em voz-off, abre o filme Sabrina, de Billy Wilder, com Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart e William Holden (dito, e este pormenor é importantíssimo, pelo própria personagem de Audrey). Fica assim definido, logo à partida, todo o programa do filme. Sabemos exactamente o que é que se vai passar nas quase duas horas seguintes. Se fosse apenas a curiosidade de conhecer o desenrolar da história e o respectivo desenlace, está lá tudo, e bem que podíamos desligar o dvd e aproveitar o tempo para, sei lá, lavar a loiça do jantar.
E no entanto, o que se passa nas quase duas horas seguintes é um festival de comédia que parecendo conformar-se com os cânones da comédia romântica, as subverte para contar, à maneira de Wilder, uma história irreverente de onde a moral parece estar completamente ausente.
Claro que o amor no fim vence tudo (e nesse aspecto falta a Sabrina a estocada final daquele “Nobody’s Perfect” de Some Like it Hot), mas, até esse momento, a vida perto do céu que se vive em Long Island é um festival de superficialidade, hedonismo, ganância e, no que à ingénue respeita, arrivismo.
É esta duplicidade, a de por um lado parecer respeitar todos os cânones de modo a fazer um cinema popular, e por outro estar sempre a pôr em causa a integridade moral das personagens, que tornam Sabrina, como em geral todo o cinema de Billy Wilder, um filme delicioso e extraordinário.