Sabrina (1954) studio publicity still. Public Domain photo, from Wikimedia Commons

A classic love story, told in two different ways. Samuel A. Taylor’s romantic comedy play Sabrina Fair has been adapted twice for the silver screen. The first time was in 1954, filming on location in Long Island and on sets in Hollywood, California. Three time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder led an all-star cast featuring Academy Award winners William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, and Audrey HepburnThe costumes worn by Hepburn were designed by five time Academy Award winning costume designer Edith Head and would become American fashion sensations.

The second made in 1995 stars a competent cast made up of Harrison Ford, Julie Ormond and Greg Kinnear, and directed by Academy Award winner Sydney Pollack. Filming also took place on location in Long Island, as well as Paris, France and Martha’s Vineyard. The remake does not have the same reputation as the original, but what the two versions do share are beautiful film locations. Here is a list of locations used in both the 1954 and 1995 versions.

1. The Larabee Estate (1954)

Wiliam Holden and Humphrey Bogart in SabrinaStill from Sabrina of William Holden and Humphrey Bogart at the Larrabee state. Public Domain photo, from Wikimedia Commons

Billy Wilder’s Sabrina takes place on the north shore of Long Island. Sabrina (played by Audrey Hepburn) is, in her words “a small girl on a large estate.” In voice-over she gives the audience some exposition of the large estate: an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and tennis court; a garage that held eight cars; and “a man of no particular title, who took care of a small  pool in the garden, for a gold fish named George.” Sabrina and her father “a chauffeur by the name of Fairchild” live above the garage of the estate. From a large tree Sabrina peeks ahead at the gathering that is going on hosted by the family that owns the estate, the Larrabees. Sabrina scans the party hoping to catch a glimpse of the families youngest son David (William Holden).

In the first film, the movie was said to have been filmed at the Glen Cove estate of Paramount executive Barney Balaban, though it was actually filmed at Hill Grove, in Beverly Hills, California.

Mansion at Glen Cove

The address in the film of the Larabee Estate in the first film is given as Dosoris Lane, which does have an actual Gilded Age mansion – the Mansion at Glen Cove — although no filming was done here.  200 Dosoris Lane in Glen Cove, Long Island has quite a history. Part of the “Gold Coast” line of mansions built in the early 20th century, the estate known as “The Manor House” belonged to John Teele Pratt, an attorney and executive for the Standard Oil Company, and Ruth Baker Pratt, the first Republican congresswoman from New York state. The family owned the home until Ruth’s death in 1965. The house also served as a location for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller North by Northwest. The mansion is now a hotel and conference center, and once had a special Weekend with Sabrina package.

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4 thoughts on “NYC and Paris Film Locations: Billy Wilder’s and Sydney Pollack’s Sabrina

  1. I like this movie but I don’t like the lack of chemistry between Linus and Sabrina. It’s very forced and uncomfortable to watch.

  2. Rich, you are absolutely correct. Burt Balaban (Barneys son) was my grandfather and I have photos from Barneys mansion when they were filming. Bogart sitting on his couch eating picnic food and Audrey standing in front of the mansion with her poodle(?). In the movie Sabrina you might notice a girl running across the lawn, that is my mother playing in the yard.

  3. I’m curious what restaurant the newer Sabrina used when Linus goes with her and they eat on the floor?

  4. Just a note of correction–Sabrina (1954) was NOT filmed at the John Teele Pratt Mansion in Glen Cove, which is a common misconception. It was filmed at the home of Barney Balaban, who was president of Paramount Studios in the 1950’s. Balaban’s Georgian brick mansion (Welland House) was located in the Greenhaven section of Rye, NY at 315 Brevoort Lane.

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