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Pretty Woman (1990)

R  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  23 March 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 198,198 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 265 user | 80 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets... only to fall in love.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Randal ...
Bill Applebaum ...
Tracy Bjork ...
Female Guest
Gary Greene ...
Male Guest
Carlos (as William Gallo)


Edward is a rich, ruthless businessman who specializes in taking over companies and then selling them off piece by piece. He travels to Los Angeles for a business trip and decides to hire a prostitute. They take a liking to each other and he offers her money if she'll stay with him for an entire week while he makes the "rich and famous" scene (since it doesn't do for a man of his stature to be alone at society parties and polo matches). Romantic comedy (and complications) ensue. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She walked off the street, into his life and stole his heart. See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

$ 3,000  »

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)


$178,406,268 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Albert Brooks and Sylvester Stallone turned down the role of Edward Lewis. See more »


As Vivian walks into the hotel after her shopping spree, her purse switches from under one arm to under the other. See more »


[first lines]
Magician at party: No matter what they say, it's all about money. So let's imagine, ladies, that you're a savings and loan officer. Watch - one, two, three; see, you've got it all, and we've got nothing. You've got all four, take a look.
See more »


Featured in Great Movie Mistakes III: Not in 3D (2011) See more »


Richard Gere's Piano Solo
Written and Performed by Richard Gere
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Wonderful Cinderella / Pygmalion tale, hooker style
8 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

What can I say that hasn't been said? This immensely popular, modern fairy tale romance is a fantastic 'feel good' must see. I can't resist watching it every single time it comes on TV. To tempt you if you haven't seen it...it's the story of a feisty, good hearted hooker named Vivian Ward, who is hired for a week by a wealthy businessman, Edward Lewis, to serve as his escort at a number of business related social functions. Needless to say, the relationship doesn't stay 'just business' for long.

Rather than the plot itself, the beautiful Julia Roberts makes this movie...and not simply because of her 88 inches of leg! Always endearing in her roles, she is at her absolute MOST endearing portraying Vivian in this picture. She brings a real vulnerability to the role, showing us that just like everyone else, prostitutes do indeed floss their teeth! Richard Gere pulls off quite convincingly the role of Edward, the ruthless, calculating millionaire businessman, who takes over companies only to sell them off piece by piece, quite unmindful of the interests of any people involved. To give Gere credit, I was quite impressed that he actually plays the piano in one of the movie's scenes.

Naturally, given Vivian's membership in the 'oldest profession', there is sex early on...though I, old fashioned and strict as I am, wouldn't hesitate to let my young teen see this movie. (There's worse in TV commercials today!) Oddly, the most truly intimate moment in this film is not during the more explicit sex but rather, simply a kiss.

Ohhhh, lots of romantic scenes, from a picnic in the park to jetting off in a private plane for a Big Night on the Town. And etiquette lessons...Vivian displays charming, amusing, curious innocence when she experiences with Edward her first opera (all the while looking knock out gorgeous in a stunning red gown), her first polo match, and her introduction to escargots. As the movie progresses, she is transformed Pygmalion style, from the street smart hooker provocatively dressed in tall black boots and mini skirt, to a sophisticated looking, elegantly gowned and coiffed young lady. But it's merely appearance...Vivian's heart of gold and her vulnerability both remain unchanged.

The status conscious snobbery of Beverly Hills dress shops and ritzy hotels, judging people by wealth and class, is well depicted here. When Vivian goes shopping for a 'more appropriate' wardrobe at some exclusive Rodeo Drive boutiques, she is not 'well received' by the sales ladies, who like all too many of us, are overly inclined to judge by appearance. You'll want these snobs to get their comeuppance. Actually, perhaps the most touching relationship in this entire film is the one between Vivian and Barney, the quite proper but kind desk manager at the high class hotel (where she is sharing a penthouse suite with Edward), who is able to see beyond appearance. He develops a genuine fondness and even more importantly, respect for her.

Other characters of interest...Kit is Vivian's appealing and sympathetic room-mate, also a hooker (Vivian's a loyal friend), and Stuckey is Edward's sleazy and despicable business colleague, portrayed by Seinfeld's Jason Alexander, a TV show which I must confess is not my favourite.

As events unfold during the film, it becomes clear that, while Edward might not understand too clearly the meaning of 'prostitution', Vivian clearly does. And, it's another shining film illustration of that pearl of wisdom from Eliza Doolittle (of My Fair Lady) who enlightened us, 'The difference between a flower girl and a lady is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.' Or, in Vivian's own words, 'People put you down enough, you start to believe it'.

Great Cinderella movie...don't miss it.

37 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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''I think you have a lot of special gifts.''... karen526
Debate: Would you have given Kit some money? tchr88
Perhaps the worst movie ever cddevine
Laughably bad acting by Roberts IloveMuggy
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