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.


Garry Marshall


J.F. Lawton
397 ( 86)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... Edward Lewis
Julia Roberts ... Vivian Ward
Ralph Bellamy ... James Morse
Jason Alexander ... Philip Stuckey
Laura San Giacomo ... Kit De Luca
Alex Hyde-White ... David Morse
Amy Yasbeck ... Elizabeth Stuckey
Elinor Donahue ... Bridget
Hector Elizondo ... Barney Thompson
Judith Baldwin ... Susan
Jason Randal Jason Randal ... Magician
Bill Applebaum Bill Applebaum ... Howard
Tracy Bjork Tracy Bjork ... Female Guest
Gary Greene Gary Greene ... Male Guest
Billy Gallo ... Carlos (as William Gallo)


Because of his extreme wealth and suave good looks, Edward Lewis could seemingly have any woman he wants, that committed significant other which he needs on his arm at social events to further how he makes his money as a corporate raider. However, he focuses more on his corporate raiding pursuits with his partner in crime, Philip Stuckey, his lawyer of ten years, than those women, with every significant other he's had in his life feeling neglected and eventually leaving him, this fact about which he is just coming to the realization. In Beverly Hills, Edward, in needing that woman on his arms as he and Philip work toward taking over the company owned by the increasingly insolvent James Morse, decides, based on a chance encounter, to hire Hollywood Boulevard hooker Vivian Ward as his escort for the week 24/7. He does so because he wants to have a professional who would be committed to the work, yet not have any commitments to her after the week is over. Beyond their chance encounter, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who knew it was so much fun to be a hooker? See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Robin Williams was considered for the role of Edward. See more »


When Vivian and Edward first enter the penthouse suite, the curtains onto the balcony are pale. The next morning at breakfast they are blue. 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.
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Alternate Versions

The TV version has Kit saying "Cinderella" rather than "Cinde-f**kin'-rella" when she's trying to cheer Vivian up. Scene is re-shot so Kit's mouth matches dialog, rather than just a re-dub. See more »


Featured in The Best of Disney: 50 Years of Magic (1991) See more »


Real Wild Child (Wild One)
Written by Johnny O'Keefe, Johnny Greenan, and Dave Owen
Performed by Christopher Otcasek
Courtesy of EMI, a divison of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Beauty always trumps the top Human Ideals
6 October 2007 | by chazz46See all my reviews

PRETTYWOMAN…as poor thesis for humanity As long as we are talking about women, beauty, etc., I thought I would bring up my singular position as actually having HATED the movie "Pretty Woman" as opposed to everyone else I talk to. The movie "Pretty Woman" appears to do injustice to the realistic expectations of our youth in the sense that this movie preyed upon the sensual powers of attraction that physical beauty has over the intellect and other non-physical attributes which, on the other hand, truly are the foundations for the ideal man and woman relationships. When it was said, "It must be difficult leaving something so beautiful" (this being a $250,000 necklace as a concrete representation of a beautiful woman) such placement of beauty on a pedestal lends to the difficulty of maintaining one's grasp of the conventional ideal that a well-educated person, amongst other ideals, is to be placed on the pinnacle of desirability. After all, beauty of the human being does not take outstanding craftsmanship as needed to create such a necklace....nor does a naturally beautiful person require any major toil and effort on the part of many to obtain the raw materials for these craftsmen. Rather, quite simply, this beautiful woman symbolizes the antithesis of all requisite efforts that must come together to create and produce wealth of mankind. In short, random luck provides a particular human being with an attractive appearance that trumps all other ideals that we hold as more important. The powerful, intellectual, and educated man's (Richard Gere's character) choice for this woman (Julia Robert's character) primarily on beauty alone, tends to denigrate all of the human effort to rise above our baseline naivete and ignorance. With all of his character's accomplishment, why does he not seek out a woman who has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, collected high level degrees, and started her own successful company, etc.? This film captures the dilemma for man---that, in spite of our ideal of becoming honest in the sense of Ayn Rand's thesis ("An honest man (or woman) is one who does not consume more than he produces or creates") and productive through the development of our minds, he still cannot resist basic God-given beauty. By the popularity of this movie, I think it points out this phenomenon, and furthermore tends to promote beauty over the other ideals. In fact, there are masses of achievers and educated individuals who successfully ward off the temptations of beauty and choose the attractiveness of a well-developed mind and on-going accomplishment. To me, this movie seems to help perpetuate the sophomoric and juvenile concept that beauty, romantic relationships, and self-directed pleasure rather than development of God-given potential are all that life is about. One might say that this movie gives the beautiful person (as well as the person who perceives oneself as such) a mistaken notion, or at least a temptation, to rely solely on that beauty and to ultimately cash in on it and as a result live a superficial meaningless life, without ever achieving one's God-given potential. Chazz

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

23 March 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

$ 3,000 See more »


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,280,591, 25 March 1990

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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