Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Pretty Woman (1990)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Pretty Woman (1990)

In Garry Marshall's romantically-sentimental fantasy Cinderella story, about the changing relationship over a week between a hooker and a wealthy corporate raider - it was an improbable Pygmalion story about how a Hollywood hooker was transformed by a business tycoon into a stylish modern princess:

  • the introduction of the Hollywood street-hooker Vivian Ward (Oscar-nominated Julia Roberts), who was chatting with her roommate/co-worker Kit De Luca (Laura San Giacomo), and affirmed that they would work independently of a pimp, who would only "run our lives and take our money"; Kit agreed: "We say who, we say when, we say how much"
  • the scene of Vivian's first encounter on the street with super-rich businessman Edward Lewis (Richard Gere), when he was cruising Hollywood Boulevard in a borrowed silver Lotus Esprit sports car and found himself lost in the red-light district; she came up to his window and made a proposition: "Hey, sugar, you lookin' for a date?"; she helped him navigate the car with directions to the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where they separated, but then he relocated her at a bus stop and brought her to his penthouse suite for the night, where he ordered champagne and strawberries
  • their initial negotiations together as a client-customer date; she was uncertain whether he wanted her to only service him quickly, or to spend the night (an enterprise that would be more costly); she told him: "I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing"; she asked if he needed to reconsider: "Are you sure you want me to stay for the entire night? I mean, I could just pop you good and be on my way"
  • during their first night together, after watching an episode of I Love Lucy, Vivian stripped down to her underwear and learned forward over Edward and asked: "What do you want?"; he responded: "What do you do?", to which she responded: "Everything. But I don't kiss on the mouth," and he agreed: "Neither do l," and then kissed down the length of his body (off-screen)
  • the next morning as she took a sudsy bath (while listening and loudly singing along to Prince's song "Kiss": "I want to be your fantasy, Well, maybe you could be mine"), he negotiated for her to spend the remainder of the week (6 days) with him: ("Vivian, I have a business proposition for ya...I'd like you to spend the week with me....Yes, I'd like to hire you as an employee"), and they agreed on a no-strings attached, full-service escort fee of $3,000 ("Would you consider spending the week with me? I will pay you to be at my beck and call...I want a professional. I don't need any romantic hassles this week"); she exclaimed once the price was agreed upon: "HOLY S--T!" and dunked herself under the suds; when she emerged with bubbles all over her face, she assented: "YES!"
  • while seated on their suite's balcony ledge, Vivian's description to Edward of her emotionless personality - except with him: "Kit's always saying to me, 'Don't get emotional when you turn tricks.' That's why no kissing. It's too personal. It's like what you're saying: You stay numb, you don't get involved. When I'm with a guy, I'm like a robot. I just do it. I mean, except with you"; he responded: "Oh, of course, not with me. You and I are such similar creatures, Vivian. We both screw people for money"
  • the scene of Vivian's second extravagant shopping spree in a boutique on Rodeo Drive (after she was thrown out earlier), when Edward escorted her into a shop (after ordering her to spit out her gum) and boasted to the manager Mr. Hollister: "We're gonna need a few more people helping us out, I'll tell you why. We're gonna be spending an obscene amount of money in here. So we're gonna need a lot more help sucking up to us, 'cause that's what we really like"
In a Rodeo Drive (Beverly Hills) Boutique
"Get rid of your gum"
"We're gonna be spending an obscene amount of money in here"
Clerks Surrounded Vivian
  • later that evening when Edward returned to their penthouse suite, Vivian greeted him naked at the dining table, and soon after they took a bath together
  • their visit to a polo game match, and Vivian's energetic, hand-waving cheer; afterwards in their hotel suite, they engaged in a vicious argument after Edward had to reveal their secret to his colleague Philip Stuckey (Jason Alexander) that she was a hooker from Hollywood Boulevard - and she was enraged: (Edward: "I hate to point out the obvious, but you are, in fact, a hooker! And you are my employee!"; she refused to capitulate: "You don't own me. I decide, okay? I say who, I say when, l--I say who....I'm sorry I ever met you. I'm sorry I ever got into your stupid car!...I've never had anyone make me feel as cheap as you did today" - and she stormed out, although they were soon reconciled in the hallway when he apologized: "I'm sorry. I wasn't prepared to answer questions about us. It was stupid and cruel. I didn't mean it. I don't want you to go. Will you stay the week?...I think you are a very bright, very special woman")
  • the scene of their surprise, dressed-up date to see La Traviata at the San Francisco Opera (traveling via private jet) (reminiscent of Eliza Doolittle's 'coming-out' scene in My Fair Lady (1964)), when Vivian wore an unforgettable red gown and a necklace worth $250,000; she was visibly surprised when he opened the jewelry box and it snapped shut on her fingers; she was moved by the opera's tale of a prostitute falling in love with a rich man
  • on returning to their hotel, he vowed to work the next day, but then phoned in the next morning to his office to take the day off - to spend it with Vivian. After a full day, he fell asleep while she was getting ready for bed. She gently kissed him on the lips before they made love as partners rather than as a client and hooker
Their First Mouth-to-Mouth Kisses
  • during a serious discussion scene at the end of the week, when Edward proposed putting her up in a NYC apartment, with a car and a shopping expense account - to get her "off the streets"; she was resistant and slightly insulted because it was not the white-knight "fairy tale" rescue that she dreamed of as a little girl: ("When I was a little girl... I would pretend I was a princess trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly this knight on a white horse with these colors flying would come charging up and draw his sword. And I would wave. And he would climb up the tower and rescue me. But never in all the time that I had this dream did the knight say to me, 'Come on, baby, I'll put you up in a great condo'")
Vivian's Dream of Rescue by a Knight on a White Horse
"What is it you want? What do you see happening between us?"
"I don't know...When I was a little girl..."
  • Edward was called away for a momentous business deal, but had time to tell Vivian: "This is all I'm capable of right now. It's a very big step for me.... I've never treated you like a prostitute." She shot back: "You just did." She had a quick meeting with her friend Kit, who realized that Vivian had fallen in love with her client: "You fall in love with him, and you kiss him on the mouth. Did I not teach you anything?" Vivian denied her accusation: "Look, I'm not stupid, OK? I'm -- I'm not in love with him. I like him."
  • when Edward returned, Vivian made it very clear to him that she had to leave him unless she could acquire the fairy tale: "Look, you made me a really nice offer. And a few months ago, no problem. But now everything is different, and you've changed that. And you can't change back. I want more.... I want the fairy tale"; he claimed he was good at "impossible relationships"; she was obviously ready to leave, but he implored her to stay: "Stay the night with me. And not because I'm paying you, but because you want to," but she refused, adding: "I can't"; after he said goodbye, she complimented him: "I think you have a lot of special gifts" before she departed and proceeded with plans to move on to San Francisco
"I want more...I want the fairy tale"
When Asked to Stay, Vivian Replied: "I can't"
  • Vivian's ultimate rescue by her gallant Prince Charming in the film's conclusion when Edward changed his mind about returning to New York, and pulled up outside Hollywood prostitute Vivian's shared apartment (with Kit) in a white limousine with the horn-honking and opera music blaring; from the open sunroof, he held out his arms to her with a closed black umbrella in one hand and a bouquet of red roses in the other; he called out: "Princess Vivian, come down!" and then commented: "It had to be the top floor, right?"
"Princess" Vivian's Rescue by Her White Knight on Fire Escape
  • Edward climbed up her outside fire-escape ladder with the bouquet of flowers clenched between his teeth while she climbed down partway on the ladder to meet him; he held out his arms with the roses and professed his love (with a kiss), by asking about the ending of her childhood fantasy of a knight's rescue (Edward: "So what happened after he climbed up the tower and rescued her?" Vivian: "She rescues him right back.")
  • the film ended with the camera pulling back, overhearing the words of a Happy Man (Abdul Salaam El Razzac) crossing the street: "Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here. This is Hollywood! The land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't. But keep on dreamin'. This is Hollywood! Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'."

Kit De Luca (Laura San Giacomo) with Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts)

"You lookin' for a date?"

Vivian: "I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing"

First Night's Seduction with Edward ("What do you want?")

Bathtub Negotiations

Edward to Vivian: "I have a business proposition for ya"


"When I'm with a guy, I'm like a robot. I just do it"

"We both screw people for money"

Bathing Together

At a Polo Game Match

Afterwards, a Vicious Argument: "You don't own me!"

Edward's Apology: "I'm sorry"

Edward to Vivian: "You are a very bright, very special woman"

Surprise Jet Trip to SF Opera


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z