In the beginning, the script for “Pretty Woman” had another ending. And it was a lot more murky

In the beginning, the script for “Pretty Woman” had another ending.  And it was a lot more murky

If you have turned on the television between 1990 and 2021 it is quite likely that at some point you have come across Pretty Woman. The movie, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, is one of the most broadcasted in the history of Spanish television. The story is as simple as it is known. A successful businessman hires a Hollywood prostitute to play the role of his partner for a week. They fall in love. On the verge of breaking up, in the last scene, Gere goes to Roberts’s apartment, where they consecrate their reconciliation.

Pretty Woman it was and is a successful movie for many reasons. On the one hand, they. Roberts would dominate the box office for more than a decade, while Gere would become the ideal of an interesting mature man for as many years. On the other hand, the plot. Pretty Woman he broke class barriers and celebrated an ideal, that of love as a great social equalizer, in practice elusive. Put on a catchy song over here, a soft script over there, some macho archetypes, and There you go.

Much of his triumph drew from tone. Was Roberts a street hooker hired cynically by a money-rotten businessman? Yes, but at no time was character underlined morally questionable of the character played by Gere. Does Gere’s aide attempt to rape Roberts in revenge, only to be attacked by Gere himself? Yes, but it was but a necessary bad drink in the ideal of a white knight who comes to the rescue of his damsel in distress.

Pretty Woman he knew how to perfectly read the obsessions of the mass culture of his time. Obviously, it had a happy ending. One that was on the verge of not existing and that would have changed the fate of the film.

Roberts herself revealed it in an interview with Patricia Arquette for Variety: “The film was actually very dark and the ending was very hard. It was really like a very dark film. arty, harsh and dark. “The resolution of the script was so abrupt and uncomfortable that Roberts, at that time at the beginning of his career, had doubts about whether to take it. the few days.

The script was written by a screenwriter named JF Lawton and the final scene, referred to by Roberts, was simply titled: “3,000”. It unfolded as follows: after a final afternoon of disagreements and anger, the character Roberts (Vivian) fell from grace with Gere (Edward). This invited him to leave the car. Vivian, through tears, resists. Edward gets out of the vehicle, opens his door, and pushes him out of his seat. After a little struggle, Gere throws a bill with $ 3,000 in it on the ground. The price to pay for a week of services.

The entire original script can be read here, including the abrupt ending scene.

Farewell to the white knight coming to the rescue of the damsel in distress. Goodbye to the love story between a man from the wealthy class and a woman from the underworld of society. Goodbye to the complacent ending and to all audiences that would fill television grills for three decades. Goodbye to Pretty Woman, In summary. The prostitute protagonist would end up in the same corner in which the film began. With $ 3,000 more and in tears. But in the same place.


The penultimate page of the original movie.

Such stark social realism did not interest Disney when he took over the project. Gerry Marshall, the new director, would print a new tone to the movie. “They changed everything and it became something that fit me more than it originally did,” adds Roberts. “I couldn’t have done it then and I couldn’t have done it now. Thank God it went down the drain,” he confesses. His career and image associated with easy romantic comedies may well have changed critically.

The last sentence Edward uttered before abandoning Vivian to fate? “Tomorrow you will regret not taking the money. You will regret it the minute I leave,” referring to the $ 3,000 envelope on the street that Vivian initially refuses to collect. Vivian’s last sentence? “Go to hell! I hate you! I hate your money! I hate it! “Immediately afterwards, Roberts’ character throws the envelope at Edward’s car, already in motion, and all the bills fly into the air. The raw tone of the scene was finished off with the following script notes:

Vivian kneels, shaking and crying. In the street, several bad-looking pedestrians look at her and the money. Vivian is propped up on her hands and knees, sobbing. He can barely breathe. It is completely broken. He wipes the tears from his cheeks. Look down the street. The Mercedes has left. For a brief moment, she stands still, frozen like a statue. He crouches down and begins to collect the money.

And so it ended Pretty Woman. Appetizing on a Sunday afternoon, right?

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In the beginning, the script for “Pretty Woman” had another ending. And it was a lot more murky