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The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)

A town's sheriff and regular patron of a historical whorehouse fights to keep it running when a TV preacher targets it as the Devil's playhouse.



(play), (play) | 3 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mona Stangley
Deputy Fred
Robert Mandan ...
Senator Wingwood
Dulcie Mae
Edsel (as Noah Beery)
Raleigh Bond ...
Ken Magee ...
Mary Louise Wilson ...
Howard K. Smith


Founded in 1910 just outside of the city limits of Gilbert located in Lanville County, Texas, the Chicken Ranch has for generations been known as the best whorehouse in Texas for its wholesome fun, strict moral code and cleanliness, all perpetuated by its original owner, Miss Wulla Jean. Seven years ago, Miss Wulla Jean passed on, leaving the Chicken Ranch to her favorite working girl, Miss Mona Stangley, who wants to keep the same traditions of Miss Wulla Jean. The Chicken Ranch has always had the unofficial blessing of the local authorities, who see the ranch providing an important community service, one which most in local authority have used at one time or another in their life. In fact, Miss Mona and Lanville County Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd have been in a relationship for years, Ed Earl who is Miss Mona's protector, albeit one with a hot temper and good ol' boy attitude that doesn't exactly match the needs of his law upholding position. That blessing may change when television ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


With Burt and Dolly this much fun just couldn't be legal!


Comedy | Musical


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 July 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mejor casita de placer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


$69,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Betty Grable's stepson, Tim James, natural son of big band leader Harry James, was an attorney working with the then Attorney General of Texas and became responsible for enticing TV personality Marvin Zindler of Houston to investigate the famous Chicken Ranch brothel in La Grange, Texas - eventually closing it down. See more »


During the song "Little Bitty Pissant Country Place", Dolly welcomes some gentleman callers. She says "well howdy boys" and walks towards them smiling. Her mouth is clearly visible and she is not speaking but we hear her saying. "It's good to see you. Nice to meet you." See more »


[first lines]
Deputy Fred: It was the nicest little whorehouse you ever saw!
See more »


Referenced in Dolly: Episode #1.5 (1987) See more »


I Will Always Love You
Written and Performed by Dolly Parton
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most fun and upbeat musicals ever made.
20 March 2004 | by (Conn) – See all my reviews

How could anyone not love this movie? Being a big fan of musicals myself, I love this movie for the fun, campy performances, larger then life, sassy, characters,smalltown southern charm, the surprisingly sweet romance between Reynolds and Parton(I'm a big fan of both) and the homage to the south in general-YEEHAW!!! This is a perfect movie to watch directly after you've watched a heavy movie and want to "come down". It's bright, fun and filled with wicked gaiety. Anyone who's a fan of musicals should see this, I've seen many a stage show as well, my one big regret is I never saw the play version of this.

I don't see how anyone could fault Burt Reynolds performance in this, in my opinion the casting choices-all of them-were as close to perfect as there is. Although I do not live in Texas, I have visited and hold a deep admiration for Texas and all it has to offer. I love movies about one of my favorite states in the country, as well as musicals, so this was a double plus. And everyone played their roles with such charm, Dolly was so lovable, Reynolds, the tough sheriff yet so decent at heart and Charles Durning as mentioned by nearly EVERYBODY was amazing.

This ranks up there as one of my all time top musicals, it's got so much gaiety and is so infectiously warm, inviting and a celebration of fun! A must see. 8 of 10.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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