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The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)

 -  Comedy | Musical  -  23 July 1982 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 6,775 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 10 critic

Town Sheriff and regular patron, fights to keep a historical whorehouse open when a TV preacher targets it as the Devils playhouse.

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

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A madame and a sheriff trying to save their local whorehouse.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheriff
...
Mona Stangley
...
Melvin
...
Governor
...
Deputy Fred
Robert Mandan ...
Senator Wingwood
...
Dulcie Mae
...
Jewel
...
Edsel (as Noah Beery)
Raleigh Bond ...
Mayor
...
C.J.
Ken Magee ...
Mansel
...
Rita
Mary Louise Wilson ...
Modene
...
Howard K. Smith
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 July 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mejor casita de placer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$69,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was based upon a true story in which investigative reporter Marvin Zindler (who inspired Dom DeLuise's "Melvin P. Thorpe" character) closed down the "Chicken Ranch" brothel in LaGrange, Texas, in 1973. Zindler remained with ABC affiliate KTRK-TV in Houston until his death in 2007. See more »

Goofs

When Sheriff Dodd punches Melvin P. Thorpe and sends him sliding across the floor, Thorpe slides across a design in the floor and stops with his head and shoulders outside the design. The following aerial shot shows him with his head centered perfectly in the middle of the design. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Nanny: A Kiss Is Just a Kiss (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

The Aggie Song
Written by Carol Hall
Performed by the Aggies
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hello, Dolly!!!
14 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

5.3?

The problem, I suspect, with this movie is that the wrong people are watching it, and the right aren't.

Let's see, who does this movie offend? Christian fundamentalists, politicians and Texans. I don't know how many of the former are watching it and then rating it (perhaps they just rate first, watch later), but it looks like some Texans don't have a sense of humor.

And then there are Burt Reynolds fans who might be shocked to find this is not a typical Burt Reynolds movie, and hate it. But folks who aren't Burt Reynolds fans will probably enjoy it. Reynolds' excellent acting is natural, understated, and properly nuanced to the scenes. I think Reynolds and Parton are very well cast together and have real chemistry.

As to Dolly Parton, who knows? All I know is you don't have to be a Dolly Parton country music fan to love this movie. My estimation of Ms. Parton went up enormously after first seeing this movie. She is one smart lady and a fine actress.

So, to add it up, if you are not from Texas, not a Bible-thumper, not a politician, not a Burt Reynolds fan and not a Dolly Parton fan, you should definitely watch The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Oh, and folks expecting porn are going to be disappointed, though there is the briefest of cameos by none other than Kay Parker, dressed. Don't blink. Too bad she didn't get a speaking part. This lady can actually act! I saw her reciting Shakespeare, for some reason I can't recall, in one of her movies, and she was real good.

Watch this movie because it is laugh out loud funny. You need to watch closely at the details because the scenes are beautifully crafted. Watch the one of Dom DeLuise getting dressed in front of Reynolds before going on air. It is hilarious, especially the sock. But the most memorable scene is of "Governor" Charles Durning doing his "Sidestep" number. It is a masterpiece.

It is easy to forget this is a musical, perhaps because the storyline is so strong it could survive as a movie without music. But a musical it is, in the tradition of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Oklahoma! with its masculine cowboy acrobatics dancing, though with an 80s twist, given the locker room dance number.

Thats what makes this movie great: It takes the concept of the musical comedy and brings it out of the Fifties and into the Eighties in a way that is still relevant and pretty outrageous today because of its swipe at hypocrisy. Did I say swipe? Perhaps dagger thrust or kick in the face to hypocrisy would be more accurate. In this regard, The Best Little Whorehouse is hardly subtle.

So perhaps I should add to the list of people who will not like this movie, hypocrites. For them, there is "Hello, Dolly!"


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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