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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
Big, splashy, fun musical about a whorehouse (the Chicken Ranch) in Texas run by Miss Mona (Dolly Parton). She's in love with the sheriff (Burt Reynolds) and the town has no problem with the house. Then a sleazy TV showman (Dom DeLuise) exposes the ranch and all hell breaks lose.
This was a modest hit in 1982. It's easy to see why--it's full of energy and enthusiasm, has great songs and some fantastic all out production numbers. Reynolds is just OK but Parton is an absolute joy--she gives one of her best performances and even sings "I Will Always Love You" (I prefer Whitney's version). Also there is equal amounts of male and female nudity and has a healthy attitude about sex (this was made before AIDS was well-known about). And Charles Durning stops the show with his "sidestepping" number...he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for this.
Only complaint is the ending. It's way too serious and realistic--I wish they had opted for a fairy tale like ending. Also Lois Nettleton's subplot is seriously underdeveloped--I assume it was shot but cut out for the running time.
See it and enjoy!
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