The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)

R  |   |  Comedy, Musical  |  23 July 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 7,330 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 8 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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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?


Marvin Zindler, on which Melvin P. Thorpe is based, liked the play but didn't like the film. Zindler said that his crusade against the Chicken Ranch has been taken out of context. He wasn't trying to get it closed down because of the prostitution, but because of the Ranch's reported ties to organized crime and other shady business dealings. See more »


Miss Mona tells Sheriff Dodd she "has not been on the 11 o'clock news" before. Being in the central time zone, all Houston TV stations run their news at 10 o'clock, not 11. See more »


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


Featured in 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2008) See more »


Where Stallions Run
(cut from some film versions)
Written by Dolly Parton
Performed by Burt Reynolds
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.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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