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 little 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 died, 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 lives. 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
When this movie was first released in theatres, and on its first ABC TV airing, it featured Burt Reynolds singing a song. (The song is in the scene immediately following his confrontation with Miss Mona, in which he orders her to shut down the Chicken Ranch. In the video release, and in the current TV version, that sequence has been removed On the new version, Burt is seen briefly in a "contemplation" link sequence. The tune (written by Dolly Parton) which Burt originally sang on the movie was used in Dolly's "Rhinestone" movie. She wrote totally new words to the music and titled the song "God Won't Get You". (Also a single release for Dolly on RCA). See more »
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!"
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