The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) Poster

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Underrated and enjoyable film
CucFan24 January 2000
Sure, the movie shows some skin, but that's not all there is to it, so don't let the prospect of that keep you from watching this movie. There's much more to it than that. Sitting down to watch this film, you're immediately drawn in by one of the most ambitious parts of the film - the history of the Chicken Ranch, decade by decade, depicted with singing, dancing and huge productions that last only a moment, all set to the tune of "Twenty Fans" and narrated by Jim Nabors.

Some people would probably be surprised to find that this movie was nominated for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical in the 1983 Golden Globe awards. Dolly Parton was also nominated for a Golden Globe award in the Best Actress - Comedy/Musical category, while Charles Durning, in his role of the Texas governor, was nominated (quite rightly) for an Academy Award for Best Actor In A Supporting Role.

The best thing about the film is the character of Miss Mona, played by Dolly Parton. I read that Barbara Mandrell or Crystal Gayle were also up for the part, but I can't imagine anyone else playing Miss Mona. You can't help liking Miss Mona - she's not like any prostitute or madam the 1982 movie-going public had ever seen. She's a ray of sunshine, totally forthright, honest, optimistic, generous, open-hearted and sweet. She even contributes heavily to local charities and causes, and one of her lines is "Well, I always just thought if you see somebody without a smile, give 'em yours!" As usual in her films, Parton, who is a singer/songwriter, not a trained actress, holds her own and more. Her entrance, singing "Lil' Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place" as she slowly walks down the stairs in that red dress, is something else. Throughout the movie, Miss Mona's fiery temper and tender heart provide some of the most authentic moments.

Reynolds plays the character his audience loves best - the smart ass. And he plays it very well. This movie shows him in the character of a sheriff, which must have been amusing to moviegoers accustomed to seeing him outrunning sheriffs and state police in his "Smokey & The Bandit" movies. Ed Earl is a typical Reynolds character - getting most of the funniest lines, cussing up a storm, getting philosophical in his semi-ignorant way and defending Miss Mona to the best of his hot-tempered ability.

Dom DeLuise plays the part of Melvin P. Thorpe to perfection, right down to the corset and the stuffed pants. He is a delight. Perfect comic timing. "Watchdog Report/Texas Has a Whorehouse in It" is a production number that is completely right for him.

Jim Nabors is, well, Jim Nabors. I still laugh thinking about the opening line of the movie, delivered in his "GOL-LEE" tone: "It was the nicest little whorehouse you ever saw!" Nabors plays Deputy Fred, who also narrates the movie.

Also of note is Charles Durning as the governor of Texas, who is perfect as he schmoozes and avoids the facts. It is no surprise to me that this actor, who has now made over 100 movies, was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role. My favorite part of his brief airtime is the business with his cowboy hat (four or five times he puts his hat on sideways and then whirls to the side so that it falls correctly onto his head). His singing and dancing in "The Sidestep" pulls out no stops - you can't stop watching him. I couldn't help wondering how Steve Martin would have played this role, but Durning makes it his own.

The movie is, of course, a musical, and it was a musical before it was made into a movie - so we get lots of musical numbers, including one with the Aggie football team. If you like musicals, you will like this, because the songs were clearly written not to be hits, not to be videos, but to be part of a musical. Mona's Girls and the Aggies are not actors - they're extremely talented dancers, some of whom can sing.

The Aggies, who are supposed to be the Texas A & M football team, push their scenes to the limit. It does stretch dramatic license a bit when the football players have most of their clothes off and are dancing around the locker room - their physiques are clearly not football material - but no matter. Yee-haw!

Mona's girls have been chosen to represent many different physical types of women, and besides their obvious dancing talent, each gets a small solo (one or two lines) in one of the movie's final songs, "Hard Candy Christmas" (a song which sounds as if it was written by Parton but wasn't). This is, to me, the best song in the movie, and it's a shame that a different version was used on the soundtrack (in the movie, each girl sings a line or two, with Parton singing the choruses, but on the soundtrack version, Parton sings it all). Nothing against Parton, but I enjoyed hearing/seeing all the different reactions as expressed by their distinct voices as the girls faced their uncertain futures.

Parton also contributed two of her own original songs to the movie. "I Will Always Love You," which she originally wrote and released in 1974, became this film's love song and went to number one for a second time (of course, it went to number one again when covered by Whitney Houston in 1992. The other song that Dolly contributed is "Sneakin' Around" (a "9 to 5"-like duet between Parton and Reynolds). According to some information on the WWW, she also contributed other songs which were not used, including a song which she later re-wrote for "Rhinestone."

Looking back on this film from 18 years in the future, I'm sure that many people have a low opinion of it, but I think it's a classic. Supposedly based on a true story, this film invites you in and never lets you go, keeping you hooked with sharply written dialogue and fast-paced action. Once you start watching it, it's impossible to stop - some of the comedy is very subtle, and each performer seems perfectly cast and enthusiastically performs her or his role.

There aren't as many serious moments, but they are well-acted. Ed Earl and Miss Mona have a long-term relationship, spiced with something more perhaps? Miss Mona's face after her fight with Ed Earl conveys such weary hurt that you can't help wanting her to get a break. There's much more to this movie than Mona's girls. It's about friendship, tradition, honesty, promises and tolerance as well. Managing to express valid points and make a 1982 audience sympathize with prostitutes, it also manages to poke fun at society.
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Sadly forgotten
preppy-38 April 2002
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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One of the most fun and upbeat musicals ever made.
triple820 March 2004
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.
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A Texas Institution
bkoganbing13 December 2008
The Texas county where Burt Reynolds is sheriff has only one thing that makes it stand out from all the other counties in the state. And I'm not referring to Dolly Parton's 40Ds. It's rather the old and established institution of the Chicken Ranch, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Or maybe west of the Mississippi truth be told, if everyone left there as happy as they seem.

This film is a real gem, a timely and historical film as well as a fun country musical. The story is a true one, the names changed to protect the innocent as that other American institution used to say. Although few people but Dom DeLuise seem to have their innocence intact in this film.

In this county west of Houston for over 100 years servicing the veterans of five wars was the Chicken Ranch, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. It's existence was the most open secret in the state and everyone seemed happy with the arrangement. In fact the current owner, Dolly Parton, is a valued member of the community, paying her taxes and giving of money and time to community endeavors. She runs a disease free establishment and insists that of her customers.

But this was the time the Moral Majority was flexing it's muscles in the person of Dom DeLuise. He's really quite the scream as the crusading reporter going to close this den of vice and corruption. He stirs up quite the hornet's nest in the state.

Best scene of the film is the annual party for the winner of the Texas A&M, University of Texas football game. Those Aggies play hard and plow hard. And that's the night when DeLuise and his television crew decide to pull their own raid. The party is hosted by State Senator Robert Mandan playing the part in his best sanctimonious tradition.

Of course he pales beside Charles Durning as the governor of Texas. Durning was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and his political credo of never saying anything is embodied in that wonderful Sidestep number he has. Durning looks like he's having a great old time.

Carol Hall wrote the rollicking score for The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and Dolly Parton also had the good sense to get a couple of her songs interpolated in the film, one of them her beloved I Will Always Love You. For all her good works Dolly is still the Madame of a bordello and that fact prevents her from being taken too seriously by Burt Reynolds as marriage material.

I'm sure the film was not a favorite of the late Jerry Falwell, DeLuise lampoons him so viciously. It is an entertaining reminder of times that sad to say haven't gone altogether away.
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Hello, Dolly!!!
dimplet14 December 2011

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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A fanciful musical set in a surprisingly true-to-life Texas
David Conrad4 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
There is a commitment to authenticity in film production of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." The people are fictional, in that no real-life sheriffs or governors or madams are depicted, but the movie is unafraid to use the names and likenesses of real, powerful Texas institutions to fill out the whorehouse clientele portion of its cast. Early on, Jim Nabors's goofball deputy explains one of the key plot points: the winning team of each year's famed football match between Texas A&M University and the University of Texas gets a free night at the Chicken Ranch, a house of ill repute west of Houston. To allege such a thing in a movie today would be impossible: the lawsuits would be swift and many. But here, it isn't just alleged—it's depicted in vivid detail and with the flamboyant abandon of a great movie musical. The sequence begins on the gridiron, with the trademarked logos of A&M and UT on proud display, and transitions to the victorious Aggies' locker room where the men do a gleeful choreographed routine and strip down to their bare asses right underneath the "Gig 'Em Aggies" sign. Soon enough they're at the Chicken Ranch, where a Senator looks on approvingly as the team and the employees dance and carry on in various states of undress. It's a very funny string of scenes, and it wouldn't have the same sense of stakes or impropriety if instead of the Aggies the team was some made-up, generic stand-in; in Texas, there is no stand-in for A&M. One wonders how the large and powerful Aggie alumni community feels about this film. The movie walks a delicate line regarding the morality of its subject matter. It satirizes politicians (Charles Durning shows himself to be a physical comedy genius in his single, show-stealing number) and condemns "gotcha" journalism (Dom DeLuise's TV investigator dandy even uses that exclamation), and these are easy targets, but its discussion of the whorehouse itself is confined to a limited set of debate parameters. The perspective of the whores themselves is mostly missing, as is the criticism of prostitution as a kind of slavery. In its place is the less troubling contest between the support of safer, legalized, pimp-free prostitution and the old-fashioned condemnation of it on religious grounds. Most modern theater- and film-goers take the former view when those are the only two options, and the movie does so as well with a compelling and well-meaning righteousness. What it lacks in nuance on the subject of paid sex, it makes up for with really touching character moments between Burt Reynolds's duded-up sheriff and Dolly Parton's dolled- up proprietress. Their relationship is kept on impressively equal footing, and it feels as real and lived-in as the footage of the Texas capitol, the small-town courthouse square, and the Texas A&M stadium.
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Just the right dose of Southern Comfort
LeRoyMarko20 April 2005
Surprisingly good musical about the infamous "Chicken Ranch". The women are pretty, the songs are good, the dancing is OK. I wasn't expecting much, but I found the movie enjoyable, even fun to watch. Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton both give good performances. Great songs by Parton. She sings "I Will Always Love You" even better than Whitney. Another good song: "Sneaking Around with You" by both Parton and Reynolds. He sings!

Get over the title and rent this one. I actually got the movie from my local public library. The movie does make some kind of statement on the issue of prostitution, but also on the power of the media. But don't expect lengthy analysis!

Seen at home, in Toronto, on April 20th, 2005. I first saw this movie in the early eighties.

79/100 (***)
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My Favourite Musical Of All Time
slightlymad2229 October 2014
In terms of box-office The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was the most successful movie-musical of the 1980's. And I can see why, it's easily my favourite musical of all time.

Plot In A Paragraph: Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd (brilliant Burt Reynolds) turns a blind eye to the fact his mistress Miss Mona (A delightful Dolly Parton) runs a brothel nicknamed "The Chicken Ranch" All is fine until TV reporter Melvin P Thorpe (Hilariously smug Dom DeLuise) decides to wage a war to close it down.

Both Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton look gorgeous and they have really good chemistry, that hints at a flirty long time relationship. It's not sizzling by any means, just a hint of smut. They're both great looking, they smile a lot, and they've been provided with good dialogue. Yet somehow Charles Durning steals the movie from out underneath them both despite less than ten minutes of screen time.

Watching Durning dance up a storm as he sings "The Sidestep" is an absolute delight. He waltzes in and out of the movie, and walked off with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Burt Reynolds my favourite actor of that era, is at his most attractive here. He has never looked better on screen than he did in this movie. We get all of Reynolds persona's here, Romantic Burt, Bad Tempered Burt, Sexy Burt, Sad & Moody Burt. For the most part his natural charm is on full display here. Dom De Luise is brilliantly bizarre as the TV reporter who wants to shut down the Chicken Ranch. There are funny jokes, some raunchy one- liners, some enjoyable songs set to nice choreography, and then there is Dolly Parton.

If I were asked what image dominates "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas," the honest answer would have to be: Dolly Parton's cleavage. I am not being deliberately crude or rude. The awesomeness of her wondrous boobs dominates every scene Dolly appears in.

Musical highlights include "A Lil' Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place" by Parton,"Sneakin' Around", performed as a duet with Parton and Reynolds, and of course Parton's' "I Will Always Love You".

I usually watch this movie a couple of times a year.
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way-hell21 April 2006
This movie is brilliant. Great soundtrack, great acting and a great story. It's not for everyone but if you like a good light heated movie with a great soundtrack then this is for you. Dolly Parton is beautiful and brilliant as miss Mona and Burt Reynolds is perfect as the sheriff. the supporting cast is as good as you could hope the only downside i can add is nothing its brilliant. towards the end the Governor is brilliant and Dom Delouise play as usual a great part. in finishing its a great movie to watch with the girls with a bottle of wine. But also a good movie to watch with a loved one, i must say the soundtrack is so good i bought it which may not be so impressive but it's the only one i own. Watch the movie i'm sure you will enjoy it
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Despite the Title, There's Nothing Dirty Going On
dglink20 May 2016
Colorful, tuneful, lively, and, above all, good-natured, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" delivers. While certainly not as good as it could have been, director Colin Higgins adaptation of the Broadway musical hit seldom falters and fondly recreates most of what delighted audiences on stage. Casting Dolly Parton as Miss Mona, the madam of an historic Texas bordello, known as the Chicken Ranch for having accepted poultry in trade during the Great Depression, enhanced the film both visually and musically. While not an actress of great depth, Parton looks the part, does fine in the musical numbers, and penned a couple of additional numbers; one of Parton's songs, "I Will Always Love You," later became an enormous hit, when Whitney Houston covered it, although both the song and Parton were mysteriously ignored by the Motion Picture Academy for a well-deserved Oscar nomination. Burt Reynolds lends his charm to the role of Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, a likable guy, who enjoys a long-term relationship with Miss Mona and rides to her aid, when the Chicken Ranch is endangered by a TV muckraker, played by Dom DeLuise. Jim Nabors is "aw shucks" Gomer Pyle as the naive deputy, and Charles Durning turns in an inspired song-and-dance routine, "Dance a Little Sidestep," that won him an Oscar nomination.

The songs by Carol Hall, most of which were carried over from Broadway, are catchy, and the choreography by Tony Stevens is energetic and infectious, although most of the male dancers seem somewhat disinterested in the charms of the young ladies. William A. Fraker's cinematography is crisp and colorful, and director Colin Higgins keeps the song and dance numbers moving along at a brisk pace. Higgins, who also directed Parton in "Nine to Five," showed a flair for glossy comedy and musicals; sadly, he died at age 47, cutting short a promising career. The film only falters badly during one scene between Parton and Reynolds that takes place under the stars; the semi-serious discussion involves religion and feels forced and out of place. Despite the bawdy title, the film suggests more than it shows; only a few flashes of nudity and some implied sexual situations merited the "R" rating. If a movie about a house of prostitution could be made for a family audience, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" is about as close as possible to that. As one of the songs says, "There's lots of good will and maybe one small thrill, but there's nothing dirty going on."

Neither the stage musical nor the film are classics, but both have good music, captivating choreography, and an entertaining story loosely based on true events. Despite losing some songs, the film adaptation benefits from the star power and chemistry of Reynolds and Parton and Higgins's inspired direction. Perhaps most families will pass on any musical with "whorehouse" in the title, but liberal-minded adults will likely have a good time and maybe one small thrill.
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I just love this movie!
Daphne Heijmering17 January 2015
What a joy to watch! Maybe you've got to like the good ol' Dolly Parton to enjoy the movie, I'm not sure. To speak for myself, I loveee Dolly and I loveee this movie! It leaves you with a smile on ya face!

+ = Dolly Parton + = The chemistry between Dolly & Burt Reynolds + = The clothing, such great dresses! + = The songs - = Some small scenes are terrible to watch, 'cuz they're supposed to be funny but aren't ;). Gotta watch yourself if you'll agree with me.

PS: Dolly Parton looks beautiful in this movie and I kinda feel bad that she now uses or have used botox and other injections. Because I believe no woman could have looked more beautiful that Dolly back in the days. So feminine and jolly! For all people a source of positive inspiration :)
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Best Little Musical Because of Dolly
mike4812818 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
So many outstanding performances:I Will Always Love you" "Rock Candy Christmas" and "It's Just a Little Old Itty Bitty P*** Ant Country Place", to name just a few of the songs. All well-done by Dolly and the girls, who just are gorgeous and often scantily undressed. Some of the dialog slows it down but Burt Reynolds and Dolly get along just fine. Burt Reynolds is in top form. Dolly, of course is a delight and "poppin' out at the seams". Dom Deluise (as the "Watchdog") is a great annoying muckraker! Jim Nabors is fine as Deputy Fred and movie narrator. Charles Durning as the sidestepin' dancing governor is amazing! A rousing old-fashioned musical with a lively musical score, with show-stopping songs. A bright and colorful production, and actually more wholesome than you might expect, except for the many "cuss-words" and some suggestive dialog. Far better than I remembered it. So, you love Dolly Parton, y'all come down to the "Chicken Ranch". Come see Miss Mona and her girls. (Some brief nudity-so it's not for kids) Yee-Haw!
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When Dolly Was Good at Being Bad!
JLRMovieReviews12 February 2013
Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds star in this outrageous tale of a house of ill repute in Texas, which is supposedly based on a true story. The story goes that this bedlam has been in existence with no problems (or complaints) for years, I mean YEARS, decades, generations, until Dom DeLuise, a TV host/reporter (with a bad hair day everyday) hears about it and decides that this an immoral wart on the face of Texas and it needs to be closed down to bring some semblance of integrity back to the people of Texas. But people in high places not only have let this go on, but have been patrons in more ways than one. And, Burt is the sheriff who has to deal with all the hoopla Dom creates. What will become of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas?" This was the basis of a stage play, and then the idea was turned into this movie musical. Some people, not having seen it and given the subject matter, may be turned off by its supposed perverseness. Others may be turned on by the novelty of it. Most guys wanting to see it as a possible skin flick may be turned off by the musical side of it. But enough supposing. Granted, this may not be the kind of movie you'd admit to watching, but this is a highly entertaining film, if not altogether a very laugh-out-loud funny movie. But in fact its outlandish and unashamed humor is what sustains the movie and keep the viewers' interest, knowing anything can happen and probably will. The back story of why I saw this was the passing of Charles Durning. I heard at that time that he was nominated for his brief appearance in this, so I bought a cheap copy of this to see him. I was way past the halfway point in the movie and thinking that this wasn't that funny, when, lo and behold there's Mr. Durning. He was absolutely hilarious, as a governor who loves to side step the press on the issues. He was so good, that once he's gone, you keep hoping you'll see him again. But alas. But, I'm so glad I own this now. This may be a far-from-perfect film, with flaws and loopholes abound, but if you jump in and let its muck engulf you, you'll really get into the spirit into which it was made, and you will feel really good after seeing this, with very enjoyable songs, skin for both sexes to see and it even has serious meaningful moments too. Surprise! Surprise! Costarring Jim Nabors as the narrator of the story and Burt's deputy, this is one film you'd have to see to believe. And then, you'll wallow in it over and and over again.
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A fun and funny touching heartfelt musical that advocates and fights for the world's oldest profession.
Danny Blankenship31 December 2012
Finally watched "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and I must say fun musical with a story that's funny and the acting was true to heart with a theme that's real. And that is who really cares that the world's oldest profession exist hey legalize it! Based on a play set in Texas a house of prostitution known as the Chicken Ranch is on the verge of being shut down by a gossip type TV traveling hype salesman named Melvin Thorpe(Dom DeLuise)as it's his first goal to expose it's scandal. Yet the house's leading lady Miss Mona(Dolly Parton)joins forces with the local sheriff Earl Dodd(Burt Reynolds)to stop it's closing yet along the way the two join in a romance hopefully this all works out to save the girls and their jobs as they need to shine in their sexy colored bras and attractive underwear! Overall it's a fun journey with some great tunes the Parton and Reynolds chemistry is unmatched and the wonderful Jim Nabors is a treat as the narrator and future sheriff. Overall good little fun comedy!
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Must see musical
angeliossu24 October 2006
For those of us who really watch musicals for the music this is one of the quintessential musicals of it's time . There is in particular one song that is constantly stuck in my head from this show even 25 years after its original release. The classic " Nothing Dirty Going on" stands up well with the likes of Moulon rouge , and Chicago. Expect a bit of camp humor here as Dolly was made for this roll.

It's classic dolly showing up everyone else in this over the top cast and making em all look like a bunch of fools by doing her part so well. Deloise and Reynolds are clearly struggling to keep up with her acting wise throughout the film and it's blatantly obvious Dolly had way way too much fun in this roll.

A great musical on a true story that really could use a remake with the right cast .
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Dolly's Voice
pmullinsj11 April 2004
The pure part of this film is Dolly's voice, with its warble, its touch of yodel, its complete inability to resists little trills, mordents, all the musical embellishments that are mirrored in her visual presence, her couture. And since the sumptuous breasts are maybe even a bit too much here--with many gown changes in the big numbers--that is all the more striking that it is still the singing that stands out. Jim Nabors, for example, takes some time to seem bearable to me, but finally the whole context works; but the movie seems like it is going to be horrible till Dolly's first phrase in the "Pissant Country Place" song.

Carol Hall's "Rock Candy Christmas" is a good number, but putting Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" was the smartest thing done musically here; in no way is the subsequent Whitney Houston version comparable in either sincerity or just naturalness of lovely sound--she uses little ornaments, too, but changes them as if to be original; all you really notice is that she didn't use the ones Dolly had already made perfect, as if they were as firm and fixed as the melody line itself. It was a considerably smarter thing than using "My Man" in 'Funny Girl', when "The Music that Makes Me Dance" would have made the show keep its original musical integrity; and leaving out the Ziegfeld Follies type numbers "Cornet Man" and "Rat-tat-tat" depleted this film, leaving it only great in moments ('Don't Rain on My Parade' is really the only great one.)

Burt Reynolds is a charmer as the sheriff and his and Dolly's affection for each other is sweet and moving. All of their scenes together work because they fully enjoy them, enjoy each other.

Certain big production numbers--the Aggies football players dancing in the locker room, then when they get to the Chicken Ranch, for example--seem to be low imitations of old Agnes de Mille choreography in 'Oklahoma', full of old-fashioned "cowboy high spirits" (one cannot keep from enjoying how non-cowboy most of the dancers must surely be) that have nothing new in them and merely seem mechanical.

It's a better Dolly Parton movie--though certainly not great--as a whole than 'Nine to Five', but nothing has ever quite surpassed the poetic genius of that picture's title song, in which Dolly has captured so basic a part of most people's daily life that you can hardly believe that the song is actually there to question its very validity, which it does with no qualms at all.

"Workin' nine to five, what a way to make a livin'... and later: "You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion... They just use your mind, and they never give you credit, It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it."

The real artist that she is peers through all the fluff from time to time, perhaps getting it through the fluff is the way it is proved.
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One of the Best Musicals I have ever seen
bichyjojo21 February 2008
OK, so I just watched this movie in its entirety for the first time. I watched bits and pieces of it growing up when I could while Mom was not at home. Because of course, I wasn't allowed to watch it.

Seeing bits and pieces of it growing up, I thought it was a great movie. To actually sit and watch the entire movie was awesome. It was a great, light-hearted comedy. I have always loved Dolly Parton, since I was a little girl, and playing Ms. Mona just made me love her that much more. Her voice is one of the most memorable ever. I also love Burt Reynolds, and he played the sheriff to a tee.

I know this is not a great comment on my part. I just want everyone to know that I LOVE this movie and I think if you have never seen it and love comedies/musicals, you will adore this movie as much as I did.
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The Best Musical and Texas.
og_byrne3 December 2000
Normally I hate musical,but this one is fun and there is a story into it.Thank you Biostud you are absolutely right when you say that dolly sings I will always love you much better than the screaming queen,Witney. This film is great entertainment.
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Great original, really funny musical comedy
paulclaassen10 September 2018
I decided to watch this after learning of Burt Reynolds' death. I can't believe it took me this long to finally watch the film! It was an utter delight watching this! I enjoyed every moment. I loved the music and the stunning costumes, and the film was really funny. It was good innocent fun with a hint of eroticism. The chemistry between Dolly and Burt was fantastic. 'The Best little whorehouse in Texas' made me smile from beginning to end!
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No surprise Texans know how to do ranchin' right!
TownRootGuy28 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
If you have problems sitting because there's a giant stick up your butt, you probably won't like this movie. Otherwise, it should have something to appeal to just about everybody else.

It has good eye candy, good naked eye candy, an amazing cast, great tunes AND there is definitely some dirty humor going on.

This is a must see for all but the most uptight. It's a great flick and I can watch it every 2 - 3 years.
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cute R-rated musical
SnoopyStyle15 March 2015
There has been a whorehouse just outside of Gilbert, Texas owned by Wulla Jean since before WWI. During the depression, they accepted chicken as payment for services resulting in the nickname, the Chicken Ranch. Wulla Jean passed away leaving her establishment to Mona Stangley (Dolly Parton). The Ranch has local support including Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd (Burt Reynolds) who comes over often to see her. Muckraking reporter Melvin P. Thorpe (Dom DeLuise) comes to do a series of expose on the Ranch. Mona promises Ed to shut down for 2 months but she recants for the traditional Thanksgiving game between Texas A&M and University of Texas. A Senator is caught as well when Thorpe barges in on the Ranch. Sheriff Dodd is under pressure and he tries to plead his case to the Governor (Charles Durning).

Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds come in like an old married couple. She has always been a bit of a cartoon character to me. There are a few pretty catchy songs in this. It's a cute R-rated musical but not that funny. Jim Nabors and Dom DeLuise don't get as many laughs as I expected. It's a very light somewhat enjoyable Broadway-heavy musical.
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If You Haven't Seen It... Go For It
Larry Weisberg9 November 2008
Is it the best musical ever, no... and they cut half the songs from the Broadway Musical. But do you miss "Doasie Mae and her drama and unnecessary b-plot line"? No.

Is it the best acted film... no, Burt Reynolds and Jim Nabors are themselves and Dolly is , well... just fabulous Dolly. Charles Durning can't sing and dance, but they adapt to his short comings. See Dom Deluise when he could still walk (and is barely over 200 lbs!). See the hot Aggies and they're too short locker room sequence.

The songs are good and catchy, lines of dialogue stick in your head for years to come, and the film will put a smile on your face. If you want two hours of fun, don't miss it.

Fun, tuneful, good ol'boy 80's fun. If ya liked the mood "Dallas" (the TV show) puts you in, it's all here. I hadn't seen the film in nearly 20 years... and cannot believe how much I loved it.
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Funny Musical
Rainey Dawn21 October 2014
Yes this is a very cute and quite comical musical that is worth watching when you can get around to it. It does get a little sad towards the end (I can't tell you why or I will ruin the film for first time viewers)... but the very ending of the movie is uplifting.

Best songs in the movie, to me, are 'Hard Candy Christmas' - one of the best songs for the holiday season and 'I Will Always Love You' a very pretty love song.

If you like The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas then you might like the movies: 'Nine to Five', 'Rhinestone' or 'Smokey and the Bandit'.

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A guilty pleasure.
Peach-217 November 1998
This movie is a guilty pleasure of mine. I really don't have much to say about it, other than I liked it.
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