The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 4, 2012
This musical might not have the best songs in the world, and doesn't show it's subject matter in a believable or realistic light, but it sure is fun and entertaining. Reynolds and Parton are a fantastic couple onscreen, as surprising as it sounds. The rest of the cast is made up of funny people and great dancers. The ending was the best part for me, it was the most realistic part of the movie and very emotional.
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2012
First off, this film is in no way perfect. It's actually quite mind boggling if you watch it, because you sincerely wonder what the thought process was behind making this film. It isn't a bad concept or even a less than entertaining one, but it's just so haphazard and deliberately strange that to put it on the big screen doesn't make any sense, to me at least. This film pulled in the most money at the box office for a musical in the eighties, and led to an Oscar nomination for Charles Durning as the Texan Governor. It features the incomparable voice of Dolly Parton, who wrote several songs herself, including her already highly lauded "I Will Always Love You," later to be covered by Whitney Houston in The Body Guard. The songs are pretty catchy and it's very enjoyable to see some down home Southern stereotypes milked to showcase the same airy performances we've seen a thousand times already. What isn't enjoyable is the casting for some of these parts. Burt Reynolds singing alongside a Madame while only wearing a blanket as a bottom? Bandit, you're better than that. And Dom DeLuise what in tarnation were you thinking? Wearing a bowl cut wig, and cha-chaing around in the most obscene outfits while singing about promiscuity? You belong in a Mel Brooks film, sticking out your tush and cha-chaing there! The only person perfectly suited seems to be Jim Nabors as a cloddish sheriff's deputy reminiscent of Barney Fife. Durning gives a very off color and yet highly entertaining turn as the governor but didn't deserve an Oscar nomination for his less than ten minutes screen time. I think the Academy was just surprised to see the negotiator from Dog Day Afternoon sing about corruption and dance a little side step. What is truly strange is the use of sex as a vehicle to move the plot along, though it's pretty tame when it comes to the music and showing the town of simple Southern folk in contrast. There could have been a lot subtler and less errant ways of showing promiscuity and prostitution than throwing in several shots of the women's bits as it were. Even more troubling is that though they do go the distance with the nudity it ends in a morality tale, which is so bedrift of sense that it ends remotely anticlimactic. It's not the worst musical ever, but it's a pain to sit through; Sodom and Gomorrah it is not.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2007
Despite being around 7 years old when I first watched this film (and not completely understanding all of it's contents) I watched this film over and over and fell in love with the costumes (how naive? ha ha).

Country music isn't particular my thing, but this film is fun and I still remember pretty much every word throughout the film (yes, I was an even worse film addict as a kid).

I have to rate this film fairly high, the nostalgia's sake.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2007
A rousing good time at a Texas Whorehouse with silly country-flavored songs which I found catchy. There's plenty of antics going on, but nothing nude is shown. Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton have some fun chemistry. He can't sing too well, but she belts out some good tunes. Dom Deloise plays a crazy TV news examiner who tries to expose the Whorehouse and get it closed down. There are some slow bittersweet moments near the end. It's a slice of the 80's.
Super Reviewer
August 9, 2012
This was a fun and funny (albeit cheesy) comedy musical. I loved Dom Deluise and Jim Nabors in this especially!
Super Reviewer
½ April 14, 2009
dolly partons rack and wardrobe were the only thing i rmember from this film
Super Reviewer
½ July 4, 2007
Of note only for Charles Durning's portrayal of a Texas Politician.
September 4, 2014
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's 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 fairly 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 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.
½ September 20, 2013
Stars the always good Parton partnered up with Reynolds helping her heightening the enjoyment level of this bland, unique musical that's good like all other musicals are with their music and choreography. (B)

(Full review coming soon)
½ April 11, 2013
I just couldn't get into this and I am a huge fan of Dolly Parton's jugs. Weak all around but it manages to have a shred of the charm of Burt's Southern fried comedies
½ April 2, 2013
Some of this was pretty bad, but overall it's cute and entertaining with some good songs. The Governor steals the show with his song and funny little dance.
March 10, 2013
Like most Dolly Parton movies, you have to be a fan of Dolly Parton to really enjoy it. Not necessarily her music (although it helps) but her personality. If you're not, you probably shouldn't even waste your time. At it's best it's very amusing and Burt and Dolly are entertaining as Ed Earl and Mona. At it's worst, (such as the fifteen minute Aggie sequence,) it provides ample time to take a smoke break. And if you don't smoke, I suggest you start, just so you have something else to do during the low points. Oh. yeah. And Charles Durning steals the show with his ten minutes of screen time.
½ January 3, 2013
Dolly Parton is as adorable as ever in this happy-go-lucky musical (which surprisingly is not overshadowed by its subject matter). Although I'd like to say that this film is all about the exposure of the Chicken Ranch and the fight to preserve this Texas tradition, it's hard to look past the girls who are smoking hott. If you can look past the girls (and if your view is not obstructed by Parton's huge... personality), the end result is a pretty interesting story for a musical. The dance numbers are really fun and nothing can top Dom DeLuise as Melvin P. Thorpe. His performance is inspired and there are few quirky characters out there with as much quirk as him. Burt Reynolds stands out as a smooth operator and plays perfectly off of Parton. "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" isn't my favorite musical (or even in my Top 25), but it's worth watching for classic performances from some of Hollywood's biggest names (and Hollywood's largest... well, you get the point).
½ July 9, 2011
Colin Higgins, Parton, Reyonlds, DeLuise and other 80s icons team up in this outrageous comedy set in a house of ill repute based on a then popular news story. Parton plays the madame of the house and ironically Reynolds plays the sheriff.(He was most recently the Bandit). It's really not as dirty as the title implies but most 1980s 'sex comedies' would be considered PG 13 today. When the insane local politician attempts to close down the town Chicken Ranch, the townsfolk try yo put and end to his career. Has great musical numbers too. The cast are all 60s through 80s stars, some from film and TV. It's actually a big cast of talent.
June 13, 2011
Certainly not the best musical around, but this film offers some truly excellent moments. About four of the songs tend to get stuck in my head for a day after seeing it.
May 7, 2011
Loved this movie. If you like Dolly Parton you can not go wrong with her movies. Great movie, great music, and great cast. A Must See...
½ January 23, 2011
For Fans Of: Texas, Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Musicals
Date Night: Nope
Art Factor: None
Fun Factor: Low
Emotional Factor: None
Intelligence Factor: None
Essential Viewing: No

The Plot: A madam at a Texas Brothel and her Sheriff boyfriend fight to try and keep the doors of the whorehouse open. And sing and dance.

My Take: This movie is the best kind of horrible. Burt Reynolds shows up basically playing the same character from Smokey & The Bandit or Cannonball Run, meaning mustached, chest haired and smirking his way to alpha male supremacy. Dolly Parton is her singing and dancing big haired, big tittied self. Seriously, I don't think any actress was ever asked to stretch less for a role. The script has it's moments, but those moments are quickly struck down by sub par musical numbers. The real stars of this guilty fun are Dom DeLuise as the moral watchdog of Texas and Charles Durning (nominated for a best supporting actor oscar!) as a wonderful composite of every sleazy down south government type you can think of. Both bring an almost Blazzing Saddles quality to their scenes and bring some real fun to the viewer. And when the real fun runs out, this movies well goes pretty damn dry. For all of you large chest lovers out there, Dolly Parton's chesticles could have gotten their own spot in the credits at the end of the film. But I guess the same could be said of Reynold's mustache.
December 20, 2010
Musical numbers. Dolly sings I'll Always Love You. Burt is the sheriff who loves her. Charles Durning does a song and dance. Racy in its day.
½ September 14, 2009
Hahaha St0p the copulation! Texas Has a Whore house In It!
[classic] musical Dolly Dolly Dolly! :D Crazy Dom DeLuise performance
This has been on like a loop on CMT lately on the B00BtUbe.
½ September 8, 2009
This is just a great, fun musical with some great acting from Burt Reynolds, and a bunch of catchy musical numbers to boot. I highly recommend it. I usually hate musical and this one really drew me in (and not because of the oft-scantily-clad ladies in the film.)

Also see for a performance of Dolly's version of "I Will Always Love You", which, of course, came before Whitney Houston's much more popular (and better) version.
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