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

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Reviews

Page 1 of 28
August 12, 2016
8/12/2016: Not a good movie. It was just silly and pointless.
July 25, 2016
One of Reynolds earlier comedic-buffoon roles. With a Parton classic as closing song. Yes, the stage play was likely better, but the supporting cast makes this version worth seeing.
May 7, 2016
They sure don't make musicals like they used too! For ADULTS!
TBLWIT is so much fun, with such fun songs and terrific performances by all especially Burt & Dolly, Jim Nabors, Dom DeLuise and for his hilarious turn as weasel Texas Governor for which he received a deserved Oscar nomination, Charles Durning.
Might seem a bit tame by today's 'standards' but best to put the kid's in another room to watch 'Annie' or something!
If you saw it a cinema, you appreciated the widescreen framing, gives it an epic feel. At home - WIDESCREEN ONLY!
YEE-HAW!

PS as of this moment the flixster fan reviews are at 69% approval. How perfect is that! ~
½ April 18, 2016
Classic Burt and Dolly,always loved watching this growing up
½ February 22, 2016
From Broadway to Screen. Singing dancing Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton. You might recognize - I will Always Love You...a little song that will explode decades later in a film. The best stars in this are the costumes and choreography! Enjoyable to see it again.
February 17, 2016
"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" bears the title of a screwy sex comedy but has all the guts of a local theatrical production of "Hairspray." It's thunderous to a fault, but instead of being the subversive musical it might have been in different hands, it is mostly paltry, overly sentimental and not as satirically minded as we would like it to be. It touches upon the manias of the television industry and the knee-jerking values of small-town ideologies, but skims over parodical possibility for a romance that doesn't quite click. Glimmerings of its possible brilliance are sprinkled here and there; but, disappointingly, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" prefers to play it safe rather than stand as the flamboyant farce we'd like it to be.
The film stars Burt Reynolds (on autopilot) as Texas sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, whose smartass demeanor and smiley good looks have made him a quasi-celebrity in his small town. The job doesn't entail much, his hometown of Gilbert being teensy and well-mannered, and so he's generally relaxed in his profession. A shining example comes in the form of his on-off affair with Miss Mona (Dolly Parton), the madam of the town's renowned brothel, The Chicken Ranch.
Though many of the city's residents don't wholeheartedly approve with Mona's business, it is, regardless of its moral standards, as much a part of the area's culture as a fried chicken dinner. So things are astronomically catapulted into trouble when TV personality Melvin P. Thorpe (a caricatured Dom DeLuise) rides into Gilbert to film a special. What most assume to be a novel attempt to capture Southern life depletes vastly after he reveals, during a live taping, that the town is actually famous for its whorehouse. Predictably, this announcement causes an uproar, both with the public and with Thorpe himself, who takes it upon himself to get the joint shut down immediately.
But because it is relatively tame and relatively uninterested in taking risks, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" sees the romance between Dodd and Mona as being the most indispensable feature of the film, the rest fuel to add to the lame rompiness of it all. I suppose such a characteristic would be acceptable if we actually cared about the relationship on display, but Reynolds and Parton, despite joyous sex appeal on their respective parts (Parton's cleavage is the movie's most memorable image, as noted by Roger Ebert), have thin chemistry. They have the right lines, the right charisma, and the right idea of a film to serve their talents to - and yet nothing ever really comes together with cogency. Parton has a beautiful voice and great allure as an actress, but the musical sequences that either spotlight her or travel elsewhere (spread out unfittingly sparingly) are forgettable, though I won't suggest they don't do their damnedest to stay energetic and poppy.
Somewhere beneath "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas's" diluted ideas lies a beamingly fun film, one with more of an emphasis on the satirical elements in place and one that tries to be wild instead of oddly domesticated. Maybe it would also know how to find the invisible electricity between Reynolds and Parton, and maybe it would still catapult Charles Durning's fictional Governor to the status of being the best thing about the film with a little less desperation and a little more supplementation. It isn't bad, per se - but see if you really care about what's going on and then we'll talk.
May 30, 2015
The highly innovative and intellectual Broadway play was so full of energy and bite is reduced a to an almost offensively "safe" and limp love story in this adaption. The only true satire that is retained is to be found in Charles Durning's musical number. Dom DeLuise is simply too likable for his role. And, while there are few fun moments between Parton and Reynolds. This movie should have been so much more. It is ultimately a fairly lame exorcise without style.
February 17, 2015
I love this movie, I have seen it many times.
November 22, 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 October 4, 2014
Good musical numbers and doesn't take itself too seriously. Have watched this several times and enjoyed every viewing.
½ September 19, 2014
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)
April 13, 2014
Saw this many, many times in childhood and it's quite good for an 80's musical. I don't know how I'll like it as an adult because of how silly it is
December 31, 2013
The only reason I watched this movie is because I saw a comment on my Facebook feed that one of my friends loved it and Netflix was getting rid of it. The only reason it got even one star is because I laughed myself silly at Burt Reynolds' horrendous acting.
December 17, 2013
Fun. Some songs are famous, sung by other artists, but I don't know whether they came before the musical or after. My favorite song is "I Love to Dance a Little Side Step". Lots of nudity too; it is a whore house after all.
September 11, 2013
Hilarious musical that only gets better as it moves along. Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds have surprisingly good chemistry, but it's Charles Durning who steals the show. His musical number is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
½ July 29, 2013
Really not one of the best, but I always find myself returning to that "Little Pissant Country Place" that I hold so near and dear to my heart.
June 14, 2013
love to watch it over and over
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
April 4, 2013
Love this movie and the play. Had the opportunity to perform in the play several years ago.
Page 1 of 28