Best Little Whorehous in Texas, The (1982): Musical, Starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds

Colin Higgins produced, co-wrote, and directed The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a screen version of the 1978 Broadway musical of the same name.

The feature Dolly Parton, Burt Reynolds, Jim Nabors, Charles Durning, Dom DeLuise, Noah Beery Jr., Robert Mandan, Lois Nettleton, Theresa Merritt, Barry Corbin, Mary Jo Catlett and Mary Louise Wilson.

Ed Earl Dodd, the sheriff of Gilbert, Texas, has a long standing relationship with Miss Mona Stangley, who runs a brothel called the “Chicken Ranch,” just outside town.

Earl does not interfere with her business, which has been a fixture in the town for as long as either can remember.

Lovers on the side, occasionally interrupted by Deputy Fred, the sheriff and madam have a pleasant arrangement.

Miss Mona is actually a public-minded citizen who donates to charity, and is decent and law-abiding in everything she does–except her line of work.

Despite mixed reviews, the movie was popular, one of top-grossing live-action musicals of the 1980s

Oscar Nominations: 1

Supporting Actor: Charles Durning

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Supporting Actor Oscar was Louis Gossett, Jr. for “An Officer and a Gentleman,” in a race that included John Lithgow in “The World According to Garp,” James Mason in “The Verdict,” and Robert Preston in “Victor/Victoria.”



Music by Carol Hall and Dolly Parton
Cinematography: William A. Fraker
Edited by David Bretherton and Pembroke J. Herring
Production companies Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date: July 23, 1982
Running time: 114 minutes
Budget: $20.5 million
Box office: $69.7 million