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Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (1982)

A brothel called The Chicken Ranch has existed in a small Texas town since the turn of the century. But when a conservative watchdog (Dom DeLuise) with a TV show turns the spotlight on the brothel, it causes no end of grief to the town's sheriff (Burt Reynolds) and the brothel's madam (Dolly Parton). Quite possibly the raunchiest mainstream movie musical ever made with foul language and nudity galore. Considering that it's really not very good, it's highly enjoyable. Based on the hit Broadway musical, some of the plot has been altered to accommodate Reynolds and Parton and several of the shows songs have been cut and replaced by new ones written by Parton. By this time, Reynolds' redneck charms were beginning to dim but fortunately Parton is delightful. Musically, her tender rendition of I Will Always Love You puts Whitney Houston's later bombastic version to shame. The other musical highlight is the bittersweet Hard Candy Christmas sung by Parton and the prostitutes when the house is shut down. Perhaps the film's low point is the absurd football victory dance in the locker room with high kicking chorus boys masquerading as husky football players ..... as if. Directed by Colin Higgins (his final film). With Charles Durning (who got an Oscar nomination on the strength of his one song), Jim Nabors, Lois Nettleton, Theresa Merritt, Barry Corbin and Robert Mandan.

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