The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is just about everything it’s meant to be – a couple of diverting hours in the dark. Rollicking, good-natured, a bit spicy and with just enough heart to avoid seeming totally synthetic, the $26 million adaptation of the 1978 Broadway hit [musical, book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, songs by Carol Hall] ideally teams powerhouse stars Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton.
Nifty prolog sketches how the title establishment is a regular Texas institution. Modest abode is currently under the proprietorship of Miss Mona, a super lady played by Parton with all her accustomed humor, warmth and knockout charm. Local Sheriff Reynolds is her b.f. of long standing, a down-home boy technically corrupt because he protects the illegal goings-on.
But nothing is sacred to media crusader Dom DeLuise, an outrageously self-serving muckraker who ‘exposes’ the bawdyhouse on his glitzy, song-and-dance TV news show and will stop at nothing to shut the place down.
1982: Nomination: Best Supp. Actor (Charles Durning)