The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Universal) (1982)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 24-Dec-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 109:31
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Colin Higgins

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Burt Reynolds
Dolly Parton
Dom DeLuise
Charles Durning
Jim Nabors
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Carol Hall
Dolly Parton
Patrick Williams

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Has it really been twenty years? I suppose that when I first saw The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas I was of an age that would have been interested in the flashes of female anatomy, mild by today's standards of course, and not particularly put off by the musical song and dance routines. I probably even liked the American humour.

    Well, things have moved on a little and this film no longer appeals, at least to me. It was a fun bit of nostalgia but not much more than that.

    The story revolves around a whorehouse in Texas run by Miss Mona. Dolly Parton...ah...fills this role admirably. This little whorehouse is a place of good clean fun that has been plying its trade for many years. The opening segment shows the history, with many great costumes, in what is one of the most memorable sections of the film. Miss Mona's boyfriend is the local town sheriff (Burt Reynolds) and is turning a blind eye to the technically illegal activities at this establishment.

    Into this rosy world arrives a morals campaigner in the shape of Melvin P. Thorpe, a television personality. Melvin is played with great skill by Dom DeLuise. Our cast is rounded out by some other very recognisable characters. Jim Nabors (Gomer Pile) plays the deputy sheriff, Charles Durning the governor, and Robert Mandan the senator.

    Melvin decides that the whorehouse must be closed down and starts his campaign. He tangles with the sheriff but in the end gets his TV footage of the immoral dealings at the whorehouse and the end is in sight.

    All the actors play their roles very well. The acting is not at fault in this movie, it is just that the script is more than a little dated. I particularly like Dolly Parton - I don't think that she was really given the opportunities in films that she deserved; directors and probably audiences as well have typecast her rather unfairly.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    Unfortunately, the video transfer is little better than a VHS tape would produce, maybe worse as there are MPEG artefacts as well.

    The film is presented at 2.35:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. There may be a problem with the ratio - the picture of the earth used in the opening studio identifier is not round, but squashed a little. Other scenes during the film also looked a little squashed, such as the sunset. This was subtle but visible when a round object was on screen.

    The picture was very soft throughout, and of about VHS tape quality. Shadow detail was acceptable and there was a fair amount of low level noise.

    The colours were muted. Considering the likely fact that many of the costumes worn by the women were probably quite brightly coloured, the saturation really was disappointing.

    This is a single layered disc and the grain present in the film master has negated any gains from the soft image and the bits saved due to the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. MPEG artefacts are present, particularly in the background throughout the film. The opening credits suffer from dot crawl. The MPEG artefacts go past pixelization at points to complete loss of fine detail such as the buildings in the shot at 6:04. Posterization is visible in the skin tones such as the sheriff's face at 35:08. The shimmering in the background has some interesting side effects - the painting in the background at 56:15 appears to be moving. I am not sure what is in the painting as the image is too soft.

    The film master is showing its age. The grain is quite distracting but there were relatively few scratches. There were a reasonable number of black and white specks.

    The subtitles appear in the black bar below the image. They are easy to read and accurate to what is being said.

    This is a single layered disc, so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio tracks, both Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. One is in English, the other in Dutch.

    There were no problems with the dialogue quality nor with the audio sync.

    The music is very country and western. There are numerous occasions where the cast break into a song and dance routine, and one scene includes line dancing. This works perfectly for the film but may not be to everyone's taste.

    There were of course no surrounds and nothing from the subwoofer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    A static menu with no audio presented at 1.33:1.

Theatrical Trailer

    Running for 2:10 with an accompanying Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound track this trailer is actually quite fun with a montage of images and inserts set to music.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There does not appear to be a Region 1 version of this disc.


    I really was looking back through rose coloured glasses that were about 20 years thick when I put my hand up for this title. Still, it could have been much worse. Apparently this film was nominated for best film at the 1983 Golden Globe awards along with another nomination for best actress for Dolly Parton.

    The video quality is not good.

    The audio is a reasonable mono effort.

    A trailer is not much of an extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Monday, January 21, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - David E

Comments (Add)
Looking for this dvd - cztery