Dolly Parton getting more on-screen love from Burt Reynolds? Imagine that scenario for “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” the 1980s-era movie musical.
Truly, that would’ve been a fun watch. Dolly Parton certainly wanted it. She told Rolling Stone before the movie premiered:
“When they started askin’ for suggestions, I said I would like to see more of a romance. Wouldn’t you feel like you wasted five dollars if you paid to see Whorehouse and you didn’t see me and Burt kiss? I was makin’ a joke, and I stuck to it — I’m not going to miss my chance to kiss Burt Reynolds.”
So Did Dolly Parton Get Her Burt Reynolds Smooch?
First some background on the movie. The story is loosely based on an actual (illegal) brothel called the “Chicken Ranch.” The brothel was near La Grange, a small town about an hour outside Austin. The rock group ZZ Topp sang about the brothel in its song, La Grange, from 1973. Then there was a broadway musical in 1978.
The Chicken Ranch first existed before the Civil War. It was reopened in 1905. But the Texas Department of Safety closed it in 1972.
Dolly Parton played Miss Mona Stangley, the madam who ran the best little whorehouse in Texas. And Burt Reynolds was Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd. Throughout the real history of the Chicken Ranch, the madams always had a working relationship with the lawmen.
Parton and Reynolds enjoyed some love action in the movie. But they also were business people.
Dolly Parton said she wanted more romantic scenes with Burt Reynolds, more kissing, but not anything overly sexual. Burt Reynolds was arguably the hottest actor in the world at this point. So yes, most female fans swooned over his movies. Why would Dolly be any different?
In the Broadway show, Mona and Ed Earl had a one-night stand years before and no longer mixed business with pleasure. However, the movie was tweaked so that there would be a romance between the main characters.
Here’s a glimpse at the sizzling chemistry between Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds.
Parton Once Said Her Relationship With Reynolds Was Similar to What She Shared With Kenny Rogers
Dolly Parton said she enjoyed a similar real-life relationship with Burt Reynolds that she had with singer Kenny Rogers. She often called Rogers her “soul mate.”
“Burt and I had our little arguments and little spats,” she told Woman’s World. “But we were so honest with each other, in the same way Kenny Rogers and I (were). We held no secrets from each other, we couldn’t fool each other.”
Burt Reynolds seemed to return the affection towards Dolly Parton, although he made quips about her appearance.
He told the BBC in 2015 about Dolly Parton: “I got to work with her for so long that eventually I was looking at her face.”
In the final scene of the movie, Reynolds proposes to Dolly Parton. But she turns him down. It’s a romantic gesture on Mona’s part. She’s a socially conscious businesswoman. And she knows Ed Earl wants to run for the state legislature.
But then, we find out at the very end that Mona and Earl Ed got married and probably lived happily ever after. We’re here for Dolly and Burt.
Burt Reynolds died in 2018. His birthday was last week. He would’ve been 85.
Thankfully, Dolly Parton still is going strong and thinking of romance, on screen and otherwise.