This film version of the hit Broadway musical revolves around the legendary bordello in La Grange, Texas, known as The Chicken Ranch because of a period in the brothel’s history when cash was in short supply and poultry was accepted as payment for services.
Burt Reynolds is fine as Ed Earl Dodd, the beleaguered sheriff and Dolly Parton is effective as the golden-hearted madam, Miss Mona Strangely.
Charles During, as the issue-dodging governor, stops the show with a sensational dance routine.
The heavy of the piece is Dom DeLuise as Melvin P Thorpe, a crusading TV consumer advocate who, in his capacity as the self-appointed moral guardian of Texas, is determined to close down the whorehouse forthwith.
But DeLuise’s performance is singularly unfunny and seems to belong in another movie altogether.
Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd
Miss Mona Strangely
Melvin P Thorpe