While the country queen is best known for charting twenty-five No. 1 songs and selling more than 100 million records worldwide, she has starred in many iconic films, too. Dolly Parton movies have entertained countless fans and became a cherished part of American culture through the years.
According to Parton, the secret to her success as an actress is pretty simple. The country legend recently sat down with Tim McGraw for an interview at the Beyond the Influence Radio, and she explained that she always made sure to only agree to roles that she felt she could convincingly represent.
And it turned out to be very rewarding. Keep on scrolling below for Dolly Parton-filled movie night.
1. “9 to 5” (1980)
In 1980, Parton scored her first acting role in the ultimate revenge movie, “9 to 5.” The funny yet heartwarming classic tells the story of three friends and working women who are tired of their terrible, sexist boss and his belittling demands. Parton, alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, got their revenge by abducting him and taking over their office
“9 to 5” was among the highest-grossing films that year, helping Parton earn two Golden Globe nominations for her role as Doralee Rhodes. The country icon also penned the film’s theme song, which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Song Motion Picture and an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.
2. “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (1982)
Two years after making her acting debut, Parton went on building her career as an actress by showcasing her acting prowess in the musical comedy “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” – a screen adaptation of the 1978 Broadway musical of the same name.
The country legend played the role of a brothel madame in the small town of Gilbert, Texas, named Mona Stangley. Parton brought a certain level of feistiness to her playful and charming character that led to her second Golden Globe nomination.
Parton also re-recorded her 1974 chart-topping single “I Will Always Love You” for this film. So, it was no surprise when the movie greatly appealed to country music fans.
3. “Rhinestone” (1984)
In this goofy flick, Parton teamed up with Sylvester Stallone, who was one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars at that time. Parton played the role of a country star who boasted that she could make anyone into a country sensation. So, she bet that she can transform Stallone’s character, a New York City cab driver, into a singer.
Unfortunately, “Rhinestone” wasn’t as critically or commercially acclaimed as her earlier films.
4. “A Smoky Mountain Christmas” (1986)
Parton starred in another holiday film in 1986, where she played the role of a country star overburdened by her career and loneliness. Now that she’s dispirited, she decided to escape to a friend’s cabin over the holidays – only to be greeted by seven parentless kids dwelling in the place. And the adventure begins!
5. “Steel Magnolias” (1989)
Parton starred along with Hollywood’s most popular leading ladies, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts, wherein they portray the epitome of Southern women. Set in a small town in Louisiana, Parton played the role of a hairdresser whose salon turned out to be a place for the ladies to meet and tittle-tattle.
“Steel Magnolias” became one of the highest-grossing films that year and is still beloved by fans today.
6. “Straight Talk” (1992)
Parton finds herself entangled in a web of lies when she accidentally becomes an on-air radio psychologist in this 1992 comedy film. Parton is truly endearing in this role with her hilarious one-liners.
7. “Unlikely Angel” (1996)
When Parton’s character, a country music star Ruby Diamond, suddenly died in an accident, she was not allowed to go to heaven unless she helped out a widowed, workaholic father reunites with his children for the holidays.
8. “Joyful Noise” (2012)
Rival church choir members, Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, were forced to work together to save Divinity Church Choir when a cut on the budget endangered their ability to continue singing. And it is an adventure that you won’t want to miss out on.
9. “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” (2015)
This inspiring film is based on the country legend’s humble upbringing in rural Tennessee, growing up with her eleven siblings in a one-bedroom cabin. “Coat of Many Colors” also focused on the family’s struggle as they cope with the death of Parton’s younger brother. It is a testament to love, faith, and family.
10. “Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square” (2020)
When a cold-hearted woman tries to stop seasonal cheer by evicting everyone and selling her hometown’s land to a mall developer, a fabulously sparkly, sassy angel played by Parton will try to change her mind.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab some popcorn and let the movie marathon begin.