Steel Magnolias

November 15th, 1989


Steel Magnolias

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Still of Sally Field in Steel MagnoliasStill of Julia Roberts in Steel MagnoliasStill of Dylan McDermott in Steel MagnoliasStill of Julia Roberts, Tom Skerritt and Dylan McDermott in Steel MagnoliasStill of Dolly Parton and Olympia Dukakis in Steel MagnoliasStill of Julia Roberts and Sally Field in Steel Magnolias

Revolving around Truvy's Beauty Parlor in a small parish in modern-day Louisiana, STEEL MAGNOLIAS is the story of a close-knit circle of friends whose lives come together there...

Release Year: 1989

Rating: 6.9/10 (18,501 voted)

Director: Herbert Ross

Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field

Revolving around Truvy's Beauty Parlor in a small parish in modern-day Louisiana, STEEL MAGNOLIAS is the story of a close-knit circle of friends whose lives come together there. As the picture opens, we find Drum Eatenton shooting birds in the trees of his back yard in preparation for his daughter's wedding reception that afternoon. Shortly thereafter, M'Lynn and Shelby (Drum's wife and daughter) depart for Truvy's to get their hair done for the wedding. "Just the sweetest thing," Annelle Depuy Desoto (who may or may not be married because her marriage may not be legal) is introduced to Truvy's customers as her new "glamour technician." While in the chairs, the sour-tempered Ouiser Boudreaux shows up and entertains the assemblage with her barbs. It seems that the only one of the group who truly understands Ouiser is Clairee who is recently widowed and looking for a diversion...

Writers: Robert Harling, Robert Harling

Sally Field - M'Lynn Eatenton
Dolly Parton - Truvy Jones
Shirley MacLaine - Ouiser Boudreaux
Daryl Hannah - Annelle Dupuy Desoto
Olympia Dukakis - Clairee Belcher
Julia Roberts - Shelby Eatenton Latcherie
Tom Skerritt - Drum Eatenton
Sam Shepard - Spud Jones
Dylan McDermott - Jackson Latcherie
Kevin J. O'Connor - Sammy Desoto
Bill McCutcheon - Owen Jenkins
Ann Wedgeworth - Aunt Fern
Knowl Johnson - Tommy Eatenton
Jonathan Ward - Jonathan Eatenton
Bibi Besch - Belle Marmillion

Taglines: Sometimes laughter is a matter of life and death.

Release Date: 15 November 1989

Filming Locations: Natchitoches, Louisiana, USA

Opening Weekend: $5,425,440 (USA) (19 November 1989) (480 Screens)

Gross: $83,759,091 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Spain:

Did You Know?

This movie was based on a play written about a sister of Phi Mu Fraternity. Susan Harling was a member of the Kappa Iota chapter and her brother wrote the play on which the movie is based.

Continuity: At Shelby's wedding reception, Nancy Beth sports two very different hair styles. Early on when she's dancing, it's smoothed down, but later when they are eating cake inside the house, it's quite big and curly.

Truvy: What are your colors, Shelby?
Shelby: My colors are "blush" and "bashful."
M'Lynn: Her colors are "pink" and pink."
Shelby: My colors are "blush" and "bashful" Mama!
M'Lynn: How precious is this weddin' gonna get, I ask you?

User Review

Based On A Real Life Incident


This film is worth watching for two reasons. First, it is based on a tragic, real life event. As such, an enhanced credibility sustains the film's underlying premise, and thus renders a much greater potential for viewer impact and depth of meaning, as opposed to a work of fiction. Second, quite aside from its autobiographical roots, the film has entertainment value, expressed mostly as snappy, funny dialogue, delivered competently by an ensemble cast of likable actresses. Attention to detail in costumes and production design, and adroit film editing, further amplify the film's overall technical quality.

"Steel Magnolias" is a story about the close knit relationships between six ordinary Southern women, living in a small town in Louisiana. The film has a homespun, unpretentious feel to it, rather like "Fried Green Tomatoes".

The plot alternates between humorous, small, everyday events and good-natured quips, on the one hand ... and on the other hand, the seriousness and heartache attendant to life's unexpected crises. Through the laughs and tears, the six women learn to endure hard times, and thus emerge from their struggles with grace and dignity.

Finding something to criticize here is not easy. I can think of several changes that I would have made, to satisfy my own personal preferences. But the film is solid and substantial, as is. I suppose one could zero in on the acting. A couple of the cast members overact their parts, at some point or another in the film.

Overall, "Steel Magnolias" is technically well made. And the content engages our interest, as a result of its true-to-life theme, its all star cast, and some very clever dialogue.


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