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Steel Magnolias (1989)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  22 November 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 32,725 users  
Reviews: 135 user | 34 critic

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 ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Knowl Johnson ...


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. As she says, later in the picture, "If you can't find anything good to say about anybody, come sit by me." ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The funniest movie ever to make you cry. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Magnolias de acero  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$83,759,091 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


M'Lynn's home is actually two different houses. The Cook-Taylor House, owned by the Henry Taylor family and now a Bed and Breakfast in Natchitoches, was used for the outside front of the house, and most of the scenes inside the home and in the back yard. It is on Front Street by the river and can be easily located, as it is now known as "The Steel Magnolias Bed and Breakfast." During filming, the Taylors moved out and rented an apartment. See more »


When Clairee, Truvy and Annelle are in church, they are sitting in back of a family whose pew looks full. Ouiser walks in and winks at Owen. We see the family again, and the pew is still looking full with the mother, son and daughter sitting very close together. In the next shot Ouiser is standing next to the pew and suddenly there's a big space between the sister and the brother, where Ouiser sits. See more »


M'Lynn: Shelby, the boys bought the car around.
Shelby: What did they do to it?
M'Lynn: Well, let me put it this way... If you and Jackson want to practice safe sex, you're all set!
See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Chick Cancer (2006) See more »


Because God Made Thee Mine
(1902) (uncredited)
Music by Guy d'Hardelot
Lyrics by Edward Teschemacher
Sung at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Six sympathetic magnolias bend but don't break
9 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This wonderful comedy drama romance tells the tale of a close knit group of six Southern women (of varying ages) in a small Louisiana town. The film gives us a glimpse into their daily lives over a period of several years, their laughter, their joy, and their tears, all through the lens of their enduring friendship.

Here are the six magnolias...

M'Lynne (Sally Field)...perhaps the steeliest of all the magnolias, who has a bittersweet relationship with her grown daughter

Shelby (Julia Roberts)...everyone's favorite girl next door, M'Lynne's endearing, diabetic daughter; we see her planning her very pink wedding (wait till you see the groom's cake!) and charting a difficult path, given her medical history

Truvy (Dolly Parton)...the married but lonely hairdresser with the heart of gold, who owns and operates Trudy's Beauty Parlor, center of social life for these ladies, site of gossip, teasing quips, and comfort

Ouisser (Shirley MacLaine)...the sarcastic spinster and cantankerous comic relief who is frequently seen carting her little dog around and exchanging barbs with her Old Nemesis, M'Lynne's husband, Drum

Clairee (Olympia Dukakis)...the charming, gossiping widow and town bigwig

Annelle (Daryl Hannah)...the shy, awkward new girl in town, who has a mysterious past and lands a job at the beauty parlor, under Truvy's mentoring

Through these six, we see the strength that lies behind the legendary Southern lady's charm (well, maybe Ouisser's not that charming!) and supposed flower fragility, their humor, their optimism, their faith, and above all, their banding together and supporting each other in the face of adversity.

I understand that this movie is based on a well known play by a famous Louisiana playwright. The women depicted in the film are by and large good Christian, church going folk, which is laudable. My initial reaction was to blame Hollywood for mocking Annelle's newfound deep faith and having her act as though she hadn't a clue in her dim witted Southern head. The playwright may have intended to cast her as going overboard and being too judgmental. If so, I personally don't consider this a kind or necessary depiction, and find Annelle to be very sincere and kind hearted.

However, otherwise this is simply a "funny tearjerker" and a great movie.

30 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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