7.2/10
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136 user 35 critic

Steel Magnolias (1989)

A young beautician, newly arrived in a small Louisiana town, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship and welcome her into the fold.

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Sometimes laughter is a matter of life and death. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Magnolias de acero  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$83,759,091 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Natchitoches Hospital Administration wanted the film company to film their actual emergency room and intensive care ward. Gene Callahan had serious reservations filming in the actual hospital, just in case a heart attack patient should arrive interrupting filming. This set was built in the gym-stage used as the main film interiors studio. Location managers, after the film was released, repeatedly called Hub Braden (Art Director) in L.A. asking where the hospital location was because their film's director wanted to shoot in the same hospital. See more »

Goofs

During the wedding reception while the song "Jambalaya" is being sung, several cast members switch positions while the dancers are performing. See more »

Quotes

Shelby: [to Annelle] Relax! You can't screw up her hair. Just tease it and make it look like a brown football helmet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeff Foxworthy: Totally Committed (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung by a group at Christmas
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User Reviews

Based On A Real Life Incident
23 April 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

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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