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Steel Magnolias (1989)

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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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(screenplay), (play)
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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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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

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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

When Bette Davis saw the off-Broadway play, she thought it would be a great film for her, envisioning herself as Ouiser, Katharine Hepburn as Clairee, and Elizabeth Taylor as Truvy. However, when she contacted the rights holders for the movie adaptation, she found out that they intended to cast much younger actresses. See more »

Goofs

At the trash can, Annelle picks up the third magazine twice. See more »

Quotes

Clairee: Anne Boleyn had six fingers.
Ouiser Boudreaux: Who's Anne Berlin?
Clairee: Anne Boleyn. She was one of the six wives of Henry VIII.
Ouiser Boudreaux: I never watch public television.
Clairee: She had six fingers.
Ouiser Boudreaux: What happened to the other four?
Clairee: She had 11 total.
Ouiser Boudreaux: Are you trying to confuse me, Clairee?
Clairee: No. I just want to expose us to a little more culture. And that's not easy to come by in this neck of the woods.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Alien from L.A. (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Cajun Christmas
Written by Marsha Brown
Performed by Monty Brown and Marsha Brown
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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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