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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.



(screenplay), (play)
2,733 ( 166)
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?


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 »


When M'Lynn's son puts a piece of ice down the back of her shirt, we can hear it fall to the floor. In the next shot, it's still down her shirt and she's asking Shelby for help to get it out. See more »


M'Lynn: [crying] I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.
M'Lynn: I'm fine! I can jog all the way to Texas and back, but my daughter can't! She never could! Oh God! I am so mad I don't know what to do! I wanna know why! I wanna know *why* Shelby's life is over! I wanna know how that baby will *ever* know how wonderful his mother was! Will he *ever* know what she went through for him! Oh *God* I wanna know *why*? *Why*? Lord, I wish I could understand!
[in a firm tone]
M'Lynn: No! No! No! It's not supposed to happen this...
See more »


Featured in I Love the 80's 3-D: 1989 (2005) See more »


Written by George Jackson and Tom Jones III
Performed by Tommy Funderburk
See more »

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User Reviews

Southern Charm served on a Movie Reel
11 March 2000 | by (South Carolina) – See all my reviews

O.K. The film is labeled a "Chick Flick" and it is, but there is no reason a guy couldn't enjoy it. I'm a guy and I found it quite enjoyable. With strong performances by everyone and a wonderfully written script, both hilarious and heart wrenching. The cast is completely star studded. First Sally Field plays M'Lynn Eatenton a southern mom with a golden heart. Dolly Parton plays Truvy Jones owner of the local beauty salon and favorite gossip hang out for the women of the film. Shirley MacLaine plays Ouiser Boudreaux the woman you love to hate whom proclaims herself richer than God. Daryl Hannah plays Annelle Dupuy Desoto the shy girl hired by Truvy because of her wonderful work on hair. Olympia Dukakis plays Clairee Belcher a wonderful southern charmer and one of the thorns in Ouiser's side. Julia Roberts plays Shelby Eatenton Latcherie the central character of the film that is plagued with medical problems. Tom Skerritt plays Drum Eatenton, husband of M'Lynn Eatenton. Also there are a couple of smaller parts played by Sam Shepard and Dylan McDermott.

One of the many funny moments in the film occurs when Drum (Skerritt) ask Ouiser for a slice of wedding cake that is shaped like an Armadillo. Drum asks: Ouiser, can we call a truce long enough for me to get a piece of cake? (Ouiser slices him off the tail section) to which Drum replies: Thanks Ouiser, nothing like a good piece of ass!

Sally Feilds performance as the woman letting loose during the cemetery scene seems like Oscar material, but she does not even receive a nomination. Julia Roberts however does receive a nomination but does not win. She does manage to take home a Golden Globe for best actress in a supporting role. As I said before there were some great performances by all the ladies. So "Chick Flick" or not I think many guy's will also enjoy this film.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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