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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


Sometimes laughter is a matter of life and death. 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?


The title has been said to suggest that the main characters are delicate as magnolias but tough as steel, but this is not explained in the movie. The only references to the two words are Ouiser's near accusation of Drum of stealing Magnolias from her tree, and then a later comment by M'Lynn that men are supposed to be made out of steel. See more »


After giving out tomatoes in Truvy's salon, Ouiser takes her hat off and burps. The scene cuts to Clairee laughing. Behind Clairee, you can see Ouiser in the mirror with her hat still on. See more »


Truvy: There is no such thing as natural beauty.
See more »


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


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Laugh Till you Cry...
30 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Another movie that is part of my permanent video collection and never get tired of watching, STEEL MAGNOLIAS is the beautifully expanded version of Robert Harling's play about the relationship between six women who frequent the same beauty parlor. I am pretty sure the first phrase that comes to mind for most people when this film is mentioned is "Chick Flick", but, as a male, I happily admit to loving to watch this movie over and over again, not just because of the six charismatic performances by the actresses, but because this film also has one of the funniest screenplays ever written. Claree: "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize." Truvy: "Ruth Robeline...now there's a story...her whole life has been an experiment in terror...first her husband was killed in WWII and then her son was killed in Vietnam... I tell you, when it comes to suffering, she's right up there with Elizbeth Taylor." Claree: "well, you always know what I say...if you can't think anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me." Ouiser: "I'm not crazy...I've just been in a bad mood for the last thirty years." And just when you think your sides about to split open from laughing so hard, the film takes a tragic turn and you're reaching for the Kleenex. The scene in the cemetery is riveting, thanks primarily to a flawless and raw performance by Sally Field, who climaxes what is already a beautiful and commanding performance in the film, with her rage against God as her only outlet of grief at the moment. This scene makes me cry every time I watch the movie. An appeal to the gentlemen out there who have never seen this movie: Give it a chance. I did and I have never regretted it.

43 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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