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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.

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writers:

Robert Harling (screenplay), Robert Harling (play)
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Popularity
524 ( 2,166)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Field ... M'Lynn Eatenton
Dolly Parton ... Truvy Jones
Shirley MacLaine ... Ouiser Boudreaux
Daryl Hannah ... Annelle Dupuy Desoto
Olympia Dukakis ... Clairee Belcher
Julia Roberts ... Shelby Eatenton Latcherie
Tom Skerritt ... Drum Eatenton
Sam Shepard ... Spud Jones
Dylan McDermott ... Jackson Latcherie
Kevin J. O'Connor ... Sammy Desoto
Bill McCutcheon ... Owen Jenkins
Ann Wedgeworth ... Aunt Fern
Knowl Johnson Knowl Johnson ... Tommy Eatenton
Jonathan Ward ... Jonathan Eatenton
Bibi Besch ... Belle Marmillion
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Storyline

Pivoting around the lively Truvy Jones' Louisiana beauty parlour, a tightly-knit band of friends, confront griefs, loss, life's unforeseen tragedies and heartaches with what they do best: gossiping and sharing. The spirited diabetic and bride-to-be, Shelby; her always supportive mother, M'Lynn; Truvy's gawky assistant, Annelle; the city's curmudgeon, Ouiser; and the town's former first lady, Clairee, are the warm Southern belles who know how to survive life's challenges with their unwavering friendship. But when Shelby decides to conceive, things will turn upside down.. Written by Nick Riganas

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 November 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flores de acero See more »

Filming Locations:

Natchitoches, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,425,440, 19 November 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,759,091

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$95,904,091
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine said in an interview that Director Herbert Ross was very difficult to work with, telling the main lead actresses they couldn't act, and singling out Julia Roberts in particular, to the point that she would be left in tears. See more »

Goofs

When Ouiser arrives at the hair salon before the wedding, she ties the dog leash to the tree. When the dog runs off after the birds, the leash is looped through itself, not tied. See more »

Quotes

M'Lynn: [looking at herself in Truvy's compact mirror] Oh my God Shelby was right, my hair *does* look like a brown football helmet!
[continues sobbing]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Steel Magnolias (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

MA LOUISIANNE
Written and Performed by Zachary Richard
Courtesy of Rounder Records Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Flawed But Extremely Entertaining Mixture of Comedy and Drama
2 October 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

An extremely episodic story of several smalltown southern women whose social lives revolve around meetings in the local beauty parlor, STEEL MAGNOLIAS' script and performances are dogged by an aura of artificiality--but it scarcely matters, for the film is a tremendous amount of fun.

Some of the performances are more successful than others, with Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts, and Darryl Hannah coming out on top (I am greatly surprised that so many other reviewers dislike Hannah's performance, which seems to me considerably less artificial than many others--but perhaps since I'm actually Southern I have a different perspective). Sally Fields and Dolly Parton are less successful, but not in any sense that actually distracts from the fun. Perhaps most surprising in a film which focuses on women are the brief but impressive performances from the male supporting cast, which includes effective performances by Tom Skerrit, Sam Shepherd, and Dylan McDermott, and which serve to ground the film with a sense of the broader community in which the women live.

The script abounds in zinging one-liners ("If you can't say something nice, come sit by me!") and often hilarious situations (imagine Olympia Dukakis surrounded by naked men in the highschool football team's locker room); it also contains some very touching segments sure to choke up all but the most heartless viewer. And although the story is extremely manipulative and rather predictable, those factors don't actually get in the way of its effectiveness. While probably not a "great film" by any serious standard, it is tremendously good-natured, well-intended, and extremely entertaining, and most people will find that it lingers pleasantly in mind and holds up well under repeated viewings.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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