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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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1,167 ( 352)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... M'Lynn Eatenton
... Truvy Jones
... Ouiser Boudreaux
... Annelle Dupuy Desoto
... Clairee Belcher
... Shelby Eatenton Latcherie
... Drum Eatenton
... Spud Jones
... Jackson Latcherie
... Sammy Desoto
... Owen Jenkins
... Aunt Fern
Knowl Johnson ... Tommy Eatenton
... Jonathan Eatenton
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flores de acero  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

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

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

Decorator Lee Poll purchased six gross orders of artificial magnolia blossoms which the greens department tied to all the location magnolia trees' umbrella heads. Producer Ray Stark and Director Herbert Ross never spared expenses in their filming plans for the Natchitoches "Steel Magnolias" location filming. During a preliminary location scout with Production Designer Gene Callahan, Ross declared "we need more old oak shade trees planted to shade our lady actors!" The Production Designer returned to the Art Department, announcing "Herbert needs some oak trees planted in Truvy's yard. About six! Order them!" Gene's Art Director Hub Braden began the search for "old oak trees" with enough top shape to shade the entire location house for Truvy's exterior beauty shop side yard. After a week, Braden reported finding the trees was an easy job, a source in Atlanta, Georgia. Discovering another nursery tree source located near Dallas, Texas, that had the six "old oak trees" costing thirty-five thousand dollars each, guaranteed by the nursery to survive the move and transplanting. Transporting the trees for transplanting was easy, which included highway permits from both Texas and Louisiana State highway divisions. Oak trees have a life cycle of nine hundred years; three hundred years of growth, three hundred years dormancy, the final three hundred years to die. The movie's production offices had taken over the University's grammar school facility, with Producer Ray Stark using the Principal's office as his office. Stark, completely aware of Herbert's demand for shade trees, was with Herbert in his production office when Gene joined their private conference meeting, discussing filming plans including the shade tree request. In exasperation, Gene yelled, "You both are just plain CRAZY" and departed their meeting. Returning to the Art Department office, Gene had decided, announcing, "Kill the six three-hundred-year-old oak trees." See more »

Goofs

When Sammy makes Annelle a cherry Coke, the glass changes after he pours the Coke, but before he throws the cherry into it. The level of liquid also momentarily drops. Not to mention that when he is pouring the soda into the glass, the soda is clear, not coke. See more »

Quotes

M'Lynn: [Shebly's father and brothers have adorned it with condoms] My lord, the limousine's here
Shelby: What did they do to it?
Shelby: Well, let me put it this way: if you and Jackson plan of having safe sex, you're all set.
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Connections

Referenced in Intimate Stranger (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

JAMBALAYA
Written by Hank Williams
Performed by Tommy Funderburk
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User Reviews

 
Flawed But Extremely Entertaining Mixture of Comedy and Drama
2 October 2005 | by See 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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