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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
2,149 ( 185)
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

Winona Ryder was originally offered the role of Shelby. Although the producers were charmed by Ryder, they ultimately considered her too young for the part. See more »

Goofs

The movie takes place in the fictional "Chinquapin Parish" in the state of Louisiana. Several times characters refer to the parish as "the county" and even "Chinquapin County." Louisiana has no counties, only parishes. See more »

Quotes

Clairee Belcher: [trying to do "color commentary" by discussing the color of the football uniforms] ... But I love the top - such a vibrant purple. Bob, would you call this color "grape" or "aubergine'?
Ouiser Boudreaux: SHUT UP!
Clairee Belcher: What?
Ouiser Boudreaux: You're makin' a fool outta yourself, Clairee.
Clairee Belcher: I am not.
Ouiser Boudreaux: This is football. All the people wanna hear about are touchdowns and injuries. They don't give a damn 'bout that grape shit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Orphan Black: Effects of External Conditions (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Would You Fly
Written by Marsha Brown
Performed by Monty Brown and Marsha Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Six sympathetic magnolias bend but don't break
9 March 2006 | by roghacheSee 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.


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