After she discovers that her boyfriend has betrayed her, Hilary O'Neil is looking for a new start and a new job. She begins to work as a private nurse for a young man suffering from blood ... See full summary »
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
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 »
When Sally Field pins a corsage on Julia Roberts after the wedding, they are almost the same height, but Julia Roberts is almost 6 inches taller than Sally Field. No shoes could make them the same height. Then, the next shot has them walking to the door together and now the difference in height appears correct. See more »
[stands up after praying]
[looking confused at Truvy]
Was she just praying?
[rolling eyes, frustrated]
Maybe she's praying for Marshall and Drew and Belle. Maybe she's praying for us because we're gossiping. Maybe she's praying because the elastic is shot in her pantyhose! Who knows! She prays a the drop of a hat these days.
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This film is worth watching for two reasons. First, it is based on a tragic, real life event. As such, an enhanced credibility sustains the film's underlying premise, and thus renders a much greater potential for viewer impact and depth of meaning, as opposed to a work of fiction. Second, quite aside from its autobiographical roots, the film has entertainment value, expressed mostly as snappy, funny dialogue, delivered competently by an ensemble cast of likable actresses. Attention to detail in costumes and production design, and adroit film editing, further amplify the film's overall technical quality.
"Steel Magnolias" is a story about the close knit relationships between six ordinary Southern women, living in a small town in Louisiana. The film has a homespun, unpretentious feel to it, rather like "Fried Green Tomatoes".
The plot alternates between humorous, small, everyday events and good-natured quips, on the one hand ... and on the other hand, the seriousness and heartache attendant to life's unexpected crises. Through the laughs and tears, the six women learn to endure hard times, and thus emerge from their struggles with grace and dignity.
Finding something to criticize here is not easy. I can think of several changes that I would have made, to satisfy my own personal preferences. But the film is solid and substantial, as is. I suppose one could zero in on the acting. A couple of the cast members overact their parts, at some point or another in the film.
Overall, "Steel Magnolias" is technically well made. And the content engages our interest, as a result of its true-to-life theme, its all star cast, and some very clever dialogue.
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