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Steel Magnolias is a 1989 comedy-drama film about the bond among a group of Southern women in northwest Louisiana. The movie is based on a 1987 off-Broadway play by Robert Harling and on the author's experience with the death of his sister.
The film was released by Tri-Star Pictures in the United States on November 15, 1989, and would go on to gross more than US$83.7 million at the box office. Robert Harling adapted his own play, which was heavily rewritten to incorporate many more characters. It was his first produced screenplay, and he also appears in the film as the preacher. The film was directed by Herbert Ross.
The film starred Dolly Parton (Truvy Jones), Olympia Dukakis (Clairee Belcher), Shirley MacLaine (Ouiser Boudreaux), Sally Field (M'Lynn Eatenton), Julia Roberts (Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie) and Daryl Hannah (Annelle Dupuy-Desoto). Julia Roberts received her first Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actress. The location for the filming was Natchitoches, Louisiana. Historian Robert DeBlieux, a former mayor of Natchitoches, was the local advisor on the film.
The casting and sets of the film go far beyond the modest means of the original play to include male characters, ensembles, and outdoor scenes. The sequence of the action as well was more tightly linked with major holidays in the film than in the play. Much dialog was added, and several lines in the play were cut or assigned to other characters than originally intended. In addition, Truvy is given...