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Steel Magnolias (Special Edition) (1989)

A 1989 comedy-drama about the bond among a group of Southern women in northwest Louisiana.

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A true classic!

  • Dec 19, 2008
  • by
In small-town Louisiana, a group of friends and family are making preparations for a very special day. Shelby (Julia Roberts, 'Mystic Pizza') and her mother, M'Lynn (Sally Field), take a trip to the local beauty parlour to allay Shelby's pre-wedding nerves. Run by their companion Truvy (Dolly Parton), who has just recruited the shy, nervous Annelle (Daryl Hannah) as an assistant, the parlour becomes a place for the women to trade tips of advice on life, love, and hairstyles, with the constantly bickering Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine) and Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) popping in for a chat. The tight circle of friends strengthens and continues to last well after that day in Truvy's beauty parlour, with each having shoulders to cry on when things don't always go right.

Robert Harling has done an exemplary job of re-styling his own play for the big screen. 'Steel Magnolias' is certainly no stranger to momentous plot movements and interpersonal melodramas, but the film rarely feels like it's squeezing the tears out of your eyes, mostly thanks to the wonderful acting on display here. Every single one of the leading ladies are on top form, with Julia Roberts in particular offering up a breakthrough performance as the bride-to-be. But Field, Parton, MacLaine, Dukakis and Hannah are equally as good, with director Herbert Ross ('Footloose') letting the cast-mates simply beam off the screen. By the end of the film, I was moved by the preceding events, and while I was sorry to say goodbye to these characters, I was still uplifted.

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July 26, 2009
I totally forgot about this movie. What a great cast! I really did love Julia Roberts in this film.
More Steel Magnolias reviews
review by . August 12, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
There is a scene in Sleepless in Seattle when Sam (Tom Hanks), Suzy (Rita Wilson), and Greg (Victor Garber) are discussing what are frequently referred to as "chick flicks." Whatever the criteria for selection, there are many candidates for this category which usually include Steel Magnolias. After seeing it again recently, I decided that calling it a "chick flick" demeans what director Herbert Ross and his cast and crew achieved. This film really does have wide and deep appeal to both and men and …
review by . September 02, 2001
Unfortunately, many people have placed Steel Magnolias in the chick-flick category, even my most favorite critic. But as a matter of honest opinion, to place it in such a small subject field is an insult to the film. As Fried Green Tomatoes did in the latter years, Steel Magnolias show's how strong relationships can be. To know how important it is to remain steadfast with your friend's, so they are there when you need them. Through humor, this film version of the play displays the caring qualities …
review by . June 21, 2000
Everything I needed to learn in life, I learned from Steel Magnolias!Where else can you learn that the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize? Or that being gentlemanly is to take the dishes out of the sink 'for ya pee in it?This movie has provided countless hours of entertainment, and probably the most one-liners of any feature film ever released. That it is coming out on DVD with *9* deleted scenes (Marshall and Jackson together at last? Weeza hookin' up with …
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Hey everyone! Here's a little bit about me. I'm 25 and live in Kansas. I've lived here for almost 7 years now(wow, I can't believe it's been that long!) before moving here I lived in Tucson Arizona for … more
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About this movie


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...

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Director: Herbert Ross
Genre: Drama
Screen Writer: Robert Harling
DVD Release Date: July 25, 2000
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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