Steel Magnolias

Based on screenwriter Robert Harling's award-winning off-Broadway play, STEEL MAGNOLIAS tells the story of six southern women whose lives interconnect in a beauty parlor in their small Louisiana town. M'Lynn Eatenton (Sally Field), mother of headstrong Shelby (Julia Roberts), is worried about her daughter's upcoming marriage, fearing for the children that...read more

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Based on screenwriter Robert Harling's award-winning off-Broadway play, STEEL MAGNOLIAS tells the story of six southern women whose lives interconnect in a beauty parlor in their small Louisiana town. M'Lynn Eatenton (Sally Field), mother of headstrong Shelby (Julia Roberts), is worried

about her daughter's upcoming marriage, fearing for the children that the diabetic, seizure-prone Shelby wants to have. Their friends at the beauty parlor--Truvy (Dolly Parton), who runs the parlor; Annelle (Daryl Hannah), her assistant; Clairee (Olympia Dukakis), an aristocratic widow; and Ouiser

(Shirley MacLaine), the town scold--gossip and cope with a variety of problems, among them a failing marriage for Truvy, and some chameleonlike changes for Annelle. Shelby marries and has her baby, but just when things look rosy, tragedy rears its head. STEEL MAGNOLIAS is an old-fashioned

"klatsch" film, a prefeminist relic in which a group of women eschew the public world of men in favor of the community of the coffee table. Their world is shown as inferior to men's in terms of power but superior to it in emotion and insight into the things that "really matter." Not surprisingly,

the "klatscher" myth has been concocted largely by men (most notably by George Cukor). Here director Herbert Ross (TURNING POINT) gets generally strong performances from his ensemble, and an especially good one from Field in a role that really doesn't suit her. The film was shot on location in

Natchitoches, Louisiana, hometown of actor-turned-writer Harling, who based his play on the experiences of his own mother and sister.

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