Steel Magnolias

  • PG
  • Herbert Ross (1989)
  • US
  • 113 min
Steel Magnolias
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Expanded from his own play by Robert Harling, this comedy drama provided juicy roles for some of Hollywood's leading ladies at a time when muscle-bound action heroes held sway at the box office. Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts interact so beautifully as they discuss men, the menopause, manicures and marriage in Dolly Parton's kitsch small-town beauty salon that it was something of a surprise that only Roberts scooped an Oscar nomination. But it's Shirley MacLaine as the town's outsider (complete with her headstrong mutt) who steals the show with a wonderful display of crankiness and compassion, and just a little flirtatiousness thrown in for good measure. Director Herbert Ross times every gag and tear to perfection, but he fails to find enough for the guys to do, which is a shame as Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard and Dylan McDermott are all good enough actors to give strong performances without having to hold centre stage. This is a little too dependent on sassy one-liners and is awash with sentiment by the end, but is still wonderful entertainment.

Plot Summary

Comedy drama starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts. In a small Louisiana town, a diverse group of women connected by their local beauty salon draw upon each other's friendship when they are confronted by tragedy.

Cast and crew


M'Lynn Eatenton
Sally Field
Truvy Jones
Dolly Parton
Ouiser Boudreaux
Shirley MacLaine
Annelle Dupuy Desoto
Daryl Hannah
Shelby Eatenton Latcherie
Julia Roberts
Clairee Belcher
Olympia Dukakis
Drum Eatenton
Tom Skerritt
Jackson Latcherie
Dylan McDermott
Sammy Desoto
Kevin J O'Connor
Spud Jones
Sam Shepard
Owen Jenkins
Bill McCutcheon
Aunt Fern
Ann Wedgeworth


Herbert Ross

Other Information

Some swearing.
Available on video and DVD
Certificate PG