12 Things You May Not Know About 'Steel Magnolias'

November 14, 2014 1:16 PM

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12 Things You May Not Know About 'Steel Magnolias'

There may be no movie that better epitomizes the bond of female friendship than "Steel Magnolias." Released 25 years ago this week, it's become a touchstone -- mothers share the film with their daughters, teen girls turn to it as a sleepover staple and men of all ages find themselves taken with the tale of six brassy Southern ladies (Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts) faced with one grave tragedy. Initial reviews were mixed, but it became 1989's 14th highest-grossing film nonetheless. Today, you can't turn on a television set without finding it somewhere. We caught up with Robert Harling, who adapted the movie from his 1987 play, to learn just how much "Steel Magnolias" means to him.

For Harling, it's all a true story. Even though "Steel Magnolias" doesn't open with a "based on a true story" title card, Shelby's tale belongs to Harling's sister, Susan. Harling's good friend Michael Weller, who wrote the play "Moonchildren" and adapted the movie "Hair," and his wife, Kathy, urged...

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