The Oscar-nominated film Steel Magnolias is an American comedy-drama film that debuted in 1989. The film is a remake of Robert Harling’s play of the same name from 1987. The narrative of the film was partially inspired by Robert Harling’s sister, Susan Harling Robinson. After suffering from Type 1 diabetes, she passed away in 1985.
Steel Magnolias explores the relationship among a group of women in a small-town Southern community and how they deal with the loss of one of their own. It focuses on Annelle, a beautician who shifts to a small riverside town and discovers a new life.
As she becomes accustomed to the community, she befriends a number of the local women, including Shelby, a young nurse who has diabetes. The film conveys a sense of belonging even though it depicts a personal struggle.
Although many critics and the audience have given mixed reviews to the film, it still won several awards, including the Golden Globe Awards. The film is almost a fine blend of comedy and melodrama. What attracted the viewers was mainly the talented set of cast, which included award-winning actors like Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts.
Julia Roberts portrays Susan’s character as Shelby in the movie. Tom Skerritt, Dylan McDermott, Sam Shepard, and Kevin J. O’Connor are also a part of the film. Other than the talents, the audience somehow liked the melodramatic ending, which brought tears to most of their eyes. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is that it is completely driven by women.
They carry the whole weight of the film. Steel Magnolia has kept its production simple yet eye-catching. A main part of a production of a film includes shooting locations. So, now, let us delve into the filming locations of Steel Magnolia.
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Steel Magnolias Filming Locations
The shooting of the American movie Steel Magnolias started on July 12, 1988, and ended on September 5, 1988. The whole production of the film was shot in Louisiana.
Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
The majority of the scenes were shot at a house situated at 320 Jefferson Street in Natchitoches, Louisana. This house was previously known as Taylor House. In the film, this house belonged to Shelby’s mother, M’Lynn Eatenton.
This was the primary setting for the film. The house consists of a pool, a guest room, a front porch, a parlor with an antique fireplace, and a chandelier. As Susan Harling used to reside in this small town, the creators of the film decided to shoot in Natchitoches itself.
A prominent state institution, Northwestern State University, located at 175 Sam Sibley Drive in Natchitoches, had a soundstage built on its property that contributed to a major chunk of filming.
Front Street and the American Cemetery, a cemetery that is situated at 2nd Street STE 200 in the city, were also among the locations. Both are located on the river’s western bank. Trinity Episcopal Church, located at 533 2nd Street in the city, is another notable spot on the west bank of the river. Apart from these locations, The Riverfront Park served as the location for the easter egg hunt sequences.
St. Augustine Church, a historic church situated at 2262 LA-484 in the neighborhood of Natchez, about 7 miles south of Natchitoches, also adds to the list of filming locations, particularly the scene where Shelby and Jackson get married.
The Roque House and Gardens, at 760 Front Street, features a distinctive Creole design of French construction in the Cane River basin. This lavish house served as the backdrop for the climactic scenes of Steel Magnolias.
The scenes depicting Annelle and Sammy’s home were filmed in a house on the east bank of the river, while the scenes showing Shelby and Jackson’s home, as well as Clairee’s residence, were shot in two places on Williams Avenue.
For the hospital scenes, The Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, situated at 501 Keyser Avenue, was used. Apart from this, Super 1 Grocery at 318 Dixie Plaza was also the site of the filming.
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