Erin Richter
August 04, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Steel Magnolias

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
117 minutes
performer
Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Dylan McDermott, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Tom Skerritt
director
Herbert Ross
distributor
Columbia Tri-Star
author
Robert Harling
genre
Drama

We gave it a B

First, the ladies get Lifetime ”television for women,” then the Oxygen network, and now, amid the flurry of souped-up epics, actioners, and sci-fi flicks with explosively remastered sound and behind-the-scenes deconstructions, the fairer sex gets its DVD due with the three-hankie hit about Southern belles who are drawn closer together as one struggles with diabetes, Steel Magnolias. But what makes this film so endearing — the sassy repartee between screen gems Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, and then-newcomer Julia Roberts — is absent from this disc’s added features. Only MacLaine participates in a new 23-minute making-of featurette, which includes touching reminiscences from director Herbert Ross and writer Robert Harling, who penned the Off Broadway play after his sister died from diabetes. The deleted scenes don’t add much, but Ross’ commentary (detailing the highs and lows of filming in Natchitoches, La., as well as memories of a pre-Pretty Woman Roberts: ”Everybody was against my using [Julia] because they didn’t think she was attractive enough”) helps make this a welcome addition to the pantheon of chick discs. B

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