Goin’ South With Steel Magnolias
On Sunday, Oct. 7, at 9|8c, Lifetime premieres a remake of the wildly-popular modern day classic Steel Magnolias. The 1989 film (originally a stage play) shows the roaring laughs and bawling tears of 6 “delicate as magnolias, but tough as steel” women in Louisiana.
The original ladies of the 1989 film were a star-studded cast — Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis and Shirley McClaine. The Lifetime remake brings together an equally heavy-hitting ensemble of great performers — Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Jill Scott, Alfre Woodard, Adepero Oduye and Condola Rashad.
In both the original film and the Lifetime remake, the seventh equally charming character is the South, with its small-town life, community and eccentricities that define this region so well.
- Downtown Natchitoches, LA
In the 1989 film, most of the filming took place in Natchitoches, LA, the actual setting of the true-life drama by writer Robert Harling about his own diabetic sister’s death. The picturesque town of Natchitoches is just as it appears in Steel Magnolias –charming and definitely full of a few interesting characters. Many town residents were even used as extras in the film; local beauticians even helped Dolly Parton attain that “Southern big hair” (perhaps the eighth just-as-strong-as-steel character!)
- Steel Magnolia House
Fans can spend a romantic night in the beautiful pre-Civil War Steel Magnolia house, which is now run as a bed-and-breakfast, and get a tour of filming locations from a local. Truly die-hard fans can also buy the home for a mere $1.175 million. Maybe you’ll even get a surprise visit at the upstairs window from a charming Dylan McDermott-looking local.
The Lifetime version, directed by Kenny Leon, took many creative liberties with the original, such as filming some scenes in the towns surrounding Atlanta, including the close-knit community of Avondale Estates, instead of Louisiana.
- Avondale Estates, GA
If you just can’t take any more Steel Magnolias tear-jerker moments and feel more like Ouiser (“I do not see plays, because I can nap at home for free, and I don’t see movies ’cause they’re trash and they got nothin’ but naked people in ’em!”), then don’t rule out the appeal of goin’ South for less chick-flick fan reasons: Explore the spookier side of Natchitoches just in time for Halloween at the Magnolia Plantation. Or maybe get an inside look at the Southern off-road culture of mudding, which we think Ouiser would approve of.