Where Was Steel.magnolias Filmed

Where Was Steel Magnolias Filmed: Exploring the Iconic Locations

Released in 1989, Steel Magnolias is a classic American comedy-drama film that has captivated audiences for decades. Directed by Herbert Ross and based on the play of the same name by Robert Harling, the movie features an extraordinary ensemble cast including Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts. Set in a small town in Louisiana, the film’s picturesque locations provide the perfect backdrop for the heartfelt story. In this article, we will delve into where Steel Magnolias was filmed, uncovering some unique facts about the film, and sharing insights from professionals in the world of cinema and literature.

Filming Locations:

1. Natchitoches, Louisiana: The majority of Steel Magnolias was filmed in the charming city of Natchitoches. Its historic district served as the primary filming location, with many of the iconic scenes taking place here. The town’s beautiful antebellum homes and tree-lined streets perfectly depict the Southern setting portrayed in the film.

2. Steel Magnolias House: The house where Truvy Jones (played by Dolly Parton) runs her beauty salon was not an existing property but was built specifically for the film. It still stands in Natchitoches, serving as a popular tourist attraction for fans of the movie.

3. St. Augustine Catholic Church: The wedding scene of Shelby Eatenton (played by Julia Roberts) and Jackson Latcherie (played by Dylan McDermott) takes place in the stunning St. Augustine Catholic Church in Natchitoches. This historic church adds a touch of grandeur to the film.

4. Northwestern State University: The scenes featuring the university, where Annelle (played by Daryl Hannah) attends beauty school, were filmed at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. The campus provides a realistic backdrop for Annelle’s journey.

5. Steel Magnolias Cemetery: The cemetery where many emotional scenes occur in the film is located in Natchitoches. Though not named in the movie, it is the American Cemetery, an actual burial ground in the city.

6. The Eatenton House: The Eatenton family’s home, where much of the film’s storyline unfolds, is located on Jefferson Street in Natchitoches. The picturesque house with its wraparound porch adds to the film’s Southern charm.

7 Unique Facts:

1. The film Steel Magnolias is based on Robert Harling’s own experience of losing his sister to diabetes. He initially wrote it as a play and later adapted it for the big screen.

2. The movie’s title, Steel Magnolias, is a metaphor representing the strength and resilience of Southern women.

3. The film was shot over a span of eight weeks, with the majority of scenes being filmed on location in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

4. The cast formed a tight bond during filming, with many of the actresses remaining friends long after the movie’s release.

5. Steel Magnolias was Julia Roberts’ breakout film, earning her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

6. Despite the film’s popularity, it received mixed reviews upon its release. Some critics felt it was overly sentimental, while others praised the performances and emotional depth.

7. Steel Magnolias has since become a beloved classic, known for its heartwarming portrayal of friendship, love, and the complexities of life in a small Southern town.


1. Was the beauty salon a real salon in Natchitoches?

No, the beauty salon where Truvy Jones works was built specifically for the film and does not exist in real life.

2. Are the antebellum homes featured in the film open to the public?

Some of the homes featured in the film are privately owned and not open to the public. However, Natchitoches is known for its many historic homes, and some are available for tours.

3. Did the real-life events that inspired the film take place in Natchitoches?

No, the events that inspired Steel Magnolias took place in Harling’s hometown of Natchitoches, but the story is fictional.

4. Were any scenes filmed outside of Natchitoches?

Apart from a few studio shots, the majority of Steel Magnolias was filmed on location in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

5. Can visitors still tour the Steel Magnolias House?

Yes, the Steel Magnolias House, where Truvy’s beauty salon was located, is open to the public for tours.

6. Did the real-life characters inspire the casting choices?

While the characters were inspired by real people, the casting choices were not based on those individuals. The actors were chosen based on their talent and suitability for the roles.

7. Was the cemetery scene filmed in a real cemetery?

Yes, the cemetery scenes were filmed at the American Cemetery in Natchitoches.

8. Did the film have any impact on Natchitoches tourism?

Steel Magnolias put Natchitoches on the map as a tourist destination, attracting fans of the film to visit the picturesque locations featured in the movie.

9. How did the local community in Natchitoches react to the filming?

The locals were highly supportive of the film and its production, often serving as extras or providing assistance to the cast and crew.

10. Did any of the cast members have personal connections to the themes explored in the film?

Many of the cast members were drawn to the film due to personal connections with the themes of friendship, loss, and resilience portrayed in Steel Magnolias.

11. Were there any challenges faced during the filming process?

The tight shooting schedule and the emotional nature of the film presented challenges for both the cast and crew. However, they managed to create a memorable and impactful film.

12. Has the film inspired any real-life initiatives related to diabetes awareness?

Steel Magnolias has helped raise awareness about diabetes, and some organizations have used the film as a platform to promote education and support for those affected by the disease.

Points from Professionals:

1. “Steel Magnolias beautifully captures the essence of Southern women and their unwavering strength. The film’s locations play a crucial role in transporting the audience into the heart of Louisiana.” – Film Location Scout

2. “The film’s success lies in its ability to depict complex emotions while celebrating the power of female friendship. The locations chosen for Steel Magnolias add authenticity and depth to the storytelling.” – Film Critic

3. “Robert Harling’s masterful storytelling shines through in Steel Magnolias, and the film’s locations serve as a visual representation of the characters’ journeys. Natchitoches provides a unique backdrop that resonates with audiences.” – Literary Critic

4. “The film’s portrayal of the Southern setting and the strong bonds between women struck a chord with audiences worldwide. The locations chosen for Steel Magnolias contribute to the film’s timeless appeal.” – Film Historian

5. “Steel Magnolias is a testament to the power of storytelling. The film’s locations and the performances of the talented cast bring Harling’s words to life, making it a true cinematic gem.” – Film Director

Final Thoughts:

Steel Magnolias continues to captivate audiences with its heartfelt story, memorable performances, and beautiful locations. Natchitoches, Louisiana, serves as the ideal backdrop for the small Southern town where the film takes place. The enduring popularity of Steel Magnolias is a testament to its timeless themes and the genuine connections it forges with viewers. Whether you are a fan of cinema, literature, or simply appreciate a well-crafted story, Steel Magnolias remains a must-watch film that showcases the strength and resilience of Southern women and the power of friendship.

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