Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It is the film adaptation of Robert Harling's 1987 play of the same name. The play and film are about the bond a group of different women share in a small-town southern community, and how they cope with the death of one of their own.
This story is based on Robert Harling's real life and the death of his sister Susan Harling Robinson in 1985 due to early diabetes. He changed his sister's name in the story from Susan, to Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie.
The title suggests the main female characters can be both as delicate as the magnolia flower, and as tough as steel