Touch-Up Work Needed for ''Painted House''

June 3, 2003
Posted at: 6:42 p.m. CDT

LEPANTO, Ark. -- John Grisham's made-for-television film of his book, "A Painted House" has already aired, but one of the most interesting pieces of the set is now back at home in Region 8.

Scenes of the film are familiar to people who were able to watch the Hallmark Hall of Fame production. To Lepanto residents like Buddy Pounders, however, the actual "painted house" is more than just a piece of film memorabilia.

"I grew up right down here southeast of town about three miles," Pounders said. "I know about these old houses."

Pounders and other volunteers are taking on the job of renovating the home to look like it did for the filming the book about life in the Delta.

After filming for the movie was completed, the home was taken to Kansas City, home of Hallmark Hall of Fame. The house is now back in Lepanto.

Everything from the wallpaper, to the floors, are still like they were for the film. The outside walls, however, are bare. The question begs itself: Who is going to repaint the "painted house?"

"Somebody besides me," Lepanto Mayor Dale Dunalp said. "I don't do painting. Paintin' and me just don't get along."

Dunlap says the amount of volunteers and people interested in seeing the film set come back to life has been good for the small town.

"It's looking rough from the moving," Dunalp said "But we hope to get it back like it was."

After some work to replace the porch, the detailed features, and of course, the white paint that symbolized prosperity in the film, the large piece of a movie set will become part of a Region 8 town again.

Reconstruction crews hope to have the house re-painted and ready for visitors sometime this fall.