Welty Movie To Debut In Jackson

CANTON, Miss. (AP) -- The movie adaptation of ``The Ponder Heart,'' Pulitzer Price-winning writer Eudora Welty's comic novel filmed primarily in Canton, will have a premiere screening Jan. 18 in Jackson.

``We are thrilled this was filmed in the movie capital of Mississippi,'' said Jo Ann Gordon, executive director of the Canton Convention and Visitors Bureau and Canton Film Office.

The screening will be at old Central High School in Jackson. Gordon said the PBS production ``gives Canton the notoriety of having the works of three great Mississippi writers, John Grisham, Willie Morris and now Eudora Welty.''

Canton was a filming location for a 1995 film based on Grisham's book, ``A Time To Kill,'' and for the 1998 Warner Brothers release, ``My Dog Skip,'' based on Morris' 1995 book. Another film, the Coen Brothers' ``Brother, Where Art Thou?'' was also filmed in Canton. That film is in limited release.

The film ``Ponder Heart,'' directed by Martha Coolidge, is part of Exxon-Mobil Masterpiece Theatre's new American Collection telfilm series. It was produced by ALT Films and headed by veteran producer Marian Rees.

The part of Edna Earle is played by JoBeth Williams, star of films such as ``Poltergeist,'' and ``The Big Chill.''

``The Ponder Heart,'' which first appeared in The New Yorker magazine in 1953 and was published in book form the following year.

The saga involves a colorful Southern family and the attempts by a young heiress to keep her rich uncle from giving away his fortune. The adaptation is a continuous monologue by Edna Earle Ponder, proprietress of the Beulah Hotel.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)