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The Legend of Johnny Lingo (2003)

George Henare , Rawiri Paratene , Steven Ramirez  |  G |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Price: $18.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Legend of Johnny Lingo + The Other Side of Heaven + The Best Two Years
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Product Details

  • Actors: George Henare, Rawiri Paratene, Joe Folau, Alvin Fitisemanu, Kayte Ferguson
  • Directors: Steven Ramirez
  • Writers: John Garbett, Riwia Brown
  • Producers: Brad Pelo, Gerald R. Molen, John Garbett, Tim Coddington
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2004
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001LQJM6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,187 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Legend of Johnny Lingo" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The 1969 short movie of the beloved Johnny Lingo receives feature-length treatment in this heartwarming family film by veteran producers John Garbett and Jerry Molen. Filmed in New Zealand, this seafaring adventure expands the legend of the wealthy island trader by tracing back to childhood the boy, Tama, who eventually becomes Johnny Lingo's namesake. When a storm casts ashore a tiny canoe carrying the infant boy, Tama's tribe receives him as a gift from the gods. But when misfortune strikes, Tama is cursed and cast out to live with a feisty girl, Mahana, and her drunken father. Mahana and Tama forge a friendship and when Tama is old enough to sail away from the island, he vows one day to return for her. Good fortune takes Tama to the isle of Johnny Lingo, who teaches him life lessons of fair trade, hard work, and honor. Tama eventually returns to bestow dignity on Mahana in an ashes-to-beauty love story. Steven Ramirez, in his directorial debut, retains the spirit of Patricia McGerr's original story, "Johnny Lingo's Eight Cow Wife," underscoring the power of second chances. (Ages 6 and older) --Lynn Gibson

Product Description

Based on the beloved story, this wholesome coming-of-age tale is "a wonderful family film full of tender moments, exciting adventure and good, old-fashioned values" ("The 700 Club")! Far away on a tropical island, an orphan boy named Tama is "cursed" by his tribe and finds comfort in a fellow outcast: Mahana, a feisty girl shunned for herragged appearance. When Tama sails off in search of a new life, he promises a tearful Mahana to return for her someday. But Tama's journey leads him to Johnny Lingo, a wealthy trader who makes Tama his apprentice and heir. Now, as Tama embraces his new life, he must learn that the measure of a man is not in his possessions but in love, friendship and in Tama's case honoring a promise from the past.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming, well-meaning May 19, 2004
Brought to the screen by some of the people who gave us Schindler's List, Hook, Jurassic Park, and Rain Man, this moral fable is a well executed film that teaches without preaching.
The Legend of Johnny Lingo moves at a leisurely place as an outcast boy finds his place in the world with a little help from some new friends. It starts out somewhat predictable (but what Disney movie isn't?), then we learn what the Legend actually is in a surprise half-way through. And the boy-goes-back-for-the-girl ending is very well done with a little twist of its own to keep it interesting.
Not enough movement to keep smaller kids interested and probably too uncool for older kids, it is a perfect fit for families with children in the 6-14 age group.
The scenery is breathtaking. And the soundtrack, which consists of traditional and contemporary Polynesian themes, is fabulous; the music is well selected.
Family movies run the risk of being pretty low quality knowing that there are so few movies out they'll have some minimum audience no matter what. This is not one of those movies. While shot on an indy budget (I would guess), the production values and editing really bring out the story in an entertaining way. It is charming little movie.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good except the noni June 14, 2004
I was raised on the 1969 short film "Johnny Lingo" produced at BYU.
I enjoyed this retelling with one exception. The Tahitian Noni company (one of the sponsors) shamelessly plugged the noni fruit and its juice. I admit that noni, despite their taste, have wonderful healing powers, but this propoganda belongs in a commercial, not a movie.
The most shameless example of self-promotion was when Tama was threatened with death because spilling noni juice displeased the gods. None of the gold or silver with Johnny would appease the gods' anger over the spilt nectar.
I recognized a lot of the cast from "The Other Side of Heaven", and their acting did not disappoint. The lush valleys of New Zealand were also impressive.
If you are a "Utah Mormon" you may want to buy the LdS Collection 2-disc edition from Deseret Book. This edition includes the BYU classic, the feature film, and some bonus material. Again, the LdS edition is labeled "NOT FOR SALE OVER THE INTERNET", so you have to go to Deseret Book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family entertainment May 21, 2008
The "Legend of Johnny Lingo" is actually based on a real south seas legend and was already the topic for another film about this legend some years ago.

This is a more modern interpretation of the legend, and it boasts with a number of famous Pacific Islands & New Zealand Maori actors like Rawiri Paratene (Whale Rider), which are of course mostly unknown to the US and European audience. The film was shot at various locations, mainly in NZ and Rarotonga and Aitutaki (the two latter both belong to the Cook Islands) and the beauty of the locations is breathtaking.

The story is quite simple: orphant boy leaves his home island but vows to return one day to marry the daughter of his foster father, boy meets the famous and benevolent trader Johnny Lingo who later makes the boy to take his name, and finally returns as the (new) Johnny Lingo to get his bride who has been patiently waiting for him all these years. However, this seemingly plain story is witty with some very nice twists and contains lots of humour. The film music is by the famous group "Te Vaka" from Tuvalu and supports and enhances the story, adding to the typical South Seas touch.

As I have lived in the Cooks Islands for some years I have particularly enjoyed recognizing some of the places I know. But even without this personal interest of mine this film is great family entertainment and will be enjoyed both by young and old (5+ years).

The film was sponsored by the Mormons (Latter Day Saints) and a Tahitian company that exports Noni juice. Whilst I could not detect any mormon-specific preaching or message in the film (in fact, there are no biblical or church themes in the film at all), the Noni juice is quite prominently mentioned throughout the film, probably due to this sponsorship.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Magical. Heartfelt & beautiful. September 26, 2003
This movie is surprisingly beautiful. It is about island culture & historic tradition, honor & duty. It has passion, humor & strength of spirit. It is a story about true love & it will touch your soul & move you to tears. Great acting, artistic filming, all set in an idyllic tropical surrounding of natural beauty that will take your breath away & if all this is not enough... make sure you pay attention to the music. I strongly recommend the soundtrack! Powerful!
This film will stay with you & it far surpasses all those not to be missed big blockbusters! Don't believe me? Don't miss it... I know it will get more than just my vote!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie June 7, 2013
I am a Mormon and have seen both versions of the movie, but I must say that I liked this version more. It has great lessons about honesty, hard work, keeping promises, forgiveness, retribution, and love. There is so much unbridled joy to be found in this movie. The characters are believable, never sappy or false. This is easily among my favorite movies, along with Spider-Man 2, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done!
This is a great family film and a wonderful full-length adaptation of an old family favorite. So glad we purchased this one!
Published 6 days ago by Cody
4.0 out of 5 stars Polynesian Themes
Okay, so of course this it through the eye of the LDS church…technically. However, I love the soundtrack, and the story itself is really quite good. Read more
Published 1 month ago by AmazonCrazed
5.0 out of 5 stars A totally made up WONDERFUL story
Although totally fiction it is a wonderful story full of positive social ideas. I recommend it for adults and children of all ages.
Published 3 months ago by James W. Havens
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie!!!!
I almost didn't give this movie a shot because of its cover... Thank God I did! This is a wonderfully put together movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Loretta
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Well done movie incorporating spirituality, struggles to succeed over adversity, accepting lifes' challenges. Good to see a movie you can share with friends and family. Read more
Published 6 months ago by rickr55
5.0 out of 5 stars we watch it every sunday
This is a fun family friendly movie.. My family watches this every Sunday since we have got (almost 2 years ago) , it has become a silly tradition now.
Published 7 months ago by Julie Munoz
2.0 out of 5 stars Johnny Lingo
I was disappointed in the condition of the packaging of the product. The DVD was fine but I thought it was the two DVD product that also showed the original Johnny Lingo also. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Theresa A. Brecheisen
4.0 out of 5 stars Feel Good Movie
My family loves this movie! It teaches a great lesson for adults and children alike. Perfect for family movie night!
Published 8 months ago by Nani Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Family Movie!
The scenic background of this move is breathtaking. I want to travel to the FiGI Islands now. The story line is very entertaining and a little educational. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marcy
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific family movie
Great!!!!!!quick delivery. I love it.a wonderful movie for the entire family to watch and enjoy. Hope more people buy it.
Published 10 months ago by kodabear
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