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The Legend of Johnny Lingo
The Legend of Johnny Lingo
Actors: George Henare, Rawiri Paratene, Joe Folau, Alvin Fitisemanu, Kayte Ferguson
Director: Steven Ramirez
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family
G     2004     1hr 31min

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 orph...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: George Henare, Rawiri Paratene, Joe Folau, Alvin Fitisemanu, Kayte Ferguson
Director: Steven Ramirez
Creators: Allen Guilford, Brad Pelo, Gerald R. Molen, John Garbett, Tim Coddington, Riwia Brown
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Adventure, Family Films
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/11/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Alice B. from SANDY, UT
Reviewed on 6/14/2013...
This was a great family movie. 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).

Movie Reviews

Good except the noni
R. Winget | Provo, UT USA | 06/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Charming, well-meaning
Paul Campbell | NJ | 05/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Truely a magnificent movie for thw whole family
Bear Smith | Ogden, Utah | 11/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Magnificent movie that teaches love, respect, not to be judgemental, tollerance, and humility, and the vale of true friendship. Inforces committment & promises.

I believe that this is not only just a good movie, but a family treasure. We plan on sending coppies to all of our chrildre."