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Johnny Lingo (1969)

 -  Drama | Family | Short
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 155 users  
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Johnny Lingo, one of the sharpest traders in the south pacific islands decides to bargain for a wife, and offers a record price of eight cows for Mahana, a plain girl who shuns contact. ... See full summary »


(as Wetzel O. Whitaker)


(story), (screenplay)
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Title: Johnny Lingo (1969)

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Cast overview:
Makee K. Blaisdell ...
Johnny Lingo (as Blaizdel MaKee)
Naomi Kahoilua ...
Francis L. Urry ...
Trader Harris
Joseph R. TeNgaio ...
Moki's Counselor
Joseph W. Ah Quin ...
Malofou Maumasi ...
Kent Fonoimoana


Johnny Lingo, one of the sharpest traders in the south pacific islands decides to bargain for a wife, and offers a record price of eight cows for Mahana, a plain girl who shuns contact. This causes quite a sensation on the island. A year later Johnny and his wife return for the first time since the marriage, and all find that something miraculous has occurred to Mahana. Johnny explains that by paying eight cows he proved that she was worth more to him than any other woman on the island. He gave her a great gift, that of self-worth. Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Short


Not Rated




Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At first the production was planned for distribution by the LDS Church "Deseret Sunday School Union[us]" after a general board member read the story in "Woman's Day" magazine and saw potential for a good film. However, because of the cost involved with the decision to transport equipment and a crew to Hawaii, it was found that neither the Sunday School nor the BYU film department's educational fund had the necessary amount necessary to wholly finance the project. The Sunday School gave permission for the film to also be released as a regular school educational film following their initial use of it. This allowed $15,000 from the BYU educational fund to be used as a supplement to the Sunday School budget. This decision not only allowed the film to be made, but also brought in considerable profit to BYU as the film became one of the studio's best selling shorts in the educational market, not only being used in colleges and schools but also by some corporations using it to motivate employees. See more »


Johnny Lingo: Think what it must mean to a woman, her future husband meeting with her father to discuss the lowest price for which she can be bought. And later, when the women of the village gather, they boast of what their husbands paid for them - three cows, or five. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one, or two? This could not happen to my Mahana.
Trader Harris: Johnny, I've misjudged you. I thought you were thinking only of how important you would look to your friends, paying 8 cows for a wife. I didn't ...
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Referenced in The Singles Ward (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

A 70's Grade School Staple
8 August 2004 | by (Southwest US) – See all my reviews

Johnny Lingo was shown a minimum of once a year at my grade school. It was light, memorable entertainment about a shrewd island trader who finds a wife for himself in a homely girl in whom he sees great beauty.

We were unaware of the Mormon connection this movie had, because it had no references to religion, Joseph Smith or the Utah desert. It was insidious, though, for after three years, both student and teacher alike was heard rating other people by "cows". The highest compliment was to be an "8 Cow Woman" or an "8 Cow Man".

I would not actively seek it out to shown my own child, as it does not rate as highly as the Ray Harryhausen fairy tale films, but it is well done, and conveys a wholesome message memorably.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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