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The Legend of Johnny Lingo (2003)

When a storm washes a canoe bearing an infant boy ashore upon a small South Pacific island, he is at first well-received as a gift from the heavens, even to the point of the tribal chief ... See full summary »


Steven Ramirez


Riwia Brown (screenplay), John Garbett (screenplay)

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1 win. See more awards »




Credited cast:
George Henare ... Johnny Lingo
Rawiri Paratene ... Malio Chief
Joe Folau ... Tama (as Joe Falou)
Alvin Fitisemanu Alvin Fitisemanu ... Chief Steward
Kayte Ferguson Kayte Ferguson ... Mahana
Peter Sa'ena-Brown ... Miriama's Father
Hori Ahipene Hori Ahipene ... Pioi
Jim Perry Jim Perry ... Malio Elder
Sima Urale Sima Urale ... Hoku
Goeretti Chadwick Goeretti Chadwick ... Malio Seductress
Tausani Simei-Barton Tausani Simei-Barton ... Young Tama
Fokikovi Soakimi Fokikovi Soakimi ... Young Mahana
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Esela Alo Esela Alo ... Young Man
Sela Apera ... Miriama's Mother
Christina Asher Christina Asher ... Ulani


When a storm washes a canoe bearing an infant boy ashore upon a small South Pacific island, he is at first well-received as a gift from the heavens, even to the point of the tribal chief adopting him as a successor. However, with time as hardships are blamed upon Tama (as he is named), he is finally outcast to live with the poorest people on the island, Mahana and her drunken father. Mahana is considered homely and undesirable, but Tama feels differently, so when he is old enough to build a craft to sail away, he vows to return for her one day. A lucky stroke brings him to land upon the island of the legendary Johnny Lingo, the wealthiest trader in the islands, and after years of service to him, Tama has learned much about life and himself as he dreams of honoring his pledge to Mahana. Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


G | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Site


New Zealand



Release Date:

29 August 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Legende von Johnny Lingo See more »

Filming Locations:

Aitutaki, Cook Islands See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Turtles Crossing LLC See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Young Tama: Am I in Heaven ?
Chief Steward: Not quite. You are lucky you washed up when you did. Here, drink this. It is the juice of the noni. It will bring the blood back to your cheeks.
See more »


Remake of Johnny Lingo (1969) See more »


Ki mua
Written by Opetaia Foa'i
Performed by Opetaia Foai and Te Vaka
See more »

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User Reviews

Missing Lesson…
4 November 2004 | by BobHatesSpamSee all my reviews

  Of all the many short movies that the Mormon church has produced, my very favorite of all was the 1969 "Johnny Lingo".  The message, given in the end, is very profound, regarding the meaning of the price that Johnny paid for his bride, and what it meant to her sense of self-worth; and how the ugliest, most undesirable woman on the island was transformed into the most valuable and beautiful.

  I have just now finished watching 'The Legend of Johnny Lingo'.  On the whole, I found it a very enjoyable movie, very much worth watching.  Of course, it is to be expected that in 91 minutes, it tells the story in much greater detail, with much more richness, than the 1969 version could do in its 25 minutes.

  I was a bit disappointed, however, in the end, when the lesson that was so profoundly taught in the 1969 production seemed to be lost in this version.

  This version is very much worth watching, but I strongly recommend that after you've seen this one, you try to find and view the 1969 version as well.

{Added 27 march 2005}   If you seek to buy this movie on DVD, do yourself a favor:  Find a "Deseret Books" store (a store that specializes in Mormon-related books and materials) and look there for the "LDS Classic 2–Disc Edition" of this movie.  Among all the other special features, this set includes the original 1969 movie produced by the Mormon church.  I could be mistaken, but I think this edition is only sold through Deseret Books.

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