13 user 5 critic

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)

On Disc

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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 »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$109,868, 31 August 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

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: Yes, I promised I'd go back to take care of her, and I will.
Johnny Lingo: Well, well... true love, something unfortunately that has escaped me. As you rightly say, a treasure more valuable than gold.
See more »


Remake of Johnny Lingo (1969) See more »


Written by Opetaia Foa'i and Malcolm Smith
Performed by Te Vaka
See more »

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User Reviews

Johnny's Extended Legend
21 December 2016 | by krocheavSee all my reviews

If you're looking for a clean cut family film with lots of symbolic undertones (good messages) then "Legend" could serve the purpose. It offers good location filming, some very good actors amongst what seems like a mostly amateur cast. The real star of this piece is most certainly the music score by respected composer Kevin Kiner. Mr Kiner's written several moving pieces all treated to unexpectedly lush orchestral arrangements. Some good ethnic pop songs also help to set the scene.

Director of photography is the highly regarded New Zealander Allen Guilford and features some very good looking locations. The film is directed and edited by first time feature director Stephen Ramirez. It won't please hard bitten audiences but anyone looking for the style of matinée movie from yesteryear should be fairly well pleased (although the girls unpleasant drunkard father could be seen as a tad unsettling for some). This movie is an extended version of an earlier short film (Johnny Lingo 1969) from a story by Pat Mcgerr. Seen better - but sure seen worse! (just off the cuff, the promo posters don't particularly suit this version)

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