The Message You Might Have Missed in 'Johnny Lingo'

Remember Johnny Lingo? I recall as a youth convincing our Sunday school teacher to skip their lesson to let us watch it. I remember rooting for Mahana as she faced the villagers snarky remarks. I remember thinking how handsome Johnny Lingo looked in that toga. And who could forget when Mahana revealed herself at the end of the movie as the eight cow woman she truly was.  On the surface, it appears to be the tender story of a wealthy Polynesian trader who boost’s his wife’s confidence by purchasing her hand in marriage for eight cows, instead of the typical three or four. That’s nice and all, but it never seemed quite enough for me; why did the church produce this movie? It seems like the butt of every church film joke. Is the message really as shallow as a person’s worth being what other people enumerate it to be?

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