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Eight Cow Wife?
March 19, 2010 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Johnny Lingo paid eight cows for his wife.^ (Original Story, 1960's version [1, 2, 3] , and a 2003 full length movie)
posted by Drama Penguin (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this in a public school and I was confused when I saw that it was produced by the LDS.
posted by Hicksu at 4:08 PM on March 19, 2010


This movie taught me everything I know about relationships.
posted by fatbobsmith at 4:13 PM on March 19, 2010


Maybe I can kick this off: lolmormons?

It's a cute film (the original). Definitely a product of its time. It has managed to work its way into the cultural worldview of a generation of LDS girls who measure their worth by the size of the engagement ring their fiance put on their finger.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 4:28 PM on March 19, 2010


Oops, maybe I shouldn't have phrased it that way.

"It has managed to work its way into the cultural worldview of a generation of LDS girls, many of whom measure their worth, etc..." Lots of those Mormon girls didn't have that idea, though lots did.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 4:32 PM on March 19, 2010


The name seems quietly filthy but I couldn't say why.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:35 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never heard of this, and after reading the original story, I can't see how this could be extended beyond a 5 minute short without making the whole process painfully drawn out.

It has managed to work its way into the cultural worldview of a generation of LDS girls who measure their worth by the size of the engagement ring their fiance put on their finger.

For some non-Mormons, this is also the case (without the need of a hokey story, which could be re-interpreted to see Johnny Lingo not as increasing the [self]worth of his wife, but his wife's father being vastly more shrewd in negotiations than everyone suspected, or a number of less PG interpretations of the transaction).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:36 PM on March 19, 2010


No bull?
posted by longsleeves at 4:39 PM on March 19, 2010


"She has a face like a stone and she looks like she missed too many meals." Yep, that's what we'd call a beautiful girl!

We must alert Mike Nelson et al. immediately. This begs for a Rifftrax treatment.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:42 PM on March 19, 2010


Johnny Lingo paid eight cows for his wife.

And those cows were very hard bargainers.
posted by jonp72 at 4:59 PM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I married the cow.
posted by w0mbat at 5:06 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just saw this Mormon related video the other day, attempting to explain their theology. Quite weird.
posted by delmoi at 5:12 PM on March 19, 2010


Johnny LINGOOO was a rebel....
He rode... through the WEST!

Johnny LINGOOO the rebel...
He waaandered Alone.
posted by Hicksu at 5:56 PM on March 19, 2010


Huh! I went to public hgh school and we watched this film in CALM (Career and Life Management - hah!). I had no idea it was from the LDS, and probably no one at the public school did either. But then, we also had to watch The Mask and evaluate how Cher's character used sex to increase her self-esteem. I don't think I even managed to learn how to balance a checkbook from that class!
posted by Calzephyr at 5:59 PM on March 19, 2010


"You had me at moo."
posted by orange swan at 6:09 PM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


i didn't know anyone outside of the lds knew about this story.
posted by nadawi at 6:15 PM on March 19, 2010


Mahana! Dokoni irun dai! Chikushou...

Used to have the entire film memorized, in Japanese.

Along with "The First Vision." In fact I can still recite portions of upper-NY revivalist sermons in Japanese faster than most.

Did I ever, ever foresee mentioning either one of those things on MeFi? Oh yes.

I love it here.
posted by circular at 8:03 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, forgot to mention. The entire 2003 Johnny Lingo movie is an advertisement for Tahitian Noni juice.

That, and the complete FreeWillyFication of the story was a complete turnoff. The original had a more authentic feeling, like "the principle here is strong enough; don't need the graduated filters for this."
posted by circular at 8:06 PM on March 19, 2010


Oh and when I was attending bootcamp @ BYU's film program, I spent a few fine afternoons sleeping and doing homework in the prop warehouse, specifically in furniture from the Encyclopedia Brown series. To this day I regret never seeing that as a kid.

This is why, when my colleagues mention "brainwashing" whenever they bring up my choice of religion, I have to smile.

My freaking religion has beds from Encyclopedia Jones. WHO NEEDS BRAINWASHING.
posted by circular at 8:12 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brown. Encyclopedia Brown.
posted by circular at 8:12 PM on March 19, 2010


I think watching this movie when I was 10 or so was the first time was this weird amalgation of disgust, horror, and isolation. Johnny Lingo made me queer, and a feminist, and post-colonial. (Well, that and Missionaries, Emma Smith, and Moroni)
posted by PinkMoose at 9:26 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Along with "The First Vision." In fact I can still recite portions of upper-NY revivalist sermons in Japanese faster than most.

Iiiii Beliiiiiiiieeeeeevvveeeeee!
posted by The World Famous at 11:27 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


The name seems quietly filthy but I couldn't say why.

You're reminded of Johnny's sister, Cunny Lingo?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:56 AM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I haven't yet watched the linked videos, but the written excerpt from the "Original Story" link seems to leave out part of the story. From this page:
Johnny Lingo, or Tau, as he was called as a child, was orphaned as a baby. He was passed from household to household as families grew tired of him. He was blamed for a wide variety of curses that befell the community and soon found himself living at the least desirable home on this small South Seas island. It was there he came to know Mahana and her father who blamed his daughter for his wife's death in childbirth.

Fellow islanders have come to see Mahana through her father's eyes -- as troublesome and undesirable. However, Tau and Mahana, the two outcasts, form a strong bond. When Tau finds the wherewithal to leave the island on a canoe he has built, he promises to return one day for Mahana.

Eight years later, Johnny Lingo has the means to return for Mahana. He has learned a lot about life and is determined to win Mahana's heart. But he has devised a plan that enables him to also make a long-overdue point with those who for so many years treated both him and Mahana with such malice. Johnny's point? That real beauty comes from within. Most importantly, however, Johnny has found a way to honor Mahana, and in fact, to honor love itself."
Am I the only one who thinks it's a sweet story about self-worth, that challenges the ways society judges and values its members? Does it make us question why we feel recognized and rewarded when we receive a raise at work? Does it remind us about high school reunions, and the lengths we go to prove to our former classmates that we have been a success? Does it make us wonder what is says about our values that lawyers are paid more than artists?

Would we like the story better if we knew whether or not the author was Mormon? I'm not convinced that she was. She mostly wrote crime novels. Her two other "religious" fiction stories were My Brothers, Remember Monica: A Novel of the Mother of Augustine and Martha, Martha: A Biblical Novel.
posted by Houstonian at 8:10 AM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


This snippet from Magill's Critical Survey of Mystery and Detective Fiction says she was Catholic.
posted by interplanetjanet at 9:06 AM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


OMG, the 60s version was shown to generations of girls at my SDA high school. My sister and I still quote it. "EIGHT COWS, Mr. Harris!"

I just called her, but she's still asleep. I have to share this with her.
posted by cereselle at 8:50 AM on March 21, 2010


I do not recall whether 8 cows is more or less than the going rate for Zulu brides, but I do know they still require a payment in cows. My partner had a Zulu underling who was saving to pay for his wife. Mind, the lady already had born him a child, and was living with his parents. But he still had to come up with the required cows. While I find that strange, I would not offer offhand disrespect for Zulu culture.
posted by Goofyy at 9:02 AM on March 23, 2010


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