Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Overview

Hal Bartlett co-wrote and directed this film curiosity, based on Richard Bach's best-selling fable, featuring an overbearing music score by Neil Diamond. The story begins as a flock of seagulls are pecking at the garbage left by a boat that has dumped a bunch of fish heads in the surf. One of the seagulls, Jonathan voice of James Franciscus, would rather leave his life of garbage-picking and fly high in the sky to see other parts of the earth. Jonathan leaves the flock and flies around the world. He travels so ...
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Overview

Hal Bartlett co-wrote and directed this film curiosity, based on Richard Bach's best-selling fable, featuring an overbearing music score by Neil Diamond. The story begins as a flock of seagulls are pecking at the garbage left by a boat that has dumped a bunch of fish heads in the surf. One of the seagulls, Jonathan voice of James Franciscus, would rather leave his life of garbage-picking and fly high in the sky to see other parts of the earth. Jonathan leaves the flock and flies around the world. He travels so far that he reaches an aviary heaven, where he meets Maureen Seagull voice of Juliet Mills. Maureen introduces Jonathan to new experiences, and Jonathan returns to the flock to tell them the news. The other seagulls scorn him, but then they take notice when he heals a seagull that has died. Then the entire flock greets him as "the Son of the Great Gull."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Those who want to truly enjoy Jonathan Livingston Seagull are advised to watch it with the mute button firmly pressed. Visually, Seagull is a treat. Jack C. Couffer's cinematography literally soars, creating a giddy feeling that approaches the transcendence that the film so badly wants to be about and to convey. The photography is gorgeously crisp or shimmeringly mystic as required, and the many swoops and swirls give the film an energy and vitality that is dazzling. James Galloway and Frank Keller's sharp, precise editing is also of enormous help visually, complimenting Couffer's work while adding to the dramatic impact. Unfortunately, once one turns the sound on, Seagull drops like a lead balloon. There are some who will appreciate Neil Diamond's bombastic songs, with their drippy lyrics attached to music that is as synthetic as it is emphatic. But it's hard to imagine anyone appreciating the dreadful dialogue that pours forth from the (non-moving) beaks of these poor birds. The story itself is incredibly dated and arch in a 1970s New Age-y manner, but it's the words - both trite and pretentious -- which really makes Seagull such a hard film to sit through. James Franciscus comes off quite poorly as the title character, but that's mainly because he's forced to recite so much of the dialogue. The rest of the cast, having less to say, fares somewhat better.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/2/2007
  • UPC: 097360872347
  • Original Release: 1973
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Time: 1:39:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Franciscus Voice Only
Juliet Mills Voice Only
Philip Ahn Voice Only
Richard Bach
Richard Crenna Voice Only
Kelly Harmon Voice Only
Hal Holbrook Voice Only
David Ladd Voice Only
Dorothy McGuire Voice Only
Technical Credits
Hall Bartlett Director, Producer, Screenwriter
L.B. Abbott Special Effects
Richard Bach Screenwriter
Jack C. Couffer Cinematographer
Neil Diamond Score Composer
James Galloway Editor
Lee Holdridge Score Composer
Frank Keller Editor
Boris Leven Production Designer
Richard Portman Sound/Sound Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2004

    To understand this movie...

    you must look beyond the material picture into the spiritual. It is more than just a story about 'no limitation'. It is a concept of eternal life and love. Although using a gull as its hero it could have used a man. Think about it in this context.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews