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Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Catalog Number
8723
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Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
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VHS | N/A | Slipcase
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Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973)

Additional Information

Additional Information
As the film begins, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is soaring through the sky hoping to travel at a speed more than 60 miles per hour. Eventually, with luck he is able to break that barrier, but when Jonathan returns to his own flock he is greeted with anything but applause. The Elders of the flock shame Jonathan for doing things the other seagulls never dare to do. Jonathan pleads to stay and claims that he wants to share his newfound discovery with everybody, but the Elders dismiss him as an outcast, and he is banished from the flock. Jonathan goes off on his own, believing that all hope is lost. However, he is soon greeted by mysterious seagulls from other lands who assure him that his talent is a unique one, and with them Jonathan is trained to become independent and proud of his beliefs. Eventually, Jonathan himself ends up becoming a mentor for other seagulls who are suffering the same fates in their own flocks as he once did.


The film was critically panned at the time of its release in 1973. Roger Ebert, who only awarded it one out of four stars, confessed that he walked out of the screening, writing: "This has got to be the biggest pseudocultural, would-be metaphysical ripoff of the year".[4] Others used bird-related puns in their reviews, including New York Times critic Frank Rich, who called it "strictly for the birds".[5] In 1978, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was included as one of the choices in the book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time by Harry Medved, with Randy Dreyfuss and Michael Medved.


he film was the subject of three lawsuits that were filed at around the time of the of the film's release. Author Richard Bach sued Paramount Pictures before the film's release for having too many discrepancies between the film and the book. The judge ordered the studio to make some rewrites before it was released. Director Bartlett had allegedly violated a term in his contract with Bach which stated that no changes could be made to the film's adaptation without Bach's consent.[6] Bach's attorney claimed, "It took tremendous courage to say this motion picture had to come out of theaters unless it was changed. Paramount was stunned." [7]
Neil Diamond sued the studio for cutting too much of his music from the film. After his experience with the film, Diamond stated that he "vowed never to get involved in a movie again unless I had complete control." Bartlett angrily responded to the lawsuit by criticizing Diamond's music as having become "too slick... and it's not as much from his heart as it used to be." However, Bartlett also added, "Neil is extraordinarily talented. Often his arrogance is just a cover for the lonely and insecure person underneath." [8]
Director Ovady Julber also sued the film, claiming it stole scenes from his 1936 film La Mer.


Related Releases1

Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973)
Release Year
Catalog Number
8723
Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
Catalog Number
8723
Format
Packaging
N/A (NTSC)
Country

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