A musical based on the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. When young newspaper sellers are exploited beyond reason by their bosses they set out to enact change and are met by the ruthlessness of big business.
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July, 1899: When Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise the distribution price one-tenth of a cent per paper, ten cents per hundred, the newsboys, poor enough already, are outraged. Inspired by the strike put on by the trolley workers, Jack "Cowboy" Kelly (Christian Bale) organizes a newsboys' strike. With David Jacobs (David Moscow) as the brains of the new union, and Jack as the voice, the weak and oppressed found the strength to band together and challenge the powerful.Written by
Kaitlin Dwyer Rankins
Right before the credits begin rolling, a boy with a newspaper jumps up and the shot freezes on him. At the end of the credits the shot unfreezes and he falls down and rolls on the ground. See more »
The featurettes on the DVD version of "Newsies", include at least two scenes that were altered in the final movie:
On the soundtrack for "Newsies" during the song "Carrying The Banner" there is a line that goes, "You need a smile as sweet as butter, the kind that ladies can't resist. It takes an orphan, with a stutter, who ain't afraid to use his fists." This footage is also present during the song on one of the featurettes, however in the movie, this part is cut, leading straight to the scene where the boys jump over the barrels.
During another featurette, one of the cast members mentions that Christian Bale had to learn an extra skill for his part and then there is footage of him with a lasso doing various tricks. This scene appears to be from the "Santa Fe" song, although it is not made clear.
Having seen this movie in the theatres when it was released, at the age of eight, I have a real affection for it. I had the hugest crush on Spot Conlon. It's hard to find faults in a movie like that. How you feel about this movie will probably depend on how receptive you are to it. Chances are, you'll have one of two reactions while watching "Newsies". One: "I can't believe I'm watching a musical about newsboys." Two: "I freakin' *love* this movie."
Yep, I'm with the latter group. My interest in Newsies was revived when I picked up the soundtrack lately. The music is well written, and infectiously engaging. If you don't like musicals, you're not going to like this film. If you do like musical, I defy you to not like it.
Some parts, yes, are a bit hokey. It's a Disney flick, and by definition, is kid friendly. (A lyrics sampling: "And we'll kick their rear!" "They gave their word, but it ain't worth beans.") But the characters are great (and I'm not just talkin' 'bout Spot). The dynamic between Jack and Davey is great. And even though the cussin' is bland, it's still a story of young kids living in an adult world, facing adult problems with teen angst. That's good stuff. Plus, Robert Duvall's in it. Come on.
"Newsies" kind of got pushed aside after release. As an afterthought, it's interesting to wonder, with the new interest in musicals thanks to "Chicago", if the reception would be different if it were released today. No matter. As evidenced by the comments here, people enjoy it. Darn tootin'.
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