Newsies

Still of Christian Bale in NewsiesStill of Christian Bale and Robert Duvall in NewsiesNewsiesStill of Christian Bale in NewsiesNewsiesStill of Kenny Ortega in Newsies

Plot

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 meet by the ruthlessness of big business.

Release Year: 1992

Rating: 6.3/10 (9,797 voted)

Critic's Score: 46/100

Director:
Kenny Ortega

Stars: Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall

Storyline
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.

Writers: Bob Tzudiker, Noni White

Cast:

Christian Bale

Jack Kelly


David Moscow

David Jacobs


Luke Edwards

Les Jacobs


Max Casella

Racetrack Higgins


Gabriel Damon

Spot Conlon


Marty Belafsky

Crutchy


Arvie Lowe Jr.

Boots


Aaron Lohr

Mush


Trey Parker

Kid Blink


Dee Caspary

Snitch


Joseph Conrad

Jake


Dominic Maldonado

Itey


Matthew Schoenfeld

Snipeshooter

(as Matthew Fields)


Mark David

Specs


Ivan Dudynsky

Dutchy

Taglines:
A Thousand Voices. A Single Dream.

Release Date: 10 April 1992

Filming Locations: Burbank, California, USA



Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000

(estimated)

Gross: $2,819,485
(USA)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:

Most of the cast trained in dance and martial arts for ten weeks before filming commenced.

Goofs:

Continuity:
When Jack is negotiating with David, Dutchy and Swifty are standing in the background of the group behind David. In the next shot, they are coming down the stairs to join the group.

Quotes:

Jack Kelly:
Extry, extry, read all about it! Ellis Island in flames!

David Jacobs:
Hey, where's that story?

Jack Kelly:
Page nine. Thousands Flee in Panic!

David Jacobs:
"Trash Fire Next To Immigration Building Terrifies Seagulls"?

Jack Kelly:
Terrified Flight from Inferno!



User Review

Lots of Fun, and Tuneful Too!

Rating: 9/10

Waaaaaaaaaaaay back in the early 1990's, when Jeffrey Katzenberg was
still a
top exec at Disney, he had one of his less successful ideas — to bring
back
the break-into-song musical. So, as the story goes, he selected three
scripts that were about to go into production and gave them to Disney
Music
Maestro Alan Menken and asked him which of the scripts could be turned
into
a musical.

And that's how NEWSIES was born.

It's a great story, too, being a fictionalized account of the newsboy
strike
in New York at the turn of the century. It follows the exploits of a
ragtag
band of teenage boys, including Cowboy (Christian Bale), who dreams of
becoming a ranch hand in Santa Fe, and David & Les (David Moscow & Luke
Edwards), brothers who take up selling newspapers when their father is
injured on the job.

Conflict arises when Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duval) gets greedy and
raises
the price of his newspapers to the newsboys, but not to the public. The
outraged "newsies" decide to go on strike, which eventually galvanizes
all
the working children in the city to stand up for themselves.

It's a fun film, with Duval playing his villain to the hilt, but
Ann-Margret
is wasted in her role as a showgirl (both of her musical numbers are
badly
edited down to just snippets of song). Bale is the real wonder here,
though, singing and dancing with surprising aplomb. The songs overall
are
quite good, but a couple of them are hard to distinguish from each other.
My favorites are the opening number, "Carrying the Banner," and the
rousing
"The World Will Know." It seems odd, though, that Duval doesn't get a
musical number of his own, considering in Disney's animated musicals the
villains usually get the best songs ("Poor Unfortunate Souls" or "Be
Prepared" anyone?).

It's a shame that the film didn't do better financially, since as a
result
of its dismal box office Disney declined to ever make another like it.
First time director Kenny Ortega, who also choreographed (he was known
for
his choreography of DIRTY DANCING), directed one more feature after this,
the underrated Bette Midler flick HOCUS POCUS; since that film also
failed
to find an audience, he hasn't directed a movie since. And that's a
shame;
he has a very distinctive kinetic style that served both films
well.

Seek out a copy of NEWSIES, and go for the widescreen version. You won't
be
disappointed!