Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kenny Ortega|
|Produced by||Michael Finnell|
|Screenplay by||Bob Tzudiker
|Music by||Alan Menken|
|Editing by||William Reynolds|
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Running time||121 minutes|
Newsies (released as The News Boys in the United Kingdom) is a 1992 American musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega in his film directing debut. It is loosely based on the New York City Newsboys Strike of 1899 and features twelve original songs from composers Alan Menken and J.A.C. Redford. It stars Christian Bale, David Moscow, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret. The film was an initial box office flop, but later gained a cult following on home video.
In New York City during the 1890s, thousands of homeless and orphaned children are selling newspapers to support themselves and buy food. The "newsies" as they are called, live together in newsboys' lodging homes. Among them is 17-year old Manhattan newsboy Jack "Cowboy" Kelly, who is a regular newsboy selling newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer and his paper, the New York World. The newsboys wake up and get ready to sell papers; and encounter the Delancey brothers, boys who are paid to sell papers. ("Carrying the Banner"). Jack meets David Jacobs, who leaves school temporarily and joins the Newsies along with his little brother Les to help his family while his father is out of work with a broken arm. The injury was work-related, but because he lacked the protection of a union he was fired with no severance. Les looks up to Jack, who sees this as an opportunity to make money by using Les because he is younger and cute, proceeding to teach Les how to trick people into buying a paper by pretending to be sick and making up headlines. While selling papers, Jack is recognized by Warden Snyder, who runs the Refuge- a jail for kids. The three run from Snyder and eventually duck into Irving Hall. Jack introduces Les and David to Medda "Swedish Meadowlark" Larkson, a vaudeville star who performs at Irving Hall. She invites the boys to stay and watch her performance ("Lovey Dovey Baby"). After leaving, they witness a violent part of the trolley strike, and David invites Jack to meet his family including his sister Sarah. After declining to spend the night, Jack confesses his desire to escape to Santa Fe ("Santa Fe"). Soon, Jack and David become best friends. Shortly afterward, the price of newspapers for purchase by the newsboys is raised by ten cents, a decision made by the newspaper titans, Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Feeling they will be unable to bear the added cost, Jack organizes a strike with the aid of David ("The World Will Know"). Jack and Les go to talk to Pulitzer, while the other newsies deliver the news of the strike to the other boroughs, in an effort to persuade them to join their cause. A newspaper reporter, Bryan Denton, approaches David and asks him about the strike. Jack and Les are thrown out before they get a chance to talk to Pulitzer, and Denton takes the three boys out to lunch, telling them to keep him updated on the strike news. Afterwards, they head to Brooklyn, to try and gain the sympathy of the Brooklyn newsboys, run by the notorious Spot Conlon. Spot does not join the strike, saying that he doesn't know if the Manhattan boys are serious enough about the strike. Once back in Manhattan, Jack tells his newsies, and they think that the strike won't be successful without the help of Brooklyn. David riles up the newsboys, making them more confident in themselves ("Seize the Day"). They boys head over to the distribution stand and destroy all the papers until the cops come. Crutchy-another newsboy with a gimp leg- doesn't make it out in time and gets dragged away by the Delancey brothers.Jack and David go to the Refuge that night, knowing that it was where Crutchy was taken. David dangles Jack in front of the window using a rope, and Jack tells Crutchy that they're going to break him out. Crutchy tells Jack that he can't walk, due to the Delancey brothers hurting his other leg. The next morning, the newsies try to stop the new newsboys who were trying to take their place, but police get brought in to outnumber and beat up the newsies. When it looks like the newsies are about to get crushed, Spot Conlon leads the Brooklyn newsies in. United, the two groups beat the police as Denton takes a victory picture. As newsies are all lounge at a nearby restaurant, when Denton comes in with a newspaper with the Newsies and the strike on the front page. The boys all dream of what they could get now that they've been on the front page of the paper ("King of New York"). To expand the strike, the boys decide to hold a newsie rally at Medda's. Pulitzer learns about the rally, and wants to break it up, although he has no legal cause. Snyder steps in and says that Jack Kelly is an escaped convict from the refuge, and that is reason enough to break it up. Jack learns that the police are on his tail after Snyder looks for him at the Newsboy's Lodging House, and has to spend the night on the Jacobs' fire escape. Sarah sees him and makes him breakfast on the roof. Jack tells her about his want to go to Santa Fe and learns that whether he stays or goes matters to her and the Jacobs family. The newsies hold their rally- it is successful until the police barge in ("High Times, Hard TImes"). The police beat the boys up mercilessly, as the boys try to protect Jack. After a struggle, he is taken by the police. The boys are taken to court where they all, excluding Jack, are fined five dollars. During the case they realize that Jack had been lying to them about his identity with his real name being Francis Sullivan with a deceased mother and an incarcerated father. As a result Snyder sentences Jack to four years in the refuge. Jack is then taken to Pulitzer's office, while the rest meet with Denton at the restaurant. Denton tell them that he was reduced from his position as a reporter on their strike, to his old job as war correspondent. The boys are heartbroken, and from then on vow not to trust anyone but the newsies. Pulitzer offers to let Jack off the hook from the refuge, and to give him money, as long as Jack works for him as a scab. Jack sees no other choice after Pulitzer threatens to throw David in jail if he doesn't comply. David, Mush, Les, Race, Blink and Boots wait outside to help Jack run, but Jack realizes that he has to stay for their own good and is thrown into a cell for the night ("Santa Fe (Reprise)"). Jack shows up the next day as a scab, and his friends are horrified. The Delancey brothers tell Jack that they are going to beat up David, and Jack isn't allowed to do anything about it. The brothers go after Sarah and Les, David comes to try and save them, but he gets beat up even more. Jack sees the events unfolding and can't help but step in and beat up the Delanceys. He knows it will result in him being thrown in the refuge, but he has to protect his friends. David, Les, Jack and Sarah go to Denton's apartment, where they learn that the strike has not proved effective, as the city thrives on child labor. As a result, they realize they must recruit not only the newsies, but also the workers of every child labor union in the city. They decide to print their own newspaper-using Pulitzer's own printing press ("Once and for All"). The "Newsie Banner" is given to every working kid in New York, and they all come together to Newsie Square to support the newsies, leaving the city at a standstill. Jack and David go to Pulitzer, who eventually gives in and agrees after realizing he allowed a print on strike matters, despite a ban he ordered. Crutchy is released from the refuge and Snyder is arrested for keeping the refuge a secret from the government. Denton tells Jack that Governor Theodore Roosevelt was grateful that Jack brought the strike to his attention and Roosevelt is offering to give him a ride anywhere. Jack requests to be taken to the train station to catch a train to Santa Fe. His friends are disappointed to see him leave, but Roosevelt convinces Jack to stay with his friends in New York City. Sarah catches up to Jack and the two kiss while the Newsies celebrate.
- Christian Bale as Jack "Cowboy" Kelly / Francis Sullivan
- David Moscow as David Jacobs
- Bill Pullman as Bryan Denton
- Robert Duvall as Joseph Pulitzer
- Ann-Margret as Medda Larkson
- Luke Edwards as Les Jacobs
- Ele Keats as Sarah Jacobs
- Aaron Lohr as Mush Meyers
- Max Casella as Racetrack Higgins
- Michael A. Goorjian as Skittery
- Gabriel Damon as Spot Conlon
- Marty Belafsky as Crutchy
- Jeffrey DeMunn as Mayer Jacobs
- Deborra-Lee Furness as Esther Jacobs
- Kevin Tighe as Mister Snyder
- Michael Lerner as Weasel/Weisel
- Shon Greenblatt as Oscar Delancey
- David Sheinkopf as Morris Delancey
- Charles Cioffi as Don Seitz
- William Boyett as Judge Monahan
- Marc Lawrence as Mr. Kloppman
- Arvie Lowe, Jr. as Boots Arbus
- Dominic Lucero as Bumlets
- Kevin Stea as Swifty
- Dee Caspary as Snitch
- Trey Parker as Kid Blink
- Mathew Fields as Snipeshooter
- Kevin Michaels as Ten-Pin
- David James Alexander as Governor Theodore Roosevelt
- Robert Feeney as Snoddy
- Joseph Conrad as Jake
- Ivan Dudynsky as Dutchy
- Dominic Maldonado as Itey
- Mark David as Specs
- David Sidoni as Pie Eater
|Newsies (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by Alan Menken, Jack Feldman and J.A.C. Redford|
|Released||April 10, 1992|
|1.||"Newsies Prologue"||Max Casella||0:48|
|2.||"Carrying the Banner"||Newsies Ensemble||6:15|
|3.||"Santa Fe"||Newsies Ensemble||4:18|
|4.||"My Lovey-Dovey Baby"||Ann-Margret||1:30|
|5.||"Fightin' Irish: Strike Action"||J.A.C. Redford||1:50|
|6.||"The World Will Know"||Newsies Ensemble||3:20|
|7.||"Escape from Snyder"||Redford||2:08|
|8.||"Seize the Day"||Newsies Ensemble||2:01|
|9.||"King of New York"||Newsies Ensemble||2:25|
|10.||"High Times, Hard Times"||Newsies Ensemble||2:54|
|11.||"Seize the Day (Chorale)"||Newsies Ensemble||1:12|
|12.||"Santa Fe (Reprise)"||Christian Bale||1:49|
|14.||"Once and for All"||Newsies Ensemble||2:24|
|15.||"The World Will Know (Finale)"||Newsies Ensemble||1:50|
|16.||"Carrying the Banner (Finale)"||Newsies Ensemble||6:20|
Newsies received mixed to negative reviews from critics and audiences and flopped at the U.S. box office, becoming a box office bomb.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film's average score is 40% based on 35 reviews. Newsies has since gained a measurable cultural fan base. Bale has acknowledged that while it was not a commercial success, its fanbase is surprisingly large, saying, “You say something bad about Newsies and you have an awful lot of people to answer to.”
The film grossed $2,819,485 domestically and ranks among the lowest-grossing live-action films produced by the Walt Disney Studios. Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin christened it Howard the Paperboy.
In 1992, the film was released on Walt Disney Home Video, a collector's edition was released on DVD in 2002. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray, as a 20th Anniversary Edition, on June 19, 2012.
Disney Theatrical Productions produced a stage musical based on the film that played at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey starting on September 25, 2011 through October 16. Starring Jeremy Jordan as Jack and Max Ehrich (Fenmore, The Young and the Restless) as an understudy for Jack. Newsies!: The Musical contains songs from the movie, as well as several new numbers. The songs "My Lovey Dovey Baby" and "High Times, Hard Times" were left out of the stage adaptation.
The Paper Mill Playhouse version included new songs "The News Is Getting Better" that was replaced on Broadway by "The Bottom Line" and Don't Come a-Knocking" that was replaced on Broadway with "That's Rich", and the "I Never Planned on You/Don't Come a-Knocking" Medley and "Then I See You Again" sung by Katherine and Jack was replaced with "Something to Believe In". "Fansies" was the term dubbed to fans of Newsies during the Papermill Playhouse run of the show during Newsies Fan Day, where cast members of the movie and the original musical cast met with fans before the show.
The musical opened to previews on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre for a limited engagement from March 15, 2012 to March 29, 2012 in previews and from March 30, 2012 to June 10, 2012 in its official engagement. This was later extended through August 19, 2012 after just the first weekend of previews and then extended again, this time to an open-ended run. On September 19, 2011 the cast, accompanied by composer Alan Menken, performed "Seize the Day" and "Santa Fe" on The View. They performed "King of New York" in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Corey Cott is currently playing newsboy leader Jack Kelly on Broadway.
The actual Newsboys Strike of 1899 lasted from July 20 to August 2. The leader of the strike was a one-eyed young man nicknamed "Kid Blink", who spoke with a heavy Brooklyn accent that was often phonetically transcribed when he was quoted by newspapers. Kid Blink is featured in the film as a minor supporting character, (Blink and another real life newsie, Maurice Cohen, were the inspiration for Jack Kelly) while the role of strike leader is given to the fictional Cowboy. The actual strike ended with a compromise: the World and Journal agreed to buy back all unsold copies of the newspapers. The history of the newsboys strike of 1899 is told in David Nasaw's book Children of the City: At Work and at Play (Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1985; Oxford University Press, 1986).
|14th Youth in Film Awards||
||Christian Bale, David Moscow, Luke Edwards, Max Casella, Marty Belafsky, Arvie Lowe, Jr., Aaron Lohr, Gabriel Damon, Shon Greenblatt and Ele Keats||Nominated|
|15th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Picture|
|13th Golden Raspberry Awards|
|Best Director||Kenny Ortega|
|Best Supporting Actor||Robert Duvall|
|Best Supporting Actress||Ann-Margret|
|Best Original Song||"High Times, Hard Times"||Won|
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- Collis, Clark (2007-08-31). "Spotlight on Christian Bale". EW. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- IMDb - Newsies
- Newsies VHS/DVD case
- Random Facts, NewsiesFreak.com
- "Toon Talk - Newsies". Laughingplace.com. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- "Newsies". Christian Bale. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- Sorokoff, Stephen (September 26, 2011). "Photo Coverage: Newsies Opening Night Curtain Call!". Broadway World. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- "Playbill.com Article". Playbill.com Article. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- Itzkoff, Dave (February 14, 2011). Extra, Extra! ‘Newsies’ Musical to Open Paper Mill Playhouse Season. The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- Rooney, David (2011-09-27). "New York Times Review". Theater.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- Reviewed by Thom Geier (2011-09-27). "Entertainment Weekly review". Ew.com. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- "Read All About It: Disney's Newsies Gets Spring 2012 Broadway Engagement". Playbill.com. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- "'Newsies' extends Broadway run". UPI.com. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- "STAGE TUBE: Cast of Paper Mill Playhouse's NEWSIES Performs on THE VIEW!". Broadwayworld.com. 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- Gans, Andrew (January 12, 2012). "Bonnie & Clyde's Jeremy Jordan Will Star in Broadway's Newsies". Playbill. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
- "1992 15th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Newsies|
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- Newsies at Rotten Tomatoes
- Film stills
- New York Newsies Awards
- Newsies - The Musical- at Playbill Vault
- Newsies on Broadway
- Broadway's "Newsies" on Yelp
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