Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Newsies (1992)

When the price of their newspapers are raised, Jack Kelly rallies all the newsies (paperboys) together to protest.   With Jack as the voice, schoolboy David as the brains, and Spot as the brawl; they strike out against the cooperation.   Unknown to Jack, his rebellion could hurt the people that are closest to him: the newsies themselves.

     I have listened to the Broadway soundtrack for Newsies for a while now, so I knew all the songs when I sat down to this movie (probably to my mother's disdain, I heard her watching the movie later without me so my singing wasn't over all of their singing ☺).   However, I was surprised with how different the story lines were when comparing the movie and Broadway versions.
     The movie begins with the Newsies preparing for their day.   Most of them live together in a barracks-like room, probably in an orphanage.   They sing about their rough life in "Carrying the Banner."   Then, they go and buy their "World" papers from Weasel, and then they go all around New York City to sell them.   Sometimes the headlines are so terrible that they make up headlines just to get their papers sold.   Jack eats dinner with the brothers' family and wishes for a family of his own.
     The main character, Jack Kelly, meets two new newsies, David and Les Jacobs.   The two schoolboys have no experience in the work force, so Jack befriends them and teaches them how to sell papers.   He tells them where to go in New York to sell the most papers and how to sensationalize the headlines.   
     When "World" newspaper owner, Joseph Pulitzer, raises the price of the papers by 1/10 of a cent, the newsies are devastated and angry.   This may not seem like much, but when you buy a lot of papers it racks up very quickly.   Jack and David decide to strike against "World" for this, and the two of them rally the other newsies to their cause.   They attract the attention of news reporter Bryan Denton, who asks the boys to bring any strike news to him so that he can publish it.
     The newsies cause havoc at a local newspaper distribution center, a feat that gets one of the newsies, Crutchy, put in The Refuge, which is like a jail for children.   In The Refuge, the children are malnourished and badly treated.   Jack is upsetted by this, and decides he needs more help.   He and David arrange for a newsboy rally to be held.
     At the rally, a large group of thugs crash the event and a riot is started.   The newsies count on Denton to publicize the event through his paper.   Unfortunately, there has been a print ban on any newsboy strike news, meaning no part of the riot is publicized.  Not only that, but Denton has been promoted to war correspondent, meaning he can no longer cover the strike anyways.   How will the newsies get the help they need?

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
   This was an excellent film!   The singing wasn't the greatest unless it was the full cast singing together (and now I understand why Christian Bale decided to be Batman and not a Broadway star.   ☺), but besides that, the film was fantastic and strangly motivating.   I was surprised at how different the film was to the Broadway musical.   Hopefully, I will make a post comparing the two versions.

Have you seen Newsies?   Are you a "fansie," as the fangirls of this musical call themselves, or not?


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