Theatrical release poster by John Alvin
|Directed by||Kenny Ortega|
|Produced by||Michael Finnell|
|Edited by||William H. Reynolds|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$2.8 million|
Newsies (released as The News Boys in the United Kingdom) is a 1992 American musical comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega in his film directing debut. Loosely based on the New York City Newsboys' Strike of 1899 and featuring twelve original songs by Alan Menken and an underscore by J. A. C. Redford, it stars Christian Bale, David Moscow, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret.
The film was an initial box office bomb, and received negative-to-mixed reviews at the time of its release. Yet the picture later gained a large cult following on home video,and was ultimately adapted into a highly successful stage adaptation on Broadway. The play was nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning two including Best Original Score for Menken and Feldman.
In 1899, 17-year-old Jack "Cowboy" Kelly is one of many struggling newspaper hawkers in New York City, selling copies of the New York World on the streets of Manhattan ("Carrying the Banner"). When David Jacobs and his younger brother Les join the "newsies", Jack notices David's intelligence and Les's marketable cuteness and self-servingly takes them under his wing. Unlike most of the newsies, David and Les are not orphans or runaways; they have a home and family, and go to work in order to help their family get back on their feet financially, as their father was fired from his factory job due to an injury. Jack is invited to the Jacobs' home for dinner, where he becomes enamored with their sister Sarah. Later, Jack laments his isolation due to lacking a family of his own; he fantasizes about traveling to New Mexico ("Santa Fe"), about which he has heard many romantic stories.
Attempting to outdo his business rival William Randolph Hearst, New York World publisher Joseph Pulitzer raises the prices that the newsies must pay to buy newspapers from his distribution centers. Angered, Jack and David galvanize the other Manhattan newsies to go on strike ("The World Will Know"). While the others spread the word to newsies in New York's other boroughs, Jack and Les confront Pulitzer and are thrown out of his office. Bryan Denton, a reporter for The Sun , takes an interest in the boys' story. Jack and David take their cause to the Brooklyn newsies, but their leader, "Spot" Conlon, is reluctant to join the strike. This dejects the Manhattan newsies, but David riles them up ("Seize the Day"). As a result, they ambush the distribution center and destroy all of the newspapers. Disabled newsie "Crutchie" is captured by Pulitzer's enforcers, the Delancey brothers, and placed in an orphanage and juvenile detention center called the Refuge, run by the sketchy Warden Snyder, who neglects the orphans so that he can embezzle money given to him by the city for their care.
The newsies try to ward off strikebreakers, but the struggle turns violent and turns out to be a trap set by the Delancey brothers. Just as the newsies are about to be arrested, Spot Conlon arrives with the Brooklyn newsies and the two groups unite to repel the police. Denton puts the story on the front page of The Sun. Thrilled, the newsies all rejoice at making the headline and imagine what it would be like to be famous ("King of New York"). They then plan to hold a rally. Snyder informs Pulitzer that Jack is an escapee from the Refuge, giving Pulitzer legal cause to have him arrested. Jack has breakfast with Sarah on the roof of the Jacobs' apartment building; he tells her of his desire to flee to Santa Fe, and wonders if she would miss him.
Newsies from around New York gather at Medda Larkson's Bowery. Jack, David, and Spot give speeches, encouraging the newsies to stick together and not give up on their cause. Before they all go back to their own boroughs, Medda cheers them up with a song ("High Times, Hard Times"). The police then break up the rally and arrest the newsies, but Denton steps in to pay their legal fines. Snyder testifies against Jack and reveals to the others that Jack's real name is Francis Sullivan; his mother is deceased and his father incarcerated. Jack is sentenced to four years of rehabilitation in the Refuge. Denton is reassigned as a war correspondent and can no longer report on the strike. Jack is taken to see Pulitzer, who offers to waive his sentence and pay him a salary if he will work as a strikebreaker. When Pulitzer threatens to have the other newsies thrown into the Refuge, Jack complies. The boys attempt to rescue Jack, but he tells them to leave.
The newsies are shocked and dismayed to see Jack report for work the next day. When the Delanceys attack the Jacobs children, Jack steps in to save them, knowing this will break his deal with Pulitzer. The newsies learn from Denton that their strike has had little effect on public opinion, since the city thrives on child labor and Pulitzer has ordered newspapers not to report on the strike. Using an old printing press of Pulitzer's, they publish a "Newsie Banner" which they distribute to child workers citywide ("Once and For All"). Denton shares the paper with Governor Theodore Roosevelt, exposing the mistreatment of children at the Refuge. Numerous child laborers join the strike, bringing the city's workforce to a standstill. Jack and David confront Pulitzer, who finally gives in to their demands.
Roosevelt has Snyder arrested, releases the children from the Refuge, and thanks Jack for alerting him to the situation. He offers Jack a ride, and Jack asks to be taken to the train yards so he can head to Santa Fe. The newsies are disheartened by this, but Jack returns shortly, having been convinced by Roosevelt that he still has things to accomplish in New York. As the newsies celebrate his return, Sarah and Jack kiss, and Spot gets a ride back to Brooklyn from Roosevelt.
Walt Disney Pictures tapped its film financing partner, Touchwood Pacific Partners, to fund the production of the film.The production had a $15 million budget. Alan Menken's longtime collaborator, Howard Ashman, was too sick from AIDS to work with Menken on this film, and he would eventually die on March 14, 1991. Menken brought in lyricist Jack Feldman to help.
|Newsies (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||April 10, 1992|
|1.||"Newsies Prologue"||Max Casella||0:48|
|2.||"Carrying the Banner"||Newsies Ensemble||6:15|
|3.||"Santa Fe"||Christian Bale||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/Ann Margret||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 was released on April 10, 1992 via distributor Buena Vista Pictures. The film did not recoup its $15 million budget, making less than a fifth of that at the box office.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film's average score is 39% based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10.On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Newsies has since gained a measurable fan base.
The film grossed $2,819,485 domestically The film did not recoup its $15 million budget, making less than a fifth of that at the box office.It also ranks among the lowest-grossing live-action films produced by the Walt Disney Studios. This is due to the film being pulled from many theaters after a poor opening weekend. Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin called it Howard the Paperboy .
In 1992, the film was released on Walt Disney Home Video, while a collector's edition DVD was released in 2002. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray, as a 20th Anniversary Edition, on June 19, 2012.
|14th Youth in Film Awards||Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture||Christian Bale, David Moscow, Luke Edwards, Max Casella, Marty Belafsky, Arvie Lowe, Jr., Aaron Lohr, Gabriel Damon, Shon Greenblatt and Ele Keats||Nominated|
|1992 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Picture||Newsies||Nominated|
|1992 Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Original Song||("High Times, Hard Times")||Won|
|Worst Director||Kenny Ortega|
|Worst Supporting Actor||Robert Duvall|
|Worst Supporting Actress||Ann-Margret|
The actual Newsboys Strike of 1899 lasted from July 20 to August 2. The leader of the strike was a one-eyed young man named Louis Balletti, 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, while the role of strike leader is given to the fictional Jack "Cowboy" Kelly. Kid Blink and another real-life newsie, Morris Cohen, were the inspiration for Kelly. 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).
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.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. Also, the characters Denton and Sarah were combined in the musical to create a new character called Katherine Plumber, a plucky young female reporter who is secretly Pulitzer's daughter.
On September 19, 2011 the cast, accompanied by composer Alan Menken, performed "Seize the Day" and "Santa Fe" on The View .
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 28, 2012 in previews and from March 29, 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. They performed "King of New York" in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The show went on to earn eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, winning Best Choreography and Best Original Score.
In late 2016 the casts of both US tours and Broadway came together at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood to film a professional recording (dubbed a "proshot" by many theatre fans). The recording would feature people from the original Broadway cast but the most notable was the return of Jeremy Jordan in the role of Jack Kelly, to the excitement of fans. In early 2017 it was released to cinemas with a limited engagement by Fathom Events, and returned shortly for encore editions in both the summer of 2017 and early 2018; the recording is also available commercially and on Disney+.
Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 30th Disney animated feature film and the third released during the Disney Renaissance period, it is based on the 1756 French fairy tale of the same name by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, and ideas from the 1946 French film of the same name directed by Jean Cocteau. Beauty and the Beast focuses on the relationship between the Beast, a prince who is magically transformed into a monster and his servants into household objects as punishment for his arrogance, and Belle, a young woman whom he imprisons in his castle. To break the curse, Beast must learn to love Belle and earn her love in return before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose or else the Beast will remain a monster forever. The film also features the voices of Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, and Angela Lansbury.
Alan Irwin Menken is an American composer, songwriter, music conductor, director and record producer. Menken is best known for his scores and songs for films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. His scores and songs for The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and Pocahontas (1995) have each won him two Academy Awards. He also composed the scores and songs for Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Newsies (1992), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Home on the Range (2004), Enchanted (2007), Tangled (2010), among others.
Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton. Adapted from Walt Disney Pictures' Academy Award-winning 1991 animated musical film of the same name – which in turn had been based on the classic French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont – Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a cold-blooded prince who has been magically transformed into an unsightly creature as punishment for his selfish ways. To revert into his true human form, the Beast must first learn to love a bright, beautiful young woman whom he has imprisoned in his enchanted castle before it is too late.
Disney Theatrical Productions Limited (DTP), also known as Disney on Broadway, is the flagship stageplay and musical production company of the Disney Theatrical Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a major business unit of The Walt Disney Company.
John Dossett is an American actor and singer.
The newsboys' strike of 1899 was a U.S. youth-led campaign to force change in the way that Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst's newspapers compensated their force of newsboys or newspaper hawkers. The strikers demonstrated across the city for several days, effectively stopping circulation of the two papers, along with the news distribution for many New England cities. The strike lasted two weeks, causing Pulitzer's New York World to decrease its circulation from 360,000 papers sold per day to 125,000. Although the price of papers was not lowered, the strike was successful in forcing the World and Journal to offer full buybacks to their sellers, thus increasing the amount of money that newsies received for their work.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a musical based on the 1831 novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo with songs from the 1996 Walt Disney Animation Studios film adaptation.
Jeff Calhoun is an American director, choreographer, producer and dancer.
Andrew Keenan-Bolger is an American actor, writer and director. He is best known for originating the roles of Crutchie in Newsies and Jesse Tuck in Tuck Everlasting on Broadway. His other Broadway credits include Robertson Ay in Mary Poppins, Jojo in Seussical, Chip in Beauty and the Beast and Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
Kara Massey previously known as Kara Lindsay is an American actress, best known for her roles as Katherine Plumber in Newsies (2012) and Glinda in Wicked.
Jeremy Michael Jordan is an American actor and singer. He has performed on Broadway, in television and film, as well as in other theatrical productions. He is known for his role of 'Jamie' in the 2014 movie adaptation of the musical, The Last Five Years.
Newsies The Musical is a musical based on the 1992 musical film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. The show has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein based on film's screenplay by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. The musical premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 and made its Broadway debut in 2012, where it played for more than 1,000 performances before touring.
Benjamin Tyler Cook is an American actor, singer, and dancer. He has appeared on Broadway in Ragtime, Billy Elliot the Musical, Tuck Everlasting, Mean Girls and West Side Story. He has also performed in two Broadway national tours, Billy Elliot the Musical and Newsies the Musical, and appeared on television in episodes of 30 Rock, House of Cards, Veep, Law & Order: SVU, and in the HBO film Paterno. He is set to appear in the 2020 film version of West Side Story.
Jack Feldman is an American Tony Award-winning lyricist who has written songs for television, film, and Broadway. He has worked on many Disney movies ranging from Oliver & Company to The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Newsies. He wrote the lyrics for Barry Manilow's Grammy Award–winning song "Copacabana" and won a Tony along with Alan Menken for the stage musical version of Newsies. Feldman grew up on Long Island.
"Proud of Your Boy" is a song written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken. Originally intended for Disney's animated film Aladdin (1992), the song was omitted when Aladdin's mother was written out of the story. The discarded song remained largely undiscovered by audiences until Disney released Ashman and Menken's demo on a compilation album in 1994, after which it gradually gained popularity. The ballad was eventually restored for the film's stage musical adaptation in 2011, originally performed and recorded by American actor Adam Jacobs. Lyrically, "Proud of Your Boy" is about a young man promising his mother that he'll change his mischievous ways and ultimately make her proud.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a Disney media franchise, commencing in 1996 with the release of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The franchise is based on the 1831 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo.
Michael D. Faist is an American actor, best known for originating the role of Connor Murphy in the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, a performance for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Faist also originated the role of Morris Delancey in Disney's Newsies.
Robert "Bob" Tzudiker is an American writer and actor. Tzudiker is best known for co-creating and writing the screenplay for Newsies along with his wife Noni White, which was based on the real-life Newsboys' strike of 1899. Newsies began as a "classic underdog story ripped from the history books", with writers White and Tzudiker approaching producer Michael Finnell with an idea for a nonmusical drama; however, Disney studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg redirected the project to become a musical.
Thomas Bracco is an American actor, reality television star and Broadway performer. He is best known for starring in Newsies as Spot Conlon on Broadway. He was a cast member on season 21 of Big Brother and placed 5th in the competition.
Hercules is a musical based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios 1997 film of the same name. The music and lyrics were written by Alan Menken and David Zippel with a book by Kristoffer Diaz. The production is also loosely based on the legendary hero of the same name, the son of Zeus, in Greek mythology.
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