Newsies Movie Review

"Headlines don't sell papes. Newsies sell papes."

Well, now telemarketers sell papes, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to see a movie about that. Especially if they were singing all the time. But back in 1899, when Joseph Pulitzer (played by Robert Duvall) and William Randolph Hearst raised newspaper prices, that meant the newsies had to pay more for their copies, and they couldn't pass that along to the consumer. So the newsies organized a union and went on strike. And the strike failed.

In the movie, though, it's a big success, led by a charming, singing, dancing Christian Bale. Unfortunately the songs are mostly forgettable, and the dancing is all performed by teenage boys in vests and newsboy caps. You feel more than a little ridiculous just watching it. The story, a footnote in history that merits one sentence at most, is blown entirely out of proportion -- two hours long and, as mentioned above, the factual opposite of what really happened. People need heroes and uplifting tales, I suppose, but why alter history to give them to the masses? Not even Michael Bay could make us win the day in Pearl Harbor.

Now on DVD, Disney's given the film the collecter's treatment with audio commentary and more.


Newsies Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG, 1992


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