This film is set in New York City in 1899. As stated at the beginning of the movie, it is based on actual events. When Pulitzer and Hearst raise the price of newspapers to the newsies, they’re outraged. Led by Jack Kelly and David Jacobs, a group of young boys go on strike. With their fiery passion, and a little help from newspaper Bryan Denton, they convince most of the newsies of New York to join them. Meanwhile Jack develops a romance with David’s sister Sarah, dreams of going to Sante Fe, escapes custody from “The Refuge” juvenile detention facility, and has a chat with Teddy Roosevelt. In the end, the newsies win their demands, Jack decides not to go to Santa Fe, and he and Sarah kiss in the street with all the newsies dancing around.
The movie depicts the region and era as full of opportunity for some, and full of back-breaking hardships for others, which was quite accurate. Joe Pulitzer and Randolph Hearst could do anything they wanted, while David and his whole family were working dusk ‘til dawn because of their father’s injury. Accuracy was portrayed in the number of young kids working, and in their very limited amount of rights. I noticed, however, that these boys had several changes of clothes that weren’t extremely dirty. I would expect that children of the era would have one change of often dirty clothing. I think the organized street singing and dancing may have been added for entertainment value, but I could be wrong. The fact that Jack got to speak with Teddy Roosevelt is also difficult to believe.
Overall, I LOVE this movie! That may just be because there is a young Christian Bale in it. But the singing and dancing were great and I actually found it quite informative about the era. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a better feel of what it was actually like to live in NYC, 1899. I learned that strikers often held rallies to gain support for their causes, such as the rally the newsies held in...
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