Friday, December 14, 2007

Newsies: Carrying The Banner

video
There were real life Newsies who lived in the Knickerbocker Village neighborhood.
There was a Newsboy lodging house near the Oak Street police station near City Hall.
This was right near Printing House Square where many of the city newspaper's were printed at the turn of the 20th Century. Despite the poor reviews I think it's a great picture, especially for teaching kids about NYC history.
About the film:
Newsies is a 1992 Disney live action film musical starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, and Bill Pullman. Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret also appeared in supporting roles. The movie gained a cult following after its initial failure at the box office. The film marked the directorial debut of Dirty Dancing choreographer Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) and featured the music of composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin).

Although the film was not originally intended to be a musical, it contains twelve songs and multiple dance sequences (for which the young cast trained for approximately 10 weeks). Musical highlights include "Carrying the Banner," "Santa Fe," "Seize The Day," and "King of New York."

Newsies was not a commercial success when first released; in fact, it ranked among the highest-costing and lowest-grossing Disney live-action films in the studio's history. Movie critic/historian Leonard Maltin even christened it "Howard the Paperboy" (in reference to another infamous box-office flop, Howard the Duck).

However, the picture gained fans when it was released on VHS and was played on the Disney Channel. After much petitioning, Newsies was released on DVD in 2002. It has since gained a modest yet enthusiastic cult following.

Newsies is based on the true story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. Thousands of homeless children are living in Newsboys Lodging Houses, including Manhattan newsboy Jack Kelly (Christian Bale), who is a regular newsboy selling newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall) and his paper, the New York World. Jack "Cowboy" Kelly has a dream of escaping NYC to go to Santa Fe, NM. David Jacobs (David Moscow) leaves school temporarily and joins the newsies along with his little brother Les (Luke Edwards) to help his family while his father is out of work because of a broken arm. Soon, Jack and David become good friends, David introduces Jack to his family, and Jack falls in love with Sarah, David's sister. Shortly afterward, the price of newspapers for purchase by the newsboys is raised 10 cents per 100 papers, decided by joint decision of Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.

Feeling they will be unable to bear the added cost, Jack Kelly organizes a strike with the aid of David Jacobs. As the protagonist, Jack Kelly struggles with his past as he forms an important friendship with David and his family. Between his dream of one day going to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and currently wanting to help his friends, he faces lots of difficult decisions involving money and lodging. Along the way, the boys are aided by newspaper reporter Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman) and vaudeville performer Medda Larkin (Ann-Margret), as well as being hindered by Snyder, warden of "The Refuge" juvenile detention facility (Kevin Tighe). Jack and the newsies gain the cooperation of every newsie from New York and Brooklyn to team up and strike against the big-shot newspapermen.

Lyrics for Carrying The Banner
Ain't it a fine life
Carrying the banner through it all?
A mighty fine life
Carrying the banner tough and tall
Every morning
We goes where we wishes
We's as free as fishes
Sure beats washing dishes
What a fine life
Carrying the banner home-free all!

Newsies:
Summer stinks and winter's waiting
Welcome to New Yawk!
Boy, ain't nature fascinating
When youse gotta walk?
Still, it's a fine life
Carrying the banner with me chums!
A mighty fine life
Blowing every nickel as it comes

Crutchy:
I'm no snoozer
Sitting makes me antsy
I likes living chancy

Newsies:
Harlem tah Delancey
What a fine life
Carrying the banner through the slums

Three Nuns:
Blessed children
Though you wander lost and depraved
Jesus loves you
You shall be saved!

SUNG IN COUNTERPOINT:

Mother:
Patrick, darling,
Since you left me I am undone
Mother loves you!
God, save my son!

Racetrack:
Just gimme half a cup

Kid Blink:
Something ta wake me up

Mush:
I gotta find an angle

Crutchy:
I gotta sell more papes

Various Newsies:
Papers is all I got
Wish I could catch a breeze
Sure hope the headline's hot
All I can catch is fleas
God, help me if it's not!
Somebody help me, please ...

Newsies:
If I hate the headlines
I'll make up the headline
And I'll say anything I hafta
'Cause at two for a penny
If I take too many
Weasel just makes me eat 'em afta

SUNG IN COUNTERPOINT:

Group one:
Look! They're puttin' up the headline
You call that a headline?
I get better stories
From the copper on the beat!
I was gonna start at twenty
Now a dozen'll be plenty
Tell me, how'm I gonna make ends meet?

Group two:
What's it say?
That won't pay!
So where's your spot?
God, it's hot!
Will ya tell me
How'm I gonna make ends meet?

Newsies:
We need a good assassination!
We need an earthquake or a war!

Snipeshooter:
How 'bout a crooked politician?

Newsies:
Hey, stupid, that ain't news no more!
Uptown to Grand Central Station
Down to City Hall
We improves our circulation
Walking till we fall

SUNG IN COUNTERPOINT:

Group one:
Still we'll be out there
Carrying the banner man to man!
We'll be out there
Soakin' every sucker that we can!
See the headline:
Newsies on a mission!

Group one:
Kill the competition
Sell the next edition
While we're out there
Carrying the banner is the –

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