Most Frequented Film: Newsies

When I heard that we’d be devoting this week’s posts to the topic of what film we’ve seen the most, I nearly fainted from excitement. A movie-related question? That lets me ramble on about a movie I love? Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! Let me talk about that thing!

And so it is that I find myself writing about one of my favorite musicals of all time. Disney’s “Newsies” tells the story of the real-life newsboy strike of 1899, when Joseph Pulitzer and other newspaper giants raised the price of the papers for the boys who sold them. Singing and dancing ensued. Kidding, of course. But that’s how it happened in the movie!

I can remember the first time I saw it. My best friend Meredith’s mom took the two of us to see it when it first came out in theaters in 1992. I don’t remember much from that viewing, other than the auditorium was PACKED and Meredith and I had a ball. From the opening narration (“In 1899, the streets of New York echoed with the voices of newsies…”) to the ending credits when kid in the freeze frame fell back down to the street below, we were completely enthralled. After that, every sleepover we had was devoted to running around attempting to reenact the choreography and belting out what we thought the lyrics were, not to mention picking out our favorite newsie (I had seasons of favoring Kid Blink and Spot, but for the most part I’ve always been a Jack Kelly girl).

I practically wore out my VHS tape with repeated viewings. Anytime I found someone who knew and loved “Newsies,” it was like finding a kindred spirit. The DVD was a huge comfort to me when I went away to college, and I was delighted to have a roommate who attempted to learn some of the choreography with me. (Impossible. I maintain that IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.) I own a Newsies sweatshirt, have dressed up as a newsie on more than one occasion, and one time I actually took a picture of a man just because he had once worked with the film’s director Kenny Ortega. DON’T JUDGE ME!

Since moving to East Texas, “Newsies” has managed to not only be a movie that I watch constantly, either alone or with friends, but it has popped in other random ways, such as that one time I joined a group that performed a version of the song “Seize the Day” onstage at a staff orientation event. (True story).

No matter what kind of day I’m having, it’s a comfort to know that certain movies will always be there, and they will always be the same. When I pop in “Newsies,” it’s nice to know that Jack Kelly will always be the smooth and swashbuckling leader of our boys. The songs will remain absolutely sing-along-able and the dances amazingly out of reach. It will always be more natural for me to sing “Carryin’ the banner tumpin tall” rather than the correct “Carryin’ the banner tough and tall.” I’ll always feel like Christian Bale is MINE because I SAW HIM FIRST. And I’ll always grin hugely when Jack Kelly lifts Les onto his shoulders to yell out to the crowd, “WE BEAT EM!” (…Spoiler alert?)

I’m glad a movie like “Newsies” is one I can say I’ve seen the most times. The story is solid, the music absolutely fantastic, and those boys will not fail to win you over with their charm, their determination, and their backflips.

It’s a fine life.

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5 thoughts on “Most Frequented Film: Newsies

  1. I whole-heartedly approve. And if you love Newsies this much you MUST go to New York and see it while it’s on Broadway. They’ve changed the book a little bit and added a few new songs but it works really well. The choreography is unreal and I thought I liked Jack Kelly when he was played by Christian Bale. But Jeremy Jordan…wow. 🙂

  2. Oh, Kayla. Believe me: if I had the money I would have already flown to New York to see “Newsies” 18 times. In the meantime I listen to the Broadway soundtrack… basically every day. Multiple times a day. And I watch any and ALL available YouTube videos, especially anytime the aforementioned Jeremy Jordan performs “Santa Fe” and takes his hat off during the last note. (Good. Lord.) And I put my head on the coffee table when it loses the Best Musical Tony Award to “Once.”

    So basically we need to hang out and talk about ALL THE MUSICALS when I come to Round Rock. Yes?

    Yes.

  3. Yes. Most definitely.

    I bought tickets when it first announced its transfer from Papermill back in January. I went on a Saturday matinee and as soon as it was over I walked down to the box office and bought tickets to see it again on Sunday evening. So save your pennies and I’ll go with you.

    Also…did you hear Jeremy Jordan is joining the cast of Smash?! Heart flutter.

  4. I’ve never seen this. And I’m not certain, it could just be the heat, but I think you may have just talked me into renting a musical. No, no, surely it’s the heat.
    Where do you find musicals? Is there a back room in the video store?

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