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Newsies is based on the true story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City, who sold newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall). Two newsboys, Jack Kelly (Christian Bale) and David Jacobs (David Moscow) are aided by newspaper reporter Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman) and vaudeville performer Medda (Ann-Margaret), as well as being hindered by Snyder (Kevin Tighe), warden of "The Refuge" juvenile detention facility, and Pulitzer. They get every newsie from all of New York to team up and strike against the big-shot newspapermen.
- [singing] When I dream on my own I'm alone but I ain't lonely. For a dreamer, night's the only time-a day.
- Well, dat's da foist thing ya gotta learn - headlines don't sell papes. Newsies sell papes.
- You got no brains! Why are we starting to fight each other? It's just what the big shots want to see that we're street trash; street rats with no brains with no respect for nothin' including ourselves! So here's how it is: if we don't act together, then we're nothin', if we don't stick together, we're nothin', and if we can't even trust each other, then we're nothin'.
- [singing] We're a union just by sayin' so.
- Remember Crutchy? (Said to Morris Delancy before headbutting him)
- We sell together, we split 70-30, plus you get the benefit of observin' me no charge!
- Nope, it's nineteen Weasel. It's nineteen, but don't worry about it; it's an honest mistake. See Morris, he can't count to twenty with his shoes on.
- Look at this. "Baby Born With Two Heads". Must be from Brooklyn.
- Oh, you mean Jack Kelly. Yeah, he was here. But he put an egg in his shoe and...beat it.
- In 1899, the streets of New York City echoed with the voices of newsies, peddling the papers of Joseph Pulitzer, William Randalph Hearst, and other giants of the newspaper world. On every corner you saw them carrying the banner, bringing you the news for a penny a pape. Poor orphans and runaways, the newsies were a ragged army without a leader, until one day all that changed.
- Five bucks? We ain't got five bucks! We ain't even got five cents! Hey your honor how bout I roll ya for it, double or nothin'?
- Five to one that Cowboy skunks 'em! Huh, who's bettin'?
- Hey Cowboy! Nice shine-a'!
- What are we supposed to do to the bums, kiss 'em?
- Hey, glum and dumb! What'sa matta with you? You get your picture in the papes, you're famous. You're famous, you get anything you want! That's what's so great about New York!
- I say, that what you say...is what I say.
- Never fear, Brooklyn is here!
- Listen, they're gonna be playing with my hands alright. Cuz it ain't what they say, it's what we say. And nobody ain't gonna listen to us unless we make 'em.
- Well if it ain't Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.,
- That ain't good enough Jackie-boy, you gotta show me.
- It's this brain of mine, always makin' mistakes. It's got a mind of its own!
- When ya' learn from Jack, ya' learn from the best.
- You can't let 'em beat ya, right Jack? That's what you always said!
- Jack: If we go on strike, then we are a union, right?
- David: No. We're just a bunch of angry kids with no money.
- Jack: Extra, extra, read all about it! Ellis Island in flames big conflablataion!
- David: Hey, where's that story?
- Jack: Page nine. Thousands Flee in Panic!
- David: "Trash Fire Next To Immigration Building Terrifies Seagulls"?
- Jack: Terrified Flight from Inferno!
- David: My father taught us not to lie.
- Jack: Well, mine told me not to starve; so we both have an education.
- David: You're a liar! You lied about everything. You lied about your father being out west, 'cause he's not out west! You didn't even tell me your real name!
- Jack: So? What you wanna do about it Dave?
- David: I don't understand you.
- Jack: Oh, so let me spell it out for you. You see, I ain't got nobody tucking me in at night, like you. It's just me, I gotta look out for myself.
- David: You had the Newsies!
- Jack: Oh, what'd being a Newsie ever give me but a dime a day and a few black eyes? You know, I can't afford to be a kid no more, Dave. For the first time in my life, I got money in my pockets. Real money. Money, you understand? I got more on the way and as soon as I collect, I'm gone, I'm away.
- David: Well, that's good! That's good because we don't need you! We don't need you! All those words you said, those were mine.
- Jack: Yeah, but you never had the guts to put them across yourself, did ya?
- David: I do now.
- Jack: Heya, Race.
- Racetrack: Hey Jack.
- Jack: How was your day at the track?
- Racetrack: You know that hot tip I told you about? Nobody told the horse.
- Jack: We gotta get the word out to every newsie in New York! We need some of those...whadja call 'em?
- David: Ambassadors?
- Jack: Right. Okay, you guys gotta be ambastards...
- Jack: Didja miss me, Weasel? Huh, didja? Didja miss me?
- Weasel: I've told ya a million times...it's Wisel, and that's Mr. Wisel to you. How many?
- Jack: Don't rush me, I'm perusin' the merchandise, Mr. Weasel!
- Mush: So how'd ya sleep Jack?
- Jack: On me back, Mush.
- Boots: Hey what is that? That all about us?
- Spot: Where's me pitcha? Where's me pitcha?
- Mush: Look at you Jack! You look like a gentleman!
- Jack: Will ya please get ya fingers off my face.
- Spot: Where does it say my name? Where's my name?
- Jack: Will ya quit thinkin' about yourself?
- Jack: So what about Brooklyn? Who wants Brooklyn? C'mon, Spot Conlon's territory. What'sa matta, you scared a Brooklyn?
- Boots: [Aggresively] Hey, we ain't scared a Brooklyn! [Quieter] Spot Conlon makes us a little noivous.
- World Employee: Hooligans!
- Jack: So's your old lady! You tell Pulitzer he needs an appointment with me!
- Les: [Through the crack of the closing door] Yeah!
- David: Alright. Everyone, remain calm!
- [Pause. Awkward tension.]
- Jack: Let's soak 'em for Crutchy!
- Ten Pin: Hey Cowboy! You miss the joint?
- Jack: Whatd'ya say, Ten Pin? Listen, you got a new guy in there, Crutchy.
- Ten Pin: The gimp? I'll get him.
- Jack: [Muttering to himself] He's not a gimp.