Here you will find the story as told in the movie. WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!
"In 1899 the streets of New York, echoed with the voices of Newsies. Peddeling the newspaper for Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other giants of newspapers 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 ragid army withouth a leader. Until one day... all that changed..." - Racetrack Higgins (Max Casella)
In one of Manhattan's lodging houses we meet Kloppman who is just about to wake up the newsies that stay there. As he wakes them up one by one the Newsies start to get ready for a new day of hard work to earn some money. ("Carrying the Banner"). During the first song of the movie the newsies dance and sing until they reach the New York World building where they can buy newspapers to resale. A bundle of one hundred papers costs 50 cents. As the song draws to a close we meet two goons named Oscar and Morris Delancey. Every body gathers around as the two of them push a small newsie (Snipeshooter) down to the floor. "It ain't good to do that... not healthy," Racetrack says clearly as Jack steps forward and pulls Snipeshooter up. Jack, a strong and confident blond haired boy (Christian Bale) stands up to the two bullies and the two of them end up chasing Jack across the square in front of the world building.
David and Les Jacobs, both ready to start their first day of selling newspapers, encounter Jack rather quickly because he meets them, running from the two bullies.
"What do you think you're doing?!" David exlaims loudly when Jack nearly pounds him to the floor. "Running!" He screams exited as he sees Oscar and Morris approaching.
One victory further, Jack continues his quest of victory and is the first to be let in when the bell rings, signaling the start of a new work day. Jack waits rather impatiently for Mr. Wiesel to open the counter. "Mr. Weasel," he says softly while he rings the bell.
"Hold your horses, hold your horses," Mr. Wiesel says as he opens the counter. Mr. Wiesel is a rather bulky man who does not like being called "Mr. Weasel" behind his back. (Or, in Jack's case, to his face.)
As Jack is reading his paper to see how he can come up with a good (fake) headline, because the current headline (Trolley strike drags on for third week) isn't any good, he notices Les and asks him to sit down.
Due to a misunderstanding between Morris, Wiesel and David, Jack jumps in and he and David agree to rough partnership. Jack only really made the agreement because he could use Les to make more money. "With [Les's] cute puss and my god given talent, we could sell a thousand a week."
So Jack, David and Les venture out into Manhattan to sell their papes.
Meanwhile in the office of Joseph Pulitzer, the man who owns the New York World and has quite a lot of power, there is a slight disagreement going on.
"Trolly strike... drags on... for third week...and this so called headline drags on for infinity." Pulitzer isn't glad that his largest opposistion (William Randolph Hearst with the New York Journal) has beter headlines than he does. Pulitzer decides that he needs to bring in more money... but how?
Back in the streets Jack, David and Les are trying to sell papers near a boxing match where eager men are shouting for their favorite. While David seems to have trouble with selling his papers, Jack seems to sell them like beer to drunk.
As Jack tries to explain some ways to sell newspapers to David, David notices a man glaring at Jack.
"Is he a friend of yours?" David asks Jack while he points to the opposite site of the boxing ring.
Jack then notices his worst nightmare spotting him and he takes off, screaming for David and Les to follow him quickly. Jack, David and Les are then followed by the mysterious man until they can hide from him on a rooftop.
The man shouts about a boy named Francis Sullivan as Jack, David and Les escape down a different path.
After another bit of running, David finally stops Jack and asks him what the hell he was running for.
Jack, still scared, drags David and Les into a building. He then explains that the man who was chasing them is called Snyder. Snyder is the warden of the Refuge ("Jail for kids," as Jack calls it). Jack supposedly was locked in there for a while because he 'stole some food.' David doesn't seem to believe him as suddenly a woman appears at the top of the stairs shouting, "Out, out, out!" Jack starts smiling as he recongizes who the woman really is. "You wouldn't kick me out without a kiss goodbye now would you Medda?" he asks. Medda, who is a talent performer in her own theater, recognises Jack immediatly and apologises. Jack then introduces her to David and Les and she lets them watch one of her shows ("Lovey dovey baby"). Afterwards it is already dark outside and David is worried about his parents. Jack then tells David about his own parents and how they're out west, searching for a place to live.
A sudden loud banging and scared screaming stops their conversation. They rush towards the sound and find the angry strikers hitting and kicking people while a building in the back ground is flaming up. David then decides that it is safer for Jack to come with them to meet their folks.Les, David and Jack arrive at a nice and small home where David's mom (Esther) is cooking dinner. Jack is introduced to Esther, Sarah (David's sister) and Mayer (David's father.) Jack is then invited to stay over for dinner. Jack learns the reason behind David's and Les' sudden appearence this morning. Mayer had hurt his arm and was unable to work... so they fired him because he didn't have a union to back him up. When dinner is over Jack leaves the house but he is sad about not having a family like David and Les... ("Santa Fe").
As Jack is getting ready to sleep, Pulitzer is still up discussing ways to increase his income. After a while they come to the conclusion that if they raised the price for the newsies, they would make a lot more money.