Watch King of the Newsboys
- 1 hr 5 min
Following the Great Depression, the movie King of the Newsboys (1938) is set in New York City, where the protagonist, Jerry Flynn (Lew Ayres), becomes a star newsboy who sells newspapers to support himself and his mother. Jerry is an accomplished newsboy and has become a trusted and resourceful member of his trade, often outsmarting his peers and combating rival gangs that sell papers on different street corners. Jerry's world is turned upside down when he meets Toni (Helen Mack), a pretty young girl who also sells newspapers but is not as streetwise as Jerry. Jerry is smitten with her and takes her under his wing. Toni is a good luck charm of sorts for Jerry and helps him sell twice as many newspapers, which catches the eye of influential newspaper publisher Vincent Doyle (Grant Mitchell). Doyle offers Jerry a job at his prestigious newspaper, but Jerry refuses, preferring to sell papers on the streets. Jerry's mother unexpectedly dies, and Jerry is forced to move into an orphanage, leaving Toni behind. In the orphanage, Jerry meets fellow orphans who share stories of abuse, neglect, and hardship, which inspires him to make a difference. He decides that he wants to start a newspaper exclusively for orphans, by orphans, and starts to work on making this a reality. Jerry pitches his idea to Doyle, but Doyle dismisses him, stating that taking on a venture like Jerry's would only lead to financial ruin. Undeterred, Jerry rallies the other newsboys and girls and convinces them to help him start his own newspaper. The King of the Newsboys is born. Through hard work, perseverance, and a bit of luck, the newsboys become successful, and their paper is a hit, making them more money than they ever made previously. The paper even catches the attention of Doyle, who is impressed by Jerry's savvy business acumen and organizing skills. With Doyle's support, Jerry's newspaper continues to flourish, and his circulation expands to encompass more newsstands around the city. However, with success comes challenges, and Jerry encounters a rival publication, The Daily Sun, who resents the rise of the orphans' newspaper and begins to interfere with the distribution of the King of the Newsboys. Jerry and his team fight back, inventing new strategies and mobilizing his loyal readership, who are grateful for his bold and independent coverage of the news. In the end, the King of the Newsboys succeeds in overcoming all obstacles, providing a voice for those without a platform, and becoming a force to be reckoned with. King of the Newsboys is a heartwarming story that showcases the power of determination, perseverance, and the importance of the media in shaping public opinion. Ayres' performance is exceptional, embracing the complex character of a newsboy who rises to the challenge of creating his own destiny, while the supporting cast delivers delightful performances that add depth and humor to the film. Directed by Bernard Vorhaus, King of the Newsboys is a riveting story that takes viewers on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and empowerment. Its themes remain relevant to this day, discussing the issues of empowerment, social justice, and identity.