Before he donned the Batsuit and became every fanboy's ultimate man crush, Christian Bale was ours. That boyish charm, that rascally grin glimmering with the slightest hint of mischief -- they belonged to the legions of female fans who idol-worshipped the Welsh actor over a decade before the global success of Batman Begins turned him into a household name. For us, it was all about Bale as the handsome and charismatic Jack, a youngster with big dreams who urges his fellow newspaper boys to "open the gates and seize the day," bringing big business tyrants to their knees with the sheer force of song and dance. You thought defeating the Joker was tough? Try bringing William Randolph Hearst down to 50 cents on a bundle of newspapers! Herewith, I offer you the crush that dominated my teen years: Christian Bale in Newsies.

Christian Bale in NewsiesMy Movie Crush: Jack "Cowboy" Kelly in Newsies (1992)
Played by:
Christian Bale

The year is 1899. Rival newspaper tycoons Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall) and William Randolph Hearst have upped the price of newspapers charged to the legions of paperboys, or "newsies," who in turn sell sheets to the public for "a penny a pape'." The thousands of young and hungry newsboys who already struggle to make ends meet have only one hero to turn to: Jack "Cowboy" Kelly, the tough, street-wise, and terribly dreamy teenage leader of the Manhattan newsies. Jack is bold, brave, and a verifiable hottie who's in with local songbird Medda Larkson (Ann-Margret) and on the outs with the evil juvenile hall warden (Kevin Tighe), and secretly dreams of saving enough money to run away to Sante Fe to reunite with his family. It's that dream that leaves Jack conflicted and leads him to turn scab against his friends, but the lapse is only fleeting; he drops the tantalizing life of working for The Man the instant his friends need him, becoming the golden hero we always knew he could be.

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categories Features, Cinematical