6 Most Badass Street Rats!
Upon re-watching Titanic in all its 3D glory, I was struck by two unexpected takeaways. One, seeing people jump off a boat to their icy death in 3D is something I could have done without. Two, Jack Dawson is a truly badass street rat. But he’s not alone – Hollywood loooves a good rags to riches story. Here is the definitive list of the most badass street rats the movies have to offer.
Jack Dawson, Titanic
Let’s talk about how improbable it was that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson, would wind up at that schmancy dinner with Rose’s people. For starters, he had to GET to Europe. It’s a mystery as to how that happened; he’s a Wisconsin boy who was not enrolled in a travel abroad program. And while he was there, he had to be a good enough poker player to win some tickets to a cruise. And then the moment he spotted Kate Winslet, he was like, “I want that one.” Not only did he have to deal with class barriers and physical ship level obstructions, but he had to figure out how to be her therapist-lover. And of course, there were all those sexy/heroic acts he’ll do in the second half of the movie. Who among us wouldn’t want him to draw us like one of his French women?
Oliver Twist, Oliver!
The boy who had the audacity to ask for “more.” Oliver Twist, an orphan, had to spend his childhood in a grueling workhouse environment. When he finally got out, it was only to work with an undertaker. Creepy! Oliver’s a hardy boy, however, and he soon escaped that and joined the Artful Dodger for some singing and pick-pocketing. You’d think this would lead down a path of self-destruction. Not for Oliver! Because he’s such a badass street rat, he steals from the right rich guy and instead of being punished… he’s taken in and cared for. By the end of his story, he’s living in the lap of luxury.
Aladdin, Disney’s Aladdin
In the 1992 Disney movie, one of the first things we learn about Aladdin is that he rejects the title of “street rat.” He doesn’t “buy that.” Aladdin, we’re suggesting you reclaim the word. Not only can he converse with monkeys, but he’s able to escape from collapsing caves, deal with Gilbert Gottfried, and get the girl, despite her tiger being hesitant. Now if only he could explain to us what “red letter” means…
Jack “Cowboy” Kelly, Newsies
It appears 1992 was the year for Disney to release movies about B.S.R.’s. This Jack started an uprising amongst the working class youths of New York. Played by Christian Bale, movie street rat extraordinaire, Jack saw an injustice in the way newspaper fat cats Pulitzer and Hearst were treating their paperboys, and he hardcore sang and danced about it. For proof, see the “The World Will Know” scene. It’s the definition of badass rabble-rousing.
Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady
Eliza Doolittle begins this movie as a Cockney flower seller, but she takes it upon herself to get lessons to learn to speak with an upper-crust accent. Becoming fluent in Snob isn’t easy for her, in fact, it takes up most of the first half of the movie, but she doesn’t give up. By the midpoint of the movie, she’s totally got the hang of it, and her teacher is in love with her. But the truly badass part about Eliza Doolittle is that she isn’t just like, oh sure, I’ll go be an aristocrat with you, Professor Higgins. She calls him out for bossing her around, and she makes him work for it. Get it, girl.
All right, you can groan at this one. But who better to cap off our list of Badass Street Rats than an actual street rat!? Remy escapes life in the sewers and, against all odds, gets a job in the place that would be least likely to accept him: a gourmet restaurant. Overcoming discrimination, communication barriers, and French people, Remy manages to achieve his dreams while maintaining his integrity as a street rat. And what did you do today?
Can you think of other Badass Street Rats? Let us know in the comments!