Fred and Jane as brother and sister - somehow I found that hard to believe !
RW is one of the Astaire films which cleverly borrows from the events of Fred's own life for some of its plot, and I think that when he was performing opposite his sister Adele in his pre-Hollywood days, she was pretty much always regarded to be the more talented and attractive member of the act. So, in that way, Jane Powell was a good, even accurate (if you really like Jane, that is) choice, right? (In backstage reality, the role had originally been written with Judy Garland in mind. When her worsening personal problems around that time resulted in her being her released from the picture, June Allyson was cast as a replacement. Allyson promptly became pregnant; Jane Powell was actually the THIRD choice for the role!)
Incidentally, "You're All the World to Me" may be the most elaborate, ingenious recycling of an old "trunk tune" in film history. No sense letting a good-if-forgotten tune with dated lyrics go to waste though, right?
I've always remembered this song, but I'd forgotten that it had come from KID MILLIONS.
Thanks for posting that clip. What wonderful talents the Nicholas Brothers were!!!
Fayard Nicholas, Harold's older brother, lived near us (in Toluca Lake, I think), and we used to see and chat with him at the various Thalians banquets for which I used to produce film clips sequences and at television academy screenings we attended in North Hollywood.
Fayard was a sweet man, very sharp even then in his mid-late 80s, and would chat amiably about his earlier days, though by that time he was not well and was confined to a wheelchair.
Though my partner and I talked about it, unfortunately we never got around to visiting him at his home, and, after his death there were stories that he had apparently been living with his wife in very reduced circumstances, with supplementary financial assistance coming from his closest industry friends.
After so many years of entertainment highlights and memories for the public, it's always sad to hear of an ending that isn't what it should be. I wish we could have helped in some way, but we never knew anything of this until it was too late.
Harold was married to the legendary Dorothy Dandridge from 1942 to 1951. The younger brother of the team, Harold died in 2000 at the age of 79, and Fayard, the older, died in 2006, at 91.
Incidentally, for trivia watchers, you may wish to check out this video between 0:45 and 0:48 to see a very young Lucille Ball---on the extreme right of the group of four in the shot---as one of Harold's Goldwyn Girls backup dancers.
. . . I saw a videotaped interview with Fayard from his later years in which he recalled how excited he was when his little brother was born. He finally had someone he could train to dance and become part of the act! He asked his parents if he could name the new baby. He named his brother Harold after Harold Lloyd, who was his personal hero for giving another African-American child performer, Sunshine Sammy Morrison, a chance to shine in several of his comedies. Morrison is seen seventeen minutes in, and to the end of, this Lloyd short: