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Arts and Entertainment

Hollywood, Please Make A Bio-pic Of: The Nicholas Brothers

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Every once and a while, a group of cinephile friends and I sit around and get into a heated discussion about all of the great artists we wish someone would make a movie about. Today that discussion centered on the fabulous Nicholas Brothers, maybe the two most dynamic tap dancers who ever lived. I was never a very starstruck person, even as a younger man, but Harold (d. 2000) and Fayard (d. 2006) Nicholas were always two people I wanted to meet in person, and I was devastated that both artists passed before I had an opportunity to make that happen.

The Nicholas brothers are most known for this dynamic scene from the 1943 film Stormy Weather in which they make an appearance at the end of a music number by Cab Calloway (who I would also love to see a film about) and steal the movie with one of the most incredible tap dance sequences ever seen on film:

The sequence is still amazing to this day, and it's difficult to think of any living hoofers who might be able to replicate it (sorry Savion). Even the late Gregory Hines openly doubted anyone could repeat the moves of the Nicholas Brothers, and to this day, no one has. The two diminutive dancers grew up in Philadelphia and became one of the premiere attractions at the fabled Cotton Club while they were still children. Coming up in the shadow of great dancers like Bill Robinson and Fred Astaire, the duo would go on to eclipse both of them (and many others) during a life that included six wives between them. Harold's first wife was Dorothy Dandridge, but in the 1999 HBO film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, his character only made a brief appearance (though well played by Obba Babatunde) and there wasn't even a hint about how great an artist he or his brother were. Hollywood producers, somebody needs to get on telling this story...stat!

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