French filmmaker Jean Renoir would later remark that he directed the sensual dance fantasy Charleston because he'd "just discovered American jazz." He also had some stock footage left over from his previous silent success Nana, and decided it would be provident to fashion a new film from these leavings. Even without the benefit of sound, one can hear the jazzy rhythms of Charleston through the exuberant gyrations of an African-American dancer whom Renoir and his star, actress Catherine Hessling, had discovered for this picture. Originally titled Sur un air de Charleston, the film was also released as Charleston Parade in English-speaking countries. In some areas of the US and Europe, the film was greeted with protests from censorship boards who simply couldn't appreciate the aesthetic value in Catherine Hessling's near-nude dance numbers.
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