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The Volga Boatman (1926)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  23 May 1926 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 60 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

During the Revolution Princess Vera, though betrothed to Prince Dimitri, is attracted to the peasant Feodor.



(novel), (adaptation)
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Title: The Volga Boatman (1926)

The Volga Boatman (1926) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Complete credited cast:
Feodor, A Volga Boatman
Elinor Fair ...
Vera, A Princess
Robert Edeson ...
Prince Nikita
Victor Varconi ...
Prince Dimitri
Julia Faye ...
Mariusha, A Gypsy
Theodore Kosloff ...
Stefan, A Blacksmith
Arthur Rankin ...
Vasili - A Boatman


In tsarist Russia, the Volga boatmen live hard lives, trudging along the water's edge as they pull heavy cargoes up and down the river. One day, as Prince Dimitri and his fiancée Princess Vera stop to have their fortunes told at a Tartar camp along the river, they encounter a group of boatmen who are taking a short rest. One of the boatmen, the spirited Feodor, provokes a hostile confrontation with the two aristocrats. Later, when the Revolution breaks out, Feodor becomes a leader in the Red Army, and he again encounters Dimitri and Vera, only this time with much higher stakes. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

23 May 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Volga Boatman  »

Box Office


$497,356 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Julia Faye replaced Jetta Goudal, who was fired after repeatedly clashing with director Cecil B. DeMille. See more »


Referenced in Personality Parade (1938) See more »


Song of the Volga Boatmen
By Sigmund Spaeth
Harmonized by Carl Deis, c. 1926
'the immortal song that inspired the Cecil B. DeMille motion picture production "The Volga Boatman" with William Boyd and Elinor Fair'
See more »

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User Reviews

William Boyd Loves a White Russian
11 October 2007 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

William Boyd (as Feodor) is a Volga river boatman "whose broad breast and ringing voice never tired because he dreamed a dream of freedom." Elinor Fair (as Princess Vera) is "in that delightful feminine state of intending to say 'yes' but acting 'no'" to Victor Varconi (as Prince Dimitri Orloff), "an Officer of the Czar's Guard" who is "just a man waiting for a woman's 'yes' or 'no'." Ms. Fair and Mr. Varconi become engaged, but the Princess falls in love with the un-Princely Mr. Boyd. Their entanglements are played out against the Russian Revolution.

Nice looking film by Cecil B. DeMille, J. Peverell Marley, and others. The performances begin well; especially future "Hopalong Cassidy" star Boyd - in his scene meeting Fair and Varconi, Boyd intensely shows anger, lust, and disgust. Unfortunately, the film peaks there. If you make it through the running time, you should watch for the scene when Boyd gives Fair five minutes say her prayers, before he means to kill her - she rips her dress a little to mark her upper chest with an "X" for his targeting convenience! There are some additional titillating strip scenes (which don't titillate, by the way).

"The Volga Boatman" is as slow moving and predictable as its protagonist. Theodore Kosloff, Julia Faye, and Robert Edeson try to liven things up among the Red Russians. White Russian Varconi makes a wise decision at the end. Off-screen, Boyd and Fair would marry; surprisingly, there is noting very extraordinary about their on-screen romance - they look better with Faye and Varconi...

***** The Volga Boatman (1926) Cecil B. DeMille ~ William Boyd, Elinor Fair, Victor Varconi

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