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The Volga Boatman (1926)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 23 May 1926 (USA)
During the Revolution Princess Vera, though betrothed to Prince Dimitri, is attracted to the peasant Feodor.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Konrad Bercovici (novel), Lenore J. Coffee (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Boyd ... 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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le batelier de la Volga See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$497,356 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$695,175, 31 December 1926
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Jetta Goudal signed on to play the gypsy Mariusha, the role was originally written as a straight dramatic character. After the role was rewritten as comedic, Goudal left the film. See more »

Quotes

Feodor, A Volga Boatman: We have waited five hundred years for liberty - you can wait five minutes for death.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in With Love and Hisses (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Will love find a way in the Russian Revolution?
9 January 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In his autobiography Cecil B. DeMille said that getting this picture made later would probably have gotten him blacklisted. Of course in saying that DeMille knew his rightwing credentials were impeccable and no chance of that happening. In fact this film about The Russian Revolution is so sanitized that you'll not see mentioned the names of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Kerensky or any of the personalities of that seminal event in history of the 20th century.

Bearing no small resemblance to the later MGM film At The Balalaika, The Volga Boatman stars Elinor Fair as a Russian princess who while out riding with Victor Varconi of her own class gets good and smitten with peasant leader William Boyd who is one of the folks who totes those barges down the Volga River. Varconi takes it upon himself to humiliate Boyd for being uppity, but Boyd becomes a leader of the Revolution and soon the tables are turned.

The problem is that he too is good and smitten with the princess Fair and risks life, limb, and position in the revolution to save her. I doubt Lenin would have approved. So the Russian Revolution in this film is turned into a will love find a way drama. By the way two men in heat over the same woman is running theme in a flock of DeMille films from this one right up to Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments.

The battle scenes are as usual impeccably done as is the DeMille tradition. That makes up for a lot of the hokiness that today's audience would find with The Volga Boatman.

At The Balalaika had Nelson Eddy's singing to do the same.


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