Fun Size Review: The Volga Boatman (1926)

Cecil B. DeMille directs a movie about the Russian Revolution. It’s everything you could possibly hope for. That could  be my entire review.

Boatman: William Boyd

Princess: Elinor Fair

Aristocratic Rival: Victor Varconi

Boyd leads a revolt and revolts the Princess. He saves her life and she falls for him because he is William Boyd. History is trampled but it’s a fun trampling. Plus, the future Hopalong Cassidy as a Bolshevik. Come on!

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
The Boatman and the Princess patch up their differences, thanks to the very pleasant Bolshevik ruling council, and live happily ever after in the New Russia. (Until the next purge, I suppose.)

Read my full-length review here.

If it were a dessert it would be: White Russian Cake. Not really Russian at all but no one is going to turn down a slice.

Availability: There are dodgy public domain releases but I long for a sparkling Bluray with a rousing score.


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8 Replies to “Fun Size Review: The Volga Boatman (1926)”

  1. I love this film, it’s pure DeMille. Mine is a reasonable copy, though the score is unimpressive.

  2. I just watched this lively & enjoyable film a few weeks ago, for the third or fourth time. It is beautifully accompanied by “Original 1926 Score Performed by Philip Carli.” Yes, it’s a Kino VHS tape, one that I treasure & an excellent example of why those with videotapes shouldn’t chuck them all out without first determining the availability of satisfactory discs.

    I’ve kept all of my Kino Video “DeMille: the Silent Years” tapes, acquired in he 1990’s. The scores are excellent & the picture quality has remained quite good.

      1. That’s very kind of you to rate my work so highly – I did THE VOLGA BOATMAN score an awfully long time ago but had great fun with the film and its full-tilt style. Incidentally, it’s all my own music, save the occasional necessary “borrowing” here and there demanded by the film itself; the original PDC/DeMille cue sheets were usually compiled by Rudolph Berliner and are of mixed quality at best (as are many PDC films not directed by DeMille), so I sometimes look them over, think “well…hmm…”, and just do my own work to serve the film better (at least in my opinion). Thank you again for your generous words.

  3. I always enjoy your writing style, and the films you select! I haven’t seen this De Mille picture before, and have been curious about it. I will look for it the next time it is on TCM.

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