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Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (1993)

A documentary about the inventor of the first electronic synthesiser instrument and his subsequent life after he was abducted by the KGB as well as a history of his instrument.

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leon Theremin ...
Himself - Inventor of the Theremin
Clara Rockmore ...
Herself - Theremin Virtuoso
Robert Moog ...
Himself - Inventor of the Moog Synthesizer
Nicolas Slonimsky ...
Himself - Composer and Historian
Paul Shure ...
Himself - Musician
Henry Solomonoff ...
Himself - Theremin Studio Member
Suki Bader ...
Herself - Theremin Dancer
Beryl Campbell ...
Herself - Theremin Dancer
Lydia Kavina ...
Herself - Theremin's Great Niece
...
Himself - Founder of The Beach Boys
Todd Rundgren ...
Himself - Musician and Producer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Lenin)
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Storyline

A documentary about the amazing life of Leon Theremin, inventor of the theremin, the electronic musical instrument so beloved of 50s sci-fi movie music. Theremin amazed America with his instrument until his kidnapping by Soviet agents in the mid-30s. Upon his release from a labor camp, he worked on surveillance devices for the KGB. Almost 60 years later , he is brought back to America for a touching reunion with his friends and colleagues. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Music He Created Was Strange. His Life Was Even Stranger.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 August 1995 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$187,923 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Theremin is played without being touched; it was the first and is still the only non-contact instrument. See more »

Goofs

In the credits, the song "Someday My Prince Will Come", by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill, is listed as "Someday My Price Will Come". See more »

Quotes

Brian Wilson - Founder of The Beach Boys: It sounded like one of those scary movies where - OOOH - a weird trip, you know. Weird facial expressions. Weird, you know. It's almost sexual.
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Connections

Features The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Written by Bernard Herrmann
Theremin played by Samuel Hoffman (as Dr. Samuel Hoffman) and Paul Shure
EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
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User Reviews

An Excellent Musical Documentary
3 January 2000 | by (St. Petersburg, Russia) – See all my reviews

This is a superlative documentary on the life and achievements of Leon Theremin, a Russian scientist and musician who invented the world's first electronic musical instrument. It follows his life, career, and contributions from 1928, through his kidnapping by Stalinist agents in 1938, years of exile and service to the Soviet state (he also invented the surveillance bug, for which he received highest commendations and relative freedom), to his triumphant and happy return to America at the spry age of 95. Equal time is given to explore his personal and professional life with warmly candid interviews of those closest to him, his colleagues, and such electronic music luminaries such as Robert Moog. The film endearingly arouses interest in its subject, and shows just how prevalent Theremin's influence was in classical music, Hollywood movie soundtracks, and Rock'n'Roll. The interview sequence with wacked-out, wired Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is real hoot and is worth the price of admission (or video rental) alone. Don't miss this one.


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