19 user 11 critic

Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (1993)

1:03 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

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.


1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Moog (2004)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Bob Moog shaped musical culture with some of the most inspiring electronic instruments ever created. This "compelling documentary portrait of a provocative, thoughtful and deeply ... See full summary »

Director: Hans Fjellestad
Stars: Charlie Clouser, Herbert Deutsch, Keith Emerson
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A collection of vignettes highlighting different aspects of the life, work, and character of the acclaimed Canadian classical pianist.

Director: François Girard
Stars: Colm Feore, Derek Keurvorst, Katya Ladan
Genghis Blues (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva.

Director: Roko Belic
Stars: Richard Feynman, B.B. King, Kongar-ol Ondar
Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.

Director: Godfrey Reggio
Stars: Lou Dobbs, Ted Koppel
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

CIAO! MANHATTAN parallels Andy Warhol Factory star Edie Sedgwick's glory days in the late 60's through her inevitable downfall and the tragic addiction that would take her life only weeks after filming wrapped in 1971.

Directors: John Palmer, David Weisman
Stars: Edie Sedgwick, Wesley Hayes, Isabel Jewell
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A study, mostly chronological, of the life of Nick Drake (1948-1974). Gabrielle, his older sister, tells us of her brother's birth in Burma, childhood in Warwickshire, life at Cambridge and... See full summary »

Director: Jeroen Berkvens
Stars: Nick Drake, Paul Weller, Gabrielle Drake
Ed Wood (1994)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker


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)


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


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:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

24 August 1995 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$187,923 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1991, director Steven M. Martin traveled to Moscow, found Léon Theremin, and bought him back to the United States for the first time since 1938. See more »


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 »


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.
See more »


Features The Mickey Mouse Club (1955) See more »


Written by Miklós Rózsa
Theremin played by Samuel Hoffman
Warner/Chappell Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Needs English Subtitles and Names of folks being interviewed... jazzcat320
Brian Wilson at his nadir SloppyMoe
Interactive Theremin Google Doodle printphi
Discuss Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (1993) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page