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.


Steven M. Martin
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





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

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Did You Know?


In addition to being the inventor of the musical instrument that bears his name, Léon Theremin was also the inventor of the eavesdropping electronic-bugging device. 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.
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Alternate Versions

The uncut version of the film contains a segment from The Mickey Mouse Club that is not available in any of the home-video releases because of rights issues. See more »


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


Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Clara Rockmore and Morey Ritt
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User Reviews

The Very Roots Of Electronic Music
27 August 2018 | by StrictlyConfidentialSee all my reviews

"The Theremin" (which was appropriately named after its inventor, Leon Theremin) is, in fact, the only non-contact musical instrument in existence.

(That's right! It's actually played without being touched)

If you have ever seen such Hollywood movies as 1945's "Spellbound" and 1950's "The Day the Earth Stood Still" - Then - You would have definitely heard the eerie, electronic sounds of the Theremin which had been carefully weaved in throughout these film's soundtracks.

Through stills, archival footage, and interviews - This often-intriguing bio-documentary (from 1993) takes a close-up look (thanks to Leon Theremin's unique instrument) at the very roots of electronic music, long before the invention of the synthesizer.

*Note* - In 1993 - Leon Theremin (97 at the time) died of natural causes.

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Official Sites:





English | Russian

Release Date:

24 August 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,335, 27 August 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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