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Journal of Popular Film & Television (2002) - Weird Vibrations: How the Theremin Gave Musical Voice to Hollywood's Extraterrestrial "Others"




Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick responded favorably to the theremin-flavored sketch that Miklos Rozsa concocted for the scene in which the film's male protagonist (played by Gregory Peck) first lapses into a possibly murderous trance (Brown 274). Then, Rozsa said, "they wanted to use it everywhere in the picture" (Prendergast 69). After Rozsa's -- and Samuel J. Hoffman's -- contribution to Spellbound won an Academy Award for best score, "the theremin gained instant status as an emblem for the unbalanced side of the human psyche" (Albert Glinsky 254). Before long, the Hollywood press corps concluded that "the theremin [was] Rozsa's trademark just as the sarong [was] Dorothy Lamour's" (Palmer 33).