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"A Penny for Your Thoughts" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
"Mr. Hector B. Poole, resident of the Twilight Zone. Flip a coin and keep flipping it. What are the odds? Half the time it will come up heads, half the time tails. But in one freakish chance in a million, it'll land on its edge. Mr. Hector B. Poole, a bright human coin - on his way to the bank."
Hector Poole, a sensitive, insecure bank clerk, gains telepathic powers after tossing a coin that miraculously stands on its edge. He discovers that he is able to "hear" other people's thoughts, and is surprised to hear the things people are thinking around him. He first "hears" his boss thinking about a weekend affair he is planning with his mistress. Then a businessman, Mr. Sykes, thinks about taking out a large loan to pay for a run at the horse track to win back money he has embezzled from his company. Hector informs his boss, Mr. Bagby, and thwarts the businessman's plans. Hector also "hears" the thoughts of Miss Turner, a co-worker who admires him from afar and wishes he would be more assertive, and decides to take her into his confidence and reveals his psychic abilities to her. Shortly afterwards, Hector hears an old, trusted employee, Mr. Smithers, apparently planning to steal cash from the bank, and alerts Mr. Bagby. When Smithers proves to be innocent of the plan, he admits having fantasized for years about stealing money from the bank but would never go through with such a plan because he is too much a coward. Mr. Bagby fires Hector, but reinstates him when he discovers that Mr. Sykes has been arrested for gambling with company money. With Miss Turner's telepathic encouragement, Hector makes the case to Mr. Bagby that he deserves to be accounts manager, but when the bank manager resists reason, Hector uses his knowledge of his boss's adultery to blackmail him into granting the promotion and into giving Mr. Smithers a long-overdue vacation. After work, as Hector returns home with Miss Turner, he inadvertently knocks the standing coin over. His mind-reading ability is gone, but he is a man changed for the better.
"One time in a million, a coin will land on its edge, but all it takes to knock it over is a vagrant breeze, a vibration, or a slight blow. Hector B. Poole, a human coin, on edge for a brief time - in the Twilight Zone."
Preview for Next Week's Story
This is Room 22 and on the other side of its doors lies an adventure that is as fascinating as it is inexplicable. It's a story that comes to us from Mr. Bennett Cerf, who describes it as "an age-old horror tale whose origin is unknown." We've dressed it up in some hospital wrappings and enlisted the performance of Miss Barbara Nichols. Next on The Twilight Zone, "Twenty-Two". Be prepared to be spooked. It's that kind of story.
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)