The Million Pound Bank Note
"The Million Pound Bank Note" is a short story by the American author Mark Twain.
The story takes place in Victorian London, where two very rich, eccentric brothers give the penniless story protagonist, Henry Adams, one million pounds of money in the form of a single peerless bank note. Henry would not be easily able to exchange that note in the bank without being questioned about how he had come to it, charged with theft and arrested. He would also not be able to spend it since no ordinary person would be able to change it.
Without knowing it, Henry is the subject of a bet: Oliver believes that the mere possession of this symbol of wealth will enable anyone to have anything he wants, without actually cashing the note. Roderick, on the other hand, feels that the prohibition against exchanging the note for cash will render it totally useless.
Film and TV adaptations
- A 1916 Hungarian silent film The One Million Pound Note, directed by Alexander Korda
- An American TV adaptation, the 18th episode of Your Show Time, aired on NBC Television on May 20, 1949
- The 1954 film The Million Pound Note was based on this short story, and starred Gregory Peck as Henry Adams
- The 1968 BBC TV adaptation, The £1,000,000 Bank Note, starred Stuart Damon
- The 1983 comedy film, Trading Places, features elements from both the short story and Twain's novel, The Prince and the Pauper
- The 1994 comedy A Million to Juan starring Paul Rodriguez
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- The £1,000,000 Bank Note and Other New Stories
- Mark Twain bibliography
- Brewster's Millions, a 1902 novel written by George Barr McCutcheon
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