The Prime Mover
|"The Prime Mover"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
Christine White, Dane Clark, Buddy Ebsen and Jane Burgess
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Richard L. Bare|
|Written by||Charles Beaumont (based on an uncredited and unpublished story by George Clayton Johnson)|
|Original air date||March 24, 1961|
|“||Portrait of a man who thinks and thereby gets things done. Mr. Jimbo Cobb might be called a prime mover, a talent which has to be seen to be believed. In just a moment he'll show his friends, and you, how he keeps both feet on the ground, and his head in the Twilight Zone.||”|
Small-time gambler Ace Larsen discovers that his partner, Jimbo Cobb, has telekinetic powers after a car overturns outside their café and Jimbo moves the car without touching it. The crash scene was the very same footage used in Thunder Road (1958), the climatic and deadly last scene where Robert Mitchum's character is killed while trying to elude the law.
Ace plans to use Jimbo's powers to win big in Las Vegas, and he takes his girlfriend Kitty with them. Ace wins many jackpots, disregarding Jimbo's headaches from the use of his powers and his growing moral concerns over what they are doing. Kitty is repulsed and leaves, so Ace uses his newly acquired cash to lure the attention of the casino's cigarette girl and bets the pile in a game of craps, just as Jimbo's powers supposedly "run out". The loss awakens Ace to the reality of what he has become, and he and Jimbo have a good laugh over their misfortune. The three return home and, back at the café, Ace asks Kitty to marry him just as Jimbo drops his broom. She flips a coin, and Ace calls "heads". Kitty doesn't show Ace the coin or tell him the result of the coin toss; Kitty simply accepts his proposal. As they embrace, Jimbo picks up the broom telekinetically, implying he faked his loss of power to snap Ace out of his greed.
|“||Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, the talent becomes a curse. Jimbo Cobb knew, right from the beginning, but before Ace Larsen learned that simple truth, he had to take a short trip - through The Twilight Zone.||”|
- Dane Clark as Ace Larsen
- Buddy Ebsen as Jimbo Cobb
- Jane Burgess as Sheila
- Christine White as Kitty Cavanaugh
- William Keene as Desk clerk
- Nesdon Booth as Big Phil Nolan
- Clancy Cooper as Trucker
- Robert Riordan as Hotel Manager
- Joe Scott as Croupier
- List of The Twilight Zone episodes
- In "The Runaway", an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender (season 3), Toph duplicates Jimbo's trick of telekinetically manipulating dice and other gambling instruments using her earthbending. She even uses the same gesture—head tipped sideways—as Ebsen uses in this episode.
- At the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a stable-boy on a casino planet telekinetically picks up a broom, echoing the final scene of this episode.
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0