Four Star Playhouse (1952–1956)
5 user 1 critic

A String of Beads 

A gem expert declares a worthless string of beads worn by a poor governess to be a valuable pearl necklace.


W. Somerset Maugham (story), Don Ettlinger (adapted by)


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Episode credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Joan Robinson
Brenda Forbes ... Edythe Livingstone
Ron Randell ... Peter Jeffries
Nigel Bruce ... Col. Mournay
George Macready ... Count Borselli
Sean McClory ... Robert Upton
Sarah Selby ... Della Charlton
Ben Wright ... Jeweler
Dorothy Green ... Laura
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ronald Colman ... Narrator


A gem expert declares a worthless string of beads worn by a poor governess to be a valuable pearl necklace.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

21 January 1954 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Four Star Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Joan Robinson: And despite the fact that I told the truth, everybody believed you. And because they did, it was assumed that I was something that I wasn't and never pretended to be. Now they call me a cheat and a liar. Who cheated? Who lied? You knew they were just an ordinary string of beads, Count Borselli. I don't know why you did it, it doesn't matter now, but you must be very satisfied. Your hoax was a huge success.
Count Bocelli: Miss Robinson, just a moment.
Joan Robinson: No.
Count Bocelli: Please.
Joan Robinson: All right. Why did you do it?
Count Bocelli: A whim, if you ...
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User Reviews

FOUR STAR PLAYHOUSE: A STRING OF BEADS (TV) (William Cameron Menzies, 1954) **
3 July 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Included on the VCI DVD of SUNDOWN (1941), this TV episode in a series based on the writings of W. Somerset Maugham is an ironic drama about a worthless necklace worn at a party by the governess (Angela Lansbury) of a rich house, and how the girl - and other social climbers who happen to be there, like Ron Randell - is affected when ageing aristocrat and diamond expert George Macready decides to play a prank on his society friends by deeming the beads to be worth $60,000! Ronald Colman (who has aged gracefully) introduces the episode and, while recounting the main story in flashback, appears in it as a sort of detached observer. While no great shakes in itself, it's nice to be able to watch - at such distance - some of the work made in the pioneering days of TV...

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