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

a slight but charming Maugham tale
3 February 2009 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Taken from Ronald Colman TV, this episode, narrated by Colman who presumably is playing the author, concerns a governess, Joan Robinson, who fills in for a dinner guest for her employers, the Livingstons, and finds her fortunes greatly improved by a visiting jewel specialist's appraisal of the string of pearls she bought for a matter of shillings.

Showing how the sudden acquisition of wealth can change the perceptions of other people, 'A String of Beads' provides a good role for Angela Lansbury as Joan, with Brenda Forbes as her employer, Ron Randell as her rich suitor, Sean McClory as her old friend, and George Macready as the mischievous Count Bocelli.

There are no real surprises in this story, which has a fairly predictable and neatly presented solution. But as a simple 25 minute story, it is fine, and viewed here from a print with very few problems other than slightly muddy sound.

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