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 cast overview:
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


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?


Count Bocelli: Mrs. Livingston, this has been a most enjoyable evening for me.
Edith Livingston: It must have seemed quite like a busman's holiday to you, Count, discovering those pearls.
Count Bocelli: Ah yes, the pearls. But then, their great value is only a faithful reflection of the lady who wears them.
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User Reviews

I really liked this one.
22 February 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Angela Lansbury, Ronald Colman, Nigel Bruce, George McReady, how could McReady see pearls are perfectly matched and at least 60,000 pounds? "Ronald Colman TV"?!? "Sommerset Maugham TV Theatre"

This is a very confusing show to rate because determining exactly WHICH show it was wasn't easy. The file I downloaded from says it is an episode of "Ronald Colman TV"--but IMDb doesn't list this show. It also was listed as an episode of "Sommerset Maugham TV Theater" on the description from the website. However, after a bit of digging I realized that it is an episode of "Four Star Playhouse"--and Ronald Colman introduces and ends the show--otherwise he's not in the cast.

When the show begins, Colman and his date are at a restaurant. He sees a young lady (Angela Lansbury) there and relates to his date the unusual story of the young lady and her string of cheap beads.

Joan Robinson has been invited to a party among folks who are of a much higher social standing than her. She is a simple but likable governess. However, the Count (George Macready) sees her and declares to everyone that her necklace is extremely valuable. She denies this and says she bought it for a small amount. However, soon tongues start to wag and the people at the party start to think that this governess is actually a minor member of the royalty who has either fallen on hard times or who is choosing to remain incognito. And, because of that, all these society swells start treating her a heck of a lot better. She never lies and pretends to be anything other than a governess but these folks won't hear of it and begin inviting her to the best parties. What's going to happen next? See the show.

The plot for "A String of Beads" is awfully good. And, the acting is also quite wonderful. Excellent all around and an interesting and original tale.

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