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A String of Blue Beads


1953 : A String of Blue Beads (TV movie)
by Fulton Oursler (short story) & Alexander Greendale (adaptation).
starring Ellen Cobb-Hill & Margaret Hamilton.
Louis Jourdan as Peter.


A young man with everything to live for is crushed to learn of the death of his fiancée in a fire on Christmas Eve. For three years he wallows in self-pity until a young girl reminds him of the true meaning of Christmas.


• Review : A STRING OF BLUE BEADS is a slight little Christmas tale that was a pilot for an anthology series of short stories that never came to be. What makes this little film fascinating is it was one of the earliest color broadcasts on television and happily is one of the few early color productions for TV that can be seen in color now. Early color television productions seem to have had a limited color capability much like the early 1930's attempts at Technicolor. This actually adds to the charm of this little Christmas story giving in an "old time" feel.

Louis Jourdan stars as an antique shop owner who grieves for years over his fiancée. The "blue beads" in the title are a string of old beads he had priced high because he didn't want to sell them, wanting to give them to his girl as a gift. Beloved character actress Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz) has a very large role in this production as the compassionate shop cleaner who urges him to give life another chance.

This little 27 minute drama can be found on a number of low-cost DVD Christmas sets, the one I have Christmas CLASSICS VOL. 1 which pictures Betty White on the cover (the 90-minute disc has three 1950's half hour shows including a Christmas episode of White's sitcom A DATE WITH THE ANGELS, and a CROSSROADS episode "Our First Christmas Tree" starring Don Taylor.)