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The Diamond Necklace


Ostentation has tragic consequences for a couple with modest means as they borrow a diamond necklace to show off at a party. They end up losing it and the husband is forced to take a huge loan from an evil financier. But a mere debt is not their salvation as murder, death by accident and suicide soon follow in its wake.



Air Dates

  • First Run - May 19, 1975
  • Repeat - September 3, 1975
  • Repeat - June 23, 1979





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34 Responses to Episode 0276


Jonathan Wald

Leon Janney always plays a great bad guy -- the loanshark or the contemptuous owner -- his croaky voice perfect for radio. Enjoyable story. Moral, don't act richer than you are.


This was my favorite episode of all the episodes I listened to from 1974 to 1982.


Yes, it was also one of my favorites. I remember listening to this particular episode as Chuck Shaden replayed them from 780 WBBM in Chicago sometime in the 1980s.


I agree with Wilhelm and Don. This episode was one of my favorite episodes as well.


This episode is my favorite. Five stars.

Don Heiland,Jr.

A couple invited to a party wish to make an impression; It's hosted by the husband's boss. In making themsleves even more stylish and acceptable for it, the wife borrows a necklace from a well-to-do friend of hers. Attending the party, they discover the invitation was a mistake. Humliated, they return home to find that the necklace is gone. To pay off some debts, people are willing to do anything.


A modest couple borrows a diamond necklace from a rich friend to wear to a dinner party. They lose it and the husband borrows $6500 from a loan shark. As they say, paybacks are a . . .

CJ. Perey

The crew of a flight departing from a troubled Central American country, receive notice that there may be a terrorist on board who is intent on killing the president and taking the entire plane down in a suicide mission. The head stewardess and pilot go through the flight manifest crossing out passengers they know and trust, and create a list of possible suspects. Three of the individuals on board refused to part with their bags when they boarded and the stewardess must now find out what is in each of the bags without raising suspicion.


A couple invited to a party wish to make an impression; It's hosted by the husband's boss. In making themsleves even more stylish and acceptable for it, the wife borrows a necklace from a well-to-do friend of hers. Attending the party, they discover the invitation was a mistake. Humliated, they return home to find that the necklace is gone. To pay off some debts, people are willing to do anything. Review: My life seems to mirror this show, at this the latter part of it that I now live. When I was a child I always thought there would never be a "No" to counteract the "Yes". The minute you hit 25 it starts to hit you on what the real deal of life is. Money is and will always be the key in the happiness of a person of society, especially American society. I wonder what would happen if a person was black and had the same situation happen to them. The ending is very fitting to the inner emotions of the husband, who sounds very much like that's what he wanted to do BEFORE he lost the necklace.

Jason B.

One of my favorites, I enjoyed the twist at the end...made the story all the more dramatically ironic...


It was a heart-rending twist at the end, but it's one of my favorites by Guy De Maupassant. Hard Work + Dire Financial Straits + Murder = HELL for Henry & Matilda Smith (played by Mandel Kramer and Marian Seldes). All the music that was played in ACT 3 should be titled "Commiserations". It's interesting how much drama, chaos, and misery that humans can go through just for an accessory item of fashion.


The necklace was more trouble than it was worth....literally. If only Matilda had known from the beginning...


This was such a heartbreaking episode.


I like this episode, but it is only losely based on the original story. In de Maupassant's original, the wife is a social climber married to a simple bureaucrat whom she views as beneath her. She pushes her husband to get an invitation to a fancy ball and then imposes on a friend to barrow what she believes is a diamond necklace to wear to the ball because she believes that she is too good to wear flowers or costume jewelry as her husband suggests. As in the radio version, she and her husband do spend years paying off their loan for the necklace, they obtain that loan from a bank; neither the husband nor wife go crazy or die in any manner during the course of the story. In the end, it is the wife who finally confesses to her friend that she lost the necklace after the debt has been paid at a huge sacrife to her and her husband, only to learn that the necklace was paste and that she and her husband have sacrificed the best years of their lives to keep up appearances to the wife's wealthy friend. The original is about the sin and consequences of false pride. The wife is not a sympathetic character. While I enjoyed this story, it lacks the irony and sense of poetic justice that made de Maupassant's story a classic.


Heartbreaking and depressing. It's a great story but don't end or begin your day on this episode. It will put you off the remaining of the day.


Well acted, but by FAR the most depressing, no-glimmer-of-light episode of the series to date. I wanted that 40 minutes of life back.


Yes, a depressing episode but a good one. My thought was that they should've told the friend that they lost the necklace and would've saved them misery (like Susan said, it was false pride). Even if the necklace had been worth as much as they paid for it, I'm sure the friend would've been easier on them than a bank or a loan shark. Honesty is the best policy?


The man borrows $6,500. He's told he must pay 10% interest a month, which both parties agree is sixty dollars and fifty cents -- $60.50. HUH? Didn't anyone on the show catch that 10% of $6,500 is $65, and not $60.50?


Yes, the interest was 1% per month making his payment 65 bucks. I know we are supposed to embrace this suspension of disbelief stuff but hard to believe any two people could make such dumb decisions over and over. Also, the rich lady would certainly have had insurance on a piece that cost the same as a new house in 1900. Not a bad episode but certainly not on of the best, for me.

Tom d

I can't help but feel that the acting in this episode, as well as the story itself, is so mellow-dramatic that I simply cannot believe in the story. (That's just my opinion.) It's kind of hard to get into the story or feel genuinely sorry for the characters because somehow they don't make it seem believable. It isn't an episode I could never listen to again. It's just not one of my favorites.


This was a harsh episode that left you feeling bad! Very impactful!

Steve Killian

Very depressing. The twist at the end snuffs out any light at the end of the tunnel.

Mike S

Very good episode about the the have's and the have not's. Also, a memorable episode proving that even successful writers make mistakes. 1% of $6,500 is NOT $60.50.


Disappointing. Two thumbs down. By far one of the worst episodes I have heard thus far...and I generally like what I hear! A man starts out unlucky and we get to listen for 45 minutes while his life falls apart all around him. And why? That is a good question. He seemed doomed at the outset to eke out a pitiful existence and, in the end, we get to see just how miserable he and his wife become. Others who have left their comments have talked about morality. What morality? What did this man do to be so cursed? What grave sin did his wife commit that she should suffer the way she did? She borrowed a necklace from a friend which she accidentally lost! That was all.


They actually changed the story and it no longer makes sense. In the original story, the couple had pride, and got 'punished' for that. In this story, they softened the main character so that they didn't deserve what they got. But it doesn't make sense, unless you want to put a nasty demon in there who curses them for no good reason. :)


Leon Janney would have made a great Scrooge. They should have put him in the role because his voice sounds very hard and mean, lol! He has the meanest sounding voice of all the actors on the series.


When Matilda Smith goes on and on, raving insanely (and overly dramatic) about the "divine waltz" she so badly wanted to dance to at the ball, I can't help but think of "Waltzing Matilda" ha, ha! :D


Its funny how no one caught on about the 1% mistake. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I remember readig the original back in 10th grade Literature class.


Not worth a second listen. It seems more depressing than the story itself.


This was really a story of two ridiculous mistakes, only one with horrible repercussions. Thanks to RMT for bringing the great Guy de Maupassant to new generations of listeners!

Melanie C

Most realistic story CBS mystery ever ran!


I remember reading the original back in 10th grade. Great play, but a little over acting from Marian Seldes in my opinion.

Jim K.

It would be a "ridiculous " mistake to miss this episode.

Mark f

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