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Beads in the Movies

Many beads are featured in movies, but even those that try to be historically accurate,
are not always correct. Such small items get overlooked.
Any producers out there need a consultant?

The talisman in La Bamba is here.

Beads are given a satirical twist in Hud. Hud (Paul Newman; left) says to Elma (Patricia Neil), I don't want to come on crude. I'll bring you a two-pound box of candy and some perfume from the Drug Store.

The ungrateful Elma replies, How about some colored beads and some wampum? A bit of a slip;
wampum is not appropriate here.

On the other hand, the wampum in The Last of the Mohicans was used correctly, when Leather-Stockings (Daniel Day-Lewis) held it up as a symbol of an agreement over the ownership of land.

In a neat dab of reality, Luchino Visconi's Death in Venice, shows a man peddling beads on the Lido. The Lido is one of 117 islands in the Lagoon of Venice, beadmaker to the world for senturies. A bead seller on the Lido is a nice local touch.

There are some interesting similes used for beads in the movies. In Guys and Dolls (originally a play) Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) says to Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra), The supply [of dames] is more than Woolworth has beads.

The climatic fight scene is on the left.

Note: one or more images on this page may be copyrighted. I believe their use is covered by the "fair use" clause (Section 107) of the U.S. Copyright Law. If any copyright holder informs me in writing that the use is not fair, I shall remove the image in question.


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