Armstrong Circle Theatre, The Bells of Cockaigne

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James Dean in The Bells of Cockaigne

Directed by James Sheldon

Broadcast November 17, 1953: Pat finally wins the lottery and his dream of visiting his home in Ireland is attainable, but he secretly gives the winning ticket to young Joey, who has an ill child and lots of bills.

The Actors: Gene Lockhart (Pat Cosgrove), James Dean (Joey Frazier), Vaughn Taylor, Jonesy, Donalee Marans (Margie Frazier), John Dennnis (Rivnock), Karl Lukas (Kreuger), William Thunhurst Jr. (Mike), Si Vario (Eddie), Tige Andrews (Sam), Joe Ripley (announcer).


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Veteran actor Gene Lockhart plays Pat Cosgrove, an Irish dock worker that dreams of getting enough money to return one last time to the Irish village that he was born in. He dreams of once again hearing the Bells of Cockaigne from his home town. Young and relatively unknown actor James Dean plays Joey Frazier, a young dock worker that is struggling to make ends meet with a wife and a sick baby boy. The hospital bills are piling up, and Joey is told that his son can only survive if the family can move to a hot and dry climate, but Joey can't even afford the medicine that his baby boy needs. This show is broadcast two years before James Dean gets his big break in the movie, "Rebel Without A Cause."

Joey decides to wager his paycheck in a poker game that the boys have, and Pat tried very hard to convince Joey not to gamble away the paycheck that he is about to get. When Pat gets his pay, he checks the dollars in his pay envelope against a list of serial numbers in the newspaper - if he has a bill that matches today's number in the newspaper, he will win enough money to take the trip back to his home in Ireland. He talks with the paymaster about being able to return home, and is almost overcome with emotion as he dreams of his home town.

Meanwihile Joey takes his money and sits in the poker game with a bunch of other workers. His wife comes down to the dock to find Joey and get enough money for the prescription. Pat goes to find him, but suddenly Joey's luck is turning sour, and he loses all of his pay. As Pat and the paymaster are discussing Joey's woes, a steamship whistle blows, and Pat gets a faraway look on his face, as he thinks of his trip to Ireland. With sudden resolve, he takes his winning dollar and convinces Joey that he dropped it on the floor, and then shows him that it is today's winning dollar bill in the newspaper contest. Amid tears of joy and remorse, Pat knows that he will probably never see his home land again, but he knows that he's done a good thing for young Joey and his family