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Serena is a 1962 Black and white British B film crime thriller directed by Peter Maxwell and stars Patrick Holt, Emrys Jones and Honor Blackman. The title of the film is the name of one of the characters, Serena Vaughan, who may have figured in a murder.[1] Serena was part of a double bill and was later released to the home media market with Impact (1963), also directed by Peter Maxwell.[2]

Serena (1962 film) title card.png
Title card
Directed byPeter Maxwell
Produced byJohn I. Phillips
Written by
  • Edward Abraha
  • Valerie Abraham
  • Reginald Hearne
Music byJohn Gregory
CinematographyStephen Dade
Edited byAllan Morrison
Butcher's Film Service
Distributed byButcher's Film Service
Release date
  • June 1962 (1962-06)
Running time
60 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom



Detective Chief Inspector Gregory (Patrick Holt) from Scotland Yard, and his partner, Sergeant Conway (Bruce Beeby), are called in to investigate the shotgun murder of a woman at Rosehill Cottage, a remote Surrey cottage. The victim appears to be Ann Rogers (Honor Blackman), the wife of womanising artist Howard Rogers (Emrys Jones). Her face, however, is so badly disfigured by the two shotgun blasts, it is hard to be sure of her identity. Rogers looks for a birthmark that would positively prove the body belongs to his wife, but it is not there.

At first, Gregory had considered Rogers as the chief suspect, but his alibi proves he is innocent. When Ann suddenly shows up, the identity of the murdered woman may rest on one of the artist's models, Claire Matthews, who is missing. A search for both the artist's mistress, Serena Vaughan, and the missing model intensifies, but Ann's motivations are also suspect. One of the women may know the truth.


  • Patrick Holt as Inspector Gregory
  • Emrys Jones as Howard Rogers
  • Honor Blackman as Ann Rogers
  • Bruce Beeby as Sergeant Conway
  • John Horsley as Mr. Fisher
  • Robert Perceval as Bank Manager
  • Wally Patch as Barman
  • Gerry Duggan as Norman Cole
  • Peter Glaze as Station Booking Clerk
  • Howard Greene as River Police Sergeant
  • Reginald Hearne as Doctor
  • Lawrence James as Uniformed Constable
  • Benedicta Leigh as Policewoman Scott
  • Barry Linehan as Forensic Chemist
  • Bill Mills as Photographer
  • Frank Pettitt as Fred
  • Colin Rix as Plainclothes Detective
  • Raymond Smith as River Police Constable
  • Pat Shaw as Uniformed Policewoman


Principal photography on Serena took place on location in Surrey, and at Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

TV Guide gave Serena two out of five stars, calling it a "Basic programmer with a plot more clever than most";[4] while the Radio Times rated it three out of five stars, and wrote, "Rising well above the quota-quickie average, this entertaining little whodunnit shoehorns an extravagant amount of plot into its short running time. Directed at a fair lick by Peter Maxwell";[5] and Allmovie called the film an "interesting mystery."[6]

In a recent review, John Pym described Serena as "stagey" and, "(a)... not very taxing mystery."[7]



  1. ^ "Film details: 'Serena (1962)." British Film Institute. Retrieved: 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ "DVD: Impact/Serena." Amazon. Retrieved: 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Film: 'Serens'.", 2016. Retrieved: 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Review: 'Serena'." TV Guide. Retrieved: 29 August 2016.
  5. ^ Parkinson, David. "Review: 'Serena'." RadioTimes. Retrieved: 29 August 2016.
  6. ^ Brennan, Sandra. "Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related: 'Serena; (1962)." AllMovie. Retrieved: 29 August 2016.
  7. ^ Pym 2004, p. 1055.


  • Pym, John, ed. Time Out Film Guide. London: Time Out Guides Limited, 2004. ISBN 978-0-14101-354-1.

External linksEdit