Release date1962 WriterEdward Abraham (story), Valerie Abraham (story), Reginald Hearne (screenplay), Edward Abraham (screenplay) CastHonor Blackman, Patrick Holt, Emrys Jones, Colin Rix (Plainclothes detective) Similar moviesPeter Maxwell directed Serena and Impact
Serena directed by peter maxwell
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 film takes its name from the mysterious model, Serena Vaughan, who may have figured in a murder. Serena was part of a double bill and was later released to the home media market with Impact (1963), also directed by Peter Maxwell.
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.
Principal photography on Serena took place on location in Surrey, and at Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England.
TV Guide gave Serena two out of five stars, calling it a "Basic programmer with a plot more clever than most"; 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"; and Allmovie called the film an "interesting mystery."
In a recent review, John Pym described Serena as "stagey" and, "(a)... not very taxing mystery."