Serious Charge

Frank Baresi

Serious Charge, trailer
Trailer for Serious Charge

I came across this 1959 film on YouTube, about someone falsely accused of sexual offending. It was filmed on location in Stevenage old town and was the first screen acting role for pop singer Cliff Richard. Does anyone remember this being filmed?

You can see the whole film on YouTube, with the opening titles rolling over shots of the High Street, here *(click).

*It seems that since this post went up, the full video on YouTube has been reclassified as private. However, you can see stills from the film here (click)  and here (click). Ed 18 June 2020

This page was added on 21/03/2020.

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  • It was a the mid 1950s and my sister and I, as young teenagers, were at Popple Way shops getting Mum’s shopping. Suddenly, this handsome young man came out of Atterton’s newsagent, glanced at us and hurried off. I remember us just standing there, transfixed, and I whispered “Was that REALLY Cliff Richard?”

    By Delia Campbell (09/04/2021)
  • I don’t know where it was filmed, but the differences in the windows etc do not point to the MOL pub. Also it’s interesting on reel streets that on still number 30 of the pub it states location unknown

    By Derek Rumley (22/11/2020)
  • @Derek Rumley, it looks like the Marquis of Lorne to me. Where do you think it was filmed then? Surely you don’t expect the pub not to have undergone some changes over the last 60 years? What about the doorway they are standing in at the White Hart right next door to what was then the Co-op? There is no sign at all that it was ever there now but the pub name is clearly on display. All of the filming takes place on the High Street with the exception of the old police station/juvenile court in Stanmore Road doubling as the Coroners Court and a couple of glimpses of the new town when Cliff crosses Popple Way and his brother’s pregnant girlfriend is actually killed in the bus station with Davants clearly on view!

    By Steven Sheehan (20/10/2020)
  • Don’t think the fight scene is outside the Marquis pub, too many differences with windows etc.

    By Derek Rumley (17/10/2020)
  • Thank-you to Frank Baresi. I had heard of a film being made in Stevenage previous to “Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush” and “Boston Kickout” but didn’t know what it was called. My son ordered a DVD copy for me for just £1.50 p&p because it had originally been given away for free with the Daily Mail. It is much more convenient to pause the DVD in order to look at scenes in the Old Town. It’s great to see pubs with their original names like the “White Hart” and “Yorkshire Grey.” There is a fight scene at night outside the “Marquis of Lorne” but the name is not captured on film.

    The cover gives the impression that it is a Cliff Richard film which it is not. His part is quite small as he plays the younger brother of the “baddie” played by Andrew Ray. His part involves going to court with the vicar and probation officer and being picked up in Popple Way although the flats have long since been demolished and rebuilt. Was the large block at the back called Jowitt House or something like that? I did actually visit there once!

    Then there is a scene in the new town itself where Andrew Ray’s pregnant girlfriend walks up the slope between the entrance to Primark (was Co-op) and past the old Barclay’s Bank. When she sees Andrew Ray’s character kissing another girl in a bus shelter, she runs into the road, which is really the bus station, and is sadly killed. It is dark and raining but Davant’s furniture shop is clearly visible, though most of you will know it as being McDonald’s until recently. I remember going in it when it was Hardy&Co.

    I’m not going to spoil the film for you by reviewing it and I can assure you that I was interested in all the scenes in the Old Town and not just those that featured public houses! BTW has anybody else noticed that the new flats in Park Place are named “Mulberry House” and “Boston House?”

    [The largest of the blocks of flats on Popple Way was called Chauncy House. You can see an aerial photo of them all at this link. I think Jowitt House may have been the name of the one on the left in the photo. Ed.]

    By Steven Sheehan (14/06/2020)
  • I remember being home late from school through witnessing some aspects associated with the film making of Serious Charge in Stevenage Old Town. Springfield House in the High Street and the old police station in Stanmore Road were locations where stars Anthony Quayle, Sarah Churchill and Andrew Ray acted their roles. I was engrossed with all the action albeit perhaps that the scenes looked to be a little chaotic! After the morning shopping my mother watched the action of the scene outside Springfield House where a vehicle approached the property and tediously performed several times before the director was satisfied with the take!

    By Robert E Dines (30/03/2020)