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Sharpe's Rifles (1993)

TV Movie  |   |  Action, Adventure, History  |  5 May 1993 (UK)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,703 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 2 critic

In the Peninsular War, a British sergeant is field promoted to a lieutenant in charge of a disrespectful rifle company.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Daragh O'Malley ...
...
David Troughton ...
Simón Andreu ...
Vivar
Michael Mears ...
John Tams ...
Jason Salkey ...
Paul Trussell ...
Tongue
Lyndon Davies ...
Perkins
...
...
Captain Murray
Richard Ireson ...
Sgt. Williams
...
Lawford
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Storyline

During the Peninsular War in Spain against the French Sergeant Richard Sharpe saves the life of Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington and is promoted to Lieutenant. In order to pay the troops Wellesley needs a money draft from the banker Rothschild but fears he has been captured by the French and sends Sharpe behind enemy lines to find him. Sharpe is allowed to pick his own platoon of crack riflemen, led by the surly Irishman Harper and including Hagman and Harris, who resent Sharpe as not being a 'proper officer' and mutiny, although they eventually come to respect him. Sharpe's group meet up with a band of Spanish partisans led by Teresa, with whom Sharpe is deeply smitten. Eventually they rout the French and rescue a trio of Methodist missionaries, one of whom, dressed as a woman, is actually Rothschild in disguise. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Release Date:

5 May 1993 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Scharfschützen - 1. Das Banner des Blutes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, Vivar is seen to light a cigar with what appears to be a pistol with no barrel. This is, in fact, a flintlock fire-starter - pretty much exactly a pistol grip and lock with no barrel, designed to ignite tinder by means of the shower of sparks created when the flint in the lock strikes the steel frizzen. See more »

Goofs

In the abandoned cottage, Harper bends and reacts to Sharpe's kick to his groin a split second before Sharpe's foot actually connects, even though Harper's face is turned away looking behind him. See more »

Quotes

Man in Black: When you bury me... no priests!
See more »

Connections

Followed by Sharpe's Gold (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Here's Adieu to All Judges and Juries
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Michael Mears and Brian Cox
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An enjoyable fairytale
16 March 2011 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

A fairly entertaining series, but with a too little economic backing to carry it off properly, the events of 1808 was on such a scale that a realistic recreation is difficult. However when a force that consisted of 30 000 or 120 000 men is attempted recreated with 30 to 60 men some of the sense of it all loses its meaning. The only way to hide such inadequacies is to have a clever and inventive camera man sadly lacking here which gives the production a veneer of amateurishness it could well be without. Another problem is that the extras they have used are non-military ergo they don't know how to march, or fight, or shoot and all the battle scenes look thoroughly fake. That said the main characters in the series for most parts do a passable job; with a few exceptions who are about as involved as cheddar cheese. Sean Bean is an actor who I before this series, never have liked in any role he has played, but the role of Sharp suits him and he is believable in the role.

As for the historical aspect to this series it is interesting to observe how liberal the English are with historical events, while simultaneously complaining over the Americans and Hollywood for falsifying history.

I read the books the series is based on some years back and had an impression that they were more true to the actual events than this TV series, then again I might be suffering from a laps of amnesia. I cannot speak for the part of the series that unfolds itself in India but to anyone versed in European history it is a known fact that the French pulled out of Spain due to the troubles the Spanish guerrilla was causing them. The relentless fighting against an enemy they could not see was bleeding the French ranks and draining their resources, demoralizing their troops and when Napoleon in 1813 suffered great losses in Russia the French began pulling out their troops from Spain as they were needed for the defense of France against the advancing Russians. Since then the English have told us that they kicked the French out of Spain and in this series, even giving the impression that it was them, not the Russians; who marched into Paris having defeated Napoleon in 1814.

Secondly, in the first part of this series the French intelligence service is depicted as completely inept compared to the English one. This is perhaps even more preposterous than taking credit for what the Russians and Spanish did, for French intelligence services was led by a man called Fouché and he had developed the most effective intelligence agency Europe had seen up till then, compared to this the English were amateurs (to use a French word, of which reconnoiter is another one).

The third preposterous allegation from the series is that it was Wellington who single handed beat Napoleon at Waterloo. We have heard this lie so often now from the British that the man who really beat Naploeon at Wateroloo and ended his reign has almost been forgotten. But his name was Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, count of Wahlstat. Unlike Wellington, Blücher had met Napoleon in the field before, at Jena and was for a long time the only one who got away from it with some honour intact. The 50 000 strong Prussian troops (the English had 30 000)was what got Wellington's boots out of the fire rescuing him from a battle he was losing. it was them who captured Napoleon and was the first to take Paris. As a reward the English has pretended he was not there at best he is a foot note.

In spite of this the Series is as I said at the start an enjoyable little fairy-tale just like Harry Potter and well worth watching, for most parts it is better than the mindless rubbish one usually is served on TV; but like Harry Potter, not to be taken too serious - if you are looking for historical accuracy from the English I would rather suggest Black Adder.


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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