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Sharpe's Rifles
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Sharpe's Rifles (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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37 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

One of Television's all time best movie series

Author: TexasRedge from Kingsport, Tennessee
17 April 2002

If America only knew how good this was,it would be the highest rated Made-For-TV movie series of all time(hard to believe there are more people out there that would rather watch "The Columbo Mysteries" than Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe Chronicles- that just goes to show the power of major network name-brand advertising.

The Richard Sharpe movie series has been television at its finest. I have seen all of the BBC Sharpe series movies,"Sharpe's Waterloo" is my favorite of the films. However I tune in to PBS everytime they air the Sharpe movies. So far all the movies have been based on the Sharpe Chronicles - adventure novels written by Bernard Cornwell(the same author who wrote "Rebel"). Each Movie chronicles the on-going adventures of Richard Sharpe who is a Brittish Lt. in the Brittish military during the late 1790's-to early 1800's during the Napoleonic era in Europe. I sincerly believe that each one of these Films has been good enough to have shown at the movie theaters,if the producers had wanted to. Unlike other Made-For-TV films,The Hornblower films do not have that Made-For-TV feeling to them,like most television movies have. However each of the Sharpe Movies picks up exactly where the last one left off. The only negative thing I can say about this movie series is the use of an electric guitar as the background music- I have to take points off for that, because the sometimes screeching guitar noises can become annoying at times.

A common misconception that people who havent seen these movies have is that all of these films go to gether as a mini-series- that is not true. The Sharpe movies are not a mini-series,all of these films are individual movies about the same charactor, However they are sequels to each other each picking up where the last film left off.- with all the same actors playing the same roles in each film(EXAMPLE:think of the James Bond films-that same principle applies to the Sharpe movies,but unlike Bond, the Sharpe films are sequels)

If you have seen the Sharpe movies and you liked them and you wish to see more similar themed programing, I will suggest A&E's Horatio Hornblower movies(6 movies in all- same basic priciple as the Sharpe movie except Hornblower is in the Brittish Navy to whereas Sharpe is a ground soldier)

I give the entire Sharpe movie series 4 out of 5 stars. Its near Perfect entertainment- but you cant please everyone, so for those of you dont like epic Napoleonic era battles,classic historic style drama,high stakes adventure, and danger on the European battlefields,if you dont like stuff like that-there is always a Columbo re-run for you to watch.

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

From a time when warfare looked silly and didn't make very much sense comes one of the best television shows ever...

Author: Jeremy A. Cook ( from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
19 February 1999

You like action? Adventure? War? British people? Silly hats? Muskets? Explosions? People who shoot things? Fencing? WWF style brawling? Sharpe's Rifles has them all. The first episode in the Sharpe series sets the tone for the epic to come- high adventure. Brilliantly written by Eoghan Harris, the best of the Sharpe writers, and equally brilliantly executed by Sean Bean and the rest of the talented cast. My only complaint is with the music- the electric guitar that pops up throughout the Sharpe series seems especially loud and annoying. However, this is easily overlooked in light of the near perfect nature of the rest of the show. Get off your computer! Watch this show! Now!

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Excellent start to a classic series

Author: no-skyline from London, England
4 May 2006

Sharpe is without doubt one of the biggest achievements of British TV drama. All involved have worked wonders with the source material managing to squeeze in all the important elements of Bernard Cornwalls series of novels. Sean Bean is perfect for the role of Sharpe and with excellent support from Daragh O'Malley as Harper and the beautiful Assumpta Serena as Teresa this show really hits the ground running.

Sharpe is all about action and follows a similar blue print to the likes of Bond. Sharpe gets a mission from Wellington then the plot thickens to take in treachery and intrigue and then we get an action filled finale.

Sharpe has it's basis in reality most characters were real people Wellington etc, it takes in real events such as the battle of talevera and the weaponry, uniforms etc are accurate. But from there on in this is adventure in the boys own style and Sharpe is the perfect hero tough and always ready for a fight.

Sharpe is great TV entertainment and a nice change of pace from the reality TV hell we seem to be stuck in at present.


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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie Even If You're Not Historically Inclined

Author: Taurin ( from Ottawa, CANADA
26 September 2001

The Napoleonic Wars are not typically my historical period of interest. A friend of mine had seen some of the Sharpe's movies on Public Television, bought the first set of videos and basically browbeat me into watching them. We watched Sharpe's Rifles, the first of the series, one night when I was over for dinner, and he gladly let me borrow the rest of that first set when I left. I was greatly, and pleasantly impressed. Sean Bean is, of course, a spectacular actor, and he brings a realistic personality to a character of the period. Richard Sharpe is a hero that's not always behaving quite like a hero, but when one realises that he was a commoner from a world where if he didn't join the army, he would've ended up a criminal, one can at least appreciate his behaviour, even if one doesn't always agree with it. The supporting cast also does a wonderful job. The series puts Sharpe in the forefront of actual historical events, specifically battles, and one is tempted to believe that he was a real person. If you're a fan of Sean Bean, if you're a fan of period movies, or Hell! if you're a fan of movies...period, you should check out at least the first set of Sharpe's movies, starting with this one.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Fun! Now Go Read the Book!

Author: ttintagel from New York
2 June 2004

What red-blooded girl could argue with 102 minutes of a mud-smeared Sean Bean swashbuckling in tight breeches? (Excuse me while I have an attack of the vapors...) It's a fun movie with a lot of action and great costumes, acting, and production values. BUT. . . I think the strong point of this series of movies is that it's likely to make you want to read the series of novels by Bernard Cornwell. Even for people who don't normally like to read historical/military fiction, they're a rollicking great read and packed with fascinating detail and character development. The movie is a tasty appetizer; the book is a satisfying meal. In this case, watching the movie won't ruin the book for you, and vice versa. Differences aside, they're done in the same spirit.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Excellent action and drama. Always interesting.

Author: bowtro from United States
31 March 2006

This is one of 14 "Sharpe" movie series. They are all very good. They are never dull. Mixes enough historical data to create interest. Costumes and equipment authentic. His struggle to overcome his lowly birth and better himself through military service achievement is heart rending. Gen Sir Wellesly who commissioned him from a Sgt. believes in him and backs him subtly. His faithful friend Sgt.Harper shares many adventure and helps Lt.Sharpe through many escapades. Assumpta Serena as his love interest, Teresa, and later wife is very well played. Sharpe has to constantly overcome hardship, discriminations and problems his peers do not. He is constantly being ragged on by his superiors and fellow officers who are much less brave. Sharpe has integrity and grit which is a big help to him. But he always wins the girl and overcomes by sheer determination and street smarts. One of the best TV series ever.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

An enjoyable action/adventure t.v. series out of the UK.

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
1 September 2003

"Sharpe's Rifles" is the first in a series of about 14 teleplays with Sean Bean playing the rough, tough commander of a motley bunch of sharp shooters who fight for Britain in the Peninsular campaign (circa 1808ish). The film is an enjoyable action/adventure romp with Sharpe as much a ladies' man as a man's man who must prove himself to both in this foray into Spain on a somewhat ambiguous mission. Not to be taken seriously, "Sharpe's Rifles" is just fun stuff for anyone into adventure flix set during the Napoleonic Wars. Note: the video quality on the bare bones DVD I watched was no better than I would expect from broadcast and there were no CC's, subtitles, or extra features. (B-)

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

riotously entertaining

Author: katiepoppycat from Leeds, West Yorkshire
1 March 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


As a fan of the books, I'd never actually seen the tv films until very recently. I wasn't disappointed. Sean Bean excels as the maverick Richard Sharpe, and there are some sterling supporting performances - my favourite being Hogan. In the light of LOTR and others, the battles probably don't seem as spectacular as they once may have done, but this doesn't detract from the action at all. The adaptation has been sensitively done, although Wellesley's promotion of Sharpe is a little spurious. Teresa is feisty and sexy, Harper is just as he should be, and Hagman is exactly as I imagined him to be in the book.My only criticism is that whoever was responsible for the scoring of this film deserves to be garrotted with the strings from their electric guitar. Historical dramas should not date, but that music certainly does. Nonetheless, tons of fun!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Sensational historical fiction

Author: Corky1984 from England
7 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Sharpe series is outstanding. Made by ITV, it is nowhere near as stuffy and slow-paced as it would have been on the BBC. Sean Bean stars as Richard Sharpe, the son of a prostitute and a soldier trying to make his way in the British army in the Peninsula War. He saves Wellington's life and finds himself made a captain, quite a step up considering his poor background in an era of unashamed snobbery. Sharpe finds his company of men, the rifles, and has a rude introduction, including a fight with Harper, a bawdy Irishman. As the film progresses, Harper proves his worth and in later episodes became Sharpe's right-hand man. Played by Daragh O'Malley, Harper is in many ways the star of the show, quick witted and always good for a one-liner. The central plot of Sharpe's Rifles involves the new captain getting to grips with his men, before a deadly mission involves them all. Along the way, double-dealing Spaniards have to work with him and Sharpe meets his future bride, Teresa, a Spanish spy. The French forces who serve as the enemy, are out to cause havoc, but Sharpe puts them down well. The series is excellent fun and offers a good glimpse of how war was fought in the early 1800s, with a few liberties of course. The real Wellington detested raising from the ranks (see Richard Holmes' book The Iron Duke, a good read). The Sharpe series is one to own, and this opener is amongst its best.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fun adventure, but too many discrepancies

Author: djhscan from Denmark
20 December 2012

I love the books, although it was the films that I first discovered. The films are still great stories, but I think there are too many discrepancies compared to the books.

Sean Bean is excellent as Richard Sharpe, but some of the other characters don't match the description in the books.

Teresa did not even appear in this book and she was not the leader of Spanish resistance when Sharpe first met her. She was 11 years younger than him, not 2 years older as between the actors.

The Spanish Major was the same age as Sharpe, not his Father's age. They have mixed at least two of the books together here, which is a shame as each book is great and has a story to tell.

Otherwise it is a fun and entertaining war/adventure story.

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