Sharpe's Justice (TV Movie 1997) Poster

(1997 TV Movie)

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Not as bad as all that
Laurie Edwards (endora60)18 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The War's over, and Sharpe's back in Yorkshire where he started from. Right off, that tells you "Sharpe's Justice" isn't about fighting and glory; it's about how a career soldier settles back into normal life--in this case, as the officer in charge of the local yeomanry. That, in and of itself, weakens the whole premise of Sharpe as a character and as a show.

It's hokey here and there. The whole "long lost brother" bit is silly as hell, and the only surprises here with it are that they used it at all--and that it takes Sharpe so long to figure it out. Also weak beyond belief are Mrs. Sharpe and her paramour, Lord Rossindale, who both came right out of Central Casting and aren't acted well enough to bring anything but the cardboard cutouts. Finally, while "Sharpe" episodes aren't known for subtlety, "Justice" goes way overboard with the black-and-white, good-and-bad. There's no middle ground here: Either a character is Good or he/she is Evil.

Still and all, there's good here too. Sean Bean created Richard Sharpe, and he's got the character down pat. Everything is right about his performance. Minus the constant battles of the earlier episodes, his character is developed and exposed in a way we've never seen before. Also excellent is the eternal sidekick, Sgt. Harper. There's more camaraderie between the two than ever before, and it's quite nice. Even Daniel (the singer) gets good screen time and decent attention paid to him for the first time in the series; his momentary disloyalty and later apology show us how worthwhile his character might've been over three seasons if he'd ever gotten the chance.

It all--episode and series--ends with Sharpe off to Normandy and Lucille, Harper off to Ireland (where's Ramona?) and Daniel staying with the locals in Yorkshire because he's got no place else to go. As they split up for the last time, it's a sad thing, knowing there'll be no more "Sharpe"s, and though you wish this last one had been better, it's a solid enough way to say goodbye.
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Not bad episode just different
chrichtonsworld28 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is not about the war against Napoleon! This is more about the aftermath for the British soldiers! Also it tackles the social and economic problems in England (start of industrial revolution). Comparing this movie to the previous ones it is obvious that this one doesn't contain enough swashbuckling action! Personally I didn't mind it that much! For Sharpe this adventure is a very personal one! He encounters an old friend,Martin Truman,who later turns out to be his brother! Also Sharpe finds out about his mother,Lizzie Sharpe (a prostitute)! And very last but not least he finally gets to talk to Jane (his wife who betrayed him and stole his money)! For the first time you see what kind of a cruel person Jane really is in contrast to her lover Lord Rossendale,who admits that Sharpe is a honorable man! She insults Sharpe in such a way that is hard to believe that she actually ever loved him! It also becomes clear that Sharpe has no future in England and that he self is only truly happy on the battleground. Al these themes provide top drama and give good insight of Sharpe's past and character! A good and entertaining episode in the Sharpe series on a different level!
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Not the same in England.
Paul Chambers (WileE)6 February 2000
With the Peninsular campaign over, our hero Richard Sharpe has to return to England. However, his next assignment sees him working for a wealthy mill-owner against his former friends in Yorkshire. There is a contrived plot about the burning of mills, as well as the usual family revelations; but this is a disappointing outing. Sharpe simply is not the same without two factors being present - the Chosen Men and the French. The same problem was evident in Sharpe's Regiment. If you are a Sharpe fan, of course you will like it. If not, then best stick to those outings that actually involve battle scenes.
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Enjoyable episode enhanced by film location.
jeff7s6 August 2000
This episode although perhaps not the usual swashbuckle,has an added interest for me,as much of the filming took place in my home village of Helmshore.The riot scene was filmed in and around the Helmshore Textile Museum,with the crew setting up on the adjacent carpark,much to the interest of the staff of the nearby Airtours Travel offices.Filming took place for about a week in the month of November. Anyone wishing to see the location can find it on the following website.
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Sharpe's roots
frantz2112 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
this is not the classic Sharpe as it is more about Sharpe's roots and the world he left behind - a world which is rapidly changing due to the industrial revolution, fly by night owners, neo Luddites and a family secret

The class system is clearly outlined with the failed Sharpe marriage and with Mrs Sharpe running off with penniless Lord - yet his family still look down on her as she is married and to boot her husband is workhouse foundling. The socio -economic history is clearly outlined with

  • a mini Peterloo massacre in " keighly square" - yeomanry militia ( no sign of a police force) - the paupers graves - the presence of a workhouse for poor relief - the beginning of the industrial revolution - the beginning of the working class - the power of the rich factory owners - the use of colonies - the decline of the old landowners

a cipher for the creation of a modern UK
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One of the worst Sharpe's, to be sure
sherlock7311 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I am a huge fan of the Sharpe's series, and Sean Bean in general. I regularly watch the Sharpe's series in succession, and enjoy them all. However, I find the plot to this episode a bit contrived and overdone. (I watch it, because it isn't terrible and is part of a great series, but it is my least favorite.) I groan every time it's revealed that Truman is Sharpe's half brother. I mean, come on... The way his mother was sleeping around, he probably has ten siblings running around the countryside. Not to mention it's the oldest trick in the "melodrama" book. And then, to make the groan-factor that much higher, just when he finds out that Truman is his brother, Truman goes and gets himself shot. You can just hear me rolling my eyes, I'm sure.

Ironically, my second to least favorite is Sharpe's Regiment, the only other episode set in England instead of France or Spain. Hmm... Could it be a trend? At least Sharpe's Challenge is set in India and not a retired Sharpe sitting at home twiddling his thumbs and pining over his whore of an ex-wife.
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Where are the French then?
katiepoppycat1 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers

Not adapted from one of Cornwell's books - as far as i know anyway! And boy does it show! It really wasn't in Sharpe's character to go delving into his past, but he goes ahead and does it anyway. The inclusion of the long lost brother plot is a little trite, but it is quite nice - it emphasises how strong the bond between Sharpe and chosen men is. It was also nice to see more of Hagman who is criminally underused in the series, often seemingly included only to perpetrate some folk singing. Once again Jane is completely bonkers, but Rossendale puts in a good performance as the man completely besotted by the scheming minx and feeling a little guilty about the betrayal of the gallant Major Sharpe. The scene in the square was a little chilling, a precursor to the Peterloo massacre that took place not long after. In conclusion though, Sharpe just isn't the same when he isn't fighting the French.
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What where they thinking?
Chris Horry24 May 2001
A nonsensical plot about evil Mill Owners in Yorkshire made worse by some contrived rubbish about a long-lost brother. The series had already gone into a huge decline after the excellent first and second seasons but hits rock bottom here.

Avoid - at all costs.
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Terribly sad and demoralising instalment of the story
James22 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
While there is - sadly - a great deal of reality to this episode, those who have followed the Sharpe story up to this point might perhaps give a moment's thought to whether they really want to go down this road - with all the change of scene and change of mood it entails! This is a complex and challenging "peacetime" episode in which the return of Sharpe and Harper to England proves as much of a disappointment for them as it does for those watching. Just as after the First World War just a century later, returning soldiers are stunned to find that - awful though things may have been on the battlefield, life there had a certain raw simplicity to it. Back home, things are more complex (in relations with people but also as regards what's right and what's wrong), and this all the more the case for returning soldiers trying somehow to fit in and not even quite sure if the fight was worth it. To be honest, though very thought-provoking, it all leaves quite a bitter taste, even if the worst potential consequences are avoided by the time the final credits role...
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