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Sharpe's Waterloo (1997)

Based on the novel by Bernard Cornwell, "Sharpe's Waterloo" brings maverick British officer Lt. Col. Richard Sharpe to his last fight against the French, in June of 1815. Sharpe is assigned... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Abigail Cruttenden ...
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Cécile Paoli ...
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Oliver Tobias ...
Rebeque
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Uxbridge
Nicholas Irons ...
Martin Cochrane ...
Macduff
Jason Salkey ...
John Tams ...
Martin Glyn Murray ...
Doggett
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Witherspoon
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Storyline

Based on the novel by Bernard Cornwell, "Sharpe's Waterloo" brings maverick British officer Lt. Col. Richard Sharpe to his last fight against the French, in June of 1815. Sharpe is assigned to the Prince of Orange's staff, and is rejoined with Sgt. Harper (retired) and riflemen Hagman and Harris at the famous battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. Not only must Sharpe deal with incompetent orders from the Prince of Orange, that lead to slaughter, he confronts his wife's lover, Lord Rossendale, in the midst of battle. The film climaxes as Wellington's small army 'holds the line' against Napolean's veteran Imperial Guard. Written by Derek Relf

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sharpe végső ütközete  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

To save money and time in filming, separate events at the farms of Houguomont and La Haye Sainte were conflated in the film; thus the closing of the gates of Hougoumont - a critical moment in the Battle of Waterloo - takes place at La Haye Sainte instead. See more »

Goofs

Harper and Sharpe are standing next to each other on the rafters in the barn during the first big battle. Sharpe is surprised by a dead soldier and swears. Harper then comes into the barn and warns him of the gate. See more »

Quotes

Doggett: [to the Prince of Orange] You, sir, are a silk stocking full of shit.
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Connections

Follows Sharpe's Mission (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl I Left Behind
Traditional
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User Reviews

Not the best Sharpe, but okay enough.
22 May 2013 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

This is one Sharpe that I failed to see on TV when it first came out. And when I finally did see it I had mixed feelings about it. The film is a kind of reunion and last hurrah for Sharpe and what remains of his riflemen. The pros are of course the reunion of characters that we've come to know through the series of films, one of Sharpe's major subplots sees a resolution, and, for good or ill, we see the fates of our riflemen.

The film itself is rather kludged together. It feels like a patchwork, and the filmed story, not the actual story, but the shots themselves, totter on be incoherent at times, as well as some of the actions of the characters. My guess is that the production team were trying to wind up the film series as best they could, but in the end all they wind up doing is confusing the viewer with some incoherent actions on the part of the main characters.

That, and the battle of Waterloo is never fully realized. Considering that this is a made for TV movie, and one that has the limitations of a UK budget no less, it's no wonder things are a bit scaled down. We're told references to engagements by the characters here and there as they point to one clump of soldiers and then to another. That's not really a big deal. What is a big deal is that we never see the soldiers maneuvering like they're supposed to be. Again, this isn't Sergey Bondarchuk "Waterloo" with tens of thousands of cheap Soviet soldiers to act as extras, but ITV's version of the same battle on a shoestring budget. That's not really a big deal. But what is a big deal is that the Sharpe production team did need at least a couple hundred more people in costume to really fake the size of the armies. But, we can kind of get over that.

What I can't get over is that I'm a huge fan of the film series, have read a few of the books, and am at a loss as to what the story in this film is all about. Sharpe actually meanders here and there for no rhyme or reason, and we the audience are left scratching our heads. Certainly not a fault of the excellent thesping going on here, because all the actors hold their own and gives us excellent performances. If fault were to lie somewhere, then it's with both the screenplay artist and director; probably more the latter than the former.

The final scene and final shot are perhaps how the series should have ended (which it didn't), and is a nice segue into re-watching the films all over again, but the meat of the film could stand to use some tweaking. An interesting project would be to go back and insert scenes with soldiers, or to digitally add more soldiers here and there to really add size and scope to this production. Even so, that's not going to counter for a weak story.

It's not a film I'd recommend, even for Sharpe fans, but, like the infamous third season of 1960's Star Trek, it is what it is and isn't all that bad I suppose.

Give it a shot, and judge for yourself.


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