Sharpe's Sword (TV Movie 1995) Poster

(1995 TV Movie)

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Sharpe's best since Enemy
unbend_54405 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Sharpe's Sword is one of the more complicated stories. There's a French officer changing identities to hide the fact that he's actually a Colonel named Leroux who has been sent to assassinate a mysterious British agent named El Mirador. Confused yet? Meanwhile, Sharpe also rescues a young woman who doesn't speak, so she is given the name Lass, and despite Sharpe's efforts to pawn her off, Lass continues to stick to Sharpe like glue, even sleeping in his tent at night. There's a hidden code, traitors, spies, Priests, and a subplot of Harper being forced to marry Ramona, the mother of his child. The story is even more complicated than that, but this is all I'll say.

The story takes some big leaps this time, revolving around the possible death of Sharpe. Even though for a lot of the movie they're not in contact, Sharpe and Harper have a great dynamic between them. While in the past the loyalty between the two of them was always there, this movie gives some insight into their relationship. Unlike some other reviewers, I didn't mind the character of Lass. Of course she's not as good as La Marquesa, but come on, La Marquesa was the best female character the series ever had. And considering Lass only speaks a few words during the entire movie, her character was still better developed than several other female characters in the series. I have to say that the real treat of Sharpe's Sword is the unexpected return of Simmerson, the original pompous, bumbling, fool of a British Officer. I believe Henry Simmerson to be one of the reasons why Sharpe's Eagle was so popular, and next to only Obadiah Hakeswill, Simmerson is the best villain this series had. The scene between him and Lass is the best example of why he's so good. Sir Henry Simmerson is a character who is so disgustingly vile that I almost wish they'd given him his own spinoff series. There's also the addition of Spears to the cast. The one scene where Sharpe confronts him is one of the strongest points of the movie. It's not often that an actor can upstage Sean Bean, but James Purefoy did it. Great dramatic writing in that scene, and great dramatic writing all around. Sharpe's Sword was the first script Eoghan Harris had done since Sharpe's Enemy, my favorite movie of the series. There's something about the scripts that Eoghan Harris writes that completely captures the adventure and excitement. As always, there are multiple showdowns that end in swordfights. First there's the fight between Simmerson and the character who is eventually revealed to be El Mirador. I love taking pleasure in viewing Simmerson in pain and agony. Like I said before, disgusting villain, brilliant character. I'll go as far as to say that the best fight scene of the entire Sharpe series is the one between Sharpe and Leroux. What makes it work is that both men are badly beaten and in serious pain the whole time. The fact that they can barely stand on their feet brings some urgency to the fight. The real showdown of the movie is between Harper and the Priest. Sure, they don't fight, but it's a very funny scene that perfectly ends the movie on the right note. Sharpe's Sword is definitely the best movie since Sharpe's Enemy, and one of the very best of the series.
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Sharpe series favorite
qwer8021 January 2006
I totally agree with the in-depth review already submitted. This episode of the Sharpe series is my all-time favorite and the character of Lord Jack and the performance by James Purefoy have become a must -see every few months or so! I own all fourteen of the Sharpe series and annually play them in sequence. James Purefoy's portrayal of the tragic figure of Lord Jack and the tension-fraught scene in the library are worthy of any first-line production in the theater. You can tell I am a huge Sharpe fan (Sean Bean being the ultimate action hero of all time!) and I really feel sorry for people who have missed this engrossing and intelligently researched and produced series! Bernard Cornwell, author of the novels from which Sharpe is taken, is an outstanding writer and I recommend his other works to all. If you are a reader, try one of his many engrossing historical novels.
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Fine addition to excellent series. A candidate for best Sharpe episode.
Dave from Ottawa23 April 2012
All of the usual elements of a Sharpe adventure are here: intrigue, in the person of a French spy-catcher and possible traitors within the English ranks; romance, in the form of a mute girl who nurses a wounded Sharpe back to health after a bloody night action; and another terrific battle recreation as Sharpe's riflemen attempt to overrun a french fort outside the town of Villafranca.

The usual cast are superb, as ever, and Michael Cochrane nearly steals the movie as arrogant aristocrat Sir Henry Simmerson. Look for Emily Mortimer as the mute girl.

As usual, the best aspect of the film is its wonderfully authentic period detail and lovely Spanish scenery. Recommended.
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A bit off, but still good.
Izzy Richardson7 November 2004
Sharpe's Sword has three main faults.

1. The dialogue. Not as good as in some of the others. Unrealistic at times, even leaning towards slapstick. The scene where Sharpe is being briefed by Munro is funny, but not in line with the more strained relationship we see in Sharpe's Battle. Equally, Pat's relationship with Sharpe seems inconsistent.

2. The woman. OK, I've got used to a lot of other women lusting after Sean Bean by now, but this one is oh-so-annoying. The only time she's good is when she rejects Sir Henry Simmerson's disgusting offer so well, but other than that I find her infuriating. She just mopes around, whimpering, feeling sorry for herself and trying to get Sharpe to fall in love with her, which thankfully he does not.

3. The bad guy. By this I mean the Frenchie, not Sir Henry. You see a lot of him pretending to be good, but not much of him actually being bad; he's not a figure I ended up hating all that much. There was good swordplay in the last fight scene, and the injuries of both him and Sharpe added excitement and desperation, but it wasn't as intense as, say, the priest's encounter with Simmerson.

The good things were the priest (naturally), and Sean Bean's all-redeeming presence. Watch it, by all means, but it isn't the best. 7 out of 10. Ko, Izzy.
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Read the book instead
harmster24 June 2002
I read the "Sharpe" books before they were adapted for televison, and although it is difficult to faithfully convey a novel in a two hour TV movie the adapatation of "Sharpe's Sword" disappointed.

As with the other films the backdrop is the Napoleonic War, however the whole point of the story is Richard Sharpe's desire to possess the sword of his deadly foe, and, the bond between Sharpe and Harper. The film totally fails to convey any of the emotions of the two characters; Sharpe and his consuming passion to own the Klingethal and Harper's, when halfway through it appears that Sharpe will die of injuries sustained in a swordfight.

The film becomes just another boys own adventure in the Sharpe series which is fine on one level but totally misses the point of the story

Enjoy the film for what it is but I encourage you to read the book.
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got to agree with you, Harmster!
katiepoppycat1 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers

I haven't yet seen them all, but this one disappointed me, despite the unexpected bonus of James Purefoy. The book is vastly superior to the adaptation. It's not for the lack of trying on the actor's parts, Bean and company are as reliable as ever, but the story really suffers from the absence of La Marquesa, and the addition of Lass. Surely he would have asked her name - either of Curtis, or when she actually starts speaking again. One of the strongest aspects of the book is the bond between Sharpe and Harper, demonstrated in Harper's care for the wounded Sharpe and the sword that he lovingly restores for him. In the film, they seem to just skip over it. And why is Harper's woman called Ramona? What was wrong with Isabella? That said, there were some great moments in this film, Lass's rebuttal of Simmerson, and the moment where Curtis tricks Harper into marriage are pretty good. And although i love James Purefoy, he didn't really do Spears justice, although his character had been pretty well butchered by the time he got to it.
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Not bad entry in the series, but it still cuts out too much from the book
Leofwine_draca17 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The thing about the Sharpe films is that I'm spoiled: I've always read the book by the time I get to the filmed version, and invariably it's a disappointment when compared to Cornwell's sparkling prose. This one is no different: while, as a stand-alone movie, it fits the bill nicely enough, it bears little resemblance to the book of Sharpe's Sword and the differences are always inferior in this version. There's no sense of massed battle, of the enemy's evil nature, of Sharpe's secret affair with a female spy, and of the terrible life-or-death scenario that our hero goes through. Even the sword itself, so integral to the novel, barely registers in this version. Once again, budgetary constraints are to blame.

The film itself isn't too bad and is better paced than some other adventures I've seen. Sean Bean is on top form and his Sharpe is noticeably humorous in this one, which makes a nice change from his usual dourness. The regular supporting cast are all given good parts, particularly Daragh O'Malley – struggling with the responsibilities of fatherhood, and Jason Salkey, whose rifleman Harris has a meaty part for once. The guest actors are all pretty good too – James Purefoy makes an impression as the foppish Lord Spears, and Emily Mortimer is the epitome of fragile beauty as a mute girl. Michael Cochrane also pops up as the lecherous Simmerson, clearly taking over from Pete Postlethwaite in hissable villainous duties. The battle scenes are limited and in some instances there are laughable mistakes. The closing battle, when Spears is sent on in front, made no sense to me whatsoever. The pivotal scene where Sharpe is shot is also something of a disappointment, nowhere near as dramatic as in the book. Still, the direction is assured and the character interaction kept frothy, so it's not all bad; just not what it could have been, given a Hollywood-style budget.
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The nine lives of Richard Sharpe
emuir-131 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Glorious TV, especially for those who like action. The Sharpe series has to be the best TV ever, and for what we are frequently told is a low budget series, the cast and crew have worked miracles. Each episode could have stood alone as a theatre film, especially during the school holidays. Not only are the leads superb in their roles, but the guest stars, such as James Purefoy and John Kavanagh are top drawer, and where do they find these magnificent singers? A lot of the enjoyment for me is listening to the beautiful clear singing unaccompanied by instrumental backing.

Location scenery, battles, sword fighting, humour and camaraderie. What more can you ask. The rollicking 'Boy's Own' adventure is rarely seen these days. HBO in particular seems to offer splendidly photographed soft core porn. Sharpe usually gets the girl as there is a damsel in distress every time, but the sex, if any, is kept off screen so the children can watch this series - although any romance probably go right over their heads. Best of all, the series has humour but avoids the mawkish sentimentality that so many American shows fall into.

I loved the spectacular locations, and felt for the actors as one could see the breath coming out of their mouths in the freezing cold. The battles, cannon, muskets and confusion, with dead and dying soldiers were very realistic. The sword fights are not the fancy fencing of Errol Flynn and Cornel Wilde, they are hard, violent, smashing and slashing fights to the death. Running the opponent through is the way to finish them off.

Possible spoiler ahead:

My only faults with this episode, aside from the casting of the irritating Emily Mortimer, who always looks ready to weep, is the unlikely fight between Sharpe and Leroux the day after Sharpe had been snatched from the jaws of death having taken a deep cut to the shoulder which had to be stitched up by Ms. Mortimer, followed by her digging a musket ball out of his intestines which were already festering. Sharpe then developed a fever which was treated by dunking him in icy water, then being cuddled by Ms. Mortimer overnight. Next morning, bright as a button he is leading his men in a charge on the French fort, and wielding a very heavy sword ending with the aforementioned duel. Give me a break! The nine lives of Richard Sharpe. The other puzzle was why Lord Pierce did not expose or kill Leroux when he had the chance, rather than acting as devil's advocate at the petition to revoke Leroux's parole.

After watching my DVD set, I am definitely going to read the books.
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Sharpe becomes embroiled in the world of Espionage
Scaramouche200426 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Sean Bean returns again for another swashbuckling Sharpe adventure, which sees Sharpe and his chosen men become involved in the dark and sinister world of espionage.

Richard Sharpe and his chosen men have saved a young nun from certain death after her coach was attacked by a French company, where her travelling companions, a priest and two other nuns have been brutally tortured and murdered. This leads her to be struck dumb with shock ,lose her faith in God and become inseparable from Sharpe, who she now considers her saviour.

Sharpe and a dashing Lord by the name of Captain Jack Spears defeat the French company and take a French Captain prisoner, but further discoveries and investigation, arouses Sharpe's suspicions that this French Captain is far more than what he appears on the surface and certainly more dangerous.

However, when Major Munro tells Sharpe that Napoleon has sent top Soldier Colonel Leroux to capture El Mirador, Wellington's top spy in the territory, Sharpe is convinced that his mysterious prisoner is Leroux himself, but cannot prove it.

Sharpe is therefore sent to protect El Mirador, which is a difficult task as aside the name he does not know who El Mirador is, so he does not know for sure who he is supposed to be protecting.

When the prisoner finally unmasks himself it leads to a bloody battle and the exposure of a French spy in their midst.

The talented and amazingly underrated James Purefoy practically steals the show as the dashing Captain Jack Spears and the delectable Emily Mortimer turns in a nice little performance as 'Lass' Sadly missed however is Hugh Fraser who's presence as Wellington is always an added attraction to the Sharpe movies, but in this particular adventure he seems to have been overlooked. Shame.

Although this storyline does has the power to confuse somewhat, the action, as always never fails.
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Action, Romance and Two Very Sexy Actors
alicecbr12 January 2002
Truly a set of movies for all tastes: as the English fight the French, we see the corruption both in the English military, as well as in the bedroom. Sharpe is pretty sexy as is his Irish right hand man. There is some keen acting in here, despite the soldiers falling too long after the explosion that was supposed to kill them. But the principal actors do an excellent job, especially since this was 'just' made for TV. Prefer Bean as a hero than as the villain, which he plays beautifully well in a James Bond movie. He also looks like an ex-brother-in-law of mine, which makes for some interesting fantasies. My grandsons loved the battle scenes, and of course, the Spanish stripping the skin off the French soldiers made for some interesting discussions.
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One of the best...
bengad24 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is, by and large, one of the best Sharpe films. Richard (Sean Bean) is between wives, so he's free to romp about looking for other women and get busy. Surprisingly enough, he doesn't. In fact, this is, to say the least, one of Sharpe's most noble hours. Of the remaining riflemen, Harris, is given a surprising and delightful role. Sharpe's life is threatened, and Harper and his wife show a lot of emotion and care for the Major. Sharpe's Sword is also one of the last movies that's solidly great in the Sharpe series (Regiment and Mission are good, Justice is okay, haven't seen Waterloo yet). You've got a larger, climatic finish, with (budget in mind) a big fight scene, a good Sharpe vs Frenchmen sword fight, and an awesome sword fight, where Simmerson gets owned by a supposed pacifist. What more could you ask for?

If you're trying to prioritize on which Sharpe DVDs you should purchase, or looking to borrow from a Library or friend, this is one of the best.
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better if not best
playadr12 July 2005
i loved the books, but found the character of Sean Bean gives a great visual of the hard nosed sharp, not putting up with anything, angry and bitter, he does it great. the video series is of course a low budget show, but i think they did their best during this time to reveal some great historical events. my only disappointment is now that i live in Mexico i want to share this series with everybody i know, but i cant find the video series or DVD with Spanish subtitles. it viewed once here in Mexico on cable, either wit BBC or HALLMARK, i cant remember now, so i know it must exist somewhere, if anybody knows how i can get the series with subtitles so i can share it with a Spanish speaking nation, please let me know, its funny most of the series is in Spain, and where are the Spanish subtitles?
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