Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Sean Bean, Daragh O'Malley, Hugh Fraser, John Tams, Michael Mears
Director: Tom Clegg
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Military & War
Studio: Bfs Ent & Multimedia Limi Release Date: 11/28/2000 Run time: 100 minutes
The MOONRAKER of the Sharpe movie series
Tsuruoka | Columbia, MD United States | 07/23/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It give me no pleasure to write this review. After years of thoroughly enjoying Cornwell's Richard Sharpe novels I finally caved in and picked up one of the films. SHARPE'S GOLD is one of my favorite of the novels so I figured I'd chosen well.
I was wrong.
This movie is to the novel as MOONRAKER was to Ian Flemming's work.
Sharpe is indeed in the movie, and I think the word "gold" is uttered once or twice, but that's where the similarity ends.Highly disappointing.
The only reason I gave it two stars is Sean Bean - who really does fullfil my image of Richard Sharpe.Read the book. Don't waste time or money on this movie."
Start with this one and you'll end with it
Masher | Atlanta, GA | 02/16/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Had the first of the Sharpe's episodes I viewed been this one, it would have been my last. Most of the series rises above the the genre of pulp escapist adventure-- this one sinks below it. The screenplay is the culprit here, filled with laughably improbable plot devices and threadbare cliches. It seems a band of Spanish Freedom Fighters are actually a secret religious cult, practising human sacrifice based on Aztec rituals (mysterously imported into Spain hundreds of years before the 1813 setting). This band of merry men has captured some English deserters, and wants to exchange them for modern rifles. Sharpe is chosen for the mission, but upon discovering their true nature is so horrified, he slays them all and dynamites their mountain base. If you're not bothered by his company routing a far larger number of well-armed and experienced men in a strongly fortified position (all without taking any casualties), then you certainly won't shrug at Lord Wellington's teenage niece coming along for the ride. This lovely, well-bred young lass needed only an intense glance from Sharpe, before she's ready to be plowed by him (Lt. Ayres' words, not mine) whenever and wherever, even next to a pile of freshly sacrificed corpses. Oh, she's also a crack shot ("I only hunted rabbits before Sir!") and assists in the military victories also. That is, before she is captured, given mind-altering drugs, and prepared for sacrifice by having her perky young breasts painted with Aztec symbols. Will Sharpe arrive in time to save her? Such drama!If you consider your collection incomplete without the entire series, buy this episode. But take my advise-- leave the shrinkwrap intact."
Bit of a disappointment
Kenneth B. Strumpf | Manlius, NY USA | 01/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I really like this series. I've seen several episodes and have also read some of the books. So far I've found this to be the weakest. First, the story is nothing like the book. It contains a completely contrived romance and an unconvincing story about retrieving deserters. Second, Aztecs in Spain in 1813? Where does this come from? Third, the relationship between Sharpe and the Provost Lt. Ayres is quite bizarre. Why does Ayres persist in baiting Sharpe? Does he enjoy being beaten? Still, I give it three stars for the acting by Sean Bean and Daragh O'Malley (sp?) as well as the action sequences. Also, because it is a Sharpe story."
Ridiculous plot ruins this Sharpe outing
David C. Read | Glendale, CA USA | 01/11/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have read five of the Cornwell novels (including Sharpe's Gold) and seen four of the Sean Bean TV adaptations. This TV adaptation is by far the worst, mainly because it totally changes Bernard Cornwell's plot.
In the book, Wellington sent Sharpe on a secret mission to bring back a cache of gold in the hands of Spanish partisans. The gold was needed to pay for the fortification of Wellington's position around Lisbon, to which he was forced to retreat in 1810. In the process of securing this gold, and keeping it out of the hands of the Spanish (to which it rightfully belonged), Sharpe was forced by circumstances to destroy the main gunpowder storage depot in the city of Almeida, for all intents and purposes destroying the city and handing it over to the French just as the seige had barely begun. (But the fortification of Lisbon was strategically much more important to the Peninsular campaign than the holding of Almeida, which could not have been held anyway.) The actual cause of the gunpowder explosion is not known to history, so Cornwell as able to weave Sharpe into the narrative as the cause. It was in the book Sharpe's Gold that Sharpe met his Spanish lady-friend and later wife, Theresa (whereas in the TV series, he meets her in the first episode, Sharpe's Rifles).
Unfortunately, none of Cornwell's plot makes its way into the TV episode. Instead, the action is moved back three years, to 1813, when Wellington is contemplating the invasion of France. Sharpe is sent on a mission to exchange Baker rifles for British stragglers and deserters held by Spanish partisans. Except that they are not just partisans, but the remnant of Aztec captives taken from Mexico to Spain almost 300 years earlier. Amazingly, after almost three centuries, they are still a separate group of people and still practice their cult of human sacrifice in a cave wherein they have placed some of the relics of their precolombian culture (including the titular gold). This is about as stupid a plot as it is possible to imagine, and a real insult to Cornwell's historical novel.
Please watch these TV episodes in order--don't start with this one--or you'll never watch another episode, and you'll miss out on all the fun. Also, I would offer the general observation that the TV episodes are a bit of disappointment after reading the Cornwell novels, because the grand scale of action that Cornwell describes simply could not be reproduced on a mid-1990s British TV budget (if it could be reproduced on film at all). But the first three TV episodes--Sharpe's Rifles, Sharpe's Eagle, and Sharpe's Company--were nothing like the disappointment of Sharpe's Gold"