Sean Bean returns as British Officer Richard Sharpe in the battle of his life. The war may be over for Britain and its allies, but Sharpe, set up by long-time enemy, Ducos, finds himself accused of stealing Napoleon's trea... more »sure. Abandoned by his wife and convicted of the crime, Sharpe is sent to prison. Breaking out of jail, Sharpe goes in search of truth and vengeance on a perilous journey across post-war France.« less
Bet you thought the end of the war would be a good thing
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, it took me a while to recognize that the character of Rossendale was being played by Alexis Denisof a.k.a. Wesley Wyndham-Pryce from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel." But the twists of "Sharpe's Revenge," the twelfth of the fourteen adventures of Bernard Cornwell's maverick British officer from the Napoleonic War, were such that I was surprised that Rossendale turns out to be more than a minor character. We have been waiting for the war to be over, but it turns out the defeat of Napoleon is not the best of all possible worlds for our hero.
In April 1814 Wellington's forces are attacking Toulouse, the final French stronghold still loyal to Napoleon, and when it falls Napoleon falls from power and King Phillipe is restored. Of course during the final battle another incompetent but well connected officer, Wigram (Tom Hodgkins) is ordered to lead the assault, botches it, and it is up to Major Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) to save the day. But then several important things happen that ruin the end of the war for our hero. First, Wigram uses the subject of Sharpe's wife to insult him and set up a duel in defiance of the Duke of Wellington's orders. Sharpe knows he will be sent home, but that is what he wants since Jane Sharpe (Abigail Cruttenden) has extracted a promise that the battle would be his last. However, urged on by Lady Molly Spindacre (Connie Hyde), who has her own agenda when she discovers Jane has a signed power of attorney giving her control of Sharpe's 10,000 pounds, Sharpe's wife leaves for home when she hears of the duel.
Meanwhile, Major Ducos (Féodor Atkine) is not only still not dead, despite another opportunity for Sharpe to put Napoleon's master spy out of business, but plotting his final revenge on our hero. After the duel, in which Sharpe finds a great way of teaching Wigram a lesson, he finds himself arrested. Not for the duel, but for stealing Napoleon's treasure. Although defended in court by Frederickson (Philip Whitchurch), who learned his law in a most unusual but totally appropriate way, Ducov has contrived enough evidence to make his convinction and execution almost certain. So Frederickson and Harper (Daragh O'Malley) break Sharpe out and set off to uncover the truth and save Sharpe's reputation and neck.
The dynamic of "Sharpe's Revenge" is different from most of the episodes in the series and not just because the big battle scene comes at the beginning (they still have one at the end). The most obvious is that Frederickson plays the role Harper usually has when Sharpe is in trouble, but we also have a rather unexpected ally in the French General Calvet (John Benfield), who has been opposing Sharpe on the field of battle for the last several films. While Sharpe is having problems in France, Jane is back home being swept off her feet by Rossendale and to our surprise she is willing to be seduced. Meanwhile, Sharpe is being nursed back to health by a young French widow (Cécile Paoli) and while she is interested, he will remain faithful to Jane, unaware she is not doing the same.
This is really the first half of a two-part story, continued in "Sharpe's Justice." That is because as long as he is on the Continent Sharpe can only get his revenge against half of his targets, with the rest awaiting him back home in England. "Sharpe's Revenge" has as much of a "to be continued" ending of any of these films and given how rare it is that Sharpe actually kills his enemies in this tales, I have no clue as to how the rest of this one will play out.
Nearly perfect Sharpe
kristin724 | New Jersey USA | 12/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
I took a brief break from reading, watching, and reviewing Sharpe, but soon enough I had to dive in again with Sharpe's Revenge. The first of 1997's Sharpe's telefilms, Revenge pulls out all the stops onscreen and off.
Now that the war with Napoleon is nearing its end, Major Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) places his 10,000 guinea fortune in his wife Jane's (Abigail Cruttenden) power of attorney. She makes him promise that this will be his final battle, but after one too many insults, Sharpe fights a duel after the war is concluded. Angered and influenced by her power hungry friends, Jane takes Sharpe's money and returns to England, where she is charmed by Lord Rossendale (Alexis Denisof, Angel). Sharpe, however, cannot pursue Jane, for he is framed for stealing Napoleon's treasure by French Master Spy Pierre Ducos (Feodor Atkine). Along with Sergeant Patrick Harper (Daragh O'Malley) and Captain Frederickson (Philip Whitchurch), Sharpe escapes his trial to find the French witness who could clear him. Unfortunately, Sharpe is wounded by French widow Lucille (Cecile Paoli). Once recovered, Sharpe must unite with French Colonel Calvet (John Benfield) to defeat Ducos once and for all.
Despite the absence of series stalwarts Harris, Hagman, and even Wellington, the cast of Sharpe's Revenge is perhaps at its best. Bean adds a new element of hurt and anger as the jilted husband, and Daragh O'Malley is true again as ever loyal Patrick Harper. Atkine is slick to the hilt as Ducos, and after disliking Calvet for several episodes, it's a fine turnaround to see the fallen commander as another displaced soldier after a lifetime of war. The glue of Revenge, however, is Phillip Whitchurch as `Sweet' William Frederickson. His soldier gritty, grisly appearance meets his intelligent and loyal self here. Who knew what Frederickson would do for Sharpe-or what Sharpe could inadvertently do to his Captain? The depth here has me looking forward to the Revenge novel.
Not only does writer Eoghan Harris and director Tom Clegg give us a worthy story adaptation, but production at last has caught up with the show. This was the height of Sharpe and the series pulls out all the stops here. The locations are fresh and dressed to the hilt. Jane's splendor in London is indeed richy rich. The established electric guitar Sharpe themes open and close the movie, but a lovely score echoes Sharpe's respite in Normandy. True instrumental compositions, eureka! Revenge finally puts everything all together. Sure we have the guilty pleasures that make Sharpe Sharpe, but we have extra high class touches that give this episode some umph. It's as if we're done with the action, so now's the time to reflect upon the characters who bring the show-these books-to life.
At the time, Sharpe's Revenge and the subsequent Justice and Waterloo were to be the final Sharpe shows. (Now we have two more, the two part Challenge and the forthcoming Peril.) This, however, would be a fitting place to end the series. Fine send offs, peace at last. Irony of ironies Sharpe has found a home with Lucille in Normandy. I like her and Cecile Paoli's performance. She's not ugly, but not sexed up as previous women have been. Well, I take that back. We are definitely made aware of Lucille's unconventional hotness! Strange then to see the opposite side of the coin in the wayward Mrs. Sharpe (and real life Mrs. Bean). Denisof's Rossendale is obvious to everyone but Jane, who is now played perfectly by Cruttenden. Jane is pomp and pompous and too late realizes the error of her ways. Three episodes ago she was abhorred at the notion of auctioning of soldiers `like slaves'. Yet in Revenge, Jane has invested in slave and cotton stock to up keep her lavish lifestyle. Tut tut.
Although there's no real connection to the previous film, Sharpe's Mission, Revenge's story continues into Sharpe's Justice. Again, you don't have to see the follow up, but how could you not want to? I wouldn't introduce new fans to the series with this episode, however. There's a tying up loose ends feeling here that can only be appreciated by series fans that have been on this ride all along. Fans that haven't seen the series in a while will have a good time. Look for the DVDs, if you haven't done so already. "
The final confrontation between Sharpe and Ducos...
Terence Chua | Singapore | 05/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1814 - Toulouse falls, and with it, Napoleon is exiled to the island of Elba. The war, after nearly 20 years, is over. But Ducos, Napoleon's spymaster and sworn enemy of Richard Sharpe isn't done with him yet. After Sharpe fights a duel against his wife's wishes and Jane runs off to England in a huff, Ducos frames Sharpe for murder and the theft of the former Emperor's treasure. Now Sharpe must make his way across post-war France, aided by allies likely and unlikely, to clear his name and seek his revenge. Meanwhile, Jane is proving less than loyal to her husband...A typical Ducos plot (although not as intricate as the one in "Sharpe's Honour"), this has the elements we've grown to know and love. Sharpe gets framed, escapes from death and has to regain his honour. Harper and Frederickson are superb in their acting and banter, and even though they replaced the actor who originally played General Calvert in "Siege" and "Mission", Calvert gets some of the best lines and plays off Sharpe superbly. Ignore Jane's little peccadiloes in London - they are way too painful to watch, and besides, Sharpe finally meets the love of the rest of his life in the Frenchwoman Lucille Mailliot - the scenes of Sharpe recuperating on her Normandy farm are beautifully brought out by Sean Bean. We've never seen Sharpe this happy, and from that alone we know he's found his place after all the wars are over. I won't say much more because I recommend it heartily. A fine Sharpe adventure."
Robert9119 | San Jose, CA USA | 11/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having for years appreciated and depended on the reviews here it is time to give back.
I stumbled on this series at least 10 years ago and the more I watched the more I enjoyed the stories and the historical settings and began video-taping (yes, with a now antique VCR) and was frustrated not to have the missing episodes. I cannot say that the settings are accurate but, as one who has appreciated the study of history and human developement (and frailties)I found the more human characterizations to be refreshing and more realistic. People and motivations have not changed thruout history.
I finally bought the entire set (not boxed) and am glad I did. I buy only what I feel that I will want to watch ever year or so and this fits.
Sharpe is on the Money
Henry White | West Jordan, UT | 04/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this series. I enjoy historical fiction and this series is as correct in detail as any period representation could be. If you like films of the Napoleonic Era I highly recommed this series."