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Sharpe's Challenge (2006)

Sean Bean  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.98
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Sharpe's Challenge + Sharpe's Peril + Sharpe's Classic Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Bean
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GIXLWU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,889 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sharpe's Challenge" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind the scenes
  • Deleted scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A year after the battle of Waterloo, dispatches from India warn that a local Maharaja is threatening British interests. Wellington sends Sharpe to investigate on what turns out to be his most dangerous mission to date. The last scout sent, Sharpe's best friend Sergeant Harper -- has gone missing and reports suggests that the real power behind the risings is Colonel Dodd, a malcontent East India Company Officer, and that the Maharaja has gathered into his impregnable fort. Once inside the fort things do not quite go as Sharpe has planned.

Amazon.com

If the fearless Richard Sharpe is the Indiana Jones of His Majesty's colonial army, then Sean Bean is the dashing, captivating Harrison Ford of the adventure series--handsome, rugged, and charismatic. Bean, who proves here he's every bit the international action star, brings his righteous determination to this installment of the popular Bernard Cornwell Sharpe series. Set in the early 19th century, when the British Empire has a lot of skirmishes to quell and rebellions to quash, Sharpe's Challenge brings our hero to remote India, where a renegade British officer has joined forces with a local rajah, wreaking havoc on civilians and His Majesty's troops as well. At the behest of the Duke of Wellington, Sharpe sets off to India on what will prove a wildly unpredictable and dangerous mission, with kidnappings, horrific assassinations (a nail into the top of the skull is a preferred method), and treachery at every turn. The cast, including Toby Stephens as Dodd, Michael Cochrane as the sneering Simmerson, the delightful Irish actor Daragh O'Malley as Sharpe's loyal sidekick, and the lovely Padma Lakshmi as a sultry force to be reckoned with, are uniformly strong. But it's Bean, with his world-weary demeanor and craggily handsome features, who commands this rollicking yarn. The film, shown on British television, was shot on location in glorious, dusty, romantic Rajasthan, India, and the whole effect is equal parts Raiders of the Lost Ark, Master and Commander, and the American TV hit House, with Bean wearing heroism and cynicism quite comfortably, thank you very much. Extras include a behind-the-scenes documentary and some deleted scenes. --A.T. Hurley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
126 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe's Back and as Good as Ever!! August 1, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you're a Sharpe fan, you won't be disappointed with this newest installment of the television interpretations of Bernard Cornwell's novels. Yes, you're right, this one is a mishmash of the three books (Sharpe's Tiger, Triumph and Fortress) set in India, and Sharpe's age had to be fiddled with to accomodate the always gorgeous Sean Bean, but who really cares? In Challenge, Sharpe is no longer the young Sergeant with the bad attitude and short temper from the books, he is the older, retired officer with the bad attitude and short temper that we learned to love in the 90's on the telly. Same deal, right? We aren't arguing with anything that brings either Sharpe or Sean back to our televisions.

Challenge has the usual entertaining Sharpe storyline of beautiful heroine in distress, incompetent and untrustworthy British officers (including the always deliciously evil Simmerson, (Michael Cochrone) back for a reprise and Major Dodd, a sneering Toby Stephens at his evil best), faithful Sgt. Harper, exotic locations and lots of shooting and killing. Plus elephants, always a great addition to any story and not used enough in this film, and a conniving evil Indian Queen. Short cameos by Wellington and Ramona (Harper's wife) are a nice touch.

Assaults (military and romantic), mystery, treachery, bravery and, as always, instructions on how to load and fire three rounds in a minute. Great fun all around.

Okay, maybe Sean has aged a little, but he still fills out the green jacket (and pants) JUST FINE. And, of course, any gratitutous shirtless scenes only add to the enjoyment!

Sharpe's Challenge is just as much fun as any of the others in the series, better than some, definitely had more money to spend. Grab your rifle and fall in!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe's Challenge September 25, 2006
Format:DVD
I wish some consumer reviews would quit harping and nitpicking how this episode does not exactly follow the plot of the book. This film is a compilation of three of Bernard Cramwell's novels. In the time frame of three hours it is impossible to include every one of his plot twists and turns. It is a given that some details will be deleted, and for the purpose of adapting the book to film medium some new plot conventions would be added. Rarely does a film identically match a novel and transferring a book to film creates the necessity for some artistic license.

The "Sharpe" series should be accepted as pure entertainment, not a detailed history lesson, so just accept the plot with some suspension of belief and not quibble about strict historical interpretation. "Sharpe's Challenge" is very loosely based on events which happened in India during British Colonialism and all the characters are fictitious. If the viewer accepts this, you'll definitely enjoy this swashbuckling episode. Lots of heroic deeds of derring do, acts of transformation, romance, political intrigue...there is plenty of swordfighting and minimal amounts of gore, blood and guts. The violence is not gratuitious, which suits me just fine, because I don't like violent action pictures. The movie is character driven, plot driven, with a strong narrative and literary script.This film is a work of art.

Nine years has passed since Sean Bean starred in "Sharpe's Waterloo" and, of course, he is older than prior episodes. Some consumer critics were irritated that Sean Bean doesn't have the teenage looks which the original novel places him in India. Again, they need to "get over it". Sean Bean was 47 when this film was made, and still has plenty of rugged sex appeal.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag - Enjoyable But Not Quite the Real Thing September 8, 2006
Format:DVD
I'm a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell, especially the Sharpe series. Sharpe's Fortress about the Siege of Gawilghur is perhaps my favorite Sharpe book. I like the Sean Bean TV movies, but as usual the books are better.

Sharpe's Challenge, two 90-minute movies being shown on BBC America, is loosely based on Sharpe's Fortress. William Dodd is the evil traitor now serving the Maharaja, there is a Hakeswill-like character (Sgt Shadrach Bickerstaff), a fortress is besieged, and beautiful women abound. Sharpe actually turns down the rather unsubtle advances of the scheming and beautiful Madhuvanthi (Padma Lakshmi) and I don't recall Sharpe doing that too often! The events take place some 14 years after Sharpe was last in India in the books and Sharpe is a colonel now.

So, it's a Sharpe story with reasonable verisimiltude for historical details of the era and the setting, but Sharpe's Challenge is not based on an actual specific battle (like the Siege of Gawilghur). It's an entertaining story and quite enjoyable way to pass three hours if you can set aside your quibbles.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Re:The "challenge" apparently involves a time machine, September 10, 2006
Format:DVD
In response the comment made by 'Reader' below that "The fact of the matter is, this is not a historical novel - it's a fantasy concocted about events that didn't happen, during a time when such events were not happening, solely to capitalize on the popularity of Sharpe and Harper. It comes across as the mish-mash it is." It is a mish mash of the first Sharpe novels but it is unfair to say that such events were not happening. This story takes place at the time of the third Mahratta war and there is plenty of action between the British and the Pindari bandits and local rulers. A quick Google search will show that there was a lot going on in India two years after Waterloo.

I personally thoroughly enjoyed Challenge for what it is and hope there will be more. It is quite unique on tv and something to be cherished.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie.
I am a big fan of Sean Bean. I have seen 80% of his movies. Working on the 20%. Excellent movie.
Published 15 hours ago by p j
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as above
Published 8 days ago by John Mounsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good ending to great series
Good ending to great series. I only wish they would have cleaned up Sean Bean for the movie, just something that I think would have fit better with the rest of the series.
Published 19 days ago by John F. Negri
5.0 out of 5 stars A new adventure for Sharpe
A new addition for Sharpe fans! Sharpe gets sent to India to break up a conspiracy against the Raj. Obviously the Empire doesn't have anyone else. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James J. Riva
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 2 months ago by Harold Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As good as I remembered.
Published 2 months ago by Pete Dillon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Sean Bean IS Sharpe!
Published 2 months ago by Dorcas
5.0 out of 5 stars One of 2 movies that follow the "Sharpe" series...don't miss any of...
One of 2 movies that follow the "Sharpe" series...don't miss any of them.
Published 2 months ago by Hawk
4.0 out of 5 stars Catch the Whole Series
This series is a adequate adaptation of the Sharpe's novels. Not the detail that those of us who read it enjoy, but it brings the action to life.
Published 3 months ago by Kevin E. Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars Good.
This episode occurs a few years after the main part of the series ends, so there are some gaps - in time, in story, and even in plausibility. However, it's Sean Bean!!! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kerry Aggen
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