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Sharpe's Rifles

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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(Jul 25, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Filmed on location throughout Europe, this "Masterpiece Theatre" favorite stars Sean Bean as maverick British officer Richard Sharpe, the swashbuckling hero of Bernard Cornwell's best-selling novels. Each collection captures the danger and sheer spectacle of the battle against Napoleon's forces in 19th-century Spain. Collection I features Pete Postlethwaite as Sgt. Obediah Hakeswill in "Sharpe's Rifles," "Sharpe's Company," "Sharpe's Enemy," and "Sharpe's Eagles." Collection I is 6-1/2 hours on 4 cassettes or 4 DVDs.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Bean, Assumpta Serna, Brian Cox, Daragh O'Malley, David Troughton
  • Directors: Tom Clegg
  • Writers: Bernard Cornwell, Eoghan Harris
  • Producers: Malcolm Craddock, Muir Sutherland, Neville C. Thompson, Ted Childs
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bfs Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004U3UK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,363 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sharpe's Rifles" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I had not read any of Sharpe's books before watching the series. However, I love British TV drama and novel adaptations, and I love the period in which Sharpe's adventures are set, so after reading the reviews in, I decided to give it a try. And now I'm hopelessly hooked! All the actors' performances are wonderful, but Sean Bean's is simply stunning. The story is very respectful to the people who lived in Spain in those times, both those who were for and against the French (I'm Spanish. I know), and it is even respectful to the French enemy. The plot is a mixture of adventure and spy story, with quite a bit of criticism of the British class system thrown in.This is as good as a historical novel can be (and I've read quite a few)especially because of the feeling you get that the characters belong to the period in the way they think and the way they act. In fact, it would answer the question What were all those handsome officers from Jane Austen's novels doing when they were not dancing with her heroines?. This is the other side of the same story, without contradicting it. The hero,Sharpe, belongs to the "dregs" of society, he is "scum", although he is more human and braver than the petty officers who have purchased their comissions and who are, otherwise, so elegant and so good at dancing with Austen's heorines. I am also beginning to read all the Sharpe's novels and I love them. Bravo Sharpe! Stand and Fight!
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Format: DVD
I suppose the idea that Richard Sharpe is sort of Horatio Hornblower on land is apt enough, mainly because both characters have the advantage of stellar British television productions whereas Lucky Jack Aubrey has only the one cinematic adventure to date. But clearly the Napoleonic Wars are the British Empire's answer to the American Civil War without the problematic element of fighting against brother against brother. Napoleon is a secular anti-Christ trying to force the ideals of the French Revolution down the throats of Europe, so no shades of blue and gray here, this is all black and white.

The set up is fairly simple and compelling. One day Sir Arthur Wellesley (David Troughton), early in the career that would see him become the Duke of Wellington, is out for a ride on his horse when French dragoons come after him. Wellesley escapes death through the heroic efforts of Sergeant Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean), who is promoted to lieutenant on the spot by the grateful commander of British forces in Spain. Of course, promoting from the ranks makes Sharpe neither fish nor fowl, with the gentlemen in the officer's office refusing to consider him an equal and the enlisted personal dismissing the idea that he is a "real" officer.

Just to make things interesting Major Hogan (Brian Cox), Wellesley's master spy, sends the new lieutenant off on a secret mission. The story is that the men have not been paid in two weeks, going on three, so the mission is to find a missing banker who has funds (although why the men in the field need money strikes me as odd: after all, we are talking pounds and shillings not Euros).
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Format: DVD
Richard Sharpe is on DVD, and better than ever! Sharpe's Rifle's, the first in the series of Sharpe films made for BBC television and aired on Masterpiece Theater in the U.S. is an exciting starting point for people who are not familiar with the brilliant series of novels by Bernard Cornwell. It is also a great showcase for the talents of Sean Bean, who we will see more of next year in The Lord of the Rings. The movie follows Lieutenant Richard Sharpe, a British soldier during the Napoleonic wars, as he takes command of a rifle company and sends whole bunches of Frenchies to their graves. Action galore and interesting period detail. Fans of the book series may be suprised at the early appearance of Teresa in "Rifles" (in the books she doesn't show up until "Sharpe's Gold") but fear not! It won't ruin the story for you. I hope these four DVD's are only the begining, as there are ten movies in all. This price is unbelieveable too!
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Format: DVD
The BBC Sharpe's Series DVDs are a very very poor picture (the worst I've seen). I bought all four original Sharpe's episodes on DVD and they all are much worse quality (picture and sound) than are the VHS copies I had purcahsed years ago [and VHSs deterioriate with use]!
The Richard Sharpe series based on the novels by Bernard Cromwell are absolutely fabulous, and they deserve a FAR better treatment than is presented here! The viewer does not even have the option of going directly to a menu screen, but is forced to fast forward through the opening titles and theme song.
Whomever transferred these made-for-tv episode films to MPG2 should be publicly humiliated - this is a disgrace! The picture is fuzzy and grainy as heck! The VHS cassettes actually look better, if you can believe that! I never thought VHS would beat DVD in quality until I compared the Sharpe's series side-by-side. The VHS won out every time.
The sound quality is extremely poor on the DVDs too, it has a hiss and sounds muffled. Again, the VHS wins out!
Buy these on VHS until enough of us complain and they discontinue these "Joke DVDs" and deliver the public the Sharpe's Series at a transfer rate that is not just acceptable - but worthy of this incredibly brilliant historic series!
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