"SHARPES Honour" - Film, 1993-- rg/25. März 2005
back to German Version
Die Scharfschützen - Der Preis der Ehre
Richard Sharpe, Major - Sean Bean
"...Suffice here to say that riflemen were trained to operate in pairs or small groups, using initiative and self reliance, and as skirmishers. This differed greatly from regular close order drill of the red-coated soldier of the line regiments."
Fundort: Internet http://home.vicnet.net.au/~rifles95/history.htm
Sharpe's Honour was the first Sharpe-Film, I have seen. That must have been 1998 or 1999. When casually looking through the TV-Programme in the newspaper I had seen a known name: Sean Bean! Marvellous, I thought, and how great it would be, to see for once this impressive actor as the "good guy". The description of the film sounded insofar hopeful. So I programmed the videorecorder and watched the tape on my next free evening.
And I was enraptured. Since forever I have had a faible for English films. This was an English film.
And since along time I read what I could find about the changing and upheaval times of the Napoleonic Era. The film played in this epoch.
And then, there was this naughty and rebellious element: The moment, the film begins, when we start to aquaint ourselves with the Major Sharpe, who sits there so miserably in the drizzling rain, and we think: Ah yes, that's the hero, we are teached better: His Sergeant sits at a table, when Sharpe is going by, and now we await - what? Devot greating? Regular salute? Standing at attention? Something deferential. And we see - nothing of that sort.
On Sharpes question: "Drunk again Harper.." Harper answers: "Oh, me too Sir". That was strong. A sergeant who treated his superior like the likes of him!
And shortly before Harper leaves the table with his men from the 95th Rifles, who should be pour devils but still act so self-confident, now and also later, when, because of dramatical entanglements, Sharpe seems to be dead, it becomes clear: Here is not one great man, but they all are, they all together are the heroes of this play!
It's worth it, to linger here for a moment again. 14 Sharpe-Films and 6 years later you are so used to their behaviour, that you do not perceive anymore the extraordinary in it.
When I started with the Sharpe-Sites, I had to think hard, before I realised again, what was so special when seeing it the first time.
Because "Sharpe" is a war-film, yes! His heroes are heroes of war, who more then once are glorified, yes! There are the battles, the impossible victories, the excessively brave deeds - yeah, yeah, yeah!!
And as a German you have to gulp heavily more then once. Our own still young past as a war-nation do not allow it to deal so carelessly with this theme. The experiences with the terrible consequences are still too near and forceful.
Surely, that's the reason, why the "Sharpe" series wasn't very successful in Germany. (It was otherwise with "Troy" from director Wolfgang Petersen, who gave a sort of German view on war) And one half of my German soul ist proud of this. The other regrets it, because Sharpe is at the same time something completely different and also much more.
Die Scharfschützen - Das Banner des
Blutes -- Sharpes Rifles
"...Sharpe hesitated. By giving his parole he promised to make no effort to escape. He would keep his sword, he would be free to ride with the lancers without guard, and he would be treated with the respect due to his rank. If he did not give it, then he would be able to make an attempt to escape, but he knew that he would be well guarded. He would be disarmed, he would be locked up at night, and if there was nowhere to lock him he could even be tied to his guard."
Fundort: Buch SHARPES HONOUR by Bernhard Cornwell, HarperCollins Publishers, London, paperback edition 1994
That's shown very effectively in "Sharpe's Honour", when, because of the letter from a Spanish Marquesa, Sharpe is accused of rape, and his former merits as a war-hero are suddenly of no worth anymore.
Sharpe has to face an accusation he can't put up anything against it. Suddenly, his humble origins play a role again, because, what can someone who comes from the gutter put up against a person from the highest Spanish nobility? And then, to top it, the husband of the Marquesa is murdered after an illegal duel with the Major and Sharpes seems to be the guilty one.
General Wellington, actually Sharpes mentor, sets up a military court, that sentences him to death. And also his, not devoted, but loyal Riflemen, are put in their place immediately.
And the watcher is suddenly breathless. Death is always near, so near in war. So near, that we have to go now with Sharpe his last walk to the gallows, step by step, and we cannot do a thing, nothing, absolutely nothing! "Oh no" you want to shout!...
...and thankfully, the writers don't abandon us...
...because... we still have our other heroes! (Or what did you think? <g>)
In the night, Harper is snatched away from the side of his very pregnant girlfriend Ramona and sent on a highly secret secret mission...
...and WAH! Oh my God, he encounters - Whom? Who is that? The Majors ghost? A Double?
Well who ever and whatever, the best is, to watch now the film, because then, you understand everything suddenly better. In every case, the Marquesa appears in the form of a beautiful blonde Demi-English, Ducos, the icecold French agent is shown to be the wire-drawer, who wants Sharpes downfall, because he has dishonoured him when breaking his glasses some time ago, Ramona, with the help of three Riflemen-midwives is having her Baby and the Sharpe-Double (or ghost?) is caught by the French.
After the military rituals of the time, Sharpe could give now his parole or word of honour, that he will not try to flee, and then the French would tread him like a sort of guest. But suddenly, the conscience of the Major forms an insurmountable obstacle. His word of honour? This man, who has only won honour and reputation through the war, cannot give that! For him, there is only one true answer: He will try to escape as soon as possible!
The price he has to pay for honour? He is brought into the fortress, where is enemy Duco is waiting. Ducos revenges himself bloodily but he didn't count on Sharpes Chosen men.
Harper and the Riflemen free him in the last minute and thanks to Sharpe the English conquer the Fortress at the end.
|You can get the Films|
Background-Picture und picture 2: Screencapture from "Sharpes Honour" from www.full-of-beans.net. Many more pictures.
picture 1: official PR-photo, one of the "Pack-Shots", that were done regularly during the Filming.
|update 3. März 2007 + + + upload rg/8. April 2005|
|back to Sharpe|