Sharpe's Revenge (1997)

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Released 3-Aug-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Featurette-Sharp The Legend
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 101:28
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Clegg
Studio
Distributor
Time Life Starring Sean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Abigail Cruttenden
Philip Whitchurch
Cécile Paoli
Alexis Denisof
Féodor Atkine
James Laurenson
John Benfield
Connie Hyde
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI Box Music Dominic Muldowney
John Tams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.56:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Sharpe's Revenge is one of a series of made for TV films based upon the character created by Bernard Cornwell. Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) joined the British army as a private and fought in Flanders and India. In a range of adventures, mostly during the wars against Napoleon, Sharpe rises from the ranks to become an officer in Wellington's army. All very fanciful, of course, but that does not stop the books, and the films, from being good, escapist entertainment.

     France 1814. The British Army of Lord Wellington is about to attack Toulouse, the last town in France still loyal to Napoleon, and end the war. Toulouse is defended by the soldiers of General Calvet (John Benfield); inside the town is Napoleon’s treasury and Sharpe’s old enemy Major Ducos (Feodor Atkine). Major Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean), no longer a young dare-devil with nothing to lose, is worried about the impending battle and gives his wife Jane (Abigail Cruttenden) a letter of power of attorney over his savings in England. When the assault succeeds, despite an initial bloody repulse, Ducos steals Napoleon’s treasure and leaves clues implicating Sharpe. Sharpe is arrested and faces a Board of Enquiry and execution if found guilty.

     Meanwhile, Jane Sharpe has fears of her own. Misled and gulled by Lady Molly Spinacre (Connie Hyde), Jane returns to England, exercises the power of attorney and proceeds to spend Sharpe’s savings in company with the foppish Lord Rossendale (Alexis Denisof) who becomes her lover. Back in France, Sharpe escapes aided by the one-eyed Captain Frederickson (Philip Whitchurch) and Sergeant Harper (Daragh O’Malley) and heads to Normandy to find the witness who can clear his name. There he is badly wounded in a case of mistaken identity. He is nursed back to health by the beautiful French widow Lucille DuBert (Cecile Paoli) while Frederickson follows a trail that leads first to General Calvet and then to Ducos and the stolen treasure in Naples. Sharpe must join his old adversary General Calvet and his guardsmen for an attack in Naples that may enable him both to clear his name and to take final revenge upon Ducos.

     Sharpe's Revenge is an exciting addition to the Sharpe series. It has humour, a plot with numerous strands, interesting characters and an impressive set piece battle at Toulouse. As usual, Sean Bean is excellent as Sharpe. In this episode Daragh O’Malley as Sergeant Harper has far less to do; instead we get a wonderful multi-layered performance from Philip Whitchurch as Captain Frederickson that steals the show. Cecile Paoli as Lucille is also good although the transformation of Abigail Cruttenden from wife to lover in London is not altogether convincing. As usual, the sets, uniforms, weapons and drill seem reasonably accurate. With a generally good cast, an interesting plot, authentic period detail and a rousing battle Sharpe's Revenge is an exciting and involving 101 minutes.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Sharpe's Revenge is a made for TV movie and is in an aspect ratio of approximately 1:55.1. It is not 16x9 enhanced but is still quite a good print. Colours are soft and although blacks are solid, shadow detail is only adequate. Sharpness is good. There is occasional grain and minor artefacts but nothing to spoil the enjoyment of the film.

There are no subtitle options although burnt in subtitles translate the French dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The only audio option is English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded. It is a good track and the surrounds are utilised frequently for music and sound effects including gunfire. Dialogue is clear and there are no lip synchronisation problems. My subwoofer did support the explosions.

The music includes an electronic score by Dominic Muldowney plus some period songs by John Tams. This works nicely and provides good support for the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Sharpe The Legend (90:20 minutes).

This feature length extra was produced by Carlton Television in 1997 and is included on the second disc of the box set with Sharpe’s Waterloo. It takes the form of Rifleman Cooper (Michael Mears) in character in a tavern reminiscing about Sharpe; his lovers, friends and enemies, supported by extended clips from the various films in the series. The quality of the video varies in line with the original source material. Sharpe The Legend works fine as a summary of the series.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There are various releases of Sharpe's adventures in Region 1 and 2 including a full box set that includes Sharpe The Legend and various dual episode DVDs. All seem to have similar video and audio; some include minor extras but nothing that would lead one to go beyond Region 4.

Summary

    Sharpe's Revenge is a good addition to the Sharpe series. It has a good cast, humour, a plot with many strands, interesting characters and an impressive set piece battle. Sharpe's Revenge is presented on a DVD with acceptable video and audio and one feature length extra on the second disc of the box set. Sharpe's Mission is included with Sharpe's Justice on one disc, Sharpe's Waterloo and Sharpe The Legend on the other. The box set presents good value for Sharpe fans.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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