Sharpe's Rifles (1993)

Film details


Sharpe, a Sergeant in the army during the Napoleonic Wars, suddenly finds himself promoted from the ranks to being an officer, after he saves the life of Sir Arthur Wellesley (later to become Lord Wellington) when the latter is attacked by a small group of French. Wellesley's engineer and intelligence officer Major Hogan immediately sees a use for Sharpe and orders him to report to the Rifle Regiment, who are to try and find Wellesley's missing banker behind enemy lines. The tough riflemen resent Sharpe at first and he is aware that they do not view him as a "proper officer". Their Company is attacked and all but wiped out by the French, and Sharpe and the surviving men are followed by a group of Spanish partisans led by a woman. Sharpe's men mutiny, and he is forced to fight Harper and put him under arrest. The partisans join up with them and travel with them, trying to get to a town so that they can fly the flag of St. James and thus rouse the population into rebellion against the French. The French also try to get the flag, knowing its potential, but Harper successfully fights them off when they attack him and the few partisans left to guard him and the box containing the banner. Sharpe releases Harper without charges, and relationships between him and the men improve. Sharpe and the woman partisan, Teresa, are attracted to each other. In the town Sharpe and his men discover three stranded travellers, ostensibly Methodist missionaries. They successfully fight off the French and the banner is raised from the church. On returning to Wellesley's camp, Sharpe reveals that one of the women missionaries is in fact the banker in disguise.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top