|Chosen Men:||Richard Sharpe|
|Based on:||Sharpe's Battle|
|Preceded by:||Sharpe's Gold|
|Followed by:||Sharpe's Sword|
Sharpe's Battle was the seventh TV movie based on the Sharpe series, and was broadcast in 1995.
French forces led by the ruthless Guy Loup are laying waste to the Spanish countryside, burning villages and butchering families. Sharpe's orders are to stop them. But all he has to do it with are his own men and an inexperienced ceremonial unit. Sharpe is put in charge of turning the unit into a fighting force, but with Loup and his battle-hardened veterans on the way, Sharpe knows they are nowhere near ready for battle.
While on patrol, Sharpe (Sean Bean) and his men rout some French soldiers who have ravaged a Spanish village, and raped the women. Two are captured alive. Their commander, Brigadier General Loup (Oliver Cotton), attempts to bargain with Sharpe for the lives of his men, but Sharpe has them shot as criminals. Loup vows revenge.
Meanwhile, Wellington (Hugh Fraser) receives unwanted reinforcements from the King of Spain. His Most Catholic Majesty sends his personal bodyguard, the Real Compania Irlandesa (Royal Irish Company), composed of poorly trained men of Irish descent under the command of the inexperienced Lord Kiely (Jason Durr). Wellington want them, so he orders the unreliable men to garrison a fort near the French lines, where it will be easy for them to desert if they want to. He assigns Sharpe to train them, and puts him under the command of former Wagonmaster-General Colonel Runciman (Ian McNeice).
Kiely's wife, Lady Kiely (Allie Byrne), and his mistress, guerrilla leader Doña Juanita de Elia (Siri Neal), also show up in camp. In the meantime, Sharpe has enough time to arm and begin to train the men and strengthen the fort's defenses, so that when Loup finally attacks, he is repulsed. Afterwards, Sharpe proposes a quick surprise assault on Loup's headquarters, which is approved by Kiely, Runciman and Juanita.
When Kiely learns that his wife is pregnant, he sends her away, but she is captured when some of the Irish soldiers turn coat. Juanita reveals herself to be a French agent by giving Kiely an ultimatum from Loup. He is to let Sharpe and his men commit themselves to the attack, then abandon them, in exchange for Lady Kiely's life.
Sharpe's men are trapped, though he himself manages to reach Kiely. When Kiely refuses to act, Sharpe fights him, only to be wounded by Juanita. Kiely finally rebels and kills Juanita. Together, he and Sharpe lead the attack against the French. Meanwhile, Harper, in temporary command of Sharpe's company, win the fight - although Harper is devastated by the death of his youngest rifleman. As the battle draws to a close, Kiely is killed by Loup when he tries to free his pregnant wife. Loup is, in turn, killed by Sharpe.
Cast and Characters
- Sean Bean — Richard Sharpe
- Daragh O'Malley — Patrick Harper
- Hugh Ross — Major Mungo Munro
- John Tams — Rifleman Hagman
- Jason Salkey — Rifleman Harris
- Hugh Fraser — Wellington
- Jason Durr — Lord Kiely
- Allie Byrne —Lady Kiely
- Ian McNeice — Runciman
- Oliver Cotton — Brigadier General Guy Loup
- Siri Neal — Juanita de Elia
- Lyndon Davies — Perkins
- Liam Carney — O'Rourke
- Phelim Drew — Donaju
- Robert Hands — Jenkins
- Diana Perez — Ramona
- Richard Rutherford-Moore — Tobias Moore
Unidentified 95th rifleman
Unidentified Irish Company members
- Murphy F.G
- Murphy F.F
- Murphy P.D
- Written by: Russell Lewis
- Executive Producers: Ted Childs, Malcolm Craddock and Muir Sutherland
- Produced by: Chris Burt
- Directed by: Tom Clegg
- Music by: Dominic Muldowney and John Tams
- Year: 1995
- BBFC Classification: 12
- Catalogue Number: 37115 02753