Sharpe's Rifles is both a series of novels (written by Bernard Cornwell) and British television mini-movies based on the novels. The protagonist and hero in the stories is Richard Sharpe a fictional British soldier and rifleman in the Napoleonic Wars. In the TV series he is played by Sean Bean beggining with Sharpe's Rifles the first in the series. Quoting one of the Wikipedia articles "The drama tells the story of Richard Sharpe, an ambitious and hardened soldier from Yorkshire. The story follows the exploits of Sharpe and his band of chosen men through Spain after they survive an ambush by French cavalry."
I found this series quite engaging when I first watched in the early 2000's (I would say around 2003). I rented the DVD's through Netflix (now dvd.com).
According to the Internet Movie Database
- 1. Sharpe’s Rifles (1993)
- 2. Sharpe’s Eagles (1993)
- 3. Sharpe’s Company (1994)
- 4. Sharpe’s Enemy (1994)
- 5. Sharpe’s Honour (1994)
- 6. Sharpe’s Gold (1995)
- 7. Sharpe’s Battle (1995)
- 8. Sharpe’s Sword (1995)
- 9. Sharpe’s Regiment (1996)
- 10. Sharpe’s Siege (1996)
- 11. Sharpe’s Mission (1996)
- 12. Sharpe’s Revenge (1997)
- 13. Sharpe’s Justice (1997)
- 14. Sharpe’s Waterloo (1997)
Sharpe’s Challenge and Sharpe’s Peril are not adapted from the “Sharpe” novels by Bernard Cornwell. However, their storylines do hearken back to certain events and people from the hero’s past and they were made with Cornwell's approval.
Culminating into what appears to be the final episode:
Recently I wanted to watch the series again (and the fact I never made it past the first 6 discs "Sharpe's Gold" was the last I had seen). I noticed however that most of the DVD's are no longer for rent on dvd.com so I went searching for them and how to buy or rent them in my region (Region 1). This page serves as both an homage and also my quest to watch the entire series.
Amazon has the complete series in both DVD and Blu-Ray however they are in Non-USA PAL format so that is no good for me.
I did find on Amazon what is called "Sharpe's Rifles Collection Set" for new abour $240 and used from $19. I am not paying that of course and the description is unclear as to what you really get.
A couple of notes I noticed in reviews
"March 10, 2010. Format: DVD I just bought the complete collection at Sams Club for 5 x $24.88. Five, three-disk sets that include all 14 episodes and the finale special. I had this on my wish list since I saw part of the series on A&E on cable and am delighted to have the full set now. Please make this available to Amazon customers at a more affordable price, less than half the price of your listing for the full set."
"February 1, 2009. Quality lost during PAL to NTSC transfer. Format: DVD. My wife and I are Sharpe fans. Collected (and read) all the books so we decided to buy all the DVDs based on the reviews (many 5 stars). I was extremely disappointed with the picture quality. I have an upconverting DVD player with Faroudja chipset and a PS3 with great upconverting capabilities. All my other DVDs look good (especially my superbit collections) but this looks terrible. It's almost as if the entire series was shot in very soft focus because it appears grainy and the upconverting doesn't work well with it."
So this is my main concern here is the PAL to NTSC conversion. I would much rather have the Blu-rays disc instead but as I say they are not available for USA.
I did later find a collectors edition referred to as "Sharpe's Complete Collection" but it is even more expensive! $300! It is reported to include everything but "Sharpe's Challenge". And since it was made in 2006 it will not include "Sharpe's Peril" either.
DeepDiscount has some of the DVD's but not all: http://www.deepdiscount.com/search?q=sean+bean&mod=AV&sw=sharpe
So for now I have given up on purchasing a new copy of the discs. If I find a bargain on eBay or similar I may purchase it.
It turns out that Apple's iTunes has episodes 1-14. See https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/sharpe/id621348102. Since I have an Apple TV (3rd Gen.) this was a great option for me.
Reportedly Hulu Plus has the two most recent series, Sharpe’s Challenge and Sharpe’s Peril, which are broken up into two parts each. I don't have a Hulu account so I cannot confirm that. The link provided in news reports (circa 2014) no longer works: http://www.hulu.com/sharpe. Also try http://www.tv.com/shows/sharpe/watch/.
I did a search (2016-08-05) but I could not find the episodes: http://www.hulu.com/search?q=sharpe. I tried search for Sean Bean in movies and tv episodes and that came up empty as well. http://www.hulu.com/search?q=sean+bean&type=episodes
My next stop was Acorn TV which I had just recently discovered in search of another favorite show of mine "Pie in the Sky". Acorn does not have a search bar (at least to non-members) so I browsed alphabetically at https://acorn.tv/browse/ but was unable to find any of the series.
Some of these episodes are showing on on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sharpe