Sharpe's Enemy (1994)

Film details

Synopsis

The beautiful Lady Isabella, wife of Sir Augustus Farthingdale, along with the English wife of a French officer, is taken hostage by an army of deserters, made up of men from the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese armies. Sharpe's old adversary Obadiah Hakeswill is one of them and they request that Sharpe be sent with the ransom money, much to the consternation of the pompous Sir Augustus who dislikes Sharpe. Sharpe has to suspend his work with a troop testing new rocket weapons, which are wildly inaccurate but impressively loud and frightening. At the designated ransom place, Sharpe and Harper encounter a French officer, Dubreton, and his man and at first they fight, believing each other to be from the deserters. Both parties hand over the ransom money, but Hakeswill and the leader of the deserters, Pot Au Feu, insist that it be doubled. Dubreton's wife manages to reveal where they are being held by slipping lines from a poem into her conversation. Sharpe organises a surprise attack on Christmas Eve, backed up by a troop of riflemen led by Captain Frederickson, and also bringing in the Rocket troop as supposed cavalry lancers. Dubreton wants to rescue his wife, but is prevented by Major Ducos, a cold fanatic and spy of Napoleon's. Sharpe and the chosen men succeed in infiltrating the enemy camp and securing the women hostages, and the town held by the deserters is taken. Sharpe recognises Lady Isabella as a whore he knew three years previously. However, Hakeswill manages to escape, taking Lady Farthingdale with him. Teresa encounters him and is tragically shot dead. Hakeswill surrenders to Dubreton and his men. Sharpe is devastated by Teresa's death, and is grieving over her body when Ducos arrives to order the British to leave or be attacked by superior numbers - also insulting Teresa. Sharpe refuses to leave and blackmails Sir Augustus out of ordering him and his men away by revealing his knowledge about his wife's background. He also implies to Sarah Dubreton that they have cavalry and artillery. Ducos is adamant that they do not and orders an attack. However, the Rocket troop appear, whom the French mistake as cavalry, and fire off their weapons with much success in the small area they are set off in. The French withdraw believing themselves outnumbered.

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