Sharpe's Siege (1996)

Film details

Synopsis

Wellington receives informatin from Ross and from the supposed French Royalist Maquerre, and decides to send a forward regiment into Bordeaux, since Maquerre is adamant that the local populace are ready to rebel against Napoleon. Sharpe prepares for his wedding to Jane, but has a run-in with his new young Colonel in the mess, who is arrogant and rude. Sharpe and Jane are married, but just after the wedding Jane falls ill with fever and Sharpe is ordered to go to Bordeaux with his regiment. Maquerre leads the troops to his castle, which is being used as a base by Napoleon's forces. The inept young Colonel orders Sharpe and his men on a reconnaissance patrol whilst his troops attack the castle. This attempt ends in a blood-bath, and later Sharpe and a handful of his men trick their way into the castle and take it over. Maquerre's sister Catherine and mother are there, the latter dying from fever. Sharpe is sent back out on reconnaissance and he and his men successfully ambush a French troop. They also take a doctor who has a boxful of quinine bark. Meanwhile, however, the Colonel is persuaded by Maquerre to destroy the castle's defences, leave his wounded behind and report the success back to Wellington. Maquerre reinforces his tale of potential rebellion by having Ducos pretend to be the local mayor to back up his claims. The Colonel is taken in and does not realise that Maquerre is an agent of Napoleon. Sharpe returns to the empty castle and he and his men have to face an attacking force of French with limited ammunition. They are helped by Catherine who is grateful for Sharpe's giving her the quinine for her mother, which he had intended to save for Jane. She suggests they burn oyster shells to make lime, with which they blind many of the French troops making it easier to shoot them down when they come through the gates. Sharpe leads his men and the wounded back to Wellington. The Colonel is arrested and Sharpe is joyously reunited with Jane, who has recovered from the fever and is helping with the wounded.

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