"Now though I travel far from Spain, A part of me shall still remain
For you are with me night and day…”
Sharpe’s Enemy (1994), 4th in the TV movies based on Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books, is in Portugal, Christmas 1813, where Sir Arthur Wellesley’s, now Lord Wellington, British army rests & wait for battle orders. With the death of Captain Rymer, Sharpe is confirmed as Captain and again commands the South Essex Light Company & remaining Chosen Men including ever faithful Irish Ulsterman, Sergeant Patrick Harper. Richard proudly retains his 95th Rifle uniform, continuing to defiantly carry his Baker rifle & 1796 pattern Heavy Calvary sword. His task at the moment is to keep his men busy and oversee Lt. Gilliland’s rocket cavalry, whose horses the army feels is wasted on them; the rockets are inaccurate but make hellish noise. However, things don’t stay idle long. Sir Augustus Farthingdale, the new Portuguese envoy, arrives with the business of needing his kidnapped wife rescued. He takes an instant dislike to Sharpe, but it is Teresa who actively despises him back. Sharpe is named as the ransom carrier, and soon he finds out exactly why… Liar. Thief. Rapist. Murderer. There are not enough curses to describe former Sergeant, now deserter, Obadiah Hakeswill, who is with the outlaw group demanding ransom for Lady Isabella Farthingdale, who Richard is surprised to find he knows. Also held is Sarah, English wife of French Colonel Dubreton with whom Sharpe makes truce for rescue purposes. The 60th Rifles, led by Capt. Fredrickson, arrive to help. But Hakeswill and the criminal deserters have other, terrible, ideas. A new French enemy also arrives, Major Pierre Ducos. Sir Arthur wants to get at Napoleon’s army. The rockets still glare. Major Nairn wants to get Ducos. And, despite a surprise promotion from the Prince Regent, Sharpe is increasingly consumed by his unadulterated hatred for Hakeswill; this will be the end, one way or another. But whose?
Dieu n’est pas pour les gros bataillons, mais pour ceux qui tirent le mieux.
Enemy is my top fave in the movie series, hella lot more happens than described. The dual emotional intensity level of joy and heartbreak is just unreal as situations come to a head & I react every time. I also love the music emphasis (whole nother discussion). Richard & Teresa perfect for each other, in those roles Sean & Assumpta absolutely lit it up with their moments of happiness, one of the best screen couples I’ve ever seen!
Green tufts and short barrels! The bloody, fighting 95th! First in the field, and the Last out of it!
Side note: The badge of honor for the successful Forlorn Hope against Badajoz is on Sharpe’s left jacket sleeve (last picture). A “Forlorn Hope” mission is a tactic that sends men in until the enemy is overwhelmed and overrun, or the attackers are dead. Most times it fails, but those who survive are famous, envied among the troops, and guaranteed promotion.
Now warm in love, now with’ring in thy bloom,
Lost in a convent’s solitary gloom!
quote from “Eloisa to Abelard”, by Alexander Pope
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