"You did me a damn good turn...now I am going to do you a damn bad one.....im
giving you a field commission Sharpe - from this point on you are a leftenant
in the 95th..."
Portugal 1809. Napoleon Bonepart is master of Europe. His brother Joseph sits on the throne of Spain. Sir Arthur Wellesley, soon to be Lord Wellington, has taken the city of Oporto from the French. Now he rests his forces beofre making an advance into Spain......
The film commences with Wellesley being anbushed by three roaming French Soldiers, and Sergeant richard Sharpe single handedly killing the three french soldiers and saving Wellesley's life. It would seem that Wellesley is imprssed, and rewards Sharpe by promoting him to a leftenant of the 95th regiment and put in charge of the "chosen men", a handful of sharpshooters led by Private Patrick Harper (Daragh O'Malley).
Wellesley has no money left to pay his men; however, he has arranged for a loan from the Rothschild family. James Rothschild has set out from Vienna with the badly needed bank draft, but is overdue. Sharpe, his men, and a company under Major Dunnett (Julian Fellowes) are sent out to look for him. While Sharpe's men are out scouting the terrain, the company is surprised and wiped out by enemy cavalry led by Colonel de L'Eclin (Malcolm Jamieson) and a mysterious man in black civilian clothes.
The men want to go back. When Sharpe tries to bully them into continuing with the dangerous mission, he and Harper end up fighting and are taken unawares by a band of Spanish guerrillas, led by Commandante Teresa Moreno and Major Blas Vivar (Simón Andreu). They join forces for mutual protection since they are headed in the same general direction. Sharpe begins to bond with his men and also with Teresa. Along the way, they encounter the Parkers, a Methodist missionary couple and their daughter, whom they take under their protection.
Major Hogan shows up and orders Sharpe to assist Vivar with his mission to rouse the people, Sharpe then promotes Harper to sergeant. The Spaniard has brought a thousand-year-old family heirloom with him - the Flag of Santiago or "Banner of Blood". Legend has it that Santiago himself will appear to defend Spain when the flag is raised over the chapel in the town of Torrecastro. Sharpe, Teresa, Vivar and their men fight and defeat the French garrison. Vivar crosses swords with the man in black, who turns out to be his own brother, and kills him. He then raises the flag.
Sharpe reports back to Wellesley. When the general expresses his disappointment that Sharpe didn't find Rothschild, Sharpe reveals that "Mrs. Parker" is the banker in disguise, to Wellesley's delight.
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