The Skulls
Starring: Joshua Jackson, Paul Walker, Hill Harper, Leslie Bibb.
Director: Rob Cohen
Year of release: 2000
Country: USA
Official Site
Screen shots

(click to enlarge)
Plot summary
In The Skulls, Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson) is a champion rower for his college's rowing team, having led the school to three consecutive victories. His abilities have attracted the attention of The Skulls, a secret society composed of students and graduates from the university. To join their ranks, he has to complete a series of tasks with the other hopefuls, including the local rich kid, Caleb Mandrake, son of the society's chairman, Litten Mandrake.

He jumps at the chance, hoping it will help secure his acceptance into a prestigious law school. At first seduced by the club's upper-crust trappings, Luke finds himself ensnared by his own ambition when his journalist roommate commits suicide amidst cloudy circumstances. Now at the risk of his own life, he must beat The Skulls at their own game.

Not the most intellectually stretching of movies, the opening sequence of a classic Ivy-style regatta are arguably the best bit...


  • "where did Mr McNamara learn to row? In the local sewers I imagine"
  • ""one... two... three... BAIL"
  • ""seven rowers against eight, they haven't got a chance in hell"
  • Rowing info
    The main rowing scenes are at the beginning of the movie, though there are a few seconds of sculling at the end if you can endure the rest of the film inbetween.

    The Opening scenes are of the Yale boathouse - a scull rowing past and the lead charater (Luke McNamara) erging on somthing that looks more like a medieval torture device than a concept 2. (mind you the film was secretly filmed in Canada... are there any rowing movies that aren't??)

    In the second shot of rowing, our man turns up late to race the "ivy sprints" and leaps into the stroke seat of a Yale eight waiting on the dock and pushes off to race. Mid race, just as they're getting ahead, seven's swivels breaks (i ain't never seen a swivel break like that - see picture above) so he abandons ship, allowing the crew (somewhat inevitably) to win by a canvas.

    There's a couple of seconds of a single rowing towards a castle about 15mins before the end when Mr McNamara sculls over to the society meeting to challenge his enemy to a dual and finally a bit at the very end when he rows across to a lighthouse in a coastal scull, then wanders off leaving it on the water..??? (perhaps the sea isn't tidal in New Haven)

    Joshua Jackson rows quite well for an actor (if you ingore the dip at the catch and the washed out finishes) so the close up shots don't grate too much.

    In summary: OK rowing, shame about the plot.

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