Rushmore (1998) Poster



A shot of Max Fischer sitting on a go-kart wearing a pair of goggles (and featured on the back cover of the UK DVD) is a recreation of a photograph taken in 1909 by French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue, a child prodigy who started taking photographs at the age of 6. The two people go carting in the background are director Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson.
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (4)
On the first day of principal photography, Wes Anderson delivered his directions to Bill Murray in a hushed whisper, so awed was he to be working with the actor. Graciously, Murray deferred publicly to Anderson, helped haul equipment and - when Disney denied a helicopter scene that would have cost $75,000 - he gave Anderson a blank check to cover the cost.
When Bill Murray first read the script, he thought it was so fantastic that he said he wanted to do it so badly he would do it for free.
Jason Schwartzman came to his audition wearing a prep-school blazer which sported a Rushmore patch he had made himself.
Bill Murray genuinely found the Keith McCawley and Ronnie McCawley who play his sons and were very much like their screen characters, annoying, and many of the scenes where he lashes out at them and insults them were improvised.
According to Bill Murray, he disliked Jason Schwartzman's personality during their first meeting. But he eventually warmed up to him while they worked together.
The Bentley used in the film was used in exchange for the owner's daughter to appear in the film.
Like Max Fischer, Owen Wilson was expelled from his prep school in the tenth grade.
The pictures of Ms. Cross' dead husband in her bedroom are pictures of co-writer Owen Wilson.
Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson's intent with this film was to create their own "slightly heightened reality, like a Roald Dahl children's book".
When Ms. Cross and Max feed the fish and talk about deaths of loved ones, Jason Schwartzman (Max) had to stand on boxes so he could be the same height as Olivia Williams (Ms. Cross).
The speech about privilege that Bill Murray gives at the beginning of the film was inspired by an actual speech once given by Robert Wilson, father of Andrew Wilson, Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson.
Director Wes Anderson drummed up publicity the old-fashioned way by traveling across the country in a tour bus that was kitted out with two big screen TVs, two VCRs, a CD player, cellphones, a satellite dish and a Sony Playstation. This largely came about because Anderson hates to fly.
Bill Murray's character wears the same suit throughout the entire film. He just changes his shirt and tie, which are always the same color as each other.
The screenplay to this was written long before Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson's debut film, Bottle Rocket (1996).
Wes Anderson originally intended the film's soundtrack to be entirely made up of songs by The Kinks.
The movie's line "Yeah, I was in the shit." was voted as the #56 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
The film was originally going to be made by New Line but they couldn't agree on a budget. Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson and producer Barry Mendel held an auction for the film's rights in mid-1997 and struck a deal with Joe Roth, who was then chairman of Walt Disney Studios. A budget of $10 million was agreed upon.
One of the main filming locations was Wes Anderson's former high school, St. John's School, in Houston, Texas. He hired some of the students from the school to play extras and even some major speaking roles.
Film debut of Jason Schwartzman.
The two schools used as sets in the movie, St. John's School (Rushmore) and Lamar High School (Grover Cleveland) occupy the same city block in Houston, Texas.
During the casting process, the film makers went to different New England private schools, mostly in Massachusetts, looking for a student to play Max Fisher.
Max asks Margaret Yang to remove her glasses, and tells her she looks better without them. While this is a staple of many romantic comedies, it was also used in Rocky (1976), and the girl in glasses was played by Jason Schwartzman's mother, Talia Shire. Max's conversation with the Headmaster, asking to let him stay at Rushmore "for old times' sake," mirrors a similar scene in The Godfather (1972), between Sal Tessio (Abe Vigoda) and Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall). Shire also appeared in that film. Max's play features many similarities to Apocalypse Now (1979) which, like The Godfather, was directed by Shire's brother, and Jason's uncle, Francis Ford Coppola.
Wes Anderson had originally envisioned Noah Taylor for the role of Max Fischer. Though Jason Schwartzman won the role, Anderson eventually worked with Taylor on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004).
1800 teenagers were auditioned from the United States, Canada and England for the part of Max Fischer.
Before the film's theatrical release, Wes Anderson arranged a private screening for one of his adolescent heroes, the critic Pauline Kael. The film thoroughly mystified Kael who at that stage was retired, nearly 80 and being treated for Parkinson's disease.
The book that Miss Cross is reading to her students when Max first sees her is Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, which follows the growth of David Balfour from a naive young boy to a heroic, experienced man.
Touchstone hadn't planned on releasing the film until February 5th, especially in light of the heavy holiday release schedule, but when they saw the finished product, they rushed it into limited release for one week in December to qualify for Academy Award consideration, specifically Bill Murray for Best Supporting Actor.
The book Max is reading at the beginning of the movie is "Diving for Sunken Treasure" by Jacques-Yves Cousteau who was the main inspiration for Wes Anderson's later film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
In a shot of Max's petition to save Latin, the names of Jason Schwartzman's band mates from Phantom Planet (Alex Greenwald, Jacques Brautbar, Sam Farrar, and Darren Robinson), as well as the name of the band's manager (Dan Field) can be seen in the middle of the left column.
Rosemary takes a job at a girls' private school called "The Webster Smalley School for Girls". Webster Smalley is well known for teaching playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin, which Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson both attended.
In the geometry class Max dreams about during the school chapel/assembly, he solves a problem on the board - this problem is to derive the area of an ellipse by integrating its equation. Not a high school problem, but definitely not the hardest geometry problem in the world.
Some of Jacques Henri Lartigue's photographs, including the picture that inspired the mock of Max in a go-cart, are featured on the wall behind Max's desk in the opening scene. The title of the photo is 'Zissou's bobsled with wheels, after the bend by the gate, Rouzat, August 1908.' Bill Murray's character in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) is 'Steve Zissou'.
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Brian Cox was cast on the strength of his performance in Manhunter (1986).
A favorite film of both Jonah Hill and Mark Flood.
The book that Miss Cross is reading when she meets Max is Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.
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Film debut of Alexis Bledel who can be seen sitting on the right in the Grover Cleveland classroom just before Max (Jason Schwartzman) makes his speech; she can also be seen in the audience of "Heaven and Hell". Furthermore, one of the names on Max's petition to save Latin is "Alex Bledel."
The quote on Max's mother's headstone, "The paths of glory lead but to the grave" is from the Thomas Gray poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (line 36) This same quote was the second clue to the treasure in the Disney film Candleshoe (1977) starring Jodie Foster and Helen Hayes. Touchstone is a division of the Disney Co.
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Thayer McClanahan:  can be seen to sign his own name on the petition to save Latin.
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Director Cameo 

Wes Anderson:  The first voice that appears in the film and tries to solve the problem to the equation in Max's dream scene. Anderson can also be seen at the part after the play sitting in the background behind Max.

Director Trademark 

Wes Anderson:  [Charlie Brown Christmas]  Max's dad is a barber, as was Charlie Brown's & "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz's. Max flies a kite, which Charlie Brown was often seen attempting. Max is seen wearing a winter cap and carrying a plant, similar to a scene with Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). In the beginning of the "December" sequence in the barber shop, a musical interlude from that cartoon can be heard playing in the background.
Wes Anderson:  [mid-shot speed change]  The last scene changes from normal speed to slow-motion.
Wes Anderson:  [The Rolling Stones]  Features "I Am Waiting".
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Wes Anderson:  [underwater shot]  Shot of one or more of the characters underwater.
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