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Rushmore (1998) Poster

(1998)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Director Cameo (1)  | Director Trademark (3)  | Spoilers (1)
Jason Schwartzman came to his audition wearing a prep-school blazer which sported a Rushmore patch he had made himself.
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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.
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Director Wes Anderson drummed up publicity the old-fashioned way: traveling across the country in a tour bus kitted out with two big screen televisions, two VCRs, a CD player, cellphones, a satellite dish and a Sony Playstation. This largely came about because Anderson hates to fly.
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Bill Murray genuinely found Keith McCawley and Ronnie McCawley, who play his sons, annoying (much like their screen characters), and many of the scenes where he lashes out at them and insults them were improvised.
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The Bentley used in the film was used in exchange for the owner's daughter to appear in the film.
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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 seventy-five thousand dollars, he gave Anderson a blank check to cover the cost.
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The pictures of Ms. Cross's (Olivia Williams) dead husband in her bedroom are pictures of Owen Wilson.
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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.
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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."
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The speech about privilege that Herman Blume (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.
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1,800 teenagers were auditioned from the United States, Canada, and England for the part of Max Fischer.
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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.
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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).
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Herman Blume (Bill Murray) wears the same suit throughout the entire film. He just changes his shirt and tie, which are always the same color as each other.
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Before the film's theatrical release, co-writer and director 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.
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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).
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The shot of Max Fischer sitting on a go-kart wearing a pair of goggles (featured on the back cover of the UK DVD) is a re-creation of a photograph taken in 1909 by French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue, a child prodigy who started taking pictures at the age of six. The two people go-karting in the background are co-writer and director Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson.
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Film debut of Jason Schwartzman.
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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.
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The screenplay to this was written long before Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson's debut film, Bottle Rocket (1996).
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Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson mentioned Roald Dahl as inspiration for the movie. Anderson co-wrote and directed an adaptation of one of Dahl's books, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).
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Co-writer and director Wes Anderson originally intended the film's soundtrack to be entirely made up of songs by The Kinks.
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Rosemary (Olivia Williams) 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.
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DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Wes Anderson): (Charlie Brown Christmas): Max's dad is a barber, as was "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 the show can be heard playing in the background.
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During casting, the filmmakers went to different New England private schools, mostly in Massachusetts, looking for a student to play Max Fisher.
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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.
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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).
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The film was originally going to be made by New Line Cinema, 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.
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Some of Jacques Henri Lartigue's photographs, including the picture that inspired the mock of Max in a go-kart, 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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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 Actor in a Supporting Role.
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Max (Jason Schwartzman) asks Margaret Yang (Sara Tanaka) 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 (Brian Cox), 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 (1972), was directed by Shire's brother, and Jason's uncle, Francis Ford Coppola.
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Elijah Wood auditioned for the role of Max.
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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.
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Among the many films that Jason Schwartzman watched to prepare for his role was You're a Big Boy Now (1966), directed by his uncle Francis Ford Coppola.
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In a shot of Max's petition to save Latin, the names of Jason Schwartzman's bandmates 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.
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The scene in which Max buys dynamite, including charging the purchase to an Arizona company, is almost exactly as it was done at the beginning of Heat (1995), when Val Kilmer's character does the same.
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The song featured while the two main characters are sabotaging each other is a live performance from The Who called "A Quick One While He's Away". This was taken from "The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus" show from 1968.
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In the geometry class, about which Max dreams, 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.
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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."
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Brian Cox was cast on the strength of his performance in Manhunter (1986).
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The first film collaboration between Bill Murray and co-writer and director Wes Anderson. They worked on many more films (Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), et cetera).
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Max (Jason Schwartzman) asks the headmaster (Brian Cox) not to expel him, for "old times' sake", echoing a scene in The Godfather (1972), when Tessio (Abe Vigoda) asks Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) to get him out of being executed, "for old times' sake." Brian Cox play Marlon Brando in Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon (2016). Schwartzman's mother, Talia Shire, played Brando's daughter in the film.
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The book that Miss Cross is reading when she meets Max is Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".
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A favorite film of Jonah Hill and Mark Flood.
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Max tells Dirk "tell that stupid mick he just made my list of things to do today" in talking about O'Reilly telling lies about him. Fall Out Boy made a song from that line titled "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today"
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Max's green corduroy suit is similar to the one worn by Woody Allen at the end of Bananas (1971). In the film, Allen trains with a rebel group, led by a man named Esposito. Esposito is a character in Max's play "Heaven and Hell".
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #65.
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In the film, Max checks out a book by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, which is what leads him to finding Miss Cross. Jacques-Yves Cousteau is also the main inspiration for the character of Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), also co-written and directed by Wes Anderson.
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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 Pictures is a division of Walt Disney Pictures.
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When Max is confronted by Dirk about telling lies about his mom, he asks who told him the lie and if it was O'Reilly. He references sending him back to Ireland and one of the boys says "he's from Scotland". Max then said "well tell that stupid mick he just made my list of things to do today". "Mick" is a slang term for someone from Irish descent, and not Scottish.
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In the library scene, Max reads a book by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Wes Anderson co-wrote and directed The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), which was inspired by Jacques-Yves Cousteau explorations.
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In the scene where Max meets Miss Cross, they discuss Latin and Max says, "Sic Transit Gloria. Glory Fades." The band Brand New would use this line as the title of their song, "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades," track 2 on their 2003 album Deja Entendu.
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Max lights a cigarette for Miss Cross while they are talking on the bleachers. She is smoking an American Spirit.
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Darren Criss auditioned for a role in the movie when it was called "Max Fischer"
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Only one scene was cut from the film after filming. "An image of him [Max] taking some books out of his locker after he's kicked out of the school." - Anderson in "The Wes Anderson Collection" by Matt Zoller-Seitz
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During the scene where Max is buying sticks of dynamite, the shot is very similar to that of Val Kilmer's character buying explosives in Heat. Max holds up his ID in the same fashion as Val, and has the invoice made out to the same company, "Ready Demolition, Tucson, Arizona". Just caught that after all of these years of loving both films.
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Max fakes a bike crash to get into Ms. Cross's bedroom, he plays a song in French about a boy whose mother died like his own mother, he was that poor boy.
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Alexis Bledel's debut.
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Cameo 

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.
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Director Trademark 

Wes Anderson: [mid-shot speed change] The last scene changes from normal speed to slow-motion.
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Wes Anderson: [underwater shot] Shot of one or more of the characters underwater.
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Wes Anderson: [The Rolling Stones] Features "I Am Waiting".
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The play that everyone watches tours the end of the movie is supposed to be a on stage play version of the 1979 Vietnam war drama film The Apocalypse now which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola who is Jason Swartzman real life Uncle
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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