Rushmore (1998)

Comedy, Drama
Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel
The king of Rushmore prep school is put on academic probation.
This cult favorite is a quirky coming of age story, with fine, off-kilter performances from Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray.
  • Touchstone Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 05 Feb 1999 Released:
  • 29 Jun 1999 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson Writer:
  • Wes Anderson Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

One of the finest films ever made.5/10

One of the greatest films ever? I don't think that's an understatement, and I'm not just saying it cause I'm a Bill Murray fan and he happens to be in it. Granted, he brings to the movie his usual subtle quirkiness, but that humor isn't out of line with the general mood of the film. The whole thing is seriously funny and somehow seriously real, but at the same time doesn't always take itself seriously. Seriously. The idea of the movie doesn't come off sounding like a very captivating plot: high school geek and middle-aged millionaire fall in love with the same first grade teacher. Not exactly material for a high-grossing box office hit. But I don't think plot necessarily matters when it comes to making a quality film. It has a fantastic script, believable character development, and top-notch acting, and that's what counts in making a memorable film. Why do we love Rushmore? Max and Mr. Blume are the same person, Mr. Blume is just older and wealthier. They are both creative, romantic characters whose motives are ultimately selfish. My guess is if you appreciate this film, it's probably because you're the same way. This movie is about us. We are the boys who do everything we want to and nothing we're supposed to. The ones who go to college and get by on as little effort as possible, but somehow still pull through. At one point or another we all believed we could make our fantasies a reality, and watching this film makes us optimistic about those things again.

Also, I don't think a soundtrack makes a film, but it can certainly help set the mood. Yes, I have to agree with the other commenters for Rushmore: great soundtrack. But you already know that and it's been said a hundred times, so I think I'll just leave it at that and not beat it into the ground any more than it already has.

Right. Good movie, watch it if you haven't yet.
Wes Anderson reaches cinematic excellence with Rushmore, a story about Max Fischer a young man who's trying to find his own place in the world10/10
Wes Anderson's Rushmore is a movie full of everything that modern day cinematic crap movies lack; dry humor, unique writing, music that makes a scene unforgettable, and real heart. I feel as though Rushmore is cinematic excellence, Max Fischer is the perfectly flawed yet absolutely brilliant character who tries to find his place in the world, whether it's by engrossing himself in extracurricular activities or pretending he's the son of a neurosurgeon. All of the characters are finely tuned, Herman Blume is a successful man who feels worthless, Miss Cross is a brilliant woman who feels only sorrow because of the loss of her husband. But it is their flaws that make them so wonderful, they aren't boxed into labeled packages, they are raw and real human beings who are just trying to survive. This movie is about, as Max says, finding out what you love and doing it for the rest of your life.

The camera angles in this film are interesting, connecting you to the environment and the characters. Wes Anderson picks the perfect music for each scene, especially for the heartbreaking scene at the end when Miss Cross and Max are dancing to the Faces "Ooh la la." But, what's most brilliant about Rushmore is how it makes you feel; pessimistic yet hopeful, sad yet joyful, confused yet clear-minded. A good movie makes you think but a great movie changes your perspective on the world and this is what Anderson has done. To quote Cousteau, as Miss Cross did in the Diving for Sunken Treasure book, "When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life he has no right to keep it to himself," and I'm glad that Wes Anderson created such an extraordinary movie and shared it with us all.
Quirky comedy with a tender heart10/10

I think if you're looking for a straight up comedy, you'll be disappointed. This is not an easily classifiable film, but one that I love for its unique spin on some interesting characters. I especially like the fact that Max is not completely lovable, but in the end you root for him anyway. I found all the various reconciliations quite touching, and there's an interesting emphasis on friendships between people with lots of differences. Max's sidekick is younger than him, his crush is on a teacher much older, his friendship with Bill Murray's character who could be his father. Lots of heart here.
Most underrated movie of the late 90's10/10
This is a love it or hate it kind of movie. I've watched this movie with people with a like-minded sense of humor and they always have a polarized reaction to it. Love it or hate it. Personally, it's in my top 10 movies. Max Fischer is the quintessential oddball kid. A phenom of extracurricular activities but still gets bad grades. He lacks social skills yet is bold enough to say what's on his mind. The genius of this film is how Anderson writes dialogue for his characters as adults but has kids saying the lines. Dirk steals the scenes as he confronts Bill Murray and spits on his car, plays a gun touting nun in Max's version of "Serpico" and is the cigarette smoking point man in the final play. Anderson has a great talent for having his characters be odd, yet still plausible. He can really balance that mix, yet still tell a story from his skewed reality. I hope I'm making sense because I just had six shots of whiskey and two Benydril and am nodding off. LOL. Anyway, this movie is about the pain of growing up, the pain of loneliness, the happiness of friendship, the ugliness that we are all capable of and ultimately for Max, redemption.

The scene where Max grabs a hold of the yellow kite and starts to get it all back together is great. Back dropped by Cat Steven's "The Wind", it's a wonderful meeting of film and music. Anderson has a knack for that. Great soundtrack all around. The closing scene is equally terrific. If you hate this movie, trust me, I understand...I hated it too. It wasn't until I saw it a second time that I saw it in a different light. It's a pretty special movie about growing up and forgiveness. If you happen to rent this, try to get the Criterion Edition; a lot of great extras in there. One last thought, Bill Murray gives a great, great performance as well as Olivia Williams, who, IMO, should had gotten an Oscar nod as well. OK, sleepy time...zzzz
"Sic Transit Gloria Mundi": So the glory of this world fades10/10
Rushmore was the first Wes Anderson film I saw, and I didn't think much of it the first time. I used to think that Royal Tenenbaums was Anderson's first good film. I thought Bottle Rocket wore its rookie status on its sleeve; I thought Rushmore was flawed; and I thought Tenenbaums finally showed that Anderson had honed his craft and he would start making great films. I then re-watched Tenenbaums and found it to be even more satisfying on additional viewings. I realized that Anderson had actually crafted one of those rare pieces of cinema that reveals itself more and more upon repeat viewings. So I of course decided to give Rushmore a second look.

Now that I've had a chance to see the DVD, I've had a much different experience viewing the film. Perhaps because I saw it on Pan and Scan VHS previously? Or perhaps because Anderson's vision requires an adjustment period?

Some people will never like Anderson's films. They simply will not appeal to those out there who want cliched Hollywood fodder. Some people will love Anderson's films from the moment they see them. Others, like myself, will need to see the films more than once to truly appreciate them. Anderson breaks convention in ways no one has done before - One has to understand that his films are deep where most films are shallow, and shallow where most films are deep. This will throw A LOT of people off, as evidenced by many of the comments on the message boards. Anderson's films begin where others end. In Rushmore, we see Max's fall from grace, not his climb up to become head of every club in his school. In Tenenbaums, we see the aftermath of the child prodigies, not their glory years. Again, this will throw a lot of people off, and indeed I heard this criticism of Tenenbaums quite a lot. Anderson constructs the world of his films around a cinema storybook. They are episodic, told in chapters. Some will find Anderson at first glance to be a rather egotistical filmmaker, as I once did. However, upon second glance, you can begin to see the rich text woven deeper in the films that might be hidden beneath quirkiness or drastic breaks from convention. The first time I saw Rushmore, I felt shock, embarrassment and confusion (Mostly at Max and Rosemary's bizarre interaction). I was lost and unfamiliar with this world Anderson has created. The second time I saw the film I felt Passion, Love, Tragedy and ultimate Redemption. I found the heart in Anderson's film.

If you felt Rushmore was not all it could have been the first time you saw it, please give it another chance. You'll find which side you fall on.