Rushmore ---BONUS The Maverick Filmmaker Triple Feature ---
1998. Touchstone Pictures, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Color, Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1, 93 minutes, Rated R
Release Date: October 9, 1998
Rushmore is available on Amazon.com on DVD, as a Criterion Collection DVD, and on VHS.
Movie Synopsis: A witty, intelligent comedy, set at Rushmore Academy, about an eccentric teenager, his friendship with a rich industrialist, and their mutual love for an elementary school teacher.
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel, Luke Wilson, Andrew Wilson, Brian Cox, Mason Gamble, Sara Tanaka
Director: Wes Anderson
Thoughts on the Movie:
Rushmore is not a typically predictable Hollywood movie with a typically predictable ending. It is not a re-hash of some old story line with the same old actors. Instead, it is a very well-written comedic coming-of-age movie. Few screenwriters take the time or effort to develop complex, flawed, and genuine characters, but director Wes Anderson and actor-screenwriter Owen Wilson apparently understand the value of doing just that. So, Rushmore ranks among the more contemporary youth-driven movies that are actually worth seeing.
The acting all round is top notch. Jason Schwartzman, the young protagonist, is very intriguing in his potrayal of an academically-challenged overachiever. (We would later see Schwartzman as one of the trio of eccentrics in The Darjeeling Limited.) Bill Murray delivers his usual rock solid performance, which ended up being multiple awarding-winning for the comic veteran. I think the most important thing to keep in mind about this film is whether or not you enjoy the quirky style of Anderson, Wilson, Murray and company. If so, youll probably dig Rushmore. ~Jean
St. Johns School, Houston, Texas (see Map)
St. Johns School is the main high school location for Rushmore. It is located at 2401 Claremont Lane, Houston, Texas. It is on the corner of Buffalo Speedway and Westheimer Road. According to the schools website, prospective students can tour the campus during the fall, when St. Johns has Open Houses for Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Visitors can also call the office and request an individual tour.
Right: St. Johns School in Houston, Texas, was the primary location for Wes Andersons 1998 film, Rushmore.
About Houston, Texas:
Houston, Texas (population 2,099,451; elevation 43 feet; 29° 45 46 N, 95° 22 59 W) is located in the southeast part of the state on the Gulf of Mexico and at the convergence of I-10 and I-45. Houstons highway system has a hub-and-spoke freeway structure serviced by multiple loops. The innermost loop is I-610, which encircles downtown, the medical center, and many core neighborhoods, with around a 10-mile diameter. Beltway 8 and its freeway core, the Sam Houston Tollway, form the middle loop at a diameter of roughly 25 miles. Houston is also located along the route of the proposed Interstate 69 NAFTA superhighway that would link Canada, the U.S. industrial Midwest, Texas, and Mexico.
Houston was founded in 1836, on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou. It was incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837, and named after then-President of the Republic of Texas, former General Sam Houston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initiated efforts to widen the citys extensive system of bayous so the city could accept more commerce between downtown and the nearby port of Galveston. By 1890, Houston was the railroad center of Texas. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has created continual surges in the citys population.
Right: Jason Schwartzman stands by the Rushmore sign that was created for this high school location in Houston for the 1998 independent Wes Anderson film Rushmore.
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. In the mid-20th century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center (which the worlds largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions) and NASAs Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.
When World War II started, tonnage levels at the port decreased and shipping activities were suspended; however, the war did provide economic benefits for the city. Petrochemical refineries and manufacturing plants were constructed along the ship channel due to the demand for petroleum and synthetic rubber products during the war. This prompted the development of the Texas petroleum industry.
The establishment in 1961 of NASAs Manned Spacecraft Center (renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973), created the citys aerospace industry. The Astrodome, nicknamed the Eighth Wonder of the World, opened in 1965, as the worlds first indoor domed sports stadium.
In August 2005, Houston became a shelter to more than 150,000 people from New Orleans, who evacuated from Hurricane Katrina. One month later, approximately 2.5 million Houston area residents evacuated, when Hurricane Rita approached the Gulf Coast, fortunately leaving little damage to the Houston area. This was, however, the largest urban evacuation in the history of the United States.
Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Held over 20 days from late February to early March, it is the largest annual Livestock Show and Rodeo anywhere in the world. Another large celebration is the annual night-time Houston Pride Parade, held at the end of June. The Theater District, is a 17-block area in the center of downtown Houston that is home to the Bayou Place entertainment complex, offers restaurants, live music venues, theaters, plazas, and parks.
Right: Jason Schwartzman stars as the eccentric prep school student, Max Fisher, in the independent underground film Rushmore.
Lodging & Dining:
Hidden Oaks Bed & Breakfast. 7808 Dixie Drive, Houston, Texas
Hidden Oaks is a large plantation-style home set on 1-1/2 acres, that dates back to 1927. Rooms at the inn include a private bathroom and all modern-day and high-tech amenities. Hidden Oaks is one of the favorite places in the Houston area for custom weddings, and its also very popular with the business set.
Picos Mex-Mex Restaurant. 5941 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, Texas
Dubbing its fare Mex-Mex, Picos offers traditional and somewhat exotic dishes not found at typical fajitas-and-frijoles joints. An achiote-seasoned snapper, wrapped in banana leaves, is broiled to perfection. Mancha manteles (pork stew with plantains, pineapple and raisins) is a succulent surprise. Dark, smoky mole sauce turns common enchiladas into a treat. And the stuffed poblano chili, awash in walnut-flavored cream and pomegranates, qualifies for fine-dining credentials.
Other locations in the Houston area that were used for Rushmore are: Lamar High School, Kinkaid School, North Shore High School, and Delmar Stadium. Some scenes were shot in Baytown, Texas.
Below Right: Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman share a scene in Wes Andersons quirky film, Rushmore.
Bill Murray won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Bill Murray won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Bill Murray won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Bill Murray won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Bill Murray won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion PictureComedy or Musical.
Bill Murray won the Lonestar Film & Television Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Bill Murray won the American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.
Bill Murray was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
Bill Murray was nominated for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Jason Schwartzman won the Lonestar Film & Television Award for Best Actor.
Jason Schwartzman won the YoungStar Award for Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy Film.
Jason Schwartzman was nominated for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Promising Actor.
Wes Anderson won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director.
Wes Anderson won the Los Angeles Film Critics New Generation Award.
Wes Anderson won the Lonestar Film & Television Award for Best Director.
Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson won the Lonestar Film & Television Award for Best Screenplay.
The two schools used as sets in the movie, St. Johns School (Rushmore) and Lamar High School (Grover Cleveland) occupy the same city block in Houston, Texas. Wes Anderson hired some of the students from St. Johns School as extras, and even cast a few in major speaking roles.
The pictures in her bedroom of Ms. Cross dead husband are pictures of co-writer and actor, Owen Wilson.
Right: Director, Wes Anderson, with his co-writer friend and actor, Owen Wilson.
In the scene of the signing of the petition to save Latin, actor Thayer McClanahan (playing one of Maxs friends) can be seen signing his own name on the petition.
Bill Murrays character wears the same suit throughout the entire film. He just changes his shirt and tie, which are always the same color.
The first voice that appears in the film to try and solve the problem to the equation in Maxs dream scene is Wes Andersons.
Some of Jacques Henri Lartigues photographs, including the picture that inspired the mock of Max in a go-cart, are featured on the wall behind Maxs desk in the opening scene. The title of the photo is Zissous bobsled with wheels, after the bend by the gate, Rouzat, August 1908. Bill Murrays character in Wes Andersons The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) is, of course, Steve Zissou.
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.
The screenplay for Rushmore was written long before Wes Anderson and Owen Wilsons debut film, Bottle Rocket (1996).
Like Max Fischer, Owen Wilson was expelled from his prep school in the tenth grade.
Owen Wilson first met Wes Anderson when they were both studying at the University of Texas. They quickly began working together and the result was 1996s Bottle Rocket, which was an expansion of a short film they had made a couple of years earlier. They went on to work together in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), and The Darjeeling Limited (2007).
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.
Jason Schwartzman is the son of actress Talia Shire. His uncle is filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
Character Quote: Maybe we'll meet again someday (holds up peace sign)... when the fighting stops. ~Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman)