Rushmore is about Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), an eccentric student at the prudent Rushmore Academy. He has started 40 clubs and is well known around campus. Sadly, his grades are ridiculously low, and he is on academic probation. Max falls in love with a teacher, and makes a friend with new Rushmore parent, Henry Blume (Bill Murray.) Eventually the two fall head over heels for the same woman, and the love triangle goes messy as they desperately vie for the teacher’s heart.
Rushmore is Wes Anderson's second film
Plot SummaryRushmore opens with the fantasy of Max Fisher (Jason Schwartzman). Max is in a classroom at his school Rushmore, with the Geometry teacher giving a lesson. One of the students inquires about a Geometry problem written on the chalkboard, and the teacher says that is is a joke. The problem, as he describes it, is the hardest Geometry problem in existence. If any of the students can get it right, he will ensure that they will never have to open a math textbook for the rest of their lives. The whole room looks to Max, as he goes up to the board and quickly solves the problem.
Max wakes up in Rushmore's Chapel, as Herman Blume (Bill Murray) gives a speech to the entire student body. Blume is a cynic that tells the crowd to "take dead aim" on the "rich boys" because they "can't buy backbone." After the speech is done, the crowd remains silent, except for Max who gives a standing ovation. He meets up with Mr. Blume outside, as he is talking to the president of Rushmore Dr. Guggenheim (Brian Cox), and introduces himself. He compliments Blume on his speech and then walks away. Guggenheim then tells Blume that Max is one of the worst students they have.
Max is in over 20 school clubs, some of which he has founded. JV Decathlon, Trap and Skeet club, Fencing team, the Max Fischer players, Astronomy, and many more. Max does it all, at the expense of his grades.
Max is in the office of Dr. Guggenheim. Guggenheim informs Max that his poor academic performance has put him on "Sudden Death" academic probation. If Max fails one more class, he will be expelled. Max meets up with his chapel partner Dirk Calloway (Mason Gamble) outside and tells him about his current situation. He then goes to the library and notices a note written in Diving for Sunken Treasure by Jacques Cousteau. The note reads: "When one man, for whatever reason, has an opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself." Max goes to the librian and asks for a list of people who have had the book. This leads him to a 1st grade teacher at Rushmore, Miss Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams).
Max then rehearses for his newest play, a stage adaptation of Serpico. After the rehearsal, Max talks with his chapel partner's mom, and even gives her his number. Max sees Mr. Blume in his car and talks to him. Mr. Blume asks what Max's secret is, and Max says you need to find something you love, which for him is going to Rushmore.
Max gets his hair cut by his father Bert Fischer (Seymour Cassel). He tells him about his frustrations with his bad grades, and Bert tries to comfort him by telling him he's like a clipper ship captain, and he is "married to the sea."
The next day at Rushmore, Max lights a cigarette for Miss Cross on the bleachers. The two strike up a conversation about where Max wants to go to school (Harvard is his safety). Max tells her that Latin is getting taken out of the curriculum in favor of Japanese. Miss Cross expresses her disappointment, which gives Max a new goal. He gets the signatures of several students and saves Latin.
Max and Blume attend a wrestling match for Blume's twins. Mr. Blume asks Max to work for him, but he politely refuses. He then goes out on the mat, as he is an alternate for the team. At his twins birthday party, Mr. Blume eyes his former wife with her new lover. He decides to do a cannonball of his diving board into the pool.
Max tells Miss Cross about how he saved Latin. It turns out Miss Cross' deceased husband Edward Appleby attended Rushmore, which is why she is teacher there.