Great Scene: “Rushmore”

What a terrific movie Rushmore (1998) is. Co-written by Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson, who also directed the film, it's a stellar follow-up to their first film Bottle Rocket (1996). A plot summary from IMDB:

Max Fischer [Jason Schwartzman] is a precocious 15-year-old whose reason for living is his attendance at Rushmore, a private school where he's not doing well in any of his classes, but where he's the king of extracurricular activities — from being in the beekeeping society to writing and producing plays, there's very little after school he doesn't do. His life begins to change, however, when he finds out he's on academic probation, and when he stumbles into love with Miss Cross [Olivia Williams], a pretty teacher of the elementary school at Rushmore. Added to the mix is his friendship with Herman Blume [Bill Murray], wealthy industrialist and father to boys who attend the school, and who also finds himself attracted to Miss Cross. Max's fate becomes inextricably tied to this odd love triangle, and how he sets about resolving it is the story in the film.

The following series of scenes occurs just after Max has discovered that Blume is having an affair with Miss Cross. The two characters engage in a game of one upsmanship revenge style:

INT. HOTEL ROOM. DAY

The living room of Mr. Blume's suite. Mr. Blume is dressed in a
bathrobe with the Bilbly-Flickenger stitched on the pocket. He sits at
his table having breakfast and reading the newspaper. There is a little
basket in front of him with a jar of honey in it. A note attached to the
jar says, "Enjoy your stay."

A little bug flies around Mr. Blume's head. He swats it away and keeps
reading.

Two more bugs come buzzing around him. Mr. Blume looks up and frowns.
They're bees. Mr. Blume slaps at his neck and jumps to his feet as he
gets stung.

MR. BLUME
Shit!

Bees are circling all over the room. Mr. Blume looks around
frantically. He sees something at the bottom of the front door. It is a
little plastic tube with bees crawling out of it and taking off.

INT. BASEMENT. DAY

Max comes out of the freight elevator wearing a red room service jacket
with the Bilby-Flickenger stitched on the pocket. He has a wooden box
with Rushmore Beekeepers stenciled on it. Max throws the jacket in a
laundry cart and goes out the back door.

EXT. GROVER CLEVELAND HIGH SCHOOL. DAY

Mr. Blume gets out of his car in the driveway at Grover Cleveland. He
opens the trunk and takes out a set of steel cable cutters. He goes
over to the bike racks and cuts the lock off Max's ten-speed.

Mr. Blume lays the bicycle on the ground in front of his car and runs
over it. Then he throws the car in reverse and goes over it again. He
picks up the destroyed bicycle and takes it back to the bike racks and
wraps the lock back around it.

The small Indian groundskeeper we saw earlier on the roof is driving by
in a Volkswagen Beetle. He frowns at Mr. Blume. Mr. Blume hurries back
to his car.

EXT. BLUME INTERNATIONAL CONCRETE. DAY

The front gates of the concrete plant. Max rides up on an old
grandmother's bicycle with fenders and a handlebar basket. He's got a
black duffel bag strapped to his back.

Max waves to the SECURITY GUARDS. The guard waves back:

Max rides onto the lot and pulls over next to Mr. Blume's Bentley. He
leans his bike against the car door. He unzips his duffel bag and
slides underneath the car.

EXT. RUSHMORE. DAY

Mr. Blume pulls into the driveway to pick-up the twins from school.
There is a lot of traffic and kids are running around everywhere. Mr.
Blume taps the brakes. Nothing happens. He flies toward the back of a
parked station wagon.

He jerks the steering wheel and bounces up onto the sidewalk. The car
pops through a wooden fence and rolls across the grass into the
quadrangle.

The Indian groundskeeper is raking leaves as the car goes past him. He
watches as it crunches over some bushes and scrapes against a stone
wall. It rolls to a stop in the middle of the quad.

Mr. Blume gets out of the car and looks at the damage. He looks over at
the white-haried Indian groundskeeper.

The groundskeeper goes back to raking.

EXT. PARKING LOT. DAY

Kids watch from classrooms up and down the hall as Max is escorted away
in handcuffs by the POLICE. Max has a hardened expression on his face.

And here are the scenes from the movie, accompanied by The Who:

Let's hear from all you Rushmore fans.


Great Scene: "Rushmore" was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

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