Final Draft 9

Rushmore (1998)

Screenplay Genre: Comedy / Drama

Movie Time: 93 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is a student at the private high school Rushmore. Although he is considered one of the worst students according to the school's headmaster Dr. Guggenheim (Brian Cox), he is the king of extracurricular activities. Max's world is changed when a new teacher, Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams), catches his interest. He decides to ingratiate himself with her by leading a petition to make Latin a required course. (00:15:44)

2. INCITING INCIDENT (End of Act One)

Max discovers that Ms. Cross likes fish, so he approaches his new millionaire friend Herman Blume (Bill Murray) to fund a new aquarium. Herman agrees, as he has become interested in Ms. Cross as well. After trying to break ground on the school's baseball field, Dr. Guggenheim shows up and expels Max from Rushmore, forcing him to attend the public Grover Cleveland High. (00:33:01)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Max's friend Dirk Calloway (Mason Gamble) finds out about the relationship that Blume and Cross have been keeping secret from Max. He confronts Blume and asks him to put a stop to it, but after hearing about a rumor that Max started about Dirk's mother, he decides to write Max a letter informing him of Blume's situation. Max, extremely hurt by this news, begins a war against Blume. (00:45:18)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

After discovering that Blume has failed to achieve Ms. Cross’ affection, Max makes one last attempt to win her over himself, but when Cross discovers that Max’s head wound is fake, she rejects him, saying, ”You and Herman deserve each other. You’re both little children.” (01:09:27)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

Coming to the realization that he has no chance with Cross, Max offers Blume his coveted “Punctuality” and “Perfect Attendance” award pins that Max achieved at Rushmore. This sign of peace ends the bitter competition for Cross, allowing Max and Blume to reconcile, culminating with Max deciding to help win over Ms. Cross for Herman Blume. (01:15:09)