INT. CLASSROOM DAY
A private day school. Twenty 10th grade boys are sitting in
desks in geometry class. They are dressed in school uniform,
light blue shirts and khakis. The boys look dazed and
The teacher, MR. ADAMS, is at the front of the room,
finishing a complicated equation on the chalkboard.
Except when the value of the x coordinate is less than or
equal to the value of the -- Yes, Isaac?
A boy named ISAAC has raised his hand
What about that problem?
Isaac points to a startling and intricate arrangement of
huge numbers and strange symbols filling up a forgotten
corner of the chalkboard. The heading above it says Extra
Oh, I really just put that up there as a joke. That's
probably the hardest geometry problem in the world.
How much extra credit is it worth?
Well, I've never seen anyone get it right before, including
my mentor, Dr. Leaky at MIT. So I guess if anyone here can
(pause)I'd see to it that none of you ever have to open
another math book again for the rest of your lives.
There is some quite murmuring. The name Fischer is repeated
over and over. The boys begin to look to a student in the
Unlike his classmates, he wears the Rushmore school blazer
with insignia on the breast pocket and a Rushmore rep tie
knotted tightly. His hair is smartly parted and swept back.
He is extremely skinny and pale. He is MAX FISCHER.
Max has a cup of coffee on his desk and he is reading the
Wall Street Journal.
Max ? You want to try it ?
Max looks up.
I'm sorry. Did someone say my name?
Everyone laughs. Max smiles slightly. He buttons his blazer
and straightens his tie. He picks up his cup of coffee and
takes a sip. He goes to the chalkboard and sets to work.
The boys watch with nervous anticipation. Mr. Adams compares
Max's progress with e notes in his book. Max's equations
quickly fills up most of the chalkboard. He finishes it with
a flourish, throws his piece of chalk in the trash, and
turns to face the
Everyone looks to Mr. Adams. Mr. Adams raises an eyebrow. He
The classroom erupts into wild, ecstatic applause. Everyone
surrounds Max, cheering, as he walks calmly back to his
desk. They hoist him into the air.
Max with his eyes closed, smiling serenely, listening to the
applause. He mutters:
Gentlemen, gentlemen, please.
A little hand grabs Max's arm and shakes him. Max opens his
eyes. The person shaking him is his chapel partner, DIRK
CALLOWAY, a fourth grader with neatly white hair. Max looks
They are in chapel, surrounded by rows of boys in school
uniforms. Dirk puts his finger to his lips.
Max rubs his eyes and sits up in the pew. The applause dies
down and Max looks to the pulpit as the guest chapel
speaker, HERMAN BLUME, steps up to the microphone.
Mr. Blume is a tough looking guy about fifty years old in a
black suit. He begins his chapel speech.
You guys have it real easy. I never had it like this where I
grew up. But I send my kids here. Because, the fact is,
whether you deserve it or not: you go to one of the best
schools in the country.
Max's eyes light's up.
Rushmore. You lucked out.
Max leans forward to the railing and begins to listen
Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich,
and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the
rest of you:
take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the
crosshairs. And take them down.
Some of the students and faculty begin to look at each other
with puzzled expressions. Max is nodding and taking notes on
the flypage of a hymnal.