Fight Club (1999)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 13 mins

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Embedded with mystery and suspense, this action-oriented thriller is narrated by a nameless first person narrator, who is struggling to deal with insomnia and pain. He attends support groups in attempt to subdue his emotional state and relieve his insomniac state. When he meets Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), another fake attendee of support groups, his life seems to become a little more bearable. However when he associates himself with Tyler (Brad Pitt) he is dragged into an underground fight club and soap making scheme. Together the two men spiral out of control and engage in competitive rivalry for love and power. When the narrator is exposed to the hidden agenda of Tyler's fight club, he must accept the awful truth that Tyler may not be who he says he is.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

Crew: David Fincher (Director), Jeff Cronenweth (Director of Photography), John King (Music Director), Michael Simpson (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 15 Oct 1999 (India)

Tagline: Works great even on blood stains.

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Did you know? According to author Chuck Palahniuk, much of the specific content of the novel (such as splicing single frames of pornography into family films, attending support groups for the terminally ill, erasing video tapes etc) came from stories told him by friends, and from things his friends actually did. Whilst writing the novel, Palahniuk also interviewed numerous young white males in white-collar jobs, discovering that "the longing for fathers was a theme I heard a lot about. The resentment of lifestyle standards imposed by advertising was another." Read More
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Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
English
Colour Info:
Color
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, DTS
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Taglines:
Works great even on blood stains.
Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.
Losing all hope is freedom
When you wake up in a different place at a different time, can you wake up as a different person?
How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?
Goofs:
Character Error
When the narrator talks to his doctor, the x-ray on the wall behind him is not only back-to-front, but also upside-down.

Character Error
In Project Mayhem there is no names, but Bob gets called Bob four times. Twice by Tyler as a waiter and twice by one of the Space Monkey's when he is shot lying on the table.

Continuity
When the Narrator is quitting his job, the thermostat alternates between white and black as the shot cuts back and forth between him and his boss. (The 2009 Blu-ray release digitally alters the scene so the thermostat is now consistently white.)

Continuity
When Lou is punching Tyler, Lou punches once and there is blood, it shows Tyler again and there is no blood, and then blood again when he gets punched the second time.

Crew/Equipment Visible
When The Mechanic (Holt McCallany) sprays the Seminary Student (Matt Winston) with a hose, the camera briefly shakes because the cameraman was laughing uncontrollably.

Crew/Equipment Visible
When the Narrator is getting off the table in the police station after getting the gun, the wireless mic pack is visible and connected to his underpants.

Factual Mistake
When Marla is on the phone with the narrator and exclaims that she has attempted suicide by a Xanax overdose, the camera zooms in on the prescription bottle clearly labeled "Xanax 300mg". Xanax is only sold as .25mg,.5mg, 1mg and 2mg tablets. The 300mg dose does not exist. Also, the pill spilling out of the bottle is .5mg pill.

Factual Mistake
When Tyler is discussing the reason oxygen masks are on airplanes he is incorrect. Breathing 100% oxygen does not create a state of euphoria. In a loss of cabin pressurization, it is hypoxia (lack of oxygen) that can induce euphoria. However, Tyler never states as a fact that oxygen produces euphoria, it is simply his interpretation of the safety notices, and his explanation for why the people in the pictures have such calm expressions.

Revealing Mistakes
After the scene in the bathroom where Tyler threatens the police chief, as the waiters are emerging into the parking lot, you see Bob's (Meat Loaf) pants fall down, briefly revealing the body suit he was wearing.

Revealing Mistakes
In the scene depicting Tyler cutting out various news clippings about the exploits of Fight Club/Project Mayhem none of the articles relate in any way to the headlines.

Revealing Mistakes
During the fight scene in the garage between Tyler and the Narrator, the concrete wall moves when the narrator is thrown against it.

Character Error
Towards the end of the movie, when the Narrator is attempting to defuse the bomb, the sound the bomb makes and the seconds going down do not match.

Continuity
When the Narrator is breaking into the building (near the end of the movie), he slams a bench into the glass door, and it rebounds hits him. He eventually shoots the door he tried ramming, and when he kicks the glass and goes through, the bench is gone.

Continuity
When the narrator is in the police interrogation room at the end of the movie with the detectives, the sweat on the neck of his shirt changes from shot to shot.

Continuity
When Jack takes the mask of Bob's dead body, Bob's eyes are open, but in the next shot his eyes are closed.

Revealing Mistakes
In the scene when Project Mayhem is returning from destroying the Coffee Shop, Bob is shown as being shot in the head. When the Space Monkeys uncover his body, there is a massive exit wound at the back of his head. In the flashback sequence when he is shot however, the police officer is clearly behind him when shooting, and Bob falls forward chest-first, as if getting shot in the back. The exit wound from a hollow-point bullet, which most police officers carry, would have a small entrance wound (in this case, the back of Bob's head) and a large exit wound (the front of Bob's head). This is not the case when looking at Bob's uncovered body.

Revealing Mistakes
(at around 2h 04 mins) Towards the end of the movie when Tyler throws the Narrator down the stairs, you can clearly see the stunt double's face.

Revealing Mistakes
When Cornelius gets up from bed after Tyler has left, it is daylight, because the initial shot of the house shows that the sun is still shining and many birds can be heard. He then walks down to the kitchen and then in the backyard, holding a bottle of vodka and still wearing the same bathrobe that he had when he got up. However, then it is night which is also made apparent when Bob is brought in with the gunshot wound. Additionally, when they explain how Bob was shot, these supports holding the large metal ball that rolls into the front of the building are blown up at night.
Trivia:
After the copyright warning, there is another warning on the DVD. This warning is from Tyler Durden, and is only there for a second. "If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this is useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think everything you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told you should want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned... Tyler"

When a Fight Club member sprays the priest with a hose, the camera briefly shakes. This happens because the cameraman couldn't keep himself from laughing.

Author Chuck Palahniuk first came up with the idea for the novel after being beaten up on a camping trip when he complained to some nearby campers about the noise of their radio. When he returned to work, he was fascinated to find that nobody would mention or acknowledge his injuries, instead saying such commonplace things as "How was your weekend?" Palahniuk concluded that the reason people reacted this way was because if they asked him what had happened, a degree of personal interaction would be necessary, and his workmates simply didn't care enough to connect with him on a personal level. It was his fascination with this societal 'blocking' which became the foundation for the novel.

When Tyler (Brad Pitt) catches The Narrator (Edward Norton) listening at the door as he has sex with Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), he is wearing a rubber glove. This was Brad Pitt's idea, and caused a great deal of controversy with President of Production at Fox 2000 Pictures, Laura Ziskin. She was horrified when she saw the scene and demanded that it be removed. However at a subsequent test screening, the appearance of the glove got the biggest laugh of the whole movie, prompting Ziskin to change her mind.

In an infamous incident, the Friday that the film was released theatrically in the United States, Rosie O'Donnell appeared on her TV show and revealed that she had seen the film earlier in the week, and had been unable to sleep ever since. She then proceeded to give away the twist ending of the film and urged all of her viewers to avoid the movie at all costs. Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and David Fincher discuss this incident on their DVD commentary track, with Pitt calling 'O'Donnell's actions "unforgivable".

In the short scene when Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are drunk and hitting golf balls, they really are drunk, and the golf balls are sailing directly into the side of the catering truck.

Brad Pitt says he didn't want his parents to see the movie, but he couldn't convince them not to watch. They changed their minds after watching the chemical burn scene.

During the shooting of the film, Helena Bonham Carter insisted that her makeup artist (Julie Pearce) apply all of her eye makeup with her left hand, because Bonham-Carter felt that Marla was not a person who would be particularly skilled at (or concerned with) correctly applying makeup.

Author Chuck Palahniuk has stated that he found the film to be an improvement on his novel.

When the Narrator hits Tyler Durden in the ear, Edward Norton actually did hit Brad Pitt in the ear. He was originally going to fake hit him, but before the scene, David Fincher pulled Norton aside and told him to hit him in the ear. After Norton hit him in the scene, you can see him smiling and laughing while Pitt is in pain.

To prepare for their roles, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt took basic lessons in boxing, taekwondo and grappling, and also studied hours of UFC programming. Additionally, they both took soapmaking classes from boutique company Auntie Godmother. Prior to principal photography, Pitt also visited a dentist to have his front tooth chipped.

In the scene where The Narrator is sitting on a toilet, with his pants down while reading an Ikea catalog, Edward Norton is actually completely nude from the waist down. Norton talks about it on the DVD commentary to which David Fincher says "really?" Norton then says "Did you notice I never had to go to the bathroom that day?"

During rehearsals, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton found out that they both hated the new Volkswagen Beetle with a passion, and for the scene where Tyler and The Narrator are hitting cars with baseball bats, Pitt and Norton insisted that one of the cars be a Beetle. As Norton explains on the DVD commentary, he hates the car because the Beetle was one of the primary symbols of 60s youth culture and freedom. However, the youth of the 60s had become the corporate bosses of the 90s, and had repackaged the symbol of their own youth, selling it to the youth of another generation as if it didn't mean anything. Both Norton and Pitt felt that this kind of corporate selling out was exactly what the film was railing against, hence the inclusion of the car; "It's a perfect example of the Baby Boomer generation marketing its youth culture to us. As if our happiness is going to come by buying the symbol of their youth movement, even with the little flower holder in the plastic molding. It's appalling to me. I hate it." However, Pitt is quoted on the DVD commentary as saying he has since had a change of heart about the new Beetle.

In the scene where Tyler is giving an inspirational speech to the Fight Club members, he says "We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars." Right as he says "rock star," he looks specifically at Jared Leto's character. Jared Leto formed the band '30 Seconds to Mars' in 1998. Their last album went platinum.

In the scene where the narrator is popping a mint into his mouth, a promotional video of the Bridgeworth Suites is playing on the television. You can see that one of the hotel employees in the commercial, is Brad Pitt. He is the one to the left of the TV screen.

The scene where The Narrator's boss (Zach Grenier) finds the rules of Fight Club in the photocopier and The Narrator points out that whoever wrote it is obviously dangerous and might one day storm through the building shooting everyone, proved to be a highly controversial scene for the filmmakers. In early test screenings, the scene got huge laughs and scored extremely highly with audiences. However, these screenings happened before the Columbine massacre. In all screenings after Columbine, the scene evoked no laughter whatsoever and scored extremely poorly, with audiences commenting that they felt it was in bad taste. This prompted the studio to ask director David Fincher to cut the scene altogether. Fincher considered doing so, but because the scene leads into the pivotal Marla breast-cancer scene, he decided that it couldn't be cut.

David Fincher took 12 takes of the stuntman rolling down the stairs for the fight between The Narrator and Tyler at the end of the film. The take used in the movie is the very first one.

Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter spent three days recording orgasmic sounds for their unseen sex scenes.

Fox 2000 Pictures executive Raymond Bongiovanni, who died shortly before the project was green-lit, first discovered the book whilst still in galleys. Prior to his death, Bongiovanni worked tirelessly to get the project off the ground, and in his obituary, it said that his last wish was that the novel be made into a film.

During the shooting of the first group scene (where Thomas (David Andrews) talks about his wife getting pregnant with another man), an extra became so offended by the subject matter that he stormed off set, refusing to be paid.

Three detectives in the film are named Detective Andrew, Detective Kevin, and Detective Walker. Andrew Kevin Walker was the writer of the David Fincher film Se7en (1995) (also starring Brad Pitt), and did some uncredited work on this movie's script.

According to author Chuck Palahniuk, much of the specific content of the novel (such as splicing single frames of pornography into family films, attending support groups for the terminally ill, erasing video tapes etc) came from stories told him by friends, and from things his friends actually did. Whilst writing the novel, Palahniuk also interviewed numerous young white males in white-collar jobs, discovering that "the longing for fathers was a theme I heard a lot about. The resentment of lifestyle standards imposed by advertising was another."

Marla Singer's phone number, 555-0134, is the same as Teddy's number in Memento (2000). It is also the same as the Hong Kong Restaurant in Harriet the Spy (1996), Eddie Alden's in Someone Like You... (2001) and a Mental institution in an episode of Millennium (1996).

After director David Fincher was finished editing the film, the studio executives were baffled by the piece, and unsure how to market it. Fincher had wanted a highly unique marketing campaign which would mirror the film's theme of anti-commercialism, but already worried about the possible backlash against the film, the Fox executives refused to go ahead with Fincher's idea (two of Fincher's trailers can be found on the DVD in the 'Internet Spots' section). Instead, a campaign was launched which was built largely upon the presence of Brad Pitt in the film, as well as concentrating on the fighting (which plays a minor role in the actual film itself). The campaign was highly criticized as giving the impression that the film was basically just about men beating each other up, completely ignoring the comic and satiric elements of the narrative, and for marketing the film to the wrong audience. David Fincher was particularly incensed when he saw ads for the film during WWE and UFC programming.

To ensure that Bob's (Meat Loaf) breasts and love handles hung correctly, his fat suit was filled with birdseed, so that it would 'spill' over his pants and give the impression of sagging flesh. Altogether, the suit plus the seed weighed over one hundred pounds.

Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) was originally going to recite a workable recipe for home-made explosives (as he does in the novel). But in the interest of public safety, the filmmakers decided to substitute fictional recipes for the real ones.

The sex scene between Tyler (Brad Pitt) and Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) was shot using the same 'bullet-time' technique used in The Matrix (1999); stills cameras were set up in a circle around the bed, and each one would take a single shot in sequence. These single frames were then edited together and enhanced with CG, as both Pitt and Bonham Carter were fully clothed in motion capture suits during the shoot.

Director David Fincher initially wanted to include a single frame flash of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) during the 20th Century Fox logo, but the studio's legal department wouldn't clear him to do so. He then tried to include the image during the Regency Enterprises logo, but Arnon Milchan (President of Regency) also wouldn't allow him.

When The Narrator comes downstairs in his house, after supposedly being asleep following the car crash, he enters the kitchen and Steph (Evan Mirand) is slapping a Space Monkey, shouting at him about how worthless he is. Whilst shooting this scene, the original extra playing the Space Monkey got so fed up with being slapped that he stormed off set and had to be replaced. The actor seen in the finished film is the replacement actor.

The reverse-tracking shot out of the trash can, an elaborate digitally animated sequence, was the very last shot to be added to the film. It required so much processing time that it almost had to be spliced in "wet" - i.e., fresh from the lab - so that the film could be duplicated on schedule. Due to the amount of reflective surfaces in the shot, it took almost 8 hours to render a single frame. The entire shot took 3 weeks to render.