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Fight Club (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  15 October 1999 (USA)
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,172,766 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 2,847 user | 302 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more...

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Narrator
...
...
...
Robert 'Bob' Paulsen (as Meat Loaf Aday)
...
...
Intern
...
Thomas
...
...
Weeping Woman
...
...
Speaker
...
Christie Cronenweth ...
Airline Attendant
...
Inspector Bird (as Tim de Zarn)
...
Inspector Dent
Edit

Storyline

A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of-control spiral toward oblivion. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Übermut. Chaos. Seife. (Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing and graphic depiction of violent anti-social behavior, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El club de la pelea  »

Box Office

Budget:

$63,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,035,485 (USA) (15 October 1999)

Gross:

$37,023,395 (USA) (25 February 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The burnt out car that Edward Norton's character is examining is a 1990 Lincoln Town Car. It's also the same car the Narrator and Tyler crash later in the film. Additionally, Tyler says he'd like to fight Abraham Lincoln, whom the carmaker is named after. See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Tyler points a gun into the Narrator's mouth]
Narrator: [voiceover] People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden.
Tyler Durden: Three minutes. This is it - ground zero. Would you like to say a few words to mark the occasion?
Narrator: ...i... ann... iinn... ff... nnyin...
Narrator: [voiceover] With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.
[Tyler removes the gun from the Narrator's mouth]
Narrator: I can't think of anything.
Narrator: [voiceover] For a second I totally forgot about Tyler's whole controlled demolition thing ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The warning at the beginning of the DVD, after the copyright warnings reads: WARNING If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this 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 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bones: The Woman in the Sand (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

NO LOVE, NO NOTHIN'
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Performed by Marlene Dietrich
Courtesy of Columbia Records for the U.S. and Canada
M. Dietrich Inc for the rest of the Universe
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens.
10 May 2000 | by (St. Catharines, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Fight Club" an aggressive, confrontational, often brutal satire that is quite possibly a brilliant masterpiece. Taking the "Choose life," anti-consumerism rant at the beginning of "Trainspotting," and carrying it to its logical -- albeit extreme -- conclusion this is a big budget, mainstream film that takes a lot of risks by biting the hand that feeds it. The film's narrator (Edward Norton) is an insignificant cog in the drab, corporate machine, dutifully doing his job and what he's told without question. He's an insomniac slave to his IKEA possessions and only finds joy in going to as many self-help/dealing with terminal diseases sessions as he can. It provides him with an escape from his sleepless nights. That is, until Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), a trashy chain-smoking poser, enters his life and upsets his routine. The narrator also meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic soap salesman whose straightforward honesty, candor and sleazy lounge-lizard outfits are a breath of fresh air. One night, after the two men have bonded over beers, Tyler asks the narrator to hit him. At first, it seems like an absurd request but after they pound on each other for a bit, a strange feeling overcomes them. They feel a kind of release and satisfaction at inflicting pain on one another. In a world where people are desensitized to everything around them, the physical contact of fighting wakes them up and makes them feel truly alive. Others soon join in and pretty soon Fight Club becomes an underground sensation. However, it becomes readily apparent that Tyler has more elaborate plans than just organizing brawls at the local bar. David Fincher has taken the dark, pessimistic worldview of "Seven" and married it with the clever plot twists and turns of "The Game" and assembled his strongest effort to date. "Fight Club" is a $50+ million studio film that remains true to its anti-consumer, anti-society, anti-everything message -- right up to the last, sneaky subliminal frame. What makes "Fight Club" a subversive delight is not only its refreshing anti-corporate message but how it delivers said message. As Fincher has explained in interviews, you don't really watch the film but rather download it. Its structure is extremely playful as it messes around with linear time to an incredible degree. The narrative bounces back and forth all over the place like a novel, or surfing on the Internet -- even making a hilarious dead stop to draw attention to itself in a funny, interesting way that completely works. Yet Norton's deadpanned narration holds everything together and allows the viewer to get a handle on what's happening. This is the way films should be made. Why must we always have to go through the A+B+C formula? "Fight Club" openly rejects this tired, clearly outdated structure in favour of a stylized frenzy of jump cuts, freeze frames, slow motion and every other film technique in the book that only reinforces its anarchistic message. A film like this would have never been greenlighted by a major studio if Brad Pitt had not been attached to the project. Once you see the film, it becomes obvious that he was the only choice for Tyler Durden. Like he did with "Kalifornia" and "Twelve Monkeys", Pitt grunges himself down and disappears completely into his role to a frighteningly convincing degree. During many of the brutal fight scenes, he is transformed into a bloody, pulpy mess that'll surely have the "Legends of the Fall" fans running for the exits. It is an incredible performance -- probably his best -- for the simple fact that he becomes the character so completely. If Pitt has the flashy, gonzo role, Edward Norton is his perfect foil as the seemingly meek yet sardonic narrator. It's a deceptively understated performance as the last third of the film reveals but Norton nails it perfectly. He is clearly our surrogate, our introduction into this strange world and his wry observations on our consumer-obsessed culture are right on the money. They are the perfect setup for Tyler's introduction and his view on the world which is clearly a call to arms of sorts, a manifesto that rejects the notion that we are what we own. And ultimately, that is what "Fight Club" tries to do. The film is a cinematic punch to the head as it challenges the status quo and offers a wakeup call to people immersed in a materialistic world where those who have the most stuff, "win." I think that Fincher's film wants us to tear all that down, reject corporate monsters like Starbucks and Blockbuster, and try to figure out what we really want out of life. It's almost as if the film is suggesting salvation through self-destruction. And it is these thought-provoking ideas that makes "Fight Club" a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens.


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