Fight Club is a 1999 American film adapted from the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher and stars Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton plays the unnamed protagonist, an "everyman" who is discontented with his white-collar job in American society. He forms a "fight club" with soap salesman Tyler Durden, played by Pitt, and becomes embroiled in a relationship with him and a dissolute woman, Marla Singer, played by Carter.
Palahniuk's novel was optioned by 20th Century Fox producer Laura Ziskin, who hired Jim Uhls to write the film adaptation. Fincher was one of four directors the producers considered; they hired him because of his enthusiasm for the film. Fincher developed the script with Uhls and sought screenwriting advice from the cast and others in the film industry. The director and the cast compared the film to Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and The Graduate (1967). Fincher intended Fight Club s violence to serve as a metaphor for the conflict between a generation of young people and the value system of advertising. The director copied the homoerotic overtones from Palahniuk's novel to make audiences uncomfortable and keep them from anticipating the twist ending.
Studio executives did not like the film, and they restructured Fincher's intended marketing campaign to try to reduce anticipated losses. Fight Club failed to meet the studio's expectations at the box office, and received polarized reactions from critics. It was cited as one of the most controversial and talked-about films of 1999. The Guardian saw it as an omen for change in American political life, and described its visual style as ground-breaking. The film later found commercial success with its DVD release, which established Fight Club as a cult film.
The nameless narrator (Norton) is a traveling automobile company employee who suffers from insomnia. His doctor refuses to give him medication and advises him to visit a support group to witness more severe suffering. The narrator attends a support group for testicular cancer victims and, after fooling them into thinking that he is a fellow victim, finds an emotional release that relieves his insomnia. He becomes addicted to attending support groups and pretending to be a victim, but the presence of another impostor, Marla Singer (Bonham Carter), disturbs him, so he negotiates with her to avoid their meeting at the same groups.
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