Amy, Asif Kapadia’s documentary about the life of Amy Winehouse,
It’s hard to believe now that Fight Club was a critical and box office failure for the most part. The film was strange for 1999, a bit ahead of its time, and the violence and nihilism turned off a wide swath of viewers. But, here in 2015, there is no denying the powerful popularity of the film. Brad Pitt created an iconic character in Tyler Durden, and Edward Norton played the perfect straight man.
Here are 17 things about David Fincher’s iconic film you may not have known…
1. 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.
2. On the DVD there is a warning that comes directly after the FBI warning, styled exactly like the FBI warning. It reads: “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.”
3. Author Chuck Palahniuk has stated that he found the film to be an improvement on his novel.
4. 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. Prior to principal photography, Pitt also visited a dentist to have his front tooth chipped.
5. 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.”
6. 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.
7. The breath in the cave scene is recycled Leonardo DiCaprio breath from Titanic, which was composited into the shot.
8. Tyler Durden 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.
9. David Fincher claimed in an interview in UK film magazine Empire, that there is a Starbucks coffee cup visible in every shot in the movie.
10. 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.
11. To ensure that Bob’s 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.
12. 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, and did some uncredited work on this movie’s script.
13. In the diner scene when the Narrator asks Marla for, “15 seconds,” a bell is clearly heard after 15 seconds.
14. David Fincher shot 38 takes of the scene between Tyler Durden and The Narrator in Lou’s Bar after The Narrator’s apartment has blown up. Each take was filmed with two cameras, and for every individual take, Fincher would give the actors a rough idea of what to do, and they would improvise most of the dialogue. The scene as it exists in the finished film is made up of segments from numerous different takes and much of the dialogue, especially Tyler’s dialogue, was completely ad-libbed on set.
15. During the shooting of the sex scene, actors Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter posed in 10 different positions from the Kama Sutra.
16. Prior to filming, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter considered visiting real support groups for the terminally ill, but they decided against it, as due to the satiric nature of the film, they didn’t feel it was appropriate.
17. David Fincher shot over 1,500 reels of film, more than three times the usual amount for a 120-minute film.