Note: This is the synthesis. See scene by scene analysis here
|Concept||8.2||83||Amadeus: 8.1||fight Club: 8.2|
|Emotional Impact||8.0||82||John wick: 7.9||fight Club: 8.0|
|Conflict Level||8.2||75||Stranger things: 8.1||fight Club: 8.2|
|Characters||8.4||73||Mo: 8.3||American hustle: 8.4|
|Dialogue||7.9||63||Amadeus: 7.8||heathers : 7.9|
|Overall||8.2||45||The sweet hereafter: 8.1||Donnie Darko: 8.2|
|Plot||7.8||31||The Good place release: 7.7||American hustle: 7.8|
|Story Content||Character Development||Scene Elements||Audience Engagement|
|Scene Number||Full Analysis||Tone||Overall Grade||Concept||Plot||Characters||Character Changes||Conflict||High stakes||Story forward||Emotional Impact||Dialogue|
|1||Fight Club - Scene 1||8||9||7||8||0||9||0||0||7||8|
|3||Support Group Therapy||8.5||9||8||9||0||2||0||0||10||7|
|4||Jack's encounter with Marla Singer and the support groups||8.5||8||8||9||0||6||0||0||9||8|
|5||Support Group Therapy||8||7||7||9||0||6||0||0||9||8|
|6||Marla and Jack's Odd Exchange||7||8||7||8||0||6||0||0||6||6|
|8||The Meeting on the Plane||8||8||8||9||0||7||0||0||6||9|
|10||The Phone Call||9||8||9||8||0||7||0||0||7||9|
|11||The Sofa Issue||8||9||7||9||0||6||0||0||7||10|
|12||Fight Club - The First Fight||8||9||7||8||0||10||0||0||9||8|
|13||The Transience of Material Possessions||8||9||7||8||0||8||0||0||7||9|
|14||Discovering a New Lifestyle||8.5||8||8||9||0||7||0||0||6||8|
|15||The First Rule of Fight Club||9||8||8||9||0||10||0||0||8||10|
|16||Fight Club: A Cathartic Release through Brutal Physicality||8.5||9||8||9||0||10||0||0||8||8|
|21||The Investigation Intensifies||7||5||8||7||0||8||0||0||6||6|
|22||Dumpster Diving for Soap Material||7||8||6||7||0||5||0||0||6||6|
|23||Making Soap 101||8||8||7||9||0||6||0||0||9||8|
|24||The Paper Street Soap Company||8||7||9||8||0||6||0||0||7||9|
|27||Fight Club Meeting and Confrontation||9||9||8||9||0||11||0||0||10||9|
|28||Mayhem and Mischief||8.5||9||8||8||0||9||0||0||7||8|
|30||Project Mayhem is in full force||8||9||8||9||0||10||0||0||9||8|
|31||Fight Club Violence||9||8||9||9||0||10||0||0||8||7|
|34||Building an Army||7||8||6||7||0||8||0||0||6||6|
|35||Jack's Descent into the World of Project Mayhem||9||8||9||9||0||10||0||0||10||9|
|36||The Name is Robert Paulson||8||7||8||9||0||9||0||0||10||8|
|37||Searching for Tyler Durden||9.6||9||9||10||0||8||0||0||9||8|
|38||Discovering Tyler's Identity||9||8||9||9||0||9||0||0||8||8|
|39||The revelation of Tyler Durden's identity||8||9||8||8||0||7||0||0||8||8|
|40||Revelations and Realizations||8||8||8||7||0||10||0||0||7||8|
|42||Marla's Diner Ultimatum||8||9||7||8||0||10||0||0||8||8|
|44||Fight Club: Interrogation and Escape||8.5||9||8||8||0||11||0||0||9||7|
|45||The Bomb Confrontation||9||8||9||9||0||10||0||0||9||8|
|46||Final Showdown Between Jack and Tyler||8||9||8||9||0||10||0||0||9||7|
|48||The Final Showdown and Realization||9||8||9||10||0||10||0||0||10||8|
by Jim Uhls
based on a novel by Chuck Palahnuik
People were always asking me, did I
know Tyler Durden.
INT. SOCIAL ROOM - TOP FLOOR OF HIGH RISE -- NIGHT
TYLER has one arm around Jack's shoulder; the other hand
holds a HANDGUN with the barrel lodged in JACK'S MOUTH.
Tyler is sitting in Jack's lap.
They are both sweating and disheveled, both around 30; Tyler
is blond, handsome; and Jack, brunette, is appealing in a
dry sort of way. Tyler looks at his watch.
(looking out window)
This is the beginning. We're at
ground zero. Maybe you should say a
few words, to mark the occasion.
... i... ann....iinn.. ff....nnyin...
With a gun barrel between your teeth,
you only speak in vowels.
Jack tongues the barrel to the side of his mouth.
I can't think of anything.
With my tongue, I can feel the
rifling in the barrel. For a second,
I totally forgot about Tyler's whole
controlled demolition thing and I
wondered how clean this gun is.
Tyler checks his watch.
It's getting exciting now.
That old saying, how you always hurt
the one you love, well, it works both
Jack turns so that he can see down -- 31 STORIES.
We have front row seats for this
Theater of Mass Destruction. The
Demolitions Committee of Project
Mayhem wrapped the foundation columns
of ten buildings with blasting
gelatin. In two minutes, primary
charges will blow base charges, and
those buildings will be reduced to
smoldering rubble. I know this
because Tyler knows this.
Look what we've accomplised.
Somehow, I realize all of this -- the
gun, the bombs, the revolution -- is
really about Marla Singer.
PULL BACK from Jack's face. It's pressed against TWO LARGE
BREASTS that belong to...BOB, 45, a moose of a man. Jack is
engulfed by Bob in an intense embrace. Bob weeps openly.
Bob had bitch tits.
PULL BACK to wide on...
INT. CHURCH MEETING ROOM - NIGHT
Men are paired off, hugging, talking in emotional tones.
Near the door, a SIGN on a stand: "REMAINING MEN TOGETHER."
This was a support group for men with
testicular cancer. The big moosie
slobbering all over me was Bob.
We're still men.
Yes. We're men. Men is what we are.
Six months ago, Bob's testicles were
removed. Then hormone therapy. He
developed bitch tits because his
testosterone was too high and his
body upped the estrogen. That was
where my head fit -- into his huge,
sweating tits that hung enormous, the
way we think of God's as big.
They're gonna have to open my pec's
again to drain the fluid.
Bob hugs tighter; then looks with empathy into Jack's eyes.
Okay. You cry now.
Jack looks at Bob.
Wait. Back up. Let me start earlier.
INT. JACK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Jack lies in bed, staring at the ceiling.
For six months. I could not sleep.
INT. COPY ROOM - DAY
Jack, sleepy, stands over a copy machine. His Starbucks cup
sits on the lid, moving back and forth as the machine copies.
With insomnia, nothing is real.
Everything is far away. Everything
is a copy of a copy of a copy.
Other people make copies, all with Starbucks cups, sipping.
Jack picks up his cup and his copies and leaves.
Jack, sipping, stares blankly at a Starbucks bag on the
floor, full of newspapers and FAST FOOD GARBAGE.
When deep space exploration ramps up,
it will be corporations that name
everything. The IBM Stellar Sphere.
The Philip Morris Galaxy. Planet
Jack looks up as a pudgy man, Jack's BOSS, enters, Starbucks
cup in hand, and slides a stack of reports on Jack's desk.
I'm going to need you out-of-town a
little more this week. We've got
some "red-flags" to cover.
It must've been Tuesday. he was
wearing his "cornflower-blue" tie.
(listless management speak)
You want me to de-prioritize my
current reports until you advise of
a status upgrade?
You need to make these your primary
He was full of pep. Must've had his
grande latte enema.
Here are your flight coupons. Call
me from the road if there are any
snags. Your itinerary...
Jack hides a yawn, pretends to listen.
INT. BATHROOM - JACK'S CONDO - NIGHT
Jack sits on the toilet, CORDLESS PHONE to his ear, flips
through an IKEA catalog. There's a stack of old Playboy
magazines and other catalogs nearby.
Like everyone else, I had become a
slave to the IKEA nesting instinct.
Yes. I'd like to order the Erika
Pekkari slip covers.
Jack drops the open catalog on the floor.
MOVE IN ON CATALOG -- ON PHOTO of COFFEETABLE SET...
If I saw something like clever coffee
table sin the shape of a yin and
yang, I had to have it.
PAN TO PHOTO of ARMCHAIR...
Like the Johanneshov armchair in the
Strinne green stripe pattern...
INT. LIVING ROOM/DINING AREA/KITCHEN
The armchair APPEARS. PAN OVER next to armchair...
Or the Rislampa wire lamps of
The lamps APPEAR. PAN OVER to wall...
Even the Vild hall clock of
galvanized steel, resting on the
Klipsk shelving unit.
The clock APPEARS as the shelving unit APPEARS on the wall.
I would flip through catalogs and
wonder, "What kind of dining set
defines me as a person?" We used to
read pornography. Now it was the
A dining room set APPEARS. Jack, the cordless phone still
glued to his ear, walks INTO FRAME and continues.
No, I don't want Cobalt. Oh, that
sounds nice. Apricot.
Jack opens a cabinet, takes out a plate.
I had it all. Even the glass dishes
with tiny bubbles and imperfections,
proof they were crafted by the
honest, simple, hard-working
indigenous peoples of wherever.
He rummages through the refrigerator. It's practically
empty. Jack takes out a jar of mustard, opens it and uses
a butter knife to eat it.
INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY
Jack, eyes puffy, face pale, sits before an INTERN, who
studies him with bemusement.
No, you can't die of insomnia.
Maybe I died already. Look at my
You need to lighten up.
Can't you give me something?
Red-and-blue Tuinal, lipstick-red
(overlapping w/ above)
You need healthy, natural sleep.
Chew valerian root and get some more
The Intern ushes Jack to the door. They step into the...
The Intern walks away from Jack, picks up a chart.
I'm in pain.
You want to see pain? Swing by First
Methodist Tuesday nights. See the
guys with testicular cancer. That's
The Intern moves into the other room. Jack stares after him.
EXT. FIRST METHODIST CHURCH - NIGHT
Jack heads for the front door.
Jack stares at a group of men, including Bob, who are all
listening to a group member speak at a lectern. The SPEAKER
has pale skin and sunken eyes -- he's clearly dying.
I... wanted three kids. Two boys and
a girl. Mindy wanted two girls and
one boy. We never could agree on
The Speaker cracks a sad smile. Some men chuckle, happy to
lighten the mood.
Well, she had her first child a month
ago, a girl, with her new husband...
And, Thank God. I'm glad for her,
because she deserves...
The speaker breaks down, WEEPS UNCONTROLLABLY.
Jack watches. A couple of the men go up to the speaker,
comforting him, leading him away. A LEADER takes the stand.
Everyone, let's thank Thomas for
sharing himself with us.
Jack, uncomfortable, joins EVERYONE ELSE:
Thank you, Thomas.
I look around this room and I see a
lot of courage. And it gives me
strength. We give each other
Jack looks around. Many of the men are sniffling, sobbing.
Jack squirms in his seat.
It's time for the one-on-one. Let's
follow Thomas's example and open
Everyone gets out of their chairs and begins pairing-off.
Jack stands, uncomfortable.
Can everyone find a partner?
Bob, his chin down on his chest, starts toward Jack,
shuffling his feet.
The big moosie, his eyes already
shrink-wrapped in tears. Knees
together, invisible steps.
Bob takes Jack into an embrace.
Bob was a champion bodybuilder. You
know that chest expansion program you
see on TV? That was his idea.
...using steroids. I was a juicer.
Diabonol, then, Wisterol -- it's for
racehorses, for Christsake. Now I'm
bankrupt, divorced, my two grown kids
won't return my calls...
Strangers with this kind of honesty
make me go a big rubbery one.
Bob breaks into sobbing, putting his head on Jack's shoulder
and completely covering Jack's face. After a long beat of
crying, Bob raises up his head, looks at Jack's NAMETAG.
Go ahead, Cornelius. You can cry.
They look at each other. Slowly, Jack's eyes grow wet.
Then... something happened. I was
lost in oblivion -- dark and silent
Bob pulls Jack's head back into his chest. Jack tightens
his arms around Bob.
I found freedom. Losing all hope was
Jack pulls away from Bob. On Bob's chest, there's a WET
MASK of Jack's face from how he looks weeping.
Babies don't sleep this well.
INT. JACK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Jack lies sound asleep.
I became addicted.
INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - NIGHT
Jack moves into a "group hug" of sickly people, men and
women. In view is a sign by the door "Free and Clear."
INT. OFFICE BUILDING BASEMENT - NIGHT
Jack stands with a weeping middle-aged WOMAN. He begins to
cry along with her. A sign by the door: "Onward and Upward."
If I didn't say anything, people
assumed the worst. They cried
harder. I cried harder.
INT. PUBLIC BUILDING CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT
Everyone, including Jack, sits back in their seats, EYES
CLOSED. The Leader speaks into a microphone.
Tonight, we're going to open the
green door -- the heart chakra...
I wasn't really dying, I wasn't host
to cancer or parasites; I was the
warm little center that the life of
this world crowded around.
...And you open the door and you
step inside. We're inside our
hearts. Now, imaging your pain as a
white ball of healing light. That's
right, the pain itself is a ball of
Jack, eyes closed, is silent...
It moves over your body, healing you.
Keep this going and step forward,
through the back door of the room.
Where does it lead? To your cave.
Step forward into your cave.
INT. CAVE - JACK'S IMAGINATION
Jack walks along, moving through an ICE CAVERN...
That's right. You're going deeper
into your cave. And you're going to
find your power animal...
Jack comes upon a PENGUIN. The penguin looks at him, cocks
his head to signal Jack forward.
The penguin jumps onto a patch of ICE and slides away.
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Jack walks out a doorway, saying goodbye to people. He
walks down the sidewalk, shining with peace.
Every evening I died and every
evening I was born again. Resurrected.
CUT BACK TO:
Jack's still in an embrace with Bob.
Bob loved me because he thought my
testicles were removed too. Being
there, my face against his tits,
ready to cry -- this was my vacation.
MARLA SINGER enters. She has short matte black hair and
big, dark eyes like a character from japanese animation.
And, she ruined everything.
Marla looks around, raises a cigarette to her lips.
This is cancer, right?
Bob and Jack stare, dumbfounded.
INT. FIRST METHODIST CHURCH MEETING ROOM - LATER
Everyone paired-off. MOVE THROUGH ROOM... FIND JACK'S FACE
as he stares... MOVE THROUGH ROOM... FIND MARLA'S FACE.
She's drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette.
This ... chick ... Marla Singer ...
did not have testicular cancer. She
was a liar.
INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - NIGHT
Marla sits with the group, smoking, listening intently while
a member speaks. Jack spies on her.
She had no diseases at all. I had
seen her at my melanoma Monday night
INT. CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL - NIGHT
Marla sits at the end of a row, smoking. All the faces down
the row are turned toward her, incredulous...
... and at "Free and Clear," my blood
parasites group Thursdays.
Jack leans out further than the others, scornful.
-- And, again, at "Seize The Day," my
tuberculosis Friday night.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. FIRST METHODIST CHURCH MEETING ROOM - ANOTHER NIGHT
Jack watches... Marla's eyes are closed, her head on the
shoulder of the MAN she's embraced by. She opens her eyes,
catching Jack's stare. Jack looks away.
Marla -- the big tourist. Her lie
reflected my lie.
Marla rests her chin on the man's shoulder. Tears roll down
her cheeks. She wipes at them.
EXT. FIRST METHODIST CHURCH - NIGHT
Marla walks out, The support group's dispersing. Jack
exits amongst them. He spots Marla walking away.
And suddenly, I felt nothing. I
couldn't cry. So, once again, I
could not sleep.
Jack stares after Marla for a long moment. He walks away.
INT. BEDROOM - LATER
Jack, in underwear, is cross-legged on the floor, assembling
IKEA furniture, CORDLESS PHONE shouldered to his ear.
No, I just can't believe that card is
declined -- Okay, okay, let me give
you a different card number.
Jack gets his wallet off the floor, pulls out another card
and, MOS over the following, he reads it into the phone.
Next group, after guided meditation,
after we open our chakras, when it's
time to hug, I'm going to grab that
little bitch, Marla Singer, pin her
arms against her sides and say...
INT. MEETING ROOM - NIGHT - JACK'S IMAGINATION
CLOSE ON JACK as he CLAMPS his arms around Marla.
Marla, you liar, you big tourist. I
need this. Get out.
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Jack, in pajamas, stares at Home Shopping Network on his TV.
When you have insomnia, you're never
really asleep and you're never really
awake. I hadn't slept in four days...
INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - NIGHT
Jack walks in and joins the crowd, looking around. People
are chattering with each other.
-- But, in here, in everyone, there's
the squint of a five-day headache.
Yet they forced themselves to be
positive. They never said
"parasite;" they said "agent." They
always talked about getting better.
Everyone sits in chairs. Jack catches sight of Marla.
To open tonight's communion, Chloe
would like to say a few words.
Taking the lectern is CHLOE, a pale, sickly girl whose skin
stretches yellowish and tight over her bones. She wears a
head bondage. She clears her throat.
Ahh, Chloe. Chloe looked the way
Joni Mitchell's skeleton would look
if you made it smile and walk around
a party being extra nice to everyone.
Well, I'm still here -- but I don't
know for how long. That's as much
certainty as anyone can give me. but
I've got some good news -- I no
longer have any fear of death.
APPLAUSE from around the room.
But... I am in a pretty lonely place.
No one will have sex with me. I'm so
close to the end and all I want is to
get laid for the last time. I have
pornographic movies in my apartment,
and lubricants and amyl nitrate ...
The LEADER gingerly takes control of the microphone.
Thank you, Chloe. Everyone, let's
Thank you, Chloe.
INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - LATER
Now, you're standing at the entrance
to your cave. You step inside your
cave and you walk. Keep walking.
Jack's face, eyes closed, is motionless.
If I did have a tumor, I'd name it
Marla. Marla...the little scratch on
the roof of your mouth that would
heal if only you could stop tonguing
it, but you can't.
Now, find your power animal.
Jack finds Marla smoking a cigarette. Marla cocks her head,
indicating whe wants him to --
INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - RESUMING
Jack's eyes open and turn to Marla, watching her blow smoke
rings with her eyes closed.
INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - LATER
Everyone stands and mills about, pairing-off.
Pick someone special to you tonight.
Jack sees the ghastly spectre of Chloe ambling towards him.
He tries to smile. She smiles with a twisted, dying mouth.
Hello, Mr. Tayler.
I never gave my real name at support
We've never actually talked.
Chloe's eyes are eerily bright with desperation. Jack, in
a sincere attempt at levity, chokes out:
You look good. You ... look ... like
Chloe laughs, a little too much. Jack squeezes out a laugh.
Then he sees Marla, off by herself. Someone heads for her.
Excuse me, I have to...
Jack gives a quick nod to Chloe and darts towards Marla.
Chloe watches him go.
STAY ON JACK AND MARLA as Jack CLAMPS his arms around her.
He whispers into her ear.
We need to talk.
I'm on to you. You're a faker. You
Okay, in the Sylvia Plath philosophy
way, we're all dying. But you're not
dying the way Chloe is dying.
Tell the other person how you feel.
You're a tourist. I saw you at
melanoma, tuberculosis and testicular
And I saw you practicing this...
Telling me off. Is it going as well
as you hoped... ?
(reads his nametag)
"... Mr. Taylor."
I'll expose you.
Go ahead. I'll expose you.
Share yourself completely.
Marla puts her head down on Jack's shoulder as if she were
crying. Jack pulls her head back up. She deadpans at him.
Why are you doing this?
It's cheaper than a movie, and
there's free coffee.
These are my groups. I was here
first. I've been coming for a year.
A year? How'd you manage that?
Anyone who might've noticed either
died or recovered and never came back.
Let yourself cry.
Why do you do it?
I... I don't know. I guess... when
people think you're dying, they
really listen, instead...
-- Instead of just waiting for their
turn to speak.
Brief recognition between them, broken as the Leader passes.
Quietly, now. Share with each other.
Jack waits till the Leader's out of earshot.
It becomes an addiction.
Jack sighs, then pulls back.
Look, I can't cry with a faker
Candy-stripe a cancer ward. It's not
Please. Can't we do something... ?
Marla starts out of the room. Jack follows her.
Now, the closing prayer.
EXT. CHURCH - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS
Marla gets to the sidewalk, moving quickly along.
We'll split up the week. You can
have lymphoma, tuberculosis and --
You take tuberculosis. My smoking
doesn't go over at all.
I think testicular cancer should be
Well, technically, I have more of a
right to be there than you. You
still have your balls.
I don't know -- am I?
Jack follow Marla into...
Marla walks with authority up to an unwatched DRYER. She
takes out clothes, picks out jeans, pants and shirts.
I'll take the parasites.
You can't have both parasites. You
can take blood parasites --
I want brain parasites.
Okay. I'll take blood parasites and
organic brain dementia --
I want that.
You can't have the whole brain!
So far, you have four and I only have
Then, take blood parasites. It's
yours. Now we each have three.
Marla gathers the chosen garments and heads out past Jack...
EXT. SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS
Jack follows, bewildered.
You... left half your clothes.
HONK! Jack starts. Marla's led him into the street with
traffic barreling down.
Marla walks on, oblivious as CARS screech to a halt, HORNS
BLARING. Jack dashes, following...
INT. THRIFT STORE - CONTINUOUS
Marla drops the pile of clothes on a counter. An old CLERK
sifts through the clothes, begins writing on a pad.
You're selling those?
Marla steps down hard on Jack's foot. He winces in pain.
(for the Clerk to hear)
Yes, I'm selling some chothes.
The Clerk starts to ring up the assessed amounts.
So, we each have three -- that's six.
What about the seventh day? I want
ascending bowel cancer.
The girl had done her homework.
I want ascending bowel cancer.
The Clerk gives a strange look as he hands money to Marla.
That's your favorite, too? Tried to
slip it by me, eh?
We'll split it. You get it the first
and third Sunday of the month.
They shake. Jack tries to withdraw his hand; Marla holds it.
Looks like this is goodbye.
Let's not make a big thing out of it.
She walks to the door, pocketing money, not looking back.
How's this for not making a big thing?
Jack watches her go. A moment, then he follows after...
EXT. SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS
Jack hesitates, unsure, then run/walks to catch up to her...
Um... Marla, should we maybe exchange
In case we want to switch nights.
Jack takes out a business card, writes his number on the
back, hands it to her. She takes the pen, grabs his hand
and writes her number on his palm. She walks into the
street, causing more SCREECHING and HONKING. She turns,
holds up the card.
It doesn't have your name. Who are
you? Cornelius? Mr. Taylor? Dr.
Zaius? Any of the stupid names you
give each night?
Jack starts to answer, but the traffic noise is too loud.
Marla just shakes her head, turns, and keeps moving. A BUS
moves into view, obscuring her.
This is how I met Marla Singer.
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - DAY
The plane touches down; the cabin BUMPS. Jack's eyes open.
You wake up at O'Hare.
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - DAY
Jack snaps awake again, looking around, disoriented.
You wake up at SeaTac.
EXT. HIGHWAY - DUSK
The rear of a CRASHED CAR sticks up by the side of the road.
Jack stands, marking on a clipboard. The SUN SETS behind.
INT. AIRPORT - NIGHT
Jack stands at a gate counter. An ATTENDANT smiles at him.
Check-in for that flight doesn't
begin for another two hours, Sir.
Jack looks with blearing eyes at his watch, steps away and
looks at an overhanging CLOCK.
Pacific, Mountain, Central. Lose an
hour, gain an hour. This is your
life, and it's ending one minute at
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - DAY
Jack's eyes snap open as the plane LANDS.
You wake up at Air Harbor
INT. AIRPORT WALKWAY
Jack stands on a conveyor belt, briefcase at his feet. He
watches PEOPLE MOVING PAST on the opposite conveyor.
If you wake up at a different time
and in a different place, could you
wake up as a different person?
Jack misses seeing TYLER on the opposite conveyor belt.
They pass each other.
Jack sits next to a BUSINESSMAN. As they have idle
CONVERSATION, we MOVE IN ON Jack's tray. An ATTENDANT'S
HANDS set coffee down with a small container of cream.
Everywhere I travel -- tiny life.
Single-serving sugar, single-serving
cream, single pat of butter.
HANDS place a dinner tray down.
Microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - BATHROOM - NIGHT
Jack brushes his teeth in the MIRROR.
Shampoo/conditioner combo. Single-
serving mouthwash, tiny bar of soap.
Jack picks up an individual, wrapped Q-TIP, looks at it. He
moves out of the bathroom into...
Jack sits on the bed. He turns on the TV. It's tuned to
the "Sheraton Channel," shows WAITERS serving people in a
large BANQUET ROOM. Jack stops brushing his teeth, feels
something on the bed, lifts it -- a small DINNER MINT.
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - IN FLIGHT - NIGHT
Jack sits next to a frumpy WOMAN. They chat. Jack turns to
look at his food, takes a bite. He turns back and it's...
--a BALD MAN next to him, talking. Jack takes another bite,
turns back and it's...
--a BUSINESSMAN next to him. Jack takes another bite, turns
back, and it's...
--a BUSINESS WOMAN next to him.
The people I meet on each flight --
they're single-serving friends.
Between take-off and landing, we have
our time together, but that's all we
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - LANDING
Jack's eyes snap open.
You wake up at Logan.
INT. WAREHOUSE - CONTINUOUS
A giant corrugated METAL DOOR opens.
On a long enough time line, the
survival rate for everyone drops to
Two TECHNICIANS lead Jack to the BURNT-OUT SHELL of a
WRECKED AUTOMOBILE. Jack sets down his briefcase, opens it
and starts to make notes on a CLIPBOARDED FORM.
I'm a recall coordinator. My job is
to apply the formula. It's a story
Here's where the infant went through
the windshield. Three points.
A new car built by my company leaves
somewhere traveling at 60 miles per
hour. The rear differential locks up.
The teenager's braces around the
backseat ashtray would make a good
The car crashes and burns with
everyone trapped inside. Now: do we
initiate a recall?
The father must've been huge. See
how the fat burnt into the driver's
seat with his polyester shirt? Very
Take the number of vehicles in the
field, (A), and multiply it by the
probable rate of failure, (B), then
multiply the result by the average
out-of-court settlement, (C). A
times B times C equals X...
Jack is speaking to the BUSINESSWOMAN next to him.
If X is less than the cost of a
recall, we don't do one.
Are there a lot of these kinds of
Oh, you wouldn't believe.
... Which... car company do you work
A major one.
Turgid silence. Jack turns to the window. He sees a
PELICAN get SUCKED into the TURBINE.
Every time the plane banked too
sharply on take-off or landing, I
prayed for a crash, or a mid-air
collision -- anything.
Jack's face remains bland during the following: the plane
BUCKLES -- the cabin wobbles. People panic. Masks drop.
No more haircuts. Nothing matters,
not even bad breath.
The side of the plane SHEARS OFF! Screaming PASSENGERS are
sucked out into the night air, flying past the quivering
wind. Magazines and other objects fly everywhere.
Life insurance pays off triple if you
die on a business trip.
Jack remains in his same position, same bland expression.
DING! -- the seatbelt light goes OUT. Jack SNAPS AWAKE.
EVERYTHING IS NORMAL. Some passengers get out of their
seats. From next to Jack, a VOICE we've heard before...
There are three ways to make napalm.
One, mix equal parts of gasoline and
frozen orange juice...
Jack turns to see TYLER. Without turned to Jack, Tyler
Two, equal parts gasoline and diet
cola. Three, dissolve kitty-litter
in gasoline until the mixture is
Tyler turns to Jack.
This is how I met --
Tyler offers his hand. Jack takes it.
You know why they have oxygen masks
No, supply oxygen?
Oxygen gets you high. In a
catastrophic emergency, we're taking
giant, panicked breaths...
Tyler grabs a safety instruction CARD from the seatback,
hands it to Jack.
Suddenly, we become euphoic and
docile. We accept our fate.
Tyler points to passive faces on the drawn figures.
Emergency water landing, 600 miles
per hour. Blank faces -- calm as
What do you do, Tyler?
What do you want me to do?
I mean -- for a living.
Why? So you can say, "Oh, that's
what you do." -- And be a smug little
shit about it?
Jack laughs. Tyler reaches under the seat in front of him
and lifts a BRIEFCASE.
You have a kind of sick desperation
in your laugh.
Jack points to his own briefcase.
We have the same briefcase.
Tyler turns the top of his briefcase toward Jack.
Jack looks at Tyler, then pops the latches and raises the
lid to reveal quaintly-wrapped bars of SOAP.
Soap -- the yardstick of civilization.
(reaches in his pocket)
I make and sell soap...
Tyler hands Jack his card. "THE PAPER STREET SOAP COMPANY."
If you were to add nitric acid to the
soap-making process, one would get
nitroglycerin. With enough soap, one
could blow up the world, if one were
Tyler SNAPS the briefcase shut. Jack stares.
Tyler, you are by far the most
interesting "single-serving" friend
I've ever met.
Tyler stares back. Jack, enjoying his own chance to be
witty, leans closer to Tyler.
You see, when you travel, everything
is small, self-contained--
The spork. I get it. You're very
How's that working out for you?
Well, uh... great.
Keep it up, then. Keep it right up.
Tyler stands, looks towards the aisle.
... As I squeeze past, do I give you
the ass or the crotch?
Tyler moves to the aisle, his ass toward jack, walks away...
We are defined by the choices we make.
Tyler goes to the curtain dividing First Class, slaps the
curtain aside and sits in an empty seat. Jack watches.
How I came to live with Tyler is:
airlines have this policy about
Utterly empty of baggage. No people except for Jack and a
SECURITY TASK FORCE MAN. The Security TFM, smirking, holds
a receiver to his ear from an official phone on the wall.
Throwers don't worry about ticking.
Modern bombs don't tick.
Excuse me? "Throwers?"
Baggage handlers. But when a
suitcase vibrates, the throwers have
to call the police.
My suitcase was vibrating?
Nine time out of ten, it's an
electric razor. But, every once in
a while ...
...it's a dildo. It's airline policy
not to imply ownership in the event
of a dildo. We use the indefinite
aricle: "A dildo." Never "Your
Jack sees, through the window, Tyler, at the curb, throwing
his briefcase into the back of a shiny, red CONVERTIBLE.
Tyler leaps over the door into the driver's seat and PEELS
OUT. jack turns away, looks at the Security TFM.
In the background, a HARRIED MAN dashes after Tyler and the
(to Security TFM)
I had everything in that bag. My
C.K. shirts... my D.K.N.Y. shoes...
Yeah, uh huh... yeah?
(pause, still on phone)
EXT. EMPTY RUNWAY
A lone SUITCASE sits on the concrete. SECURITY PERSONNEL
keep their distance. KABOOM! The suitcase explodes.
INT. BAGGAGE CLAIM AREA - RESUMING
The Security TFM, shakes his head, hangs up.
I'm terribly sorry.
The Security TFM hands Jack a claim form. Jack snatches it,
disgusted, takes out a pen, starts filling out the form.
You know the industry slang for
"Flight Attendant?" "Air Mattress."
INT. TAXI - MOVING - NIGHT
Along a residential street. Jack looks ahead, sees a tall,
grey, bland BUILDING on the corner.
Home was a condo on the fifteenth
floor of a filing cabinet for widows
and young professionals. The walls
were solid concrete. A foot of
concrete is important when your next-
door neighbor lets her hearing aid go
and has to watch game shows at full
The taxi turns a corner and Jack sees the front of the
building. A diffuse CLOUD of SMOKE wafts away from a BLOWN-
OUT SECTION of the fifteenth floor. FIRETRUCKS, POLICE CARS
and a MOB are all crowded around the lobby area.
-- Or when a volcanic blast of debris
that used to be your furniture and
personal effects blows out your floor-
to-ceiling windows and sails flaming
into the night.
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF BUILDING
Jack, gaping at the sight above him, absently gives the
Cabbie money. The taxi pulls away. Jack starts toward the
building. He pushes through the fray of people, into the...
The DOORMAN sees Jack enter, gives a sad smile, shakes his
head. Jack starts for the elevator.
There's nothing up there.
Jack presses the button. The Doorman moves next to him.
You can't go into the unit. Police
The elevator doors open. Jack hesitates. The doors close.
Jack heads out the lobby doors. The Doorman follows...
EXT. CONDO BUILDING - CONTINUOUS
Jack walks past SMOKING, CHARRED DEBRIS -- a flash of ORANGE
from the Yang table, a CLOCK FACE from the hall clock, part
of an arm from the GREEN ARMCHAIR. His feet CRUNCH glass.
Do you have somebody you can call?
Jack comes to his REFRIGERATOR lying on its side. He
reaches down and takes a note: "MARLA --" and a phone
number, from under a BANANA MAGNET.
CLOSE SHOT - JACK'S STOVE
The police would later tell me that
the pilot light might have gone
out... letting out just a little bit
EXT. PAYPHONE - RESUMING
Jack gets to a PAYPHONE. The Doorman follows, watching him.
Lots of young people try to impress
the world and buy too many things.
Jack picks up the receiver, puts in a quarter. He looks at
Marla's number a long moment.
CLOSE SHOT - JACK'S ENTIRE CONDO - KITCHEN AND LIVING ROOM
The SOUND of the HISS...
The gas could have slowly filled the
condo. Seventeen-hundred square feet
with high ceilings, for days and days.
EXT. PAYPHONE - RESUMING
Jack replaces the receiver. He pockets Marla's number, digs
out a small FILOFAX. He flips through the pages for phone
numbers and addresses. Most of the pages are blank.
Many young people feel trapped and
INSERT - CLOSE ON THE BASE OF JACK'S REFRIGERATOR
Then, the refrigerator's compressor
could have clicked on...
Click. KABOOM! SCREEN GOES WHITE.
Jack looks at the Doorman. Tyler's BUSINESS CARD falls from
the Filofax. Jack catches it.
If you don't know what you want, you
end up with a lot you don't.
The Doorman walks away. Jack stares at Tyler's card.
If you asked me now, I couldn't tell
you why I called him.
Jack re-deposits the quarter, dials Tyler's number. It
RINGS... and RINGS and RINGS. Jack sighs and hangs up the
phone. A moment, then the phone RINGS.
Uh... I'm sorry. We met on the
plane. We had the same briefcase.
I'm... you know, the clever guy.
I just called a second ago. There
was no answer. I'm at a payphone.
I star-sixty-nined you. I never pick
up my phone. What's up?
Well... let me see... here's the
EXT. LOU'S TAVERN - NIGHT
A small building in the middle of a concrete parking lot.
Jack and Tyler sit in the back, with a pitcher of BEER.
You buy furniture. You tell
yourself: this is the last sofa I'll
ever need. No matter what else
happens, I've got the sofa issue
handled. Then, the right set of
dishes. The right dinette.
This is how we fill up our lives.
Tyler lights a cigarette.
I guess so.
And, now it's gone.
Tyler offers cigarettes. Jack declines.
Could be worse. A woman could cut
off your penis while you're asleep
and toss it out the window of a
There's always that.
I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe
it's a terrible tragedy.
...no ...no ...
I mean, you did lose a lot of nice,
neat little shit. The trendy paper
lamps, the Euro-trash shelving unit,
am I right?
Jack laughs, nods. He shakes his head, drinks.
But maybe, just maybe, you've been
Delivered from Swedish furniture.
Delivered from armchairs in obscure
green stripe patterns.
Delivered from Martha Stewart.
Delivered from bullshit colors like
"Cobalt," "Ebony," and "Fuchsia."
They laugh together. Then, silence. They drink.
Insurance'll cover it.
Oh, yeah, you gotta start making the
The "now I get to go out and buy the
exact same stuff all over again"
list. That list.
I don't... think so.
This time maybe get a widescreen TV.
You'll be occupied for weeks.
Well, I have to file a claim...
The things you own, they end up
Do what you like.
(looks at watch)
God, it's late. I should find a
So, you called me up, because you
just wanted to have a drink before
you... go find a hotel?
I don't follow...
We're on our third pitcher of beer.
Just ask me.
You called me so you could have a
place to stay.
Why don't you cut the shit and ask if
you can stay at my place?
Would that be a problem?
Is it a problem for you to ask?
Can I stay at your place?
Yes, you can.
You're welcome. But, I want you to
do me one favor.
I want you to hit me as hard as you
I want you to hit me as hard as you
Let me tell you a little bit about
EXTREME CLOSE-UP - FILM FRAME
-- And we see it's PORNOGRAPHY.
Jack, in the foreground, FACES CAMERA. In the BACKGROUND,
Tyler sits at a bench, looking at individual FRAMES cut from
movies. Near him, a PROJECTOR rolls film.
Tyler was a night person. He
sometimes worked as a projectionist.
A movie doesn't come in one big reel,
it's on a few. In old theaters, two
projectors are used, so someone has
to change projectors at the exact
second when one reel ends and
another reel begins. Sometimes you
can see two dots on screen in the
upper right hand corner...
Tyler points to the side of OUR FRAME and the TWO DOTS
briefly APPEAR ONSCREEN.
They're called "cigarette burns."
It's called a "changeover." The
movie goes on, and nobody in the
audience has any idea.
Why would anyone want this shitty job?
It affords him other interesting
-- Like splicing single frames from
adult movies into family films.
In reel three, right after the
courageous dog and the snooty cag --
who have celebrity voices -- eat out
of a garbage can, there's the flash
of Tyler's contribution...
In the AUDIENCE, CHILDREN suddenly start squirming,
confused, looking at each other.
A WOMAN abruptly stops sucking her soda straw, feeling
vaguely terrible. Her uncomfortable HUSBAND slowly leans
back in his seat.
Jack and Tyler watch from the projection booth window.
One-forty-eighth of a second. That's
how long it's up there.
No one really knows that they've seen it.
But they did.
A nice, big cock.
Only a hummingbird could have caught
Tyler at work.
INT. LARGE BANQUET HALL - NIGHT
Tyler moves around one of many tables, setting down SOUP
BOWLS. Jack stands in the same position, FACING CAMERA.
Tyler also worked as a banquet waiter
at the luxurious Pressman Hotel.
The GUESTS command the WAITERS with snaps of fingers.
INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR - NIGHT
Jack turns and WE PAN to Tyler, standing by a CART with a
giant SOUP TUREEN. His hands are at his open fly and he's
in position to piss into the soup.
He was the guerrilla terrorist of the
food service industry.
Don't watch. I can't if you watch.
Jack waits. The SOUND of a STREAM of LIQUID is HEARD.
... Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
He farted on meringue; he sneezed on
braised endive; and, with creme of
mushroom soup, well...
Go ahead. Say it.
You get the idea.
EXT. PARKING LOT OF TAVERN - RESUMING
Tyler and Jack come out the back door.
I don't know about this.
I don't know, either. I want to find
out. I've never been hit, have you?
No. That's a good thing, isn't it?
I don't want to die without any
scars. How much can you really know
about yourself if you've never been
in a fight? Come on... you're the
only person I've ever asked.
Jack stares at him.
Why not you? I'm letting you go
first. Do it.
This is crazy.
Alright, go crazy. Let 'er rip.
Where do you want it? In the face?
Jack swings a wide, clumsy roundhouse -- hits Tyler's
neck -- makes a dull, flat sound.
Shit. Sorry. That didn't count.
Like hell. That counted.
Tyler shoots out a straight punch to Jack's chest. Jack
falls back against a car. His eyes tear up.
How do you feel?
But a good strange.
We've crossed the threshold. You
want to call it off?
Call what off?
This fight, pussy.
Jack swings another roundhouse that slams right under
Tyler's ear. Tyler punches Jack in the stomach. Tyler and
Jack move clumsily, throwing punches. They breathe heavier,
drooling saliva and blood, growing dizzier from every impact.
Jack and Tyler sit on the curb, watching sparse headlights
on the nearby freeway. Their eyes are glazed with endorphin-
induced serenity. They look at each other, laugh. Look away.
If you could fight anyone... one on
one, whoever you wanted, who would
My boss, probably.
Who would you fight?
My dad. No question.
A long pause as Jack studies Tyler's face.
I didn't know my dad. Well, I knew
him, till I was six. He went and
married another woman, had more kids.
Every six years or so he'd do it
again -- new city, new family.
He was setting up franchises. My
father never went to college, so it
was really important that I go.
I know that.
After I graduated, I called him long
distance and asked, "Now what?" He
said, "Get a job." When I turned
twenty-five, I called him and asked,
"Now what?" He said, "I don't know.
A generation of men raised by women.
I'm wondering if another woman is the
answer we really need.
Another pause. Jack feels his bleeding lip, smiles.
We should do this again sometime.
Tyler cracks a smile, give a sidelong glance to Jack.
EXT. PAPER STREET - NIGHT
A street sign: "PAPER STREET." A PAPER MILL stis on one
side, facing a lone HOUSE on the other. The rest of the
land is grass and weeds. It's a grand, old three-story,
long abandoned. Tyler leads Jack toward it.
Where's your car?
I don't know how Tyler found the
house, but he'd been there for half
INT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - ENTRANCE -- NIGHT
Tyler leads Jack through the FRONT DOOR...
It looked like it was waiting to be
torn down. Most of the windows were
INT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - MOMENT LATER
Tyler and Jack climb CREAKY STAIRS to the 2ND FLOOR LANDING.
None of the doors locked. The stairs
were ready to collapse. I didn't
know if he owned it or he was
Tyler opens the door to a ROOM...
INT. ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Jack enters, stis on the creaky BED. Dust drifts upwards.
Neither would have surprised me.
INT. SHOWER - MORNING
Jack turns on the water. LOUD VIBRATIONS from the walls.
Water spits in starts.
Nothing worked. The rusty plumbing
leaked. Turning on a light meant
another light in the house went out.
EXT. LOU'S TAVERN PARKING LOT - NIGHT
All the tavern's lights are off. Tyler and Jack FIGHT.
FIVE GUYS stand around watching.
INT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING
Jack, his face showing NEW BRUISES AND CUTS, makes coffee
with a wire-mesh strainer. Tyler shuffles in, wearing a
flannel bathrobe. He spears pieces of bread on a fork,
starts roasting them over a burner.
There were no neighbors. Just
warehouses and the paper mill. The
fart smell of steam, the hamster cage
smell of wood chips.
EXT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - NIGHT
Jack sits watching as Tyler SWINGS an old GOLF CLUB --
THWACK -- sends a golf ball soaring down the desolate street.
At night, Tyler and I were alone for
half a mile in every direction.
EXT. LOU'S TAVERN PARKING LOT - NIGHT
All the lights are off. TEN GUYS YELL, standing around Jack
and Tyler, who FIGHT. THREE CARS are parked in the lot.
INT. BASEMENT - DAY
Jack sits on basement stairs, watching as Tyler, knee-deep
in water, works at an open FUSEBOX, flipping breakers in a
certain order, showing Jack how it's done.
When it rained, we had to kill the
power. By the end of the first
month, I didn't care about TV. I
didn't mind the warm, stale
CANDLES BURN. Tyler and Jack are seated across from each
other on the buckled floor, reading MAGAZINES. Rain DRIPS
from the ceiling. No furniture. THOUSANDS of MAGAZINES.
The previous occupant had been a bit
of a shut-in.
Oh, a new riot control grenade...
"...the successful combination of
concussive, 3000 foot-candle flash-
blasts and simultaneous high-velocity
disbursement of...blah, blah, blah..."
Tyler begins RIPPING the ARTICLE from his magazine.
"I am Joe's Lungs." It's written in
first person. "Without me, Joe could
not take in oxygen to feed his red
blood cells." There's a whole
series -- "I am Joe's Prostate."
"I get cancer, and I kill Joe."
Tyler tosses his article in a pile of other articles,
chooses another magazine.
What are you reading?
Soldier of Fortune. Business Week.
EXT. LOU'S TAVERN PARKING LOT - NIGHT
All the lights are off. Jack and Tyler stand amidst FIFTEEN
GUYS around TWO GUYS FIGHTING. The crowd YELLS MORE WILDLY
than before. In the background are EIGHT PARKED CARS.
I should have been haggling with my
insurance company. I should have
been looking for a new condo...
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
Jack walks along. He stops, looking at a CHURCH with
SUPPORT-GROUP-PEOPLE milling around the entrance, drinking
coffee and sodas. Marla's there, amongst them, smoking.
.... I should have been upset about
my nice, neat, flaming little shit.
Jack's face shows no reaction. He continues to walk.
But I wasn't.
INT. KITCHEN - MORNING
Jack, in work clothes, interlocks his fingers and POPS his
knuckles, picks up a saucepan with coffee and sips. Tyler,
in waiter's uniform, comes to have Jack straighten his tie.
Most of the week, we were Ozzie and
Jack picks up his briefcase and walks out the door.
But, Wednesday night, ever Wednesday
EXT. LOU'S TAVERN PARKING LOT - NIGHT
All the lights are off. No one around, but there are at
least TWENTY-FIVE CARS parked in the full lot.
... we were finding something out: we
were finding out, more and more, that
we were not alone.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
A SLIDE SHOW progresses, run by a chipper salesman, WALTER.
Jack sits, deadpan, with a PUFFY LIP and a BRUISED cheek.
Thursday mornings, all I could do was
think about next week.
Boss gives Jack a dubious look. Walter's next SLIDE: a
The basic premise of cyber-netting
your office is -- make things more
Can I get the icon in cornflower blue?
Walter continues, his sales pitch drowned out by Jack's V.O.:
Walter, the Microsoft account exec.
Walter, with his smooth, soft hands.
Maybe he was thinking about the free-
range potluck he'd been to last
weekend, or his church-group car-wash
fund-raiser. Or, probably not.
Walter moves to Jack and slaps him in the shoulder.
I showed this already to my man here.
You liked it, didn't you?
Jack smiles. His teeth are RED with BLOOD. They GLOW
eerily in the dim light.
You can swallow a pint of blood
before you get sick.
Jesus, I'd hate to see what happened
to the other guy.
Jack keeps the smile frozen on his face.
Screw Walter. His candy-ass wouldn't
last a second Wednesday night.
EXT. LOU'S TAVERN - NIGHT
Out of silent darkness, HEADLIGHTS appear from all
directions. CARS PULL UP and park in the already-packed
lot. YOUNG MEN get out and march into the tavern...
INT. LOU'S TAVERN - SAME
The men, including Jack and Tyler, enter and stand against
the back wall, waiting. The bartender, IRVINE, calls out:
Drink up people. We're closing.
Irvine flicks on the LIGHTS. Drunken customers squint and
get the message. They plop down money, leaving.
It was right in everyone's face.
Tyler and I just made it visible.
Irvine hits a button and the JUKEBOX loses power. Members
of the waiting army begins to share secret looks. Finally,
one buy locks the door. Two other guys close the blinds.
It was on the tip of everyone's
tongue. Tyler and I just gave it a
A BOMB-SHELTER. Concrete walls. One BARE BULB above, Tyler
standing directly beneath it.
Welcome to fight club.
The guys mill around, finding partners. Everyone brims with
eagerness, but tries to act cool. CHATTER gets LOUDER.
Everyone spreads out, forming a circle, Tyler at center.
Every week, Tyler gave the rules that
he and I decided.
PEAKING CHATTER, till Tyler raises his arms and the CHATTER
DIES. A couple of COUGHS, FEET SHUFFLING, then, SILENCE.
The first rule of fight club is --
you don't talk about fight club. The
second rule of fight club is -- you
don't talk about fight club. The
third rule of fight club is -- when
someone says "stop" or goes limp, the
fight is over. Fourth rule is --
only two guys to a fight. Fifth
rule -- one fight at a time. Sixth
rule -- no shirts, no shoes. Seventh
rule -- fights go on as long as they
have to. And the eighth and final
rule -- if this is your first night
at fight club, you have to fight.
Tyler steps back. A short guy, RICKY, and a GOATEED MAN
take off shirts and shoes and step to the center.
This kid, Ricky -- supply clerk --
couldn't remember whether you ordered
pens with blue ink or black ink ...
The two fighters circle, then begin throwing PUNCHES...
But Ricky was a god for ten minutes
last week when he trounced an actuary
twice his size.
Harder, faster PUNCHES between the two. SWEAT flies.
SHOUTS become DEAFENING. Ricky's getting the best of
Goateed Man, POUNDING him...
Sometimes all you could hear were
flat, hard packing sounds over the
yelling, or the wet choke when
someone caught their breath and
INT. OFFICE PARK RESTAURANT - DAY
Jack, eating lunch, watches the BROKEN-NOSED WAITER with a
GOATEE -- from the above fight -- converse with a MAITRE D'.
Even if I could tell someone they had
a good fight, I wouldn't be talking
to the same man.
The Goateed Waiter approaches Jack and sets a refill soda
down on the table. The two of them briefly make eye contact.
Who you were in fight club is not who
you were in the rest of the world.
INT. PHOTOCOPY ROOM - DAY
Jack stands over a copy machine, hit by flashes of light.
He glances over his shoulder, watches Ricky, wearing an
apron, push a supply cart. Ricks nods at Jack.
You weren't alive anywhere like you
were there. But fight club only
exists in the hours between when
fight club starts and when fight club
INT. JACK'S OFFICE - DAY
Jack, playing SOLITAIRE on his computer, daubs blood from
his mouth with a handkerchief. Boss, passing by the
doorway, looks in at Jack, irritated.
What are you getting yourself into
Jack keeps playing Solitaire. Boss enters, folds his arms.
After fight club, everything else in
your life gets the volume turned
down. You can deal with anything.
Have you finished those reports?
(handing him reports)
The people who had power over you
have less and less.
Jack looks at Boss. Reflexively, Jack's tongue plays with
By this point, I could wiggle most of
the teeth in my jaw.
EXT. STREET - DUSK
Tyler and Jack walk, both smoking cigarettes.
A guy came to fight club for the
first time, his ass was a wad of
cookie dough. After a few weeks, he
was carved out of wood.
If you could fight any celebrity?
Alive or dead?
Shatner. William Shatner.
They reach a BUS STOP as a BUS arrives, tossing their
cigarettes, getting on board...
INT. BUS - DUSK
The bus is crowded. As Tyler and Jack walk toward the back,
Jack studies the faces of OTHER PASSENGERS...
We all started seeing things
differently. Wherever we went.
They hold hand grips. Jack looks up at an ADVERTISEMENT; a
CALVIN KLEIN ad featuring a tan, bare-chested MUSCLE STUD.
I felt sorry for all the guys packing
into gyms, trying to look like what
Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger said
Tyler looks at Jack, looks at the C.K. advertisement.
Self-improvement is masturbation.
Self-destruction is the answer.
A MAN in a suit KNOCKS Tyler's shoulder as he passes. The
Man takes a handle, close by. Jack's pissed, staring at the
man, who stares back.
(to Tyler, so the
Man can hear)
You could take him.
Tyler looks to Jack, glances over his shoulder at the Man.
Tyler casually picks a small scab off Jack's nostril.
The trick is not to care.
Tyler stares forward.
Tyler HITS the floor, stomach first. HIS OPPONENT lands on
top of him, grappling, trying for a CHOKE HOLD. The
surrounding CROWD, Jack included, SCREAMS at them...
Tyler and the Opponent wrestle desperately, and Tyler flips
his attacker, gets on top, sprawling to pin him. Tyler
turns -- starts reining PUNCHES into the Opponent's GROIN...
Jack lands a couple of BLOWS to HIS OPPONENT'S stomach --
brings up a left uppercut that smashes the Opponent's jaw.
Tiny spatters of BLOOD adorn the walls, along with sweat.
Jack catches sight of a swollen-faced Tyler, watching
appreciatively, a smile growing slowly on his face.
Fight club wasn't about winning or
losing. It wasn't about words.
The Opponent recovers, throws a headlock on Jack. Jack
snakes his arm into a counter headlock. They wrestle like
wild animals. The crowd CHEERS maniacally.
They hysterical shouting was in
tongues, like at a Pentecostal church.
Onlookers kneel to stay with the fight, cheering LOUDER.
The Opponent SMASHES Jack's head to the floor, over and over.
When the fight was over, nothing was
solved, but nothing mattered.
Everyone moves in as the Opponent steps away. Tyler pushes
through the crowd. Others lift Jack up. They turn their
attention to the floor, to a BLOOD MASK of Jack's face --
similar to the TEAR MASK on BOB'S SHIRT.
Jack limply shakes his Opponent's hand.
How about next week?
Look at me. How about next month?
Everyone helps Jack walk. He's sweating, bleeding, smiling.
Afterwards, we all felt saved.
INT. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM - NIGHT
A NURSE tends to Jack while Tyler watches.
He fell down some stairs.
The Nurse doesn't look at Tyler, just keeps tending to Jack.
I fell down some stairs.
Sometimes Tyler spoke for me.
INT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - BATHROOM - MORNING
Tyler and Jack share the cracked MIRROR. Tyler's clipping
at his hair with blunt, ill-suited SCISSORS. Jack's
brushing his teeth, spitting out pink foam.
Fight club became the reason to cut
your hair short and trim your
Any historical figure.
Abe Lincoln. Big reach. Skinny guys
fight till they're burger.
Jack reaches in his mouth, exploring, pulls -- yanks a
TOOTH. Jack looks at it. Tyler puts scissors down, done.
Remember, even the Mona Lisa's
Jack drops the tooth in the sink with Tyler's hair.
INT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATE AFTERNOON
Jack enters, buttoning his shirt. The PHONE RINGS.
Marla's in the HALL, on the PAYPHONE, twisting the phone
cord around her neck.
Where have you been the last few
Jack looks through the archway and sees Tyler, in his gummy
flannel bathrobe, doing sit-ups. Jack leans, cups the phone.
How did you find me?
The forwarding number. I haven't
seen you at any support groups.
That's the idea -- we split them.
You haven't been going to yours.
I found a new one.
It's for men.
Like testicular cancer?
Look, this is a bad time...
I've been going to debtor's
anonymous. You want to see some
truly fucked up people?
I'm just on my way out...
Me too. I got a stomach full of
Xanax. I took what was left of a
bottle. Might've been too much.
Jack looks exasperated, turns TO LOOK INTO THE CAMERA.
Picture yourself watching Marla
Singer throw herself around her
This isn't a for-real suicide thing.
This is probably one of those cry-for-
This could go on for hours.
So you're staying in tonight?
Do you want to wait to hear me
Jack puts the handset on top of the phone, still off the
hook, walks out the back door.
Do you want to listen and see if my
spirit can use the telephone?
Thru the archway: Tyler leans to look in, curious.
INT. BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT
GRUNTS of PLEASURE and EXERTION. Glimpses of TORSOS, ASSES,
LEGS, ARMS, BREASTS, and FEMALE HAIR, all DRENCHED in SWEAT.
Sheets RIP. Bodies hit the FLOOR. Insane GRUNTING and
LAUGHING. A flash of MARLA'S FACE.
INT. JACK'S BEDROOM - SUNRISE
Jack sits up in bed, looks around the room.
INT. 2ND FLOOR LANDING
Jack steps out of his room. The neighboring door is closed.
Tyler's door was closed. I'd been
living here two months, and Tyler's
door was never closed.
INT. BATHROOM - SAME
Jack stares into the TOILER, looking at SIX USED CONDOMS.
INT. KITCHEN - MORNING
Jack sits at the table, sips coffee, read Reader's Digest.
He hears FOOTSTEPS approaching.
You're not going to believe what I
dreamt last night.
Marla walks in, straightening her dress, looks like she's
been raped by a hurricane. Jack's jaw drops.
I can hardly believe anything about
Marla goes to pour coffee. She takes a swig, GARGLES and
SPITS it in the sink. She gives Jack a lascivious smile.
What are you doing here?
What the hell are you doing here?
Marla stares at him a beat, then drops the cup in the sink.
Marla shoves open the door to the backyard and walks out.
Jack gets up, watches her stomp away.
Jack turns and -- Tyler is at his shoulder, staring after
Marla. He's in his usual sweatpants. He grins at Jack,
then moves away, pours himself coffee. Jack, smoldering,
slumps at the table and picks up Reader's Digest. Tyler
puts his foot on a countertop, does stretching exercises.
She's a piece of work. Get this --
I come in here last night, the
phone's off the hook...
Jack pretends to read, quickly glances at Tyler. TYLER'S
I already knew the story before he
told it to me.
INT. KITCHEN - LATE AFTERNOON (FLASHBACK)
Tyler enters, gently lifts the handset and listens.
I'll tell you when I'm floating out
of my body.
How could Tyler, off all people, think
it was a bad thing that Marla Singer
was about to die?
INT. MARLA'S - 8TH FLOOR LANDING - LATE AFTERNOON (FLASHBACK)
Tyler, a wry smile on his face, ambles up the stiars,
looking at the rotting walls. He reaches the top of the
stairs and heads for Marla's room. Before he can knock,
Marla's hand shoots out and grabs him...
Marla pulls Tyler inside and shuts the door. Her drugged
eyes look him over.
You got here fast.
She staggers and sits on the bed. She slides off, along
with the blanket and sheets, to the floor.
The mattresses are all sealed in
She tries to focus her eyes on Tyler.
Did I call you?
Tyler studies her with cynical curiosity, looks at a DILDO
lying atop a dresser. Marla follows his gaze.
Don't worry. It's not a threat to you.
SIRENS and vehicles SCREECHING outside can be HEARD; doors
opening and SLAMMING; running FOOTFALLS.
Oh, no! Somebody called the cops...
She gets to her feet, grabs Tyler, pulls him out the door.
INT. HALLWAY (FLASHBACK)
Marla LOCKS her door, then pulls Tyler toward the STAIRCASE.
COPS and PARAMEDICS charge up with oxygen and medical kits.
Marla and Tyler flatten against the wall to let them pass.
8-G! Where's 8-G?
End of the hall.
The rescuers keep running.
The girl who lives there used to be
a charming, lovely girl, but she's
lost faith in herself...
Miss Singer, let us help you! You
have every reason to live!
Marla yanks Tyler's arm, heading down the stairs.
She's a monster! Infectious human
waste! Good luck trying to save her!
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)
Tyler makes coffee. Marla slouches against the refrigerator.
If I fall asleep, I'm done for.
You're gonna have to keep me up all
INT. KITCHEN - MORNING (RESUMING)
Tyler chuckles, shakes his head.
He was obviously able to handle it.
Tyler stands across from Jack, gets a cigarette from a pack.
I mean, this girl... uh, you're not
into her or anything... ?
No. Not at all.
I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct.
Tyler lights his cigarette.
Yeah, I'm sure.
Good. This chick was up on the table
with her legs in the stirrups before
the doctor even walked in the room.
The things that she said... I've
never heard a woman talk like that...
INT. TYLER'S ROOM - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)
Tyler smokes, post-coital. Marla puts her lips to his ear.
I want to have your abortion.
Tyler laughs, shakes his head. Jack's gripping his Reader's
Digest just a little too tight.
How could Tyler not go for that?
Night before last, he was splicing
sex organs into "Little Mermaid."
Tyler sits, studies Jack's face.
You're okay with this?
Put a gun to my head and paint the
wall with my brains.
She is a wild, twisted bitch. Stay
away from that one.
Oh, and my pace is more librarians.
Hey... don't knock librarians.
Marla doesn't need a lover. She
needs a case worker.
She needs an exorcist. This isn't
love. This is sport-fucking.
She'd invaded my support groups, now
she's invading my home.
Listen... do me a favor... sit here
Tyler pulls out a closer chair, motions to it. Jack puts
down his Reader's Digest and moves to that chair.
You've gotta understand something
about me. I have a little rule,
okay? Don't ever talk to her about
me. Ever. I can't stand that kind
Tyler fixes Jack with a friendly, but firm stare.
If you ever say anything about me or
about what happens here in this
house, to her or anyone -- I will
find out. And you'll never see me
again. Promise me.
Promise you won't.
Yes, I promise.
I said I promise!
That was three times you promised.
Tyler smiles, gets up and leaves. Jack sits smoldering.
If only I had wasted a couple of
minutes and gone to watch Marla die,
none of this would have happened.
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Jack watches TV at HIGH VOLUME. SOUNDS of SEX from upstairs.
INT. JACK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Jack lies calmly on his bed, staring at the ceiling. Sounds
of THUMPS and CRASHES from beyond the wall.
(muffled through wall)
Miserable fucking discharge!
I could've moved to another room, one
on the third floor -- so I wouldn't
have heard them. But I didn't.
INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT
SOUNDS of RAIN. Jack flips FUSES off, then walks upstairs.
INT. 2ND FLOOR LANDING - SAME
Jack walks, HEARS Marla SCREAM in orgasm. He reaches the
landing. Tyler's door is ajar. Jack peeks in...
Marla's legs are sprawled on the bed. The door PUSHES OPEN
WIDER -- Tyler, naked, stands CLOSE TO CAMERA.
What are you doing?
Jack steps back.
I... uh... just going to bed.
Tyler scratches his head, wears a RUBBER GLOVE.
You want to finish her off?
Jack continues toward his room.
INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
Jack brushes his teeth.
I became the calm, little center of
the world. I was the Zen master.
CLOSE UP - COMPUTER MONITOR
Haiku is BEING TYPED in a trendy, italicized font.
"Worker bees can leave
Even drones can fly away
The queen is their slave"
I wrote little haiku poems.
INT. JACK'S OFFICE - DAY
Jack's clothes are PERMANENTLY STAINED with BLOOD. He sits
in Zen pose, cigarette in mouth, finishes typing Haiku.
I faxed them around to everyone.
He hits "SEND," gets the "ERROR CHIME" SOUND. He presses
this key over and over. Boss enters.
Is that your blood?
Some of it, yes.
Boss stares at Jack like he's from Mars.
Take the rest of the day off. Come
back tomorrow with clean clothes.
Get yourself together.
INT. HALLWAY - SAME
Jack's leaving, looks like a war casualty, passing COWORKERS
who coldly stare at him. His face is totally passive.
I got right in everyone's hostile
little face. Yes, these are bruises
from fighting. I'm comfortable with
them. I am enlightened.
Jack walks toward the HOUSE.
You give up the condo life, give up
all your flaming worldly possessions,
go live in a dilapidated house in the
toxic waste part of town...
INT. TYLER'S KITCHEN - SUNSET
Jack walks in. SOUNDS of VIOLENT SEX and a POLAROID CAMERA
from upstairs. Pieces of PLASTER fall from the ceiling.
... and you come home to this.
You fucking slut!!
Thank you, sir, may I have another!
Thank you sir, may I have another... !
Jack rolls his eyes, takes off his pants. He runs water in
the sink, finds a tiny bit of SOAP and scrubs at the blood
stains. The PHONE RINGS. He answers it.
A cop, DETECTIVE STERN, refers to a file.
This is Detective Stern with the
arson unit. We have some new
information about the "incident" at
I don't know if you're aware... your
front door -- it seems someone
sprayed freon into the lock, then
tapped it with a chisel to shatter
No, I wasn't aware...
I am Jack's Cold Sweat.
Does this sound strange to you?
Yes, sire, strange. Very strange.
Jack starts to sweat, scrubs his pants obsessively.
Yes. It left a residue of ammonium
oxalate and potassium perchloride.
Do you know what that means?
What does that mean?
It means it was homemade.
This is... really a shock...
Whoever set this homemade dynamite
could've blown out the pilot light
days before the explosion. The gas,
it seems, was just a detonator.
Who do you think could've done this?
I'll ask the questions, son.
(whispering in Jack's ear)
Jack almost leaps out his skin, startled; looks to see Tyler
standing right next to him.
"The liberator who destroyed my
property has re-aligned my paradigm
I don't know what to make of this,
sir, I really don't...
Do you know anyone who'd have the
expertise or motive to do something
"I reject the basic assumptions of
civilization, including material
Jack pushes Tyler away, cups the receiving.
No. No, sir. I loved that condo.
I loved every stick of furniture.
The lamps, the chairs, the rugs, were
me. The dishes were me. The plants
I'd like to thank the academy...
Well, if any ideas come to you, give
me a call. In the meantime, don't
leave town. I may need to bring you
in for questioning.
Jack hangs up. Tyler shrugs.
Could be worse. You could be cursed
with the three terrible Karmas. You
could be beautiful, rich and famous.
Jack turns away, continues to scrub his pants. Marla's
FOOTSTEPS can be HEARD coming downstairs...
Jack really grinds the soap against the pants, splashing
water. He turns, sees Marla enter. Tyler is GONE. Marla
lights a cigarette.
Except for their humping, Tyler and
Marla were never in the same room.
I got this dress at a thrift store
for one dollar.
Worth every penny.
My parents pulled this exact act for
years -- one came in, the other
Marla begins a slow, exotic dance, moving very close to
Jack. She lifts her dress dangerously high, dancing close
to Jack's body, almost touhcing.
It's a bridesmaid's dress. Someone
loved it intensely for one day, then
tossed it. Like a Christmas tree --
so special, then, bam -- it's
abandoned on the side of the road,
tinsel still clinging to it...
Jack becomes very aware of having no pants on, presses
against the counter. Marla pulls her hemline further up.
Like sex crime victims, underwear
inside-out, bound with electrical
It suits you.
She leans in very close to Jack's ear, whispers hoarsely:
You can borrow it sometime.
Jack takes a step away, keeps scrubbing. Marla blows smoke
in his face. Jack takes her cigarette and throws it in the
sink. Marla backs away, fed up, storms out, going UPSTAIRS.
Get rid of her.
Jack turns to see Tyler in the doorway.
You get rid of her.
(pointing at Jack)
Don't mention me.
Marla's FOOTSTEPS are coming DOWNSTAIRS. Jack looks to the
archway, then back at -- Tyler's GONE. Marla enters, shoes
and balled up clothing under one arm, looking for something
on the junk strewn table.
I'm six years old again, passing
messages between my parents.
I, uh... think you should go now.
Marla ignores, still searching the table, tossing things,
pushing other things off to the floor.
It's time for you to leave.
Don't worry, I'm leaving.
Marla finds what she wanted, a pack of cigarettes. She
moves up into Jack's face.
You're such a nutcase, I can't even
begin to keep up.
She laughs, spins on her heels. As she exits the back door,
she sings "This Merry-Go-Round" from "Valley of the Dolls."
Jack watches her through the kitchen window.
Jack turns. Tyler's right behind him. Through the window,
Marla can be seen walking away. Tyler picks up the remnant
of SOAP Jack's been using, holds it up to Jack.
To make soap, first we have to render
Jack looks at Tyler.
CLOSE UP - SIGN: "DANGER - BIOHAZARD."
Tyler stands inside the fence. Jack's atop the fence,
struggling to cross BARBED WIRE. He wobbles, gets over,
snags his shirt. Jack falls, RIPPPPP. Tyler helps.
FOOTSTEPS. A FLASHLIGHT BEAM. Tyler pulls Jack behind a
DUMPSTER, one of DOZENS. A silhouette of a SECURITY GUARD
moves along the perimeter, flashlight first. He walks away.
MOVE BACK to Tyler and Jack, who emerge from hiding. Tyler
eagerly grabs the lid of the closest dumpster.
The best fat for making soap --
because the salt balance is just
right -- comes form human bodies...
Tyler lifts the lid -- it CREAKS.
What is this place?
A liposuction clinic.
From the dumpster, Tyler pulls out an industrial-sized,
thick plastic bag full of PINK GOO.
Paydirt. From society's richest
asses and thighs.
TIME CUT: Tyler and Jack climb back over the fence, carrying
BAGS of fat. One of Jack's bags RIPS, spilling the goo down
the chain-link fench. Jack slips and slides. Tyler laughs.
Tyler tries to scoop the running fat back into the bag.
Jack and Tyler each stir a boiling pot.
As the fat renders, the tallow floats
to the surface. Remember the crap
they taught you in Boy Scouts.
Hard to imagine you in Boy Scouts.
This clear layer in glycerin. We'll
mix it back in when we make the soap.
Tyler sticks a spoon into a pot, lifts up a scoop of the
glycerin layer. Then, he crabs a can, opens it.
Lye -- the crucial ingredient.
(adding lye to mix)
Ancient peoples found their clothes
got cleaner if they washed them at a
certain spot in the river. Why?
Because, human sacrifices were once
made on the hills above this river.
Year after year, bodies burnt. Rain
feel. Water seeped through the wood
ashes to become lye. The lye
combined with the melted fat of the
bodies, till a thick white soapy
discharge crept into the river.
Tyler licks his lips until they're gleaming wet. He takes
Jack's hands and KISSES the back of it.
The first soap was made from the
ashes of heroes. Like the first
monkeys shot into space.
The saliva shines in the shape of the kiss. Tyler pours a
bit of the flaked lye onto Jack's hand.
Without sacrifice, without death, we
would have nothing.
Jack's whole body JERKS. Tyler holds tight to Jack's hand
and arm. Tears well in Jack's eyes; his face tightens.
This is a chemical burn. It will
hurt more than you've ever been
burned and you will have a scar.
Jack looks -- the burn is swollen, glossy, in the shape of
Tyler's kiss. Jack's face spasms.
Tyler's kiss was a bonfire on the
back of my hand.
Look at your hand.
Guided meditation worked for cancer,
it could work for this.
SHOT OF A GREEN MAPLE LEAF, GLISTENING WITH DEW. RESUME:
Tyler looks at Jack's glazed and detached eyes.
Come back to the pain. Don't shut
Jack, snapping back, tries to jerk his hand away. Tyler
keeps hold of it and their arms KNOCK UTENSILS off the table.
I tried not to think of the words
"searing" or "flesh." I imagined my
pain as a ball of healing white light.
SHOT OF A FOREST, IN GENTLE SPRING RAINFALL. RESUME:
Tyler JERKS Jack's hand, getting Jack's attention...
Stop it. This is your pain -- your
burning hand. It's right here. Look
I was going to my cave to find my
SHOT OF THE INSIDE OF JACK'S FROZEN ICE CAVE. RESUME:
Tyler JERKS Jack's hand again. Jack re-focuses on Tyler...
Don't deal with this the way those
dead people do. Deal with it the way
a living person does.
SHOT OF INSIDE THE ICE CAVE - ON MARLA, LYING NAKED UNDER A
FUR COAT, TURNING HER HEAD TO LOOK TOWARDS US. RESUME:
Jack tries to pull his hand free. Tyler won't let go.
Jack's eyes glaze over again. Jack speaks, whiny from pain:
I... I think I understand. I think
I get it...
No, what you're feeling is premature
SHOT OF A GREEN FOREST WITHOUT RAIN. RESUME:
Tyler SLAPS Jack's face, regaining his attention...
This is the greatest moment of your
life and you're off somewhere,
No, I'm not...
SHOT OF TREES ENGULFED BY A FOREST FIRE. RESUME:
Shut up. Our fathers were our models
for God. And, if our fathers bailed,
what does that tell us about God?
I don't know...
SHOT OF EMBERS POURING FROM THE HELLISH FOREST FIRE. RESUME:
Tyler SLAPS Jack's face again...
Listen to me. You have to consider
the possibility that God doesn't like
you, he never wanted you. In all
probability, He hates you. This is
not the worst thing that can happen...
It isn't... ?
We don't need him...
We don't... ?
SHOT OF INSIDE ICE CAVE - NAKED MARLA PULLS JACK DOWN ON TOP
OF HER - JACK KISSES HER - CIGARETTE SMOKE COMES FROM HER
MOUTH - JACK COUGHS. RESUME:
Jack is a wide-eyed zombie...
... Marla ... ?
Fuck damnation. Fuck redemption. We
are God's unwanted children, with no
special place and no special
attention, and so be it.
Jack looks at Tyler -- they lock eyes. Jack does his best
to stifle his spasms of pain, his body a quivering, coiled
knot. He bolts toward the sink, but Tyler holds on.
You can go to the sink and run water
over your hand. Look at me. Or you
can use vinegar to neutralize the
burn, but first you have to give up.
First, you have to know that someday,
you are going to die. Until you know
that, you will be useless.
Jack spasms with a shiver of pain...
You ... you don't know what this
feels like, Tyler.
Tyler shows Jack a LYE-BURNED KISS SCAR on his own hand.
Tears begin to drip from Jack's eyes. Tyler grabs a bottle
of VINEGAR -- pours it over Jack's wound.
Jack closes his eyes, holds his hand... slumps to the floor.
Congratulations. You're a step
closer to hitting bottom.