5.8/10
1,917
13 user 6 critic

The Main Event (1979)

Hillary Kramer, successful Perfume magnate awakes one morning to find that her accountant has robbed her blind and left for South America. Going through all of her remaining assets she ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Can a bickering odd couple in Manhattan become friends and maybe more? Owlish Felix is an unpublished writer who vents his frustration by reporting to the super that the woman in a ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Barbra Streisand, George Segal, Robert Klein
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Busey
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Henrietta Robins works out of her home and her husband Pete drives a cab to try to support her. When Pete gets a tip from one of his fellow drivers that a deal will be made by the Americans... See full summary »

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Michael Sarrazin, Estelle Parsons
Nuts (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A high-class call girl accused of murder fights for the right to stand trial rather than be declared mentally incompetent.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss, Maureen Stapleton
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Daisy Gamble, an unusual woman who hears phones before they ring, and does wonders with her flowers, wants to quit smoking to please her fiancé, Warren. She goes to a doctor of hypnosis to ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Yves Montand, Bob Newhart
Funny Lady (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Story of singer Fanny Brice's stormy relationship with showman Billy Rose.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Executive George Dupler loses his temper and is demoted to the night manager at a 24 hour drugstore. After he suggests to his teenage son Freddie that he stop having an affair with suburban... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Tramont
Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbra Streisand, Diane Ladd
Yentl (1983)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy to enter religious training.

Director: Barbra Streisand
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Amy Irving, Mandy Patinkin
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young wife and mother, bored with day-to-day life in New York City and neglected by her husband, slips into increasingly outrageous fantasies: her mother breaking into the apartment, an ... See full summary »

Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Barbra Streisand, David Selby, Ariane Heller
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two desperate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman
Funny Girl (1968)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A troubled man talks to his suicidal sister's psychiatrist about their family history and falls in love with her in the process.

Director: Barbra Streisand
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte, Blythe Danner
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
David
Whitman Mayo ...
Percy
...
Donna
Chu Chu Malave ...
Luis
...
Hector Mantilla
...
Gough
Richard Altman ...
Tour Guide
Seth Banks ...
Newsman
...
Girl In Bed
...
Nose - Kline
Roger Bowen ...
Owner Sinthia Cosmetics
Badja Djola ...
Heavyweight In Gym (as Badja Medu Djola)
Rory Calhoun ...
Fighter In Kid's Camp
Edit

Storyline

Hillary Kramer, successful Perfume magnate awakes one morning to find that her accountant has robbed her blind and left for South America. Going through all of her remaining assets she finds a boxer, purchased as a tax write off. She decides to take Kid Natural, (Eddie Scanlon) who is much more at home giving driving lessons, into the ring and use him as her key to riches. Eddie thinks this will only get him killed and resists. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Glove Story

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pelea de fondo  »

Box Office

Gross:

$26,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-writer Gail Parent once said of the movie's screenplay: "In order to have a good male-female comedy, they have to be equal". Moreover, Barbra Streisand said of the script, "What is exciting is not for one person to be stronger than the other, not for the man to be stronger than the woman, and not for the woman to be stronger than the man, but for two people to have met their match. And yet, they are equally as stubborn, as obstinate, as passionate, as crazy as the other". See more »

Goofs

When Hillary and Kid are fighting in the ring at the end of the film, Kid calls Hillary, "Judy". Judy was Barbra Streisand's character's name in the last film that she and Ryan O'Neal did together, What's Up, Doc?. See more »

Quotes

David: So, you're her fighter?
Eddie 'Kid Natural' Scanlon: So, you're her husband?
David: Ex-husband.
Eddie 'Kid Natural' Scanlon: Well with a little luck I'll be her ex-fighter.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Joel King: Man with a Camera (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Fight
Written by Paul Jabara and Bob Esty
Performed by Barbra Streisand
Produced by Bob Esty
Arranged and Conducted by Bob Esty (uncredited)
Background Vocals by Billy Alessi (uncredited) & Bobby Alessi (uncredited), Bob Esty (uncredited)
[Played in combination with "The Main Event" during the end credits]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Makes Me Smile
8 August 2010 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

The real bout in this movie may be between Barbra Streisand's talent and Babs' ego. Can the often-inspiring light comedienne of "What's Up Doc" and "Funny Girl" overcome La Streisand's need to be the center of every scene?

It's a reunion flick between Streisand and "Doc" co-star Ryan O'Neal. She's perfume magnate Hillary Kramer, undone by an embezzling accountant. He's Kid Natural, a former prize fighter who represents Hillary's one asset, if only she can get him in the ring. He'd rather stick to his new career as a driving instructor.

"Do you want my body on your head for the rest of your life?" he asks her.

More than boxing, sex is the main event of the film, from the opening shots of Streisand working out in spandex leotards to the charged byplay between the stars. She teases her ex-husband with pelvic thrusts and dances around the ring with Kid in short-shorts and a halter top with no bra. This is distracting to some extent but helps arouse the movie's one undeniable asset: The chemistry between O'Neal and Streisand.

For an actor made entirely of wood, O'Neal is surprisingly spry and able, taking pratfalls, playing shamelessly off his good looks, and trying to get out of the deal with Hillary by clenching his fists and telling her of his vow to "never again use these, these messengers of death." He lives in a giant glove by a freeway which advertises his driving instructions in neon. He proudly claims it an investment made with Hillary's money.

For her part, Streisand is clearly the more dominant partner in a way she wasn't in "Doc". The movie starts and ends with a big close-up on her, and the boxing part of the story is shortchanged in order to keep her in the frame as much as possible. Howard Zieff directs this as a vanity project, since that's what it is, with soft lighting playing up her russet locks at every opportunity.

But Streisand justifies the spotlight by playing to Hillary's weaknesses as much as her strengths. Hillary has no clue about boxing, but doesn't let that stop her. After the Kid is dinged up in one early match, she announces a new plan: "Better fights with nicer people".

Another early scene of Kramer running her perfume business has her deliver a line that seems a playful nod at Streisand's own famously imperious rep: "I want you to go away to a very quiet place, let your brilliant and creative minds blossom with original ideas, and then bring me back exactly what I'm talking about." It might not be as funny delivered by someone else, but that's a benefit to having Barbra on the job.

There's enough general funniness like that to overcome the defects of too much Barbra and an ending that literally throws in the towel rather than resolves the romantic tension between Hillary and Kid in a fun yet convincing manner. Also on the plus side, you have Whitman Mayo as Kid's cagey manager and one great theme song, a molten disco masterpiece which Barbra sings with all the relish of Shirley Bassey pouncing on "Goldfinger". I think it made the film such a success in 1979, more than the critical notices of the time which were horrible.

So score this one talent over ego, if by points rather than knockout. "The Main Event" is no classic, but it's good enough to make me smile all these years later.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A cute Barbra movie... turtleracer
Question....For Someone Who Has Seen It MovieQuoteGal
This review must be read.......... ezra-lacroix
Discuss The Main Event (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?