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The Main Event
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The Main Event (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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The Main Event -- Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal reunite in this fancy footwork romantic comedy about a bankrupt perfume manufacturer who finds her one remaining asset is the ownership of a has-been boxer.


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5.9/10   1,752 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Gail Parent (written by) &
Andrew Smith (written by)
View company contact information for The Main Event on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 June 1979 (USA) See more »
A Glove Story
Hillary Kramer, successful Perfume magnate awakes one morning to find that her accountant has robbed her blind and left for South America... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Makes Me Smile See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barbra Streisand ... Hillary Kramer

Ryan O'Neal ... Eddie 'Kid Natural' Scanlon

Paul Sand ... David
Whitman Mayo ... Percy

Patti D'Arbanville ... Donna
Chu Chu Malave ... Luis

Richard Lawson ... Hector Mantilla

James Gregory ... Gough
Richard Altman ... Tour Guide
Seth Banks ... Newsman
Lindsay Bloom ... Girl In Bed

Earl Boen ... Nose - Kline
Roger Bowen ... Owner Sinthia Cosmetics
Badja Djola ... Heavyweight In Gym (as Badja Medu Djola)
Rory Calhoun ... Fighter In Kid's Camp
Sue Casey ... Brenda
Alvin Childress ... Man In Gym

Kristine DeBell ... Lucy (as Kristine De Bell)
Al Denava ... Gomez
Rene Dijon ... Nose - Moss

Shay Duffin ... Fight Announcer

Murphy Dunne ... Mario

Art Evans ... Fighter
Ron Henriquez ... Fighter (as Ron Henriques)
Anthony Renya ... Fighter
Maurice Sneed ... Fighter
Lee Harman ... Newsman
Vic Heutschy ... Newsman

Ernie Hudson ... Killer
David Ketchum ... Photographer (as Dave Ketchum)
Jimmy Lennon Sr. ... Announcer (as Jimmy Lennon)

Len Lesser ... Trainer At Big Bear
Eddie 'El Annimal' Lopez ... Boxer At Kid's Camp (as Eddie 'Animal' Lopez)
Gilda Marx ... Exercise Teacher

Denver Mattson ... Referee
Bill Phillips Murry ... Mantilla's Cornerman (as Bill Murry)

Brent Musburger ... T. V. Show Host
Robert Nadder ... Nose - Bean
Harvey Parry ... Referee In Long Beach

John Reilly ... Alan Crane
Tim Rossovich ... Cannibal
Jack Somack ... Murry
Richard Steele ... Boxer In Kid's Camp
Karen Hale Wookey ... Newswoman (as Karen Wookey)
Darrell Zwerling ... Sheldon
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luther Fear ... Animated Fight Fan (uncredited)
Jack Griffin ... Boxing Coach (uncredited)
Roslyn Kind ... Aerobics Class Dancer (uncredited)

Rick Sawaya ... Fight Cop (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Zieff 
Writing credits
Gail Parent (written by) &
Andrew Smith (written by)

Produced by
Renée Missel .... executive producer (as Renee Missel)
Jon Peters .... producer
Howard Rosenman .... executive producer
Barbra Streisand .... producer
Jeff Werner .... associate producer
Original Music by
Michael Melvoin (music score)
Cinematography by
Mario Tosi (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Edward Warschilka 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
Karen Rea 
Production Design by
Charles Rosen 
Set Decoration by
James W. Payne  (as James Payne)
Costume Design by
Ruth Myers 
Makeup Department
Lee Harman .... makeup artist (as Lee Harmon)
Kaye Pownall .... hair stylist
Production Management
Hal Schaffel .... unit production manager
Tom Shaw .... unit production manager
Bill Venegas .... unit production manager (as William Venegas)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gary Daigler .... first assistant director
Pat Kehoe .... first assistant director
Ed Milkovich .... second assistant director
Venita Ozols-Graham .... assistant director trainee (as Venita Ozols)
Art Department
Joe Acord .... construction coordinator
Lamont Johnson .... lead man
Johnny Lattanzio .... paint foreman (as John Lattanzio)
Michael Ross .... property master
William Ladd Skinner .... set designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles L. Campbell .... sound effects editor
Louis L. Edemann .... sound effects editor
Robert Glass .... dubbing mixer
Robert Knudson .... dubbing mixer
Don MacDougall .... dubbing mixer (as Don Macdougall)
David Pettijohn .... sound effects editor (as David A. Pettijohn)
Bruce Richardson .... sound effects editor (as Paul Bruce Richardson)
David M. Ronne .... production sound mixer (as David Ronne)
Pat Suraci .... boom operator
John Roesch .... foley artist (uncredited)
Joe Amsler .... stunt double: Kid
Denver Mattson .... stunt coordinator
Kevin N. Johnston .... stunts (uncredited)
Rick Sawaya .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Larry Barbier .... still photographer
Dustin Blauvelt .... first assistant camera
Peter J. Breen .... dolly grip (as Peter Breen)
Joseph Cosko Jr. .... second assistant camera (as Joe Cosko)
Cary Griffith .... key grip (as Cary Griffin)
Jake Jarrell .... gaffer
Joel King .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Seth Banks .... costumer: men
Grace Davidson .... costumer: women
Bunny Pine .... costumer: woman
Guillermo Pérez .... costumer: men (as Guillermo Perez)
Shirlee Strahm .... costumer: Ms. Streisand
Editorial Department
Elyane Bretherton .... assistant film editor
Freeman A. Davies .... editor: fight sequences (as Freeman Davies)
Rudy Freeman .... assistant film editor
Edward A. Warschilka .... assistant film editor (as Edward A. Warschilka Jr.)
Music Department
Gary Le Mel .... music supervisor
William Saracino .... music editor
Barbra Streisand .... music producer
John Beal .... composer: trailer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Alan Falco .... transportation coordinator (as Allan Falco)
Other crew
Judy Bernardoni .... assistant accountant
Wayne Fitzgerald .... titles
Karen Hale Wookey .... script supervisor (as Karen Wookey)
Vic Heutschy .... publicist
Gene Levy .... production accountant
Hedgemon Lewis .... technical consultant
Hillary Anne Ripps .... assistant: Jon Peters (as Hillary Ripps)
Anne Shaw .... production coordinator (as Anne M. Shaw)
José Torres .... technical consultant (as Jose Torres)
Joe Amsler .... stand-in: Ryan O'Neal (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
112 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:PG (Canadian Home Video rating) | Finland:K-12 | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:AL | Singapore:PG | UK:12 | USA:PG (NO. 25680)

Did You Know?

Barbra Streisand performed a number of roles on this movie. Streisand was top-billed lead actress, singer on the soundtrack and a producer. The picture was Streisand's first as a fully-fledged producer. Streisand's next film as a producer was Yentl (1983).See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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? (1972).See more »
Percy:Man, you is the dumbest white guy I know.See more »
Movie Connections:
The Body ShopSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Makes Me Smile, 8 August 2010
Author: Bill Slocum ( from Greenwich, CT United States

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.

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