15 user 9 critic

The Main Event (1979)

1:56 | Trailer
A bankrupt entrepreneur attempts to recoup some of her losses by getting a washed-out boxer she picked up as a tax loss back into the ring - an idea her protégé isn't fond of.


Howard Zieff
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Richard Altman ... Tour Guide
Seth Banks 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 Rory Calhoun ... Fighter In Kid's Camp


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


A Glove Story


Comedy | Romance | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The license plate on red-haired Hillary Kramer (Barbra Streisand's light-blue Volkswagen beetle read "520 RED". See more »


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 »


Hillary Kramer: You have to tell me exactly what I do after the Kid wins. Do I just jump into the ring? Or do I apologize to the loser? Or maybe I just wave to the fans?
See more »


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


The Body Shop
Georg Michalski (as Michalski) & Oosterveen
Written by Georg Michalski (uncredited) and Niki Oosterveen (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Gotta love that tax dodge
5 September 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I have to ask how do you get a job like Ryan O'Neal had. Imagine a promising fighter who injures his hand and doesn't box for four years. But he and trainer Whitman Mayo live on the arm and just show up and hang out at a gym for with all their living expenses paid and are on salary. It's all because perfume tycoon Barbra Streisand is using this as one of many tax dodges set up by her manager.

But said manager has up and fled the country taking his clients assets except for O'Neal. So now O'Neal has to fight in earnest because Barbra is broke and the gravy train is over. Barbra having nothing else to do becomes O'Neal's manager.

Like that old line about 'Ginger Rogers running the Brooklyn Dodgers' from Hollywood Hotel that sums up the comedy in The Main Event which is what Streisand and O'Neal are striving for. She's just a fish out of water. But dare I say it because Barbra hates him, but her character shows a Trump like ability to garner free publicity. And ballyhoo is an integral part of boxing.

Taking up where they left off from What's Up Doc, Streisand and O'Neal have a well meshed chemistry. Have to also give big kudos to James Gregory as the Mike Jacobs like fight promoter who knows box office when he sees it.

Funniest scenes in the film are at O'Neal's training camp where Barbra is trying very hard to fit into this most masculine of worlds. Not an easy fit by any means.

The Main Event is a fun film, the only comedy I can recall about boxing.

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Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Main Event See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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