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The Main Event

4.2 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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(Jul 01, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

An executive awakens one morning to find that her accountant has stolen all her money and fled the country. The only asset she has left is a boxer she purchased as a tax write-off. The executive then goads the boxer into re-starting his career.

Special Features

  • Scene specific commentary by Barbra Streisand
  • "Getting in Shape for The Main Event," a vintage 1979 making-of TV special
  • Production stills gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Paul Sand, Whitman Mayo, Patti D'Arbanville
  • Directors: Andrew J. Kuehn, Howard Zieff
  • Writers: Andrew Smith, Gail Parent, Margery Doppelt
  • Producers: Barbra Streisand, Andrew J. Kuehn, Howard Rosenman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FDCE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,301 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Main Event" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This film was a major hit upon release in the summer of `79. With a budget seven-million-dollars, the film took in over $40 million at the domestic box office and became one of the top-ten grossers of the year. Unfortunately, it has since been written off by many fans and critics alike as one of Streisand's weakest film efforts. As for myself, I believe THE MAIN EVENT manages to be likable, funny, and entertaining. Even though we've seen the same story a thousand times before, THE MAIN EVENT is very enjoyable while it's playing.

The scenes are all set up very well, the one-liners are funny ("I said celebrate, not fornicate "), and Streisand and O'Neal give off a strong sexual charge between them onscreen. The film also features a very strong supporting cast, with Paul Sand, Whitman Mayo, and Patti D'Arbanville turning in terrific performances. Unfairly mangled by most critics and many viewers (many of whom need to learn how to loosen up), the film is complete fun from start to finish. Ignore all of the naysayers, THE MAIN EVENT stands one of my favorite romantic comedies.

About the DVD: The picture quality is great, and the mono sound is fine as well. It's great to have the original trailer and the 19-minute television special, titled GETTING IN SHAPE FOR THE MAIN EVENT, preserved on disc, although Streisand's brief audio commentary is slightly disappointing.
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Format: DVD
I have been a fan of Barbra Streisand it seems like forever. My aunt Dee Knuckles who had the only womans boxing team in San Pedro, CA. was the boxing consultant for Barbra in the Fabulously Funny "The Main Event". I can remember going with my aunt to see Barbra and Ryan at the Auditorium in LA, seems like just yesterday. The major highlight of this film is when Barbra sings "The Main Event" absolutely takes your breath away. This movie is fabulous. Way to go Barbra.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The Main Event was the first Streisand picture I ever saw. I loved it at the theaters. But since then I've seen many more of her movies on VHS. I have to say it's a good film but not her best. I liked "Yentl" or "Owl & Pussycat" or "A Star Is Born" much better. Her acting is superb, so is Ryan's. But the storyline is a little weak compared to other movies she is in. I reccommend it its just not her very best movie.
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Format: DVD
It has been quite a while since i have actually seen The Main Event but i have been trying to find it in the stores on video for quite a long time. I can remember loving the movie. There was a lot of screeming and yelling...but isnt that what boxers do. I thought the way they pick on each other is cute. I thought Barbra was precious. It is one of those movies that you come out feeling good which is hard to find these days.
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Format: VHS Tape
Firstly, lets clear up some misinformation from other reviewers. "The Main Event" WAS financially successful and was in the Top 10 of 1979! The soundtrack, with 3 verions of the title song went gold and "The Main Event/Fight" went to #3 on Billboard and went gold as well! Barbra actually sang this live in her recent "Timeless" concert and it was the highlight of the evening.
It can be very unfair to review comedies so many years after their release because humor does change. "The Main Event" was a sheer and fun delight in its time. It holds up quite nicely now and is not intended to be any great masterpiece of a film... just light and funny. It suceeds on both counts. I found Barbra funnier here than in "What's Up Doc?" where Madeline Kahn stole the show. After this film, it was basically "serious" Barbra from there on out. (Except for her very next film "All Night Long", also underappreciated!)In the AFI "Directors" series, Barbra comments that she should probably have done more comedies. I agree. She has exceptional timing. So to all the nay-sayers I say... lighten up!
1 Comment 12 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on March 2, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
THIS FILM ABOUT AN EX-BOXER (O'neil) AND A BANCRUPT EXECUTIVE (STRIESAND) IS REALLY A GOOD THING TO WATCH. THEIR CHEMISTRY REALLY WORKS IN THIS FILM.THEIR NEVER ENDING ARGUEMENTS SERVES AS A SPICE TO ENHANCE THE ROMANTIC AND COMEDIC APPEAL OF THIS FILM.NOT TO MENTION THE SCENE STEALING PART OF D'ARBANVILLE AS THE WOMAN WHO HAS A BAD COUGH.BUT THE CENTER OF THIS FILM IS STILL REVOLVING AROUND THE BIG MOUTHED STRIESAND WHO ONCE AGAIN PROVE THAT SHE REALLY IS THE "FUNNY GIRL".WETHER YOU'RE AN STRIESAND FAN OR NOT THIS MOVIE WILL SURELY MAKE YOU LAUGH HARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
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By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The film WHAT'S UP, DOC? (1972) starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal is a modern comedy classic. It had style, wit, and was hilarious. It earns five stars easily. This film, a comedy reuniting the two stars, just doesn't work.
Streisand stars as a business woman who's partner has stolen all of her money and skipped the country. The only asset she has left is a down and out boxer (O'Neal) whom she has lost $60,000 on. Her only chance to pull herself out of the hole is to train him and convince him to fight again. They start out hating each other, but . . . well, you know how these films always end.
The chemistry between Streisand and O'Neal is the only thing that keeps this film out of the toliet. Streisand is sometimes brash and loud-mouthed, yet completely loveable. This film wastses her talents. O'Neal is surprisingly good in a role that requires him to parade around in nothing but silk boxers with his hair perfectly combed. It's his easy charm that saves his dignity.
But as great as the chemistry between the two stars is, this movie never gets off the ground. While it has some funny bits (mostly in the first half) the story has no freshness or appeal and the lines are awful. Howard Zieff's shapeless and tired direction doesn't help either.
Streisand and O'Neal make a great pair, but most should probably just rerent WHAT'S UP, DOC? again instead.
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