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The Main Event (1979)

Barbra Streisand , Ryan O'Neal , Andrew J. Kuehn , Howard Zieff  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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The Main Event + What's Up Doc + The Way We Were (Special Edition)
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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.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • 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 (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FDCE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,293 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Main Event" on IMDb

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than it's reputation April 7, 2005
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Streisand May 20, 2005
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She cant make a bad movie. October 19, 2003
By Teri
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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disco era Barbra - very entertaining! September 13, 2001
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!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Main Event March 31, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed it on the Big screen years ago when it first came out. Sometimes you wish you could watch the movies you loved from the past but they are not available for your personal collection. I always liked the paring of Ryan O'Neal and Barbara Streisand since I first saw them together in "What's Up Doc" Some movies just remind you of a time in your life and gives you a chance to remember when. I'm a fan of the movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Entertaining but I've seen better January 16, 2003
By A Customer
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very funny movie! March 2, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Funny Barbra Flick" October 5, 2011
"The Main Event" featured the reunion of Barbra and Ryan O'Neal after the two appeared in the mega hit "What's Up Doc?" a few years prior. The script is pretty lame, but funny at the same time. It deals with Barbra's character discovering she is broke, but she soons discovers her money-grabbing accountant who left her destitute bought her a boxer played by Ryan. She believes if she can get this guy to win in the ring she will regain her fortune.

The movie, although panned by critics, became one of the highest-grossing films of 1979 (finishing in the Top 10) and grossing nearly $50,000,000. There was also a soundtrack that came out with the movie and featured Barbra's first foray into disco with the title track called "The Main Event/Fight".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good match!
This is a wonderful plat'form for Streisand and O'Neal. It's a fun, romp and a great film for a 'nothing on TV' day. Everyone, even the viewers, win in this one.
Published 3 days ago by zinnia
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent comedy from the past
A wonderful trip 40 years into history. They made a wonderful comedy team.Too bad, they only did two movies together. They were both excellent, entertaining and funny.
Published 8 days ago by GaryK
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Fun
A great older comedy with two classic actor/comedians. They play off each other so well and who can't get enough of watching when they were young and in their prime. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Lorraine M. Jessee
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter to make you cry
Awesome. Ryan & Barbra are always good together. I laughed with glee. Great entertainment. Amazing how sponsers of sports really do get involved.
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen A. Liotta
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, happy to find it here
remembered seeing and loving this when it premiered. was happy to find it here and thoroughly enjoyed seeing it again
Published 4 months ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars The Main Event Movie
The Main Event Movie - It arrived when expected & I love it! This movie is just as funny now as the first time I saw it!
Published 5 months ago by K. Mullen
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies ever!
Great DVD. Has lots of extras.....arrived quickly and as described. Brought back a lot of memories and still holds up after all this time as a great romantic comedy.
Published 5 months ago by JDD
5.0 out of 5 stars The Main Entertainment
A very slap stick comedy with no hold punches. The main titled song is fantastic as many of Streisand's songs and her acting comedy is out of this world even right down to her... Read more
Published 8 months ago by maxx001
5.0 out of 5 stars Barbara and Ryan at their best
full of sparks and fun - we loved it! We've already watched it 4 times and I'm sure will watch it again when there is nothing on tv.
Published 9 months ago by Connie Eppes
5.0 out of 5 stars Babs and Ryan are at their funniest!
I could watch this movie over and over again. If you love Barbra and her witty ways, this is a must have :)
Published 10 months ago by Jacqueline Waters
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