The Main Event (1979)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Barbra Streisand - scene specific commentary
Listing-Cast & Crew
Featurette-"Getting in Shape for The Main Event"
Gallery-Production stills
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1979
Running Time 104:47
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Howard Zieff

Warner Home Video
Starring Barbra Streisand
Ryan O'Neal
Paul Sand
Whitman Mayo
Patti D'Arbanville
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Michael Melvoin

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Hillary Kramer (Barbra Streisand) is a successful perfume manufacturer with an enterprise at the top of the game. However, when her partner embezzles the company’s money and runs off to South America leaving her broke, she must sell the company and find alternative means of income. She finds she has a contract with a boxer, Eddie ‘Kid Natural’ Scanlon (Ryan O’Neal), and forces him under duress to return to fighting in order to earn her some money. However, as she helps him get back into shape, their love-hate relationship turns to romantic interest and soon Kramer is cheering for the Kid ringside not as a manager but as a lover.

    The Main Event is easily the weakest of the Streisand films I have reviewed, with only a little on-screen chemistry between the leads, which is unsurprising given Streisand overshadowed O’Neal when the two were paired in What’s Up Doc? Plus, it has an utterly implausible plot which just keeps going on. It is meant to be funny, but largely it is just drab and ‘been-there-done-that’ stuff. Plot devices are not original and although this is not itself a bar to enjoyment, they are also hackneyed and clichéd and this is a problem.

    Moreover, this is too old now to be considered an enjoyable romp because by contemporary standards it just isn’t. I am probably on Streisand overload about now, but this was like going to the dentist and having perfectly good teeth ripped out ... without the novocaine to help with the pain. She is so irritating and nasal in this movie that she ruins it from start to finish. Every scene she is in, which is all of them, sucks.

    If you are a huge Streisand fan you probably already have this disc, and nothing I say is going to make a difference to your enjoyment of it. But in my opinion this one is really not worth the time. Even judicious editing would not really save it as you would have to excise Streisand’s performance in total and, oops, there goes the movie. Overall, very irritating and very mediocre.

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The picture quality here is better than a film of this calibre deserves. Image detail is crisp and well rendered, with only minor background graininess.

    Colour is rich and vibrant. Shadow detail was fine.

    There was nothing in the way of glaring MPEG artefacts. Film-to-video transfer faults were minimal, limited to some barely noticeable aliasing.

    The opening title sequence is a little blurry and suffers from some dirt, but otherwise there was nothing noteworthy in the way of film artefacts.

    Subtitles are available in English, English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Arabic, and Dutch. They are white with a black border.

    The dual layer pause is somewhere during the film, but I missed it twice and I’m not going back a third time to find it and nobody can make me. My psyche cannot endure the pain again. If anyone cares enough about this film to watch it more often, write to me and I will put the details in. All I can suggest is that the pause is well concealed enough for me to miss it twice.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is an English and a French audio track here, both in 1.0 Dolby Mono. There is little difference in the way of quality between the tracks.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand on the English track. I noticed no glaring audio sync issues.

    Like the other early Streisand films I have reviewed, the range on the mono tracks is acceptable, but only just that. This one lacks any background hiss which is an improvement on What’s Up, Doc?.

    There is no surround information or subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    All menus are in 1.78:1 aspect ratio and 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has the theme from the film playing in 2.0 Dolby Mono.

Scene Specific Audio Commentary – Barbra Streisand (Actress)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, Streisand does her usual job of not saying much in between long pauses of silence.

Featurette – “Getting In Shape for The Main Event” (18:50)

    Presented in 1.33:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this is a little documentary about, funnily enough, getting in shape for the film so the cast can show off their bodies naked or in tight clothing.

Cast & Crew

    A single still listing principal cast and crew.

Stills Gallery

    A collection of inset stills from the production of the movie.

Theatrical Trailer (1:53)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Mono audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can tell, the R1 version is largely identical barring the NTSC/PAL format difference and the region coding.


    Watching The Main Event is so painful I will take torture at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists over enduring it a third time. Pray to God you never have to watch it more than once.

    The video is pretty good, and more than this show deserved.

    Again, I would have preferred a 2.0 Dolby Mono track rather than a 1.0 Mono track.

    The extras were pretty lousy, befitting a film of this quality.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
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