The Main Event (1979)

PG | 109 mins | Romantic comedy | 22 June 1979

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HISTORY

       According to articles in the 25 Aug 1976 DV and the 21 Mar 1979 LAT, executive producers Renee Missel and Howard Rosenman developed the project under the working title Knockout at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) Studios before Barbra Streisand and Jon Peters became involved and produced the film for First Artists Production Company and distributor Warner Bros. Pictures. In early versions of the script, lead character “Hillary Kramer” was a clothing designer, and the story was set in New York City and Paris, France.
       The film marked a reunion for lead actors Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, who had previously co-starred in What's Up, Doc? (1972, see entry). As explained in a 20 Dec 1978 HR article, O’Neal welcomed the opportunity to play a boxer, since he had grown up around the sport and fought in amateur bouts during his youth. He later invested in professional fighters, such as Hedgemon Lewis, who is credited onscreen as technical consultant along with former boxer champion Jose Torres. O’Neal estimated that he trained 150 rounds for the film.
       A 19 Apr 1979 HR brief stated that Jim Healy, a Los Angeles, CA, sports director, was assigned a role as a boxing announcer, but he is not credited onscreen.
       A 6 Oct 1978 HR column noted that the ten week filming schedule was due to complete early Dec 1978. Location sites in the Los Angeles area included Malibu, CA, the Main Street gym downtown, Gilda’s gym in Century City, and a hot dog stand on La Cienega Boulevard. Stage 7 at Hollywood General Studios ... More Less

       According to articles in the 25 Aug 1976 DV and the 21 Mar 1979 LAT, executive producers Renee Missel and Howard Rosenman developed the project under the working title Knockout at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) Studios before Barbra Streisand and Jon Peters became involved and produced the film for First Artists Production Company and distributor Warner Bros. Pictures. In early versions of the script, lead character “Hillary Kramer” was a clothing designer, and the story was set in New York City and Paris, France.
       The film marked a reunion for lead actors Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, who had previously co-starred in What's Up, Doc? (1972, see entry). As explained in a 20 Dec 1978 HR article, O’Neal welcomed the opportunity to play a boxer, since he had grown up around the sport and fought in amateur bouts during his youth. He later invested in professional fighters, such as Hedgemon Lewis, who is credited onscreen as technical consultant along with former boxer champion Jose Torres. O’Neal estimated that he trained 150 rounds for the film.
       A 19 Apr 1979 HR brief stated that Jim Healy, a Los Angeles, CA, sports director, was assigned a role as a boxing announcer, but he is not credited onscreen.
       A 6 Oct 1978 HR column noted that the ten week filming schedule was due to complete early Dec 1978. Location sites in the Los Angeles area included Malibu, CA, the Main Street gym downtown, Gilda’s gym in Century City, and a hot dog stand on La Cienega Boulevard. Stage 7 at Hollywood General Studios was used for soundstage work. The 20 Dec 1978 HR article indicated that some of the boxing matches were captured at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. Additional location scenes took place in Lake Tahoe, NV, and, according to a 14 Nov 1978 HR brief, at Cedar Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains of CA.
       Illustrating the growing trend of promotional budgets exceeding production costs, an 8 Jun 1979 HR article cited the budget for The Main Event as $6 million, while advertising expenses were estimated at $8 million, representing “the most extravagantly marketed film of the summer [1979].” As reported in a 27 Jun 1979 HR brief, the picture grossed $6.6 million during its first weekend and went on to become one of the biggest hits of the summer. According to a 20 Aug 1979 HR article, the film earned $38 million after approximately two months in nationwide release.
       The film received a Golden Globe nomination in the category of Best Original Song – Motion Picture for “The Main Event.”
      After the end credit “Body design by Gilda,” the following acknowledgement appears, “And a special thanks to the ladies of her exercise class.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
25 Aug 1976.
---
Daily Variety
20 Oct 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 1979
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1979
p. 1, 3.
Los Angeles Times
21 Mar 1979
Section F, pp. 14-15.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jun 1979
Section E, p. 1, 30.
New York Times
22 Jun 1979
p. 14.
Variety
20 Jun 1979
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
First Artists Presents
A Jon Peters Production
A Barwood Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir trainee
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Key grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Elec
Grip best boy
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Fight seq ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Prop master
Const coord
Paint foreman
Set des
Set des
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ms. Streisand's costumer
Men`s cost
Men`s cost
Woman's costumer
Woman's costumer
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus supv
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Dubbing mixer
Dubbing mixer
Dubbing mixer
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
[Sd re-rec]
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech consultant
Tech consultant
Body des by
Scr supv
Casting
Transportation coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Prod coord
Asst to Jon Peters
Craft service
Transportation cocapt
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt double kid
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Col by]
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Main Event," written by Paul Jabara and Bruce Roberts, performed by Barbra Streisand
"Fight," written by Paul Jabara and Bob Esty, performed by Barbra Streisand, song produced by Bob Esty
"Angry Eyes," by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina
+
SONGS
"The Main Event," written by Paul Jabara and Bruce Roberts, performed by Barbra Streisand
"Fight," written by Paul Jabara and Bob Esty, performed by Barbra Streisand, song produced by Bob Esty
"Angry Eyes," by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina
"The Body Shop," by George Michalski and Niki Oosterveen.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Love Is the Main Event
Knockout
Release Date:
22 June 1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 June 1979
Production Date:
ended early December 1978
Copyright Claimant:
Barwood Films, Ltd., The First Artists Production Company, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
28 August 1979
Copyright Number:
PA43602
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
109
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25680
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Beverly Hills, California, Hillary Kramer, the wealthy owner of successful perfume company, prepares to launch a new scent. Later that day, however, Hillary’s lawyer, David, who is also her former husband, delivers the shocking news that Walter Hines, the company’s business manager, has embezzled all of Hillary’s money and fled the country. After debts are paid, the only remaining asset will be the company’s contract with a boxer named Eddie “Kid Natural” Scanlon. Since Walter arranged the investment as a tax shelter, Hillary was unaware that she owned a prizefighter. Furthermore, she has never been interested in the sport. Later, Hillary drives downtown in her Rolls Royce to the Third Street Gym, where she introduces herself to Eddie and inquires about the deal he negotiated with Walter. Eddie explains that, in exchange for expenses and a weekly salary, he guaranteed Walter that Hillary’s investment would lose money. Considering her current financial crisis, Hillary now wants Eddie to start making money as a fighter, but Eddie, who suffered a hand injury several years ago, informs her that he is no longer a competitive boxer. Realizing that Eddie cannot help, Hillary apologizes and leaves. Reluctantly, she sells her company to Sinthia Cosmetics and signs a non-compete clause. Sometime later, Hillary has traded her Rolls Royce for a beat-up Volkswagen and pays a visit to Eddie’s home in Long Beach, California. Reviewing his contract, Hillary informs the former boxer that he is in breach of the agreement because he did not fight the minimum two bouts per year, which means he owes her $57,300. However, Eddie reveals that ... +


In Beverly Hills, California, Hillary Kramer, the wealthy owner of successful perfume company, prepares to launch a new scent. Later that day, however, Hillary’s lawyer, David, who is also her former husband, delivers the shocking news that Walter Hines, the company’s business manager, has embezzled all of Hillary’s money and fled the country. After debts are paid, the only remaining asset will be the company’s contract with a boxer named Eddie “Kid Natural” Scanlon. Since Walter arranged the investment as a tax shelter, Hillary was unaware that she owned a prizefighter. Furthermore, she has never been interested in the sport. Later, Hillary drives downtown in her Rolls Royce to the Third Street Gym, where she introduces herself to Eddie and inquires about the deal he negotiated with Walter. Eddie explains that, in exchange for expenses and a weekly salary, he guaranteed Walter that Hillary’s investment would lose money. Considering her current financial crisis, Hillary now wants Eddie to start making money as a fighter, but Eddie, who suffered a hand injury several years ago, informs her that he is no longer a competitive boxer. Realizing that Eddie cannot help, Hillary apologizes and leaves. Reluctantly, she sells her company to Sinthia Cosmetics and signs a non-compete clause. Sometime later, Hillary has traded her Rolls Royce for a beat-up Volkswagen and pays a visit to Eddie’s home in Long Beach, California. Reviewing his contract, Hillary informs the former boxer that he is in breach of the agreement because he did not fight the minimum two bouts per year, which means he owes her $57,300. However, Eddie reveals that he no longer has the money after starting his new business, the Knockout Driving Academy. Hillary threatens to assume ownership of the asset, unless Eddie can repay the debt in the boxing ring. When Eddie refuses to consider, Hillary departs, shouting that she will contact her attorneys. After the driving school is served with legal papers and must close, Eddie and his trainer, Percy Washington, appeal to Hillary to cease litigation, but she refuses and tells Eddie that they can both make money in boxing. Eddie does not want to risk getting hurt again, but realizes that he has no choice if he wants the contract terminated. Percy sets up an easy matchup, but at the last minute the opponent is switched and Eddie but must face a more intimidating fighter, who leaves him bruised and battered. Percy was hoping that Hillary would forget the prizefighting business after seeing the brutality of the sport in person, but instead, she becomes more determined to make money from Eddie. To raise training funds, Hillary hosts a promotional party and sells shares of Eddie’s contract. Meanwhile, Eddie flirts with Hillary, but she rejects his advances, claiming she wants to keep their relationship strictly business. At the gym, Hillary attempts to interest Leo Gough, the most important fight promoter on the West Coast, in hiring Eddie for one of his shows, but Leo says that Eddie is no longer a contender. In his initial practice session, Eddie looks weak against a novice sparring partner and becomes angry as Hillary shouts out coaching tips from a book. Despite their ongoing squabbles, his training continues. In the first fight against Guy “Cannibal” LaRoche, Hillary fumbles as a corner person and causes Eddie to be disqualified. Eddie is furious, but the crowd is entertained as Eddie and Hillary engage in a screaming match inside the ring. Eddie quits and storms out of the arena. Meanwhile, Leo is intrigued by the quarreling couple and invites them to discuss promotional opportunities. Hillary suggests they revise the legendary “Fight That Never Was,” a highly anticipated bout between Eddie and Hector Mantilla that was scheduled at the Pan Am Games four years ago, then cancelled after the two contenders fought outside the dressing room and Eddie injured his hand. Since a re-match promises to be the quickest means to end his partnership with Hillary, Eddie agrees to face Mantilla. Reasoning that Eddie needs credibility before meeting Mantilla, Leo arranges a warm-up fight with a respected boxer named Ruben Gomez. In the matchup, Eddie struggles until Hillary impulsively drops a bucket of ice down his boxing trunks, spurring Eddie to quickly knock out the opponent. Afterward, Leo announces that the match against Mantilla will take place at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Accompanied by Percy and Hillary, Eddie arrives early to prepare at a rudimentary training camp nearby. Eddie insists on taking the camp’s only private cabin, while Hillary must share lodgings with a noisy group of male boxers and trainers. Leading up to the bout, Hillary joins Eddie and Mantilla on the television sports show, How It Happened, hosted by Brent Musburger, and makes a surprise on air announcement that the match will be a winner-take-all fight. The evening before the fight, Hillary dozes in Eddie’s bed while watching their recorded appearance on television. Eddie looks at Hillary fondly and suggests she get some rest by sharing his bed for the night instead of returning to the male dormitory. Unable to hide their budding attraction, the two make love. However, in the morning, Hillary and Eddie quarrel about future plans, and Hillary walks out. At the arena that night, Hillary reminds Eddie that if he is defeated, the debt between them will remain, and they will be stuck together. Eddie declares he is determined to win and terminate their relationship. In the second round, Eddie is on the verge of knocking out Mantilla, and Hillary suddenly worries that she may lose Eddie if he wins. To signal an end to the fight, she throws a towel into the ring, and the referee proclaims Mantilla the victor. Amid a crowd of reporters and boxing officials, Hillary and Eddie find each other, and she asks how Eddie will repay her. He declares they will “keep fighting” and kisses her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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