The Main Event (1938)

55 mins | Comedy-drama | 5 May 1938

Director:

Danny Dare

Writer:

Lee Loeb

Producer:

Ralph Cohn

Cinematographer:

Allen G. Siegler

Editor:

Al Clark
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HISTORY

A working title for this film was Crime of the Year . Much of the plot summary is based on a pre-production synopsis of the script, dated 19 Aug 1937, which is preserved in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library. Although some changes were made in the script after the synopsis was printed, a PCA memorandum, dated 19 Jan 1938, indicates that the Aug 1937 synopsis "follows closely" the completed script. The script was initially rejected by the PCA on the grounds that the main theme of the story involved kidnapping, and because it gave details of the crime and "showed gangsters in armed and in violent conflict with police." A memorandum in the PCA file, dated 21 Aug 1937, indicates that Columbia executives, after meeting with PCA officials, agreed to a number of changes in the script, including changing the ending to show that "Moran" was the one who engineered the kidnapping, and that he would be arrested after losing his fight match and punished for having developed the hoax. The stated purpose of these changes was to eliminate a gun battle scene between "Mac" and the kidnappers that resulted in the killing of three ... More Less

A working title for this film was Crime of the Year . Much of the plot summary is based on a pre-production synopsis of the script, dated 19 Aug 1937, which is preserved in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library. Although some changes were made in the script after the synopsis was printed, a PCA memorandum, dated 19 Jan 1938, indicates that the Aug 1937 synopsis "follows closely" the completed script. The script was initially rejected by the PCA on the grounds that the main theme of the story involved kidnapping, and because it gave details of the crime and "showed gangsters in armed and in violent conflict with police." A memorandum in the PCA file, dated 21 Aug 1937, indicates that Columbia executives, after meeting with PCA officials, agreed to a number of changes in the script, including changing the ending to show that "Moran" was the one who engineered the kidnapping, and that he would be arrested after losing his fight match and punished for having developed the hoax. The stated purpose of these changes was to eliminate a gun battle scene between "Mac" and the kidnappers that resulted in the killing of three men. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
22 Jun 38
p. 6.
New York Times
20 Jun 38
p. 11.
Variety
22 Jun 38
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Jacqueline Wells
Edward J. LeSaint
Charles R. Moore
Raymond Turner
Ted Mangean
Malcolm McTaggart
Jack Kenney
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Crime of the Year
Release Date:
5 May 1938
Production Date:
13 December--29 December 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
5 March 1938
Copyright Number:
LP7872
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
55
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4056
SYNOPSIS

As G-Men Mac Richards, Captain Phillips and others fight off armed gangsters holed up in a tenement building, Mac decides to outsmart the gang by climbing onto the roof and throwing a gas bomb into the room that the gangsters are occupying. His plan succeeds and the gangsters are soon captured. Later, Mac takes his sweetheart, Helen, the daughter of Captain Phillips, to see the world championship boxing match between title holder Moran and his challenger. As the event begins, however, Moran's manager announces that Moran has been kidnapped. After receiving a note from the kidnappers demanding a ransom payment of $200,000, fight promoter Jack Benson calls Mac and then packs the money in a satchel and goes, with Helen, to a railroad station, where he has been instructed to deposit the cash in a locker. Mac posts a number of undercover officers at the railroad station, but when Jack arrives to make the exchange, he is informed by telegram that the kidnappers have discovered the placement of the agents there. Benson is then instructed to have the money sent by one of his ushers in a cab. Mac disguises himself as the cab driver, while Helen, disguised as Benson's usher, is his passenger. A car soon pulls up beside the taxi cab, and when Mac is ordered to stop, the kidnappers take his keys, the money and Helen. While the gangsters divide the ransom money at their hideout, Helen makes an unsuccessful attempt to capture them. The kidnappers then flee with her when they hear police sirens. When Mac and the police arrive at the hideout, the ... +


As G-Men Mac Richards, Captain Phillips and others fight off armed gangsters holed up in a tenement building, Mac decides to outsmart the gang by climbing onto the roof and throwing a gas bomb into the room that the gangsters are occupying. His plan succeeds and the gangsters are soon captured. Later, Mac takes his sweetheart, Helen, the daughter of Captain Phillips, to see the world championship boxing match between title holder Moran and his challenger. As the event begins, however, Moran's manager announces that Moran has been kidnapped. After receiving a note from the kidnappers demanding a ransom payment of $200,000, fight promoter Jack Benson calls Mac and then packs the money in a satchel and goes, with Helen, to a railroad station, where he has been instructed to deposit the cash in a locker. Mac posts a number of undercover officers at the railroad station, but when Jack arrives to make the exchange, he is informed by telegram that the kidnappers have discovered the placement of the agents there. Benson is then instructed to have the money sent by one of his ushers in a cab. Mac disguises himself as the cab driver, while Helen, disguised as Benson's usher, is his passenger. A car soon pulls up beside the taxi cab, and when Mac is ordered to stop, the kidnappers take his keys, the money and Helen. While the gangsters divide the ransom money at their hideout, Helen makes an unsuccessful attempt to capture them. The kidnappers then flee with her when they hear police sirens. When Mac and the police arrive at the hideout, the landlady tells them that she overheard the gangsters mention the words "Cherry Blossom" and that they scribbled a telephone number on the wall. The number turns out to be that of the River Yacht Club. The police go there, and after finding the nightwatchman bound and gagged, they learn that Cherry Blossom is the name of a yacht that has just left the dock. Mac goes after the yacht, and when he reaches it, he finds Helen, tied up and alone, and rescues her. Mac then learns that the boat is registered in Benson's name, but when he accuses Benson of being behind the crime, he denies it. Moran himself and Benson's assistant, Joe Carter, are eventually revealed as the men behind the kidnapping hoax when Mac follows Carter to a garage where the gangsters are hiding. The gangsters are soon apprehended, and when the police find Moran in the trunk of an automobile, they save him in time to take him to the boxing ring for the start of the fight. Moran loses to his opponent in a knockout in the first round, but Mac is upset when he misses seeing the winning punch. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.