The Main Event


55m 1938

Film Details

Also Known As
Crime of the Year
Release Date
May 5, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
55m
Film Length
6 reels

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 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.

Cast

Robert Paige

Mac Richards

Jacqueline Wells

Helen Phillips

Arthur Loft

Jack Benson

John Gallaudet

Joe Carter

Thurston Hall

Captain Phillips

Gene Morgan

Lefty

Dick Curtis

Sawyer

Oscar O'shea

Captain Rorty

Pat Flaherty

Moran

John Tyrrell

Steve

Nick Copeland

Jake

Lester Dorr

Buck

Leora Thatcher

Landlady

Edward J. Lesaint

Watchman

Frank C. Wilson

Reporter

Bill Irving

Reporter

Harry Lash

Reporter

Charles Hamilton

Reporter

Reginald Simpson

Reporter

Walter Anthony Merrill

Reporter

Carroll Nye

Fight announcer

Bud Holzhauer

Gerard

Bess Flowers

Telephone girl

Ann Doran

Telegraph clerk

Dan Wolheim

Policeman

Sam Ash

Policeman

James Millican

Policeman

Bill Lally

Policeman

Edmund Cobb

Detective

Edward Hearn

Detective

Al Herman

Detective

Edward Peil Sr.

Detective

Sammy Finn

Gangster

Jane Hamilton

Gangster's moll

Charles R. Moore

Redcap reporter

Raymond Turner

Bootblack

Rolf Ernest

Western Union boy

Eddie Tamblyn

Program seller

Rex Moore

Newsboy

Warren Mace

College boy

Jimmy Hollywood

Cab driver

Eddie Johnson

Usher

Ted Mangean

Usher

James Campbell

Usher

Billy Arnold

Ticket seller

Lou Davis

Ticket seller

Jack Gardner

Ticket seller

George Chesebro

Arena guard

Harry Hollingsworth

Arena guard

Kernan Cripps

Arena guard

Bruce Mitchell

Arena guard

Ernie Alexander

Cushion vendor

Ernest Shield

Hot dog vendor

Barney Dean

Peanut vendor

Bob Perry

Referee

Jack Cheatham

Official

Jack Dougherty

River policeman

Lee Shumway

Police announcer

Malcolm Mctaggart

Boy

Russ Powell

Robert Lea

Jack Kenney

Gus Reed

Harry Bailey

Film Details

Also Known As
Crime of the Year
Release Date
May 5, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
55m
Film Length
6 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

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 August 19, 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 January 19, 1938, indicates that the August 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 August 21, 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.