6.9/10
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119 user 47 critic

The Ref (1994)

A cat burglar is forced to take a bickering, dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gus
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...
...
...
...
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Murray
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Gary
Phillip Nicoll ...
John
Ellie Raab ...
Mary
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George
...
Steve
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Phil
Herbie Ade ...
Bartender
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Storyline

Denis Leary plays an unfortunate cat burglar, who is abandonded by his partner in the middle of a heist, and is forced to take an irritating Connecticut couple (Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis) hostage. He soon finds that he took more than he bargained for when the couple's blackmailing son and despicable in-laws step into the picture. Before long they're driving him nuts with their petty bickering and family problems. The only way for him to survive is to be their referee and resolve their differences, before he can be nabbed by the police. Written by Nick D. <ndoherty@imt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They might be his hostages but what they're doing to this guy is criminal. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Egy híján túsz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$11,439,193 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Appeared on Entertainment Weekly's list of The 50 Best Movies You've Never Seen in the Jul 16, 2012 issue. See more »

Goofs

When the police are watching "It's a Wonderful Life" in the station, they are watching the scene where Mary loses her clothing and hides in the bushes. The Chief then walks in with the surveillance tape and they proceed to record "It's a Wonderful Life" over the surveillance, though it is a scene that takes place much later in the movie, long after the scene where Mary hides in the bushes after losing her clothes. See more »

Quotes

Murray: [On the phone] How do I know this is Gussy?
Gus: Because the next time I see you I'm gonna tear all the hair outta your balls ONE BY ONE, you fuckin' mule! How about that?
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Connections

Referenced in Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

O Little Town Of Bethlehem
Written by Phillips Brooks (uncredited) and Lewis H. Redner (uncredited)
Arranged by Nat 'King' Cole & Edith Bergdahl
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under lincense from CEMA Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
If this is what happens, then kidnap me!
9 April 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

In what may be his funniest role to date, Denis Leary plays kidnapper Gus, who takes wealthy Connecticut couple Lloyd (Kevin Spacey) and Caroline Chasseur (Judy Davis) hostage one Christmas Eve, only to have them drive him absolutely nuts due to their bad marriage! As Gus puts it: "I kidnapped my f--king parents!" We might say that Spacey's role here was a predecessor to his character in "American Beauty" - I can certainly see a similarity - but that's missing the point. The point is to watch how the people here go from one embarrassing situation to the next. The dinner scene really blows everything out of the water. Overall, "The Ref" is looking at the falsity of the suburban lifestyle, but they do some hilarious things to show it. I would say that "The Ref" and "Gremlins" are my two favorite Christmas movies ever.

Also starring Glynis Johns and Christine Baranski.


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