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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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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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Phillip Nicoll ...
Ellie Raab ...
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Phil
Herbie Ade ...
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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:

He's taken them hostage. They're driving him nuts. 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)

Opening Weekend:

$3,044,097 (USA) (13 March 1994)

Gross:

$11,439,193 (USA)
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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

When this was released originally in the UK it was called Hostile Hostages. 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

[Gus on the phone with a bartender]
Gus: Is there a Murray there?
Bartender: [to the patrons] Is there a Murray here?
[Into the phone]
Bartender: I don't think he's here, pal.
Gus: See if there's a waste of fucking life named Murray, try that.
Bartender: [to the patrons] Is there a fucking waste of life named Murray here?
Murray: Gussy? Yeah that's me.
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Soundtracks

Broken Circles
Written and Produced by Ke Grivois, Bruce Roberts & Maurice Gallegos
Performed by Ke Grivois
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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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