6.9/10
20,348
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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Murray
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Gary
Phillip Nicoll ...
John
Ellie Raab ...
Mary
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George
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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:

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)

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

The marriage counselor the couple sees is named, "Dr. Wong." This character is played by actor BD Wong. See more »

Goofs

At one point while in the car after taking Lloyd and Caroline hostage, tail lights disappear behind Gus in the rear view window. See more »

Quotes

Gus: From now on, the only person who gets to yell is me. Why? Because I have a gun. People with guns get to do whatever they want. Married people without guns - for instance - you - DO NOT get to yell. Why? NO GUNS! No guns, no yelling. See? Simple little equation.
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Connections

Features A Christmas Carol (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Come Home For Christmas
Written by Gene Redd & Charles Brown
Performed by Lou Ann Barton
Courtesy of Austin Records
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User Reviews

 
I loved this movie!
18 August 2002 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

The 1994 film 'The Ref' is absolutely hilarious.

Denis Leary is great as Gus, a burglar who takes Lloyd Chasseur (Kevin Spacey) and Lloyd's wife Caroline (Judy Davis) hostage in their own home at Christmas, to hide himself from police. Unfortunately for Gus, this couple aren't exactly the Leave it to Beaver family. They rant and rave the whole way through the film, even though Gus is holding a gun to their head. Of course, we know Gus is would never hurt anyone but it's still funny because Lloyd and Caroline don't!

The acting is superb, and the ending is hilarious. The whole Christmas dinner scene is possibly the best in the film. Spacey and Davis sound like a real squabbling couple, and their character's son Jesse (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.) is a teenage rebel, who causes Gus even more trouble. Not only does this film serve for side splitting laughs, but also for additional fun, because you can always point out that Lloyd and Caroline sound like you and your spouse! (Actually, no, not a good idea!)

Overall, I really loved this movie, and think it's a sadly forgotten, underrated comic gem. You won't be disappointed!


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