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The Real Thing (1996)

Livers Ain't Cheap (original title)
R | | Action, Crime | January 1996 (USA)
Rupert is a small time crook trying to do the right thing. But when his younger brother gets in trouble and needs a new liver, Rupert gets together his old gang and they plan a heist on New... See full summary »

Director:

James Merendino

Writers:

Rustam Branaman (story), James Merendino
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Russo ... Rupert Little
Jeremy Piven ... John
Fabrizio Bentivoglio ... Alfredo Donati
Robert LaSardo ... Eric Fidel
Ashley Laurence ... Carla
Emily Lloyd ... Lisa Tuttle
Dave Buzzotta ... James Little
Rod Steiger ... Victor
Patrick Gallagher ... Dexter (as Pat Gallagher)
Esai Morales ... Collin
Gary Busey ... Foreman
Max Perlich ... Tom
Barbara Nickell Barbara Nickell ... Bartender
Scott Lowy Scott Lowy ... Bouncer #1
Jimmy Steger Jimmy Steger ... Bouncer #2
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Storyline

Rupert is a small time crook trying to do the right thing. But when his younger brother gets in trouble and needs a new liver, Rupert gets together his old gang and they plan a heist on New Years Eve. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Real Thing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

LAC, LP, LACCP See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Old Crooks Gather For One Last Heist In Order To Save A Dying Boy
31 July 1999 | by bob wolfSee all my reviews

Excellent low-budget feature. James Russo stars as a bank robber on parole attempting to reform himself. His brother gets into some trouble and is soon in need of a liver. Russo isn't able to come up with the amount of money needed to give his brother what he needs.

After Russo is fired from his factory job by his tough-as-nails boss, played by Gary Busey, things suddenly look hopeless. He hears a rumor about a local mobster, Rod Steiger, who hordes his money in a upstairs loft above a posh club and a plan is soon hatched. Russo gathers a group of guys whom he had pulled jobs with back in the day. Guys who have all done time and have been attempting to make a normal life for themselves.

There are some truly engaging moments as the ex-gangsters must dig deep inside themselves and find a way to justify getting back into that life. A pleading wife who begs her husband, Piven, not to go back to that, sticks out in my mind.

Eventually they all agree to this one last heist to help save their friend's brother. The film grows more complicated and the ending is violent and touching.

For a low-budget effort, I was amazed at the cast which was assembled on screen, Morales, Busey, Russo, and Piven, all guys who have carried films and television shows in the past. Busey and Steiger have smaller parts and are very good in them. Morales seems to have reprised his violent-bad seed character from Bad Boys for this one. He is truly slimy.

Russo, a guy who can't seem to shake that robber character he played in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, offers a sympathetic and thoughtful performance as a guy trying to do the right thing, for a change.


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