The Ref

1994 film by Ted Demme

The Ref is a 1994 black comedy film directed by Ted Demme and starring Denis Leary, Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey.

They might be his hostages but what they're doing to this guy is criminal. (taglines)


[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.

Caroline: How can we both be in the marriage and I'm miserable and you're content?
Lloyd: Luck?

Gus: From now on, the only person who gets to yell at 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.

Lloyd: You know, you and my wife have a lot in common. You both think you have some right to life working out the way you want it to, and when it doesn't, you get to act the way you want. The only trouble with that is someone has to be responsible. I'd love to run around and take classes and play with my inner-self! I'd love the freedom to be some pissed-off criminal with no responsibilities, except I don't have the time! But you don't see me with a gun. And you don't see me sleeping with someone else. You think my life turned out the way I wanted because I live in this house? You think every morning I wake up, look in the mirror and say "Gee, I'm glad I'm me and not some 19-year-old billionaire rockstar with the body of an athelete and a 24-hour erection!" No I don't! So just excuse the shit out of me!

Caroline: I had this dream...
Lloyd: Do we have to do dreams?
Caroline: I'm in this restaurant, and the waiter brings me my entree. It was a salad. It was Lloyd's head on a plate of spinach with his penis sticking out of his ear. And I said, "I didn't order this." And the waiter said, "Oh, you must try it. It's a delicacy. But don't eat the penis, it's just garnish."
Dr. Wong: Lloyd, what do you think about the dream?
Lloyd: I think she should stop telling it at dinner parties to all our friends.

Gus: Do you know what this family needs? A mute.

Rose: You're a "Wong"?
Gus: Well, my mother was Irish.
Rose: And your father?
Gus: Wasn't.
[Gus is impersonating Dr. Wong]

Lloyd: You know what I'm going to get you for Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.

Gus: You know what, lady? I'd like to tie you to the back of a fucking truck.
Rose: You don't have the balls.
[Gus leaps up from his chair toward Rose and is intercepted by Lloyd]
Lloyd: Don't do it! It's not worth it.
Gus: I fucking hate her, Lloyd!
Lloyd: I know, I know.
Gus: What is the matter with you? I thought Mothers were sweet and nice a-a-and Patient. I know loan sharks who are more forgiving than you. Your husband ain't dead, lady. He's hiding.

[Lloyd and Caroline discussing their son Jesse]
Caroline: You're the one who suffocated him with limitations! Our son's a very sensitive and creative-
Lloyd: Juvenile Delinquent
Caroline: Boy! He has the kind of imagination-
Lloyd: That the Mafia gives scholarships for! In the ninth grade, we told him he could get a part time job. You ready for what he did? He started an escort service for the football team, and he gave out my mother's phone number!
Caroline: And I still say, getting laid by and eighteen year old linebacker is JUST WHAT SHE NEEDS!
Dr. Wong: [dings bell] Please, let's lower our voices!
Caroline and Lloyd: FUCK YOU!!


  • They might be his hostages but what they're doing to this guy is criminal.
  • He's taken them hostage. They're driving him nuts.


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