6.2/10
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Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

A bitter ex-husband and a put-upon momma's boy both want their respective former spouse and mother dead. Who will pull it off?

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joey DePinto ...
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Raye Birk ...
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Herself
Olivia Brown ...
Philip Perlman ...
Stu Silver ...
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Storyline

Larry Donner is an author and writing professor who tutors people that want to write books. Larry's life has become a misery when his ex-wife Margaret has published a book he wrote under her name and has gotten rich over it. Owen Lift, one of Larry's students, offers Larry to kill Margaret, and in return Owen, wants Larry to kill his horrible mother. Larry thinks it's a joke, until he learns Owen killed his ex-wife. And Larry has now become the prime suspect. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Owen asked his friend, Larry, for a small favor...

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

11 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tira a mamá del tren  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$57,915,972 (USA)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Momma kicks open the door in the scene which Larry meets Momma. The sound effect of the door being kicked open by Momma sounds almost like a shotgun blast. See more »

Goofs

When Owen serves Larry breakfast, he takes the jelly jar in his left hand and starts to grab the spreading knife with his right. Mrs. Lift yells from the other room, and in the next shot, Owen reacts, now holding the already-jellied toast in his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Larry: [teaching a creative-writing class] This is a real classic by Mr. Pinsky. It's entitled "One Hundred Girls I'd Like to Pork."
Male Student #1: "Pork"?
Mr. Pinsky, Creative Writing Student: It's a coffee table book.
Larry: "One Hundred Girls I'd Like To..." Hmmm. Chapter One: Kathleen Turner. Chapter Two: Cybill Shepherd. Chapter Three: Suzanne Pleshette. Chapter Four: The Girl in the Taco Commercial. Chapter Five: The Woman in 4B. Chapter Six: The Oriental Laker Girl. Chapter Seven... Mr. Pinsky, this is not literature!
Mr. Pinsky, Creative Writing Student: Well, you know, I would put in ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The credit for Assistant Sound Editor Robert Martel has a gap in the vertical stroke of the L. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bones: The Diamond in the Rough (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

LARRY'S SONG
Written by Branford Marsalis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Motives, Alibis and Crisscross
26 December 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The college teacher Larry Donner (Billy Cristal) is a blocked writer since his former wife Margareth (Kate Mulgrew) ruined him, stealing his novel that became a best-seller. He does not hide his hatred for Margareth, upsetting his girlfriend Beth Ryan (Kim Greist), who is an anthropologist teacher in the same college. While giving classes of Creative Writing, he is stalked by the student Owen (Danny DeVito) that wants to know his opinion about his crime tale. Larry tells that he did not like it, and explains that in every mystery tale, the murderer should eliminate the motive and establish an alibi, otherwise he would get caught. Further, Larry suggests Owen to watch Hitchcock's movies to understand the structure of a suspenseful story. Owen, who wants to kill his detestable mother (Anne Ramsey), watches "Strangers on a Train" and misunderstands Larry's advice, believing that his teacher wants to swap murders to eliminate the motive. Owen travels to Hawaii and while in a ship, Margareth falls overboard vanishing in the sea and is considered dead. However, Larry does not have an alibi and becomes the prime suspect, while the deranged Owen presses him to kill his mother as part of their supposed deal.

"Throw Momma from the Train" is one of the funniest comedies of the 80's and a great tribute to Alfred Hitchcock. The direct reference is "Strangers on a Train", but there are jokes with "Vertigo" (with the spinning camera), "Family Plot" (with the car without breaks) and other movies. The lines are excellent and there is an interesting point when Larry tells that every great romance or mystery has a train. Anne Ramsey is amazing in the role of a nasty and abusive dominating mother and the viewer will certainly feel sorrow and understand the insanity of Owen. Kim Greist is very beautiful and Kate Mulgrew is the perfect bitch. Billy Cristal performs an obsessed character with many silly and unreasonable attitudes but necessary to the plot. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Jogue a Mamãe do Trem" ("Throw Momma from the Train")


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