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
When Larry reads out the title of a student's "coffee table book" he says "One
Hundred Girls I'd Like To Pork" but his lips are clearly mouthing the final word as "Fuck." This line was presumably overdubbed to avoid an R rating. See more »
[Larry is reading stories to the class]
Next is "Murder at My Friend Harry's" by Owen... Lift. "Chapter one: The night was humid."
[Closes the paper]
Class dismissed. I have a enormous headache in my eye.
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The credit for Assistant Sound Editor Robert Martel has a gap in the vertical stroke of the L. See more »
If you had a mother that described you like that, you just might be looking to bump her off yourself. It's how Danny DeVito feels about Anne Ramsey, it's just how to put the plan in action.
And his creative writing class taught by Professor Billy Crystal gives him the idea. That and a viewing of Alfred Hitchcock's classic Strangers On A Train which gives DeVito the idea to switch murders with Crystal who hates his wife, Kate Mulgrew, who not only is cheating him out of an idea for a book he wanted to write, but is also carrying on with hunky Tony Ciccone.
Throw Momma From The Train plays out kind of like Strangers On A Train as DeVito seems to have carried out his end of the murder scheme. But Crystal's having a bit of a problem putting Ramsey down even with Danny's help. That woman might need killing, but she's going to take a lot of it.
The only Academy recognition that Throw Momma From The Train got was an Academy Award nomination for Anne Ramsey for Best Supporting Actress. Ramsey lost to Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck, but the film turned out to be her finest hour. Ramsey already had the throat cancer that would eventually kill her the following year, but look at the list of credits she managed to amass even after Throw Momma From The Train, she worked right up to the end.
I've seen interviews with both of the stars of Throw Momma From The Train, Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito, and both have gladly conceded that Anne Ramsey's performance as the mother from hell both made the film the success it was and stole it out from under them. Their acknowledgment of Ramsey's talent and performance is the best possible tribute.
If Marion Lorne in Strangers On A Train had been anything like Anne Ramsey here, Farley Granger would gladly have joined Robert Walker in disposing of her. Throw Momma From A Train is one of the best black comedies out there, should not be missed.
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