6.2/10
28,504
72 user 26 critic

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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ON DISC
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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Herself
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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

Taglines:

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)

Opening Weekend:

$7,318,878 (USA) (13 December 1987)

Gross:

$57,915,972 (USA)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The frying pan used on Billy Crystal by Danny DeVito was made of rubber. See more »

Goofs

When Owen sits on the porch (with the door open), his mother sits in her chair in the living room, and Larry lies down on the rug between them. Momma sees Larry on TV and yells "There's a murderer in the house!" at which point the camera turns back to Owen, with Larry notably absent from his place on the rug. The camera then returns to Momma calling the police at which point another cut is made to Larry awakening, lying on the carpet again in his original spot. See more »

Quotes

Larry: Owen, you gotta get it through your thick head. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a killer.
Owen: You don't have to blow her brains out or anything.
Larry: [Sarcastically] Thank you, that takes the pressure right off.
Owen: She's old. She's got a bad ticker. All you gotta do is jerk around a lot when you talk to her.
[Mimics shaking Mrs. Lift viciously]
Owen: "Nice to meet you, Mrs. Lift!"
Larry: Would you stop it?
Owen: Well just meet her. Maybe she'll be somebody you'd LIKE to kill.
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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 Tucker: The Family Tree (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW THEME SONG
Written by Frank Gari & Daniel O. Baker
Copyright © 1986, Frank Gari Productions, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"You Don't have a cousin Patty." "You lied to me!" "BONG!"
16 July 2001 | by (Orlando, FL) – See all my reviews

For those that recall those lines, you also know how entertaining this film was.

What happens when you take Hitchcock style suspense and paranoia and mix it in with traditional ,theatrical style comedy. You get "Throw Mamma From the train.

This is the story about two guys with the same problem.

Larry Donner (played by Billy Crystal) is suffering from severe writters' block, brought on by the success of the novel that his Ex-wife (Make Milgrew) stole from him.

Owen Lift (played by Danny DeVito) is suffering from the ability to write because of his nasty, demanding, over-bearing mother (played by Ann Ramsey).

Larry, who is Owens' creative writing teacher, tries to advise him on the the fundamentals on writing a good murder novel. His one tactic is for Owen to see a Hitchcock film and understand the importance of motive and alibi. Owen takes the advise the wrong way and thinks that Larry wants him to participate in a criss-cross murder plot for the other. And the mayham begins.

Billy Crystral does some of his best work in this film as he goes through a rollercoaster of emotions from all the madness he endures.

Danny DeVito comes through, not only as the simpathetic Owen (who is quite distant from his popular Louie DePalma persona) but also as director. DeVito uses not only his keen understanding of comedy, but also some clever camera techniques.

Ann Ramsey is the quintessential mother from Hell. She's so mean and nasty that she makes you want to jump in and squeeze the life out of her yourself.

The film is also complimented by the Art Direction of Barry Sonninfeld (director of the Adams Family films) and a memerable musical score by David Newman.

"Throw Mamma From the Train" is slap-stick, suspense filled semi-classic that no fan of these talents should pass up.


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