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
Anne Ramsey's speech impediment was caused by operations she underwent in order to treat throat cancer. During filming, Ramsey was undergoing additional oral surgery and endured intense pain. However, according to director Danny DeVito, she never requested to be excused from work. "Momma" went on to become Ramsey's most critically-lauded performance, culminating with Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1988. See more »
The locomotive is turned around in the two scenes when it passes the camera. See more »
[last line, while they are snorkeling out through the surf]
Keep going a little further Owen, maybe somebody'll harpoon you!
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The credit for Assistant Sound Editor Robert Martel has a gap in the vertical stroke of the L. See more »
"You Don't have a cousin Patty." "You lied to me!" "BONG!"
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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