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Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 24,798 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 20 critic

A bitter ex-husband. A put upon momma's boy. Both want their respective spouse and mother dead, but who will pull it off?

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Title: Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

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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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title comes from the Patti Page song "Throw Mama From the Train, a kiss, a kiss, Wave Mama from the train a goodbye..." It is written in Pennsylvania Deutsch dialect which speaks English with German syntax, so "throw momma from the train a kiss" means "throw momma a kiss from the train." See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) You can see somebody's hand at the right in the frame. See more »

Quotes

Larry: [on the phone with Owen from Hawaii] Owen, what the hell did you do to my wife?
Owen: Ehh, I don't want to say over the phone. All I can tell ya is that I killed her last night.
[hangs up]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The 60th Annual Academy Awards (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

LARRY'S SONG
Written by Branford Marsalis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A writer writes - well, he tries to, anyway
25 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Billy Crystal is Larry, a writer who hasn't written and is suspected of murder in "Throw Momma from the Train," costarring Danny Devito and Anne Ramsey. The phrase "black comedy" was invented for this insanity, which is a take-off on Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train." In fact, Owen (Devito) gets the idea of having Larry kill his mother in exchange for Owen killing Larry's ex from watching that famous film. "I saw the movie. Criss-cross," Owen tells Larry. Not that Larry knows what he's talking about until it appears it's too late - just like "Strangers." Larry, a writing teacher, claims that his ex-wife, played by Kate Mulgrew, stole his book and put her name on it. She has become a big celebrity, appearing on "Oprah," where she refers to Larry as "a beast." Owen is in Larry's class. He lives with an abusive Neanderthal mother (Ramsey) and has visions of poisoning her, sticking a scissors in her head - you name it. It's not long after seeing "Strangers on a Train" that he's in Honolulu, stalking Larry's wife. While she's leaning over a boat railing trying to get an earring, Owen stands behind her and creeps up...Soon the police are looking for Larry to question him, but he's at Owen's where he's being encouraged to live up to his end of a bargain he had no idea he made. You know, "criss-cross." There are several scenes copied from "Strangers," which are hilarious. I especially loved Larry's confession to the sleeping Mrs. Lift, Owen's mother, similar to when Guy thinks he's talking to Bruno's stepfather.

Crystal and DeVito are complete masters of comic dialogue and timing and will leave you laughing, often out loud. Ramsey is repulsively funny - a totally "out there" performance. Kim Griest and Rob Reiner also have roles - Griest is Crystal's girlfriend, and Reiner has what amounts to a cameo.

The ending is very clever, and the whole film will leave you laughing.


21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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