Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Thriller  |  11 December 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 26,036 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 21 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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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


Comedy | Crime | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tira a mamá del tren  »

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)


$57,915,972 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


When Owen smacks the teacup of soda out of Momma's hand it breaks on the door across the room, there is no liquid on the door or floor where the cup broke. See more »


Mrs. Hazeltine: [reading her manuscript] His guts oozed nice, like a melted malted.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Family Guy: Brian Does Hollywood (2001) See more »


Written by James Kaholokula
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A fun black comedy/thriller
20 June 2004 | by (Lake Isabella, CA) – See all my reviews

Throw Momma from the Train, could best be described as a newer version of Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train". Stu Sliver's script was creative and very darkly comic.

Danny DeVito stars (and also directs) as Owen, a sort of dim-witted writing student who lives with his monstrous mother (Anne Ramsey). Owen's writing teacher, Larry (Billy Crystal) is having trouble with his writing career because his wife (Kate Mulgrew) stole his first book and made it her own bestseller and lives the highlife in Hawaii. After Owen constantly annoys Larry for days about his first story, he wrote from class, Larry suggests that Owen see a Hitchcock movie in order to write the perfect murder mystery novel. Owen then gets the idea from "Strangers on a Train" that he will go to Hawaii and murder Larry's wife, while Larry will kill his mother. But Larry has the motive, and with the police coming after him, Larry now has the opportunity to kill off the meanest old lady, he's ever seen, but realizes that she is harder to get rid of than both he and Owen thought.

Throw Momma from the Train, I think is a fun comic adventure, both Danny DeVito and Bill Crystal are funny, while Anne Ramsey's Oscar-nominated role of Momma is hysterically frightening. There are a lot of laughs in this film, especially the classic "One Hundred Girls I'd Like to Fork" story. Kim Griest, Annie Ross and Bruce Kirby also star, with Rob Reiner, Oprah Winfrey and Danny DeVito's own father in law, Philip Perlman make cameos. This is a good example of classic black comedy.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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