6.2/10
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71 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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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

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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)

Gross:

$57,915,972 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orion needed to approach Warner Bros about getting permission to use the references to " Strangers on a Train " but Warner's weren't keen to cooperate. Warner's realised that Orion still owned the rights to " Arthur " so they traded the 1951 Hitchcock classic so that they could make an " Arthur " sequel. " Arthur 2 on the Rocks " turned out to be a complete disaster at the box office, whereas " Throw Momma from the Train " was the 13th most successful movie of 1987. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Larry: [teaching a creative-writing class] This is a real classic by Mr. Pinsky. It's entitled "One Hundred Girls I'd Like to Pork."
Male Student #1: "Pork"?
Mr. Pinsky, Creative Writing Student: It's a coffee table book.
Larry: "One Hundred Girls I'd Like To..." Hmmm. Chapter One: Kathleen Turner. Chapter Two: Cybill Shepherd. Chapter Three: Suzanne Pleshette. Chapter Four: The Girl in the Taco Commercial. Chapter Five: The Woman in 4B. Chapter Six: The Oriental Laker Girl. Chapter Seven... Mr. Pinsky, this is not literature!
Mr. Pinsky, Creative Writing Student: Well, you know, I would put in ...
[...]
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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 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.191 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

O KA LAAU
Written by James Kaholokula
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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.


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