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Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

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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?



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
See  »

Did You Know?


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


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 »


Larry: One little murder and I'm Jack the Ripper.
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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 »


Version of Strangers on a Train (1951) See more »


Written by James Kaholokula
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Genius script, great acting, solid direction: The ingredients to a great film.
19 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Larry Donner (Billy Crystal) has a crazy life: His wife (Kate Mulgrew) stole his book and left him, he has a new budding romance with a girl named Beth (Kim Greist), he doesn't know how to start his book, and his students of his screen writing class are stranger than most. However, one student (Danny DeVito) is extra strange. He lives with his evil Momma (Anne Ramsey) and he can't get up the courage to kill her. So than he goes to Larry for help, making his life go from normal crazy, to extra crazy!

Stu Silver should have done more! The dialog, the characters, the whole script is near perfect! And Danny DeVito has proved to me he's more than a great actor: he's a great director! His kid's movie Matilda is among my favorite family movies and now this is one of my favorite comedies.

It's a black comedy, most jokes are about murder, but it's damn funny! All of the actors are doing their full potential, whether they're main characters (Billy Crystal) or just one-bit minor characters (Olivia Brown).

If you like comedy (Who doesn't?) than you'll like this! 8/10 stars.

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

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