Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Comedy, Romance  |  21 February 1992 (USA)
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Reviews: 66 user | 16 critic

A tough police sergeant's mother comes to visit him and begins to meddle in his life and career.


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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Fann ...
Jana Arnold ...
Chris Latta ...
Gang Member (as Christopher Collins)


A tough police sergeant's mother comes to visit him, and promptly starts trying to fix up his life, much to his embarrassment. For his birthday she buys him a machine gun out of the back of a van, and begins to further interfere with his job and love life, eventually helping him with a case he's on. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Detective Joe Bomowski's mom is in town for a visit. She did the laundry, washed the windows and scrubbed the floors. Now, she's gonna clean up the streets.


Action | Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arrête, ou ma mère va tirer!  »

Box Office


$28,411,210 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When slys characters mum is showing pictures of her son to the people that were on board the plane, there is a black and white picture of a boy in a check shirt which happens to be sylvester stallone as a young boy. This picture was also used in the first Rocky movie as its the same picture that is sitting on Rockys mirror See more »


Walking out of the Police Dept. when Joey's mom opens the car door the window is up, after she gets into the car its down even though the car is not running. See more »


Joe Brofmowski: Stop or my mom will shoot!
See more »


References Miami Vice (1984) See more »


Words by Sid Robin
Music by Charles Shavers
Performed by The Ames Brothers
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A disappointing effort by Hollywood's most successful spec screenwriter
9 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" was written by the late Blake Snyder (et. al), author of the popular "Save the Cat!" screen writing books, and seems to demonstrate the adage that those who can do, while those who can't teach.

I was interested to see how the much touted Blake Snyder Beat Sheet (or BS-squared) was applied in one of his own screenplays, but was left more confused than enlightened. The opening image doesn't mirror the final image. The dark night of the soul was not particularly bleak or believable. I'm not sure of exactly what constitutes the A and B stories, but assume the mother helping son become a better policeman to win the girl was the B story and chasing down the arms dealers was the A story, but I don't see their synthesis. I expected a somewhat formulaic story with distinct beats and clearly defined acts, but found the beats blurred. The protagonists should be propelled into the second act, e.g., not his mother.

One problem seems to be that the characters were stripped of distinct ethnic backgrounds and made generic. I would venture to guess that the role of Sgt. Joe Bomowski was originally envisioned as Jewish character with a Jewish mother. In my experience, having grown up with an Italian mother in a school district that was half Jewish, half gentile with very few blacks, Asians or Hispanics, Jewish mothers are very much like Italian mothers, but they are not identical or interchangeable. For both, culture and religious beliefs are important. Eating a good breakfast is important, but not a breakfast of generic foods. The late Estelle Getty did a good job with the role as written, but she didn't sprinkle her dialogue with Yiddish or Italian homilies, adages, or phrases. She wants her son to marry a nice girl, but not specifically a nice Jewish girl in a Synagogue or a nice Italian girl in a Catholic cathedral. Stripping away the ethnicity makes the characters much more shallow and less believable.

The movie is a bit of a train wreck, but it has a few good moments. Mommy telling her son he needs to change, then showing him in nappies was amusing. Bomowski saying the office staff could figure something out because they were detectives was a good line. The airport chase scene was well done.

But most of the movie is fairly tepid, lame, unoriginal and not believable, even within the relaxed standards of a comedy. The age-appropriate romance was particularly tepid. The villains weren't evil. The plot made little sense. The notion that an insurance company couldn't determine if steel devices were damaged in a fire that left the structure standing and would pay a claim on illegal inventory items stretched credulity past its limits. Police procedures were non-existent. Most of the jokes were forced and not particularly funny. Stallone is a talented actor and demonstrated his comedic skills in the under-rated "Oscar." Getty was also talented and gave the role her best. But they didn't look or act as if they were from the same family, despite insisting as much repeatedly in the dialogue.

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