6.2/10
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Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

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A bitter ex-husband wants his former spouse dead. A put-upon momma's boy wants his mother dead. Who will pull it off?

Director:

Danny DeVito

Writer:

Stu Silver
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Popularity
4,460 ( 1,537)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny DeVito ... Owen
Billy Crystal ... Larry
Kim Greist ... Beth
Anne Ramsey ... Momma
Kate Mulgrew ... Margaret
Branford Marsalis ... Lester
Rob Reiner ... Joel
Bruce Kirby ... Detective DeBenedetto
Joey DePinto Joey DePinto ... Sargeant
Annie Ross ... Mrs. Hazeltine
Raye Birk ... Pinsky
Oprah Winfrey ... Herself
Olivia Brown ... Ms. Gladstone
Philip Perlman Philip Perlman ... Mr. Perlman
Stu Silver Stu Silver ... Ramon
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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 | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tira a mamá del tren See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,318,878, 13 December 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$57,915,972
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the train Larry talks to Owen about the perfect beginning of a novel and mentions Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities': "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Momma then says, "The night was sultry," a variation of the line "The night was so very sultry," from the same novel. See more »

Goofs

The locomotive is turned around in the two scenes when it passes the camera. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

When Larry reads out the title of a student's "coffee table book" hesays "One hundred girls I'd like to fuck". This like was (badly) dubbed over by the MPAA to say "pork" (presumably to achieve a PG-13 rating as use of that word in a sexual context results in an R). The edited version was exported around the world. See more »

Connections

Referenced in V.I.P.: Throw Val from the Train (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW THEME SONG
Written by Frank Gari & Daniel O. Baker
Copyright © 1986, Frank Gari Productions, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"You Don't have a cousin Patty." "You lied to me!" "BONG!"
16 July 2001 | by Skywalker02See all my reviews

For those that recall those lines, you also know how entertaining this film was.

What happens when you take Hitchcock style suspense and paranoia and mix it in with traditional ,theatrical style comedy. You get "Throw Mamma From the train.

This is the story about two guys with the same problem.

Larry Donner (played by Billy Crystal) is suffering from severe writters' block, brought on by the success of the novel that his Ex-wife (Make Milgrew) stole from him.

Owen Lift (played by Danny DeVito) is suffering from the ability to write because of his nasty, demanding, over-bearing mother (played by Ann Ramsey).

Larry, who is Owens' creative writing teacher, tries to advise him on the the fundamentals on writing a good murder novel. His one tactic is for Owen to see a Hitchcock film and understand the importance of motive and alibi. Owen takes the advise the wrong way and thinks that Larry wants him to participate in a criss-cross murder plot for the other. And the mayham begins.

Billy Crystral does some of his best work in this film as he goes through a rollercoaster of emotions from all the madness he endures.

Danny DeVito comes through, not only as the simpathetic Owen (who is quite distant from his popular Louie DePalma persona) but also as director. DeVito uses not only his keen understanding of comedy, but also some clever camera techniques.

Ann Ramsey is the quintessential mother from Hell. She's so mean and nasty that she makes you want to jump in and squeeze the life out of her yourself.

The film is also complimented by the Art Direction of Barry Sonninfeld (director of the Adams Family films) and a memerable musical score by David Newman.

"Throw Mamma From the Train" is slap-stick, suspense filled semi-classic that no fan of these talents should pass up.


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