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
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 Donner
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 ... Self
Olivia Brown ... Ms. Gladstone
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 | Plot 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Momma hits Larry in the genitals with her cane, Larry says that Momma isn't a woman and is The Terminator (1984). That line of dialogue predicted Danny DeVito later starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) in Twins (1988) and Junior (1994). See more »

Goofs

(reversed images) When Larry first follows Momma on the train she turns the corner and pushes the "push" sign to open the door. When she is shown coming through it, the push sign's letters are reversed. Next, just after Larry and Owen have pulled Momma back up on the train, Owen is hugging her. When Larry asks her if she is OK the push sign is on the left side of the door. Then Momma kicks him and the push sign is on the right with the letters reversed as he starts to lose his balance. Then they show Owen get up and say "Larry," after which Larry is shown falling off the train and the push sign has moved back to the left side with the letters correct again. See more »

Quotes

Larry: Why did you kill my wife?
Owen: I thought you wanted me to. That was the deal we made that night. You told me that you hated your wife. You wished she was dead. I told you I hated my momma. I told you I wished she was dead. You told me to see that Hitchcock film about swapping murders. I figured I kill your wife and you kill my momma. That's fair.
Larry: I am not killing your mother. You have to turn yourself in.
Owen: I'm not turning myself in. That's not part of the plan.
Larry: What plan? There was never any plan, you ...
[...]
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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 »

Alternate Versions

Network TV versions restore extra footage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Raising Hope: Throw Maw Maw from the House, Part Two (2012) 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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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Throw Momma from the Train See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,318,878, 13 December 1987

Gross USA:

$57,915,972

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$57,915,972
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (as Stereo Spectral Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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