6.2/10
29,178
72 user 28 critic

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?

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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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Detective DeBenedetto
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Herself
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Ms. Gladstone
Philip Perlman ...
Mr. Perlman
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:

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Details

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Release Date:

11 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tira a mamá del tren  »

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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

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The frying pan used on Billy Crystal by Danny DeVito was made of rubber - if you watch closely, you can see it bend a bit, adding to the comic effect of the gag. See more »

Goofs

The locomotive shown on the train is a switch engine. Switch engines are not used on road trains or Amtrak. Switch engines may be placed in the locomotive consist on road trains, however they are typically either isolated or dead-in-tow. See more »

Quotes

Lester: [discussing Larry's stalled book] Man, you been on "The night was... " for six months!
Larry: Takes place in the Yukon.
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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 100 höjdare: Världens roligaste ögonblick 50-41 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

SHIKISHA
Written by Sipho Mabuse
Performed by Sipho Mabuse
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd.
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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 See 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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