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
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Paul Weiland
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Comedy | Crime
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A couple, cheated by a vile businessman, kidnap his wife in retaliation, without knowing that their enemy is delighted they did.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Judge Reinhold
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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 ... 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

Anne Ramsey's speech impediment was caused by operations she underwent in order to treat throat cancer. During filming, Ramsey was undergoing additional oral surgery and endured intense pain. However, according to director Danny DeVito, she never requested to be excused from work. "Momma" went on to become Ramsey's most critically-lauded performance, culminating with Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1988. See more »

Goofs

at around 1 min, somebody's hand is at the right in the frame. 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 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 ...
[...]
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 aired on Comedy Central, the following alterations were made:
  • The title of the book Larry announces to the class is now called "100 Girls I'd like to Boing" instead of 'pork'
  • Whenever Larry would call his wife a 'slut' it was changed to 'sleaze'.
  • A scene, right after Larry dismisses class because he has a headache in his eye, that was deleted from the video but is present now is where Owen meets up with Larry in the parking lot and asks why he didn't read the book.
  • A scene where Owen and Larry meet right after Owen calls and asks why Larry didn't like his book. They were talking under a street lamp before they were sitting outside the grocery store.
  • A scene with Larry at the club he said he was at while Margaret's "murder" took place.
  • A scene of Larry and Beth camping out after Larry was talking to Rob Reiner where Beth had a copy of Margaret's book, which Larry took a strong dislike to.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

PUA OLENA
Written by James Kaholokula
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Momma and Owen and Owen's Friend Larry
18 June 2016 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Very funny comedy version of Strangers on a Train. Billy Crystal plays a teacher named Larry struggling with writer's block after his ex-wife stole his idea and turned it into a successful novel. Danny DeVito is one of Billy's students named Owen, a middle-aged man living with his overbearing mother and daydreaming of killing her. After seeing the aforementioned Alfred Hitchcock movie Strangers on a Train, Owen gets the idea that he and Larry should swap murders. So he takes it upon himself to try and kill Larry's ex.

Up to this point the movie is excellent and paced very well. The scenes of DeVito in Hawaii calling Billy to let him know of his plan, each time from a different payphone with a different backdrop even though the calls take place seconds apart, are hilarious. Then the movie becomes about Billy freaking out and doing his routine for awhile. No offense to Billy, he's good in this really, but when the focus isn't on DeVito the movie just isn't as entertaining. So after a strong start it stalls a little, then the last twenty minutes or so feels a tad rushed. It felt like the climax should have been stretched out a bit more. Still, fun movie with lots of laughs. Both stars are in top form with a fine supporting cast backing them up. Some of the students in Billy's writing class are scene stealers. It should go without saying that Anne Ramsey's performance is probably the film's highlight. Every one of her scenes is terrific. This is definitely a movie you'll want to see if you have any interest in the actors involved or if you liked the Hitchcock film and want to see a movie that pays homage to it in a humorous way.


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