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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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Stars: Danny DeVito, Gregory Peck, Penelope Ann Miller
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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 | 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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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

The film parodies the thriller genre and is a comedic remake of the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock film "Strangers on a Train", which Owen (Danny DeVito) goes to see at the cinema and gets the idea of Larry murdering Momma in exchange for Owen murdering Margaret. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end Margaret drops a glass which falls consistently upright. Larry catches it while it's upside down. See more »

Quotes

Momma: Owen! Food!
Owen: In a minute, Momma.
Momma: Don't you "In a minute, Momma" me! Get off your fat little ass or I'll break it for you! I want two soft-boiled eggs, white toast, and some of that grape jelly goddammit! And don't burn the toast!
Owen: Kill her, Larry.
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

Features The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

PUHI PUHI O'SOLE PIPI
Written by James Kaholokula
See more »

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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