Throw Momma From the Train


This was Danny DeVito’s directorial debut.

More Trivia from Throw Momma From the Train
What would you do if your ex-wife released one of your books as her own? What would you do if you were tired of being Momma’s slave? We’re about to find out in the zany 80’s hit THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN.

“The night was…”

Those are the first words college professor Larry Donner (Billy Crystal) has written for his new novel. Unfortunately, those are the only words he had written so far.

Divorced from his wife Margaret (Kate Mulgrew), Larry has developed writer’s block, but now, thanks to her, Larry gets humiliated even more miserably when he sees her on national television, telling everyone about her ‘new novel,’ which was actually written by her ex-husband, and now he wishes she was dead.

For clumsy Owen Lift (Danny DeVito), nothing is much better. He still lives with his vicious Momma (Anne Ramsey, in a hilarious performance), who makes him do everything for her: give her baths, clean the house, cook her meals, etc.

Fed up with years of temptation and abuse from Momma, Owen now wishes she was dead, and he finds possible salvation in Professor Donner, who happens to be Owen’s literature teacher, and follows him around asking him if he had read his story and if he likes it. Larry, indeed, reads it and tells him that he does not like it, but he makes a suggestion…

Eliminate the motive and establish an alibi…and see an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

That’s exactly what Owen does; he goes to see “Strangers on a Train” and it inspires him to suggest a Criss-Cross: Owen will murder Larry’s ex-wife if Larry will murder Owen’s Momma.

However, this is easier said than done, but who will be dumb enough to really pull it off?


Danny DeVito is hilarious as Momma’s boy and Billy Crystal is very good, too. The highlight of this film is Anne Ramsey as the old and wicked Momma. THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN is a laugh riot of a movie.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Anne Ramsey is drop dead hilarious as Momma, and DeVito and Crystal have some good parts, too.

Weaknesses? Loses its edge by the end.

Our rating: 9 out of 10

Review Written by Philip Martin:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Philip Martin
Throw Momma From the Train