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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally added this classic to my DVD collection
Really, how can you go wrong? Billy Crystal and Danny Devito in their primes. I still hear the old lady's voice in my head whenever I hear the name Owen. This movie is hysterical, both in situational and physical comedy. Devito and Crystal made a good team, it would have been nice to see them work on another film together. Owen's mother is played by the same woman...
Published on October 16, 2004 by Glynn Clapsaddle

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 of 5
The premise; two associates planning to commit murder for each other; would work better in a serious movie. The comedy genre doesn’t do it justice. Or perhaps it’s just the fact that Danny DeVito, who not only stars as a writing student named Owen but also plays the role of director, isn’t that funny. Nor is comedian Billy Crystal, Owen’s college...
Published on February 24, 2013 by Marcel Lee


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally added this classic to my DVD collection, October 16, 2004
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
Really, how can you go wrong? Billy Crystal and Danny Devito in their primes. I still hear the old lady's voice in my head whenever I hear the name Owen. This movie is hysterical, both in situational and physical comedy. Devito and Crystal made a good team, it would have been nice to see them work on another film together. Owen's mother is played by the same woman who played Mama Fratelli in the Goonies. A great character actress, she makes you hate her as soon as she makes her entrance. Devito is wonderful in his portrayal of an immature man who stills lives with his mother and can't seem to stand up on his own. Crystal plays one of his classic type roles, similar to the Albert Brooks characters, the whiny and frustrated average Joe. A very fun dark comedy, one that every comedy fan should own.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a Momma!, November 18, 2004
By 
V. Marshall (North Fork, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
Despite the dark story that lurks behind the comedy in this film it is entirely entertaining from beginning to end.

Larry (Billy Crystal) is a creative writing teacher with a class full of inept writers. He is divorced from a woman (Kate Mulgrew) who has taken his novel and "written" it herself and is now receiving all the glory. Larry is stewing. One of Larry's students, Owen (Danny DeVito), becomes obsessed with a murder mystery he is working on and he follows Larry around hoping for a moment of his attention. Owen has issues....his Momma (Anne Ramsey). The fun begins with a mistaken clue being taken by Owen to mean that he and Larry should criss-cross their anger and murder one another's nemesis and it all leads to a completely amusing journey into the dark part of a suffering mind.

Danny DeVito is the king of black comedy and here he stars and directs with a talented ability to find humor in the darkest desires. Along with Billy Crystal they complete a madcap comedy duo in search of some relief from those who taunt their insecurities. The stand out talent in this film is of course Anne Ramsey, who as Momma, will make you roar with laughter....you stupid poop! For you writers out there this movie takes a great look at the inevitable block that stares us in the face every now and then. Get ready to laugh and store this classic close at hand to re-watch time and again when your own heart feels a little heavy and you need a dose of Momma to ease the pain.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely hilarious, October 21, 2003
Absolutely hilarious from the beginning to the end! Billy Crystal plays a creative writing instructor who has writer's block. He also has an ex-wife who has just published a best seller. His best seller. He is frustrated with the writer's block, furious with his ex-wife for stealing his book and being driven insane by the pathetic stories coming through his creative writers class (i.e. 40 yards of Nawgahide and a Dream - the story of an upholsterer).
Danny DeVitto is a slow witted man in about his late thirties or early forties living with his mother who is always yelling at him and being generally disgusting. He is aspiring to be a writer and is taking Crystal's college class. When Crystal tries to explain motive to DeVitto by sending him to see a Hitchcock Film, he sets loose an imaginative and resourceful streak in DeVitto, who gets from the Hitchcock film (Strangers on a Train) that Crystal has offered to set up a reciprocal killing - Crystal would kill his mother if DeVitto killed his wife.
Without realizing what DeVitto is thinking and without having an opportunity to explain the concept of an alibi, Crystal's life is turned upside down as he is put on the run from the law and the only one he can turn to is DeVitto - who expects him to kill his mother.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black comedy at its finest..., February 25, 2009
By 
Andrew Ellington (I'm kind of everywhere) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
I didn't expect to really like this movie all that much. At times I find DeVito to be rather over-the-top, and not in a good way. I also am not a biggest fan of Billy Crystal either. I actually find him rather dull a lot of the times (aside from his stellar work in `When Harry Met Sally'). Really, I'm not sure why I truly wanted to see this movie. Knowing that it was inspired by the Hitchcock film `Strangers on a Train' was incentive I guess, but since my personal opinion of that movie has lowered since seeing it I guess really the only reason I sat down to watch this comedy was that it has been lauded as truly worth the time.

Yes, `Throw Momma from the Train' is supposed to be really funny.

So, it's safe to say I wasn't expecting much. I think at times that is the best way to walk into a film; without high expectations. That way, when the film bombs at your feet you're not left disappointed. It also works the other way, because when the film excels you are truly surprised and very appreciative.

I think you can tell by the five-star review that this movie excelled, at least for me.

Larry is a Writing Teacher who is tormented by his ex-wife who has stolen his novel and published it as her own. She is ruining his life, his career, his name and he cannot take it anymore, despite pleas from his current girlfriend to just let it go. One of his students, the not so bright Owen, has a similar problem; his mother. She is overbearing, condescending and just plain gross. She is ruining his life and he cannot take it anymore. That's when Owen proposes a solution, an absurd solution, that Larry wants nothing to do with.

But Owen takes it upon himself to set his plan in motion.

Believe it or not, DeVito and Crystal make a dynamic team, hilarious from beginning to end. They feed off one another wonderfully, playing to each others strengths in order to create a great comedic duo. DeVito is a surprisingly adept director. Between this achievement and his stellar work on `The War of the Roses' I must say that I am impressed with his comedic technique. He knows how to develop a strong emotion core to secrete his comedic focus and engage the audience in more than just a string of gags. Both films are strong examples of how to make an engaging and intelligent dramedy.

Stealing the show here is Anne Ramsey, who just delivers one of the funniest performances in recent memory. She is hard to look at, hard to listen to; she's even hard to stomach but the fact remains that she's impossible to forget.

In the end I highly recommend this film. It is a surprisingly effective reimagining of the prose originally written by Patricia Highsmith and serves as a very entertaining comedy that will bring loads of laughs and smiles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hi, Ope. Remember me, Prof. Blank?, January 21, 2009
By 
George Graham (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
We all have certain movies that we inexplicably never tire of watching. That's not to say that we consider these films to be among the best ever made, but that they're just one of our favorite movies. THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN is one of those for me, and I can't quite pinpoint why.
The story focuses on two men: there's Larry (Billy Crystal, at his neurotic best), a novelist who is having severe writer's block (he's been on "The night was..." on the 1st page since July) after his ex-wife Margaret (Kate Mulgrew) stole his masterpiece and made a fortune off of it; and Owen (director Danny DeVito), a 40-year-old man trapped in a child's body (not a short joke, by the way) who lives with his monstrous mother (Anne Ramsey, nominated for an Oscar for her outlandish performance) and daydreams about doing her in. Owen takes a writing class, taught by Larry, at the local community college, and soon the two strike up a friendship of sorts (that is to say, Owen asks Larry for writing advice by constantly following him everywhere). Larry tells Owen that the story he wrote for class, "Murder at My Friend Harry's," fails because it has 2 characters, one killing the other, with neither having a motive nor an alibi (which are key to a murder). He tells Owen to look to Hitchcock, and Owen does just that, watching STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (which this of course takes plot points from) and concocting a scheme that he thinks Larry was hinting towards: Owen will kill Margaret, and in turn, Larry will kill Owen's mother; that way, both men have killed a total stranger (no motive) and will each have been elsewhere when the murder of the person they hate happens (alibi). Owen, being not too bright, does his part before telling Larry, and now Larry has no alibi and must stay low with Owen, being told he must kill Owen's mother (and then Owen will turn himself in, I think) or else go to jail for a long, long time.
If you think I gave it all away, don't worry. Most of that is in the synopsis, and besides, you probably already know how it will all end up (this is a comedy; a dark one, sure, but nowhere near as dark as DeVito's later efforts). There's also a tepid romance with Larry and fellow teacher Beth (Kim Greist), but the film sparkles when DeVito and Crystal are together. This may not be CITIZEN KANE, but I could watch this movie everyday. Why, I don't know. But if you haven't seen this movie, please do so, and maybe it'll have the same effect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raye Birk, Peter Bracco, & Andre Rosey Brown's greatest roles, February 15, 2008
By 
Nagronsky "Nagronsky" (Skagit Valley, Wa USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
Who are these people? Who knows, who cares? Evidently Amazon do, since it lists them before Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, and the absolutely great Anne Ramsey. Do you mind if I rant? Why the bloody hell does Amazon persist in listing casts In Order Of Appearance? In this case, Anne Ramsey, who won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Owen's momma, is not on Amazon's cast list!! On one of my favorite movies, the first five roles that Amazon lists never made the screen in the film's North America release(had to catch the Tierra del Fuegan version). Anyhow, the late Ms. Ramsey's Momma is so horrible, you have to love her. I sat down with my 82 year old Mother, & she just howled....with laughter, that is. Danny Devito is really wonderfully simple, and Billy Crystal, as usual is excellent. Writing this makes me want to see more Anne Ramsey....all I can think of is "Scrooged", where she has a small role as a bum/angel along with Michael J. Pollard. Too bad I couldn't just click on her name to find other roles. At least I was able to click on Peter Brocco name, & discover that his only two other roles were in Spartacus, & on the Cuckoo's Nest soundtrack....I wonder where he's waiting tables.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The night was . . ., February 21, 2006
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
I gotta tell ya, everything that happens in this movie that is associated with writer's block is absolutely true. It's very hard to begin a novel. At the begining of the movie, larry, who is billy crystal, is driving himself mad trying to write his next book. I'm ashamed to say that I've done the exact same things that he's done in the one opening scene. As for the rest of the movie; it is hysterical. Danny devito purposely used a sort of dark humor hicthcock style for this film. I also love the personalities of the two characters. Larry is the hyperactive, struggling writer who wants to be brilliant and owen is the dopey, bumbling, low-brow writer who wants to be brilliant. Every line in this movie is pure gold, I tell ya. If you really want to buy this movie, I say just do it. You'll have sympathy for writers and you'll also see a ecentric comedy that delivers on all the goods. Enjoy, fellow movie buffs!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of The Greatest Performances in the History of the Cinema, April 17, 2008
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
Anne Ramsey's Oscar-nominated performance as Danny DeVito's monstrous mother in "Throw Momma From The Train" is easily one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema, and also one of it's funniest.

I am not joking, I am not being sarcastic, and I am not being hyperbolic. Ramsey's performance is a work of unbelievable talent--genius, even--unparalleled in it's ability to make me with ROAR with laughter every time I see it.

Anne Ramsey died shortly after making this film, and I'm glad she got this performance in the can before her clock wound down. It really is a joy to behold.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 of 5, February 24, 2013
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
The premise; two associates planning to commit murder for each other; would work better in a serious movie. The comedy genre doesn’t do it justice. Or perhaps it’s just the fact that Danny DeVito, who not only stars as a writing student named Owen but also plays the role of director, isn’t that funny. Nor is comedian Billy Crystal, Owen’s college professor, a novelist who hates his ex-wife for taking credit for one of his books and getting famous enough to go on Oprah for it.

Owen hates his mother and with good reason. She’s an old decrepit bitch and, even though he takes care of her on a daily basis; he cooks meals for her, gives her baths and even gets wax-balls out of her ears; she treats him like dirt. So, instead of having her taken away to a nursing home or simply moving out of the house, he invertedly comes-up with the idea to have her killed in exchange for killing Owen’s ex-wife, an idea that actually comes from a Alfred Hitchcock movie.

It’s the wacky ways in which the two guys go about their plan that’s disappointing. There are some laughs, mostly centering around “Momma” and her blatant grumpiness, but those laughs are far and few between. Most of the comedy is slapstick hack. The dark underlying and the little bit of suspense it provides is what keeps it interesting. I just wish there were more of it and less Billy Crystal falling down the stairs or being smacked in the head with a frying pan.

marcellee.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throw Momma From the Train, January 26, 2010
This review is from: Throw Momma From the Train (DVD)
Larry Donner, a college teacher, has been having difficulties writing since his former wife, Margaret, ruined him by stealing his novel which consequently became a best-seller. He does not hide his hatred for Margaret, upsetting his girlfriend Beth Ryan, who is an anthropologist teacher in the same college. While teaching Creative Writing classes, he is stalked by a student, Owen, who wants to know his opinion about his crime tale. Larry tells him that he did not like it, and explains that in every mystery tale, the murderer should eliminate the motive and establish an alibi, otherwise he would get caught. Furthermore, Larry suggests that Owen watch Hitchcock's movies to understand the structure of a suspenseful story. Owen, who wants to kill his detestable mother, watches "Strangers on a Train" and misunderstands Larry's advice, believing that his teacher wants to swap murders to eliminate the motive. Owen travels to Hawaii and while in a ship, Margaret falls overboard vanishing in the sea and is considered dead. However, Larry does not have an alibi and becomes the prime suspect, while the deranged Owen presses him to kill his mother as part of their supposed deal. This movie is a good example of classic black comedy. The ending is very clever, and the whole movie will leave you laughing.
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Throw Momma From the Train
Throw Momma From the Train by Danny DeVito (DVD - 2005)
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