Throw Mama from the Train (1987)  » Movies  »
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  • I know because I insist on playing it for all my friends and family, and they do enjoy it

    • by Tessa Dick

      all reviews
      One of my favorite VHS tapes (yes, I am over 50 and therefore behind the times) is “Throw Mama from the Train”. Despite the horrid title, this really is a good adult movie. In fact, I might even go out and buy it on DVD, since tapes do wear out pretty fast.

      My favorite line is, “The night was” — it’s the opening line of the Professor Donner’s novel-in-progress, and that’s as far as he ever

      gets. He has writer’s block because his ex-wife stole his novel and published it as her own, so now she is rich and famous while he is stuck teaching a night class in creative writing.

      Some of the language is very adult, and there is some partial nudity, especially when a couple are in bed together, but it does not rise to the level of an X rating. It is more like R or NC17.

      The plot is complicated when one of Donner’s students, Owen Lift, watches a Hitchcock movie (”Strangers on a Train”) and decides that he is going to trade murders, “criss cross!” He will kill Donner’s wife (”Ex-wife!” Donner shouts), and then Donner must kill the student’s annoying old mother. She is not easy to kill.

      Another great line is when Owen says to Donner, “Maybe she’d be someone you’d like to kill.” And later Donner says, “She’s ...

      • Throw Mama from the Train (1987)
      not a woman, she’s the Terminator.”

      Believe it or not, this movie is a comedy, so of course it must have a happy ending.

      I like the actors, too. Anne Ramsey is wonderful as Owen’s mama, and she looks a sight. She also sounds funny because she is not wearing her dentures, so her toothless speech is kind of like spitting.

      Danny De Vito, one of the stars of “Taxi”, plays the murder-minded student.

      He also directed the movie. Billy Crystal is great as Professor Donner, and Kim Greist is good as the intelligent and beautiful anthropology professor, Beth Ryan. There are more, and if you are at least 40 years old, you will recognize many great actors in bit parts.

      The story will entertain people from 17 to 70. I know because I insist on playing it for all my friends and family, and they do enjoy it.


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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2008. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 112606388720530/k2311a0626/6.26.08
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