Throw Momma from the Train

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Danny DeVito
Production: Orion
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

"The night was... "


"The night was... "

"The night... "


The Phantom of the Novel...

.. is coming to haunt

the pages of Larry Donner.

Jeez, what the hell am I doing?

Hello, Op. Remember me?

Professor Blank?

We're back. Well, I'm sure

you all know the name Margaret Donner.

- Unless you live under a rock.

- No!

Ladies and gentlemen, the author

of the best-selling novel "Hot Fire".

- Author of the best-selling novel?

- You must be very proud of yourself.

- Well, I... I am.

- The woman stole my book!

- What's to be proud of?

- .. and there's just you,...

.. you facing you in that mirror,

do you say "Margaret, you did it"?

- Yes, I do.

- Slut!

She's a slut! Look at her! Slut!

- Hey! Hey, man, your wife's on TV!

- Ex-wife, Lester. Ex-wife.

- She looks good!

- Criminals don't age. It's a common fact.

- What the hell do you want?

- Something for a gig.

- You got anything in green?

- You borrowed all my green.

It is a lot more difficult for women

to get themselves published...

How about women thieves, Oprah?

Big difference.

I would say that, once I was divorced,...

.. blissfully divorced,...

.. a freedom overcame me, and I was

allowed to be the writer, the artist,...

.. that I was never allowed to be within

the confines of my prison-like marriage.

Did you think about writing

when you were with this beast?

- Well, I did. I did, yes.

- (laughter)

Because he fancied himself

a sort of a hack writer.

I watched him at the typewriter and

Oh, God, I can do that in spades.

Then did, clearly.

How do you think he will feel now

about your success?

- Frankly, I don't really care how he feels.

- (laughter)

- Well, Margaret...

- (applause)

So she stole your book.

Write another one and forget it.

- I am writing.

- Oh, you're writing?

- Yes, I am.

- Yeah, right! "The night was... "

- The night was what?

- I just started.

- You been on "The night was" since July.

- It takes place in the Yukon.

.. severed the ties. You live in Hawaii now.

- Yes. I just adore a tropical climate.

- Look at those earrings, man!

It's your money.

How was it that you, Margaret Donner,...

.. produced such a brilliant piece of

writing in... just your first time out?

Well, Oprah, I mean...

it's the story of my life.

It's my life, Margaret! And I want it back!

"Hot Fire", ladies and gentlemen. Thank

you so much for being on the show.

- My pleasure.

- I want it back!

- Owen!

- (thunder)



Owen! Owen!

- What?!

- Get me a soda with some ice in it!

- Owen, hurry up!

- Momma...

- Chop chop, Owen! Come on!

- All right!

- You were writing a letter!

- No, Momma!

You were writing to tell them to take me

away! You want them to take me away!

I'm writin' a story for class, Momma!

I don't want 'em to take you away!

- Yes, you do!

- Owen loves his momma!

(mimics) "Owen loves his momma. "

(singsong) Owen loves his momma,

Owen loves his momma...

- Hurry up with that soda!

- Coming, Momma.

(mimics) "Coming, Momma. "

I'm choking to death, you moron!

- You're too damn slow!

- I'm sorry, Momma.

(mimics) "I'm sorry, Momma. "

- Where are the salted nuts?

- The salted ones are no good for you.

The unsalted ones make me choke!



You clumsy poop! What'd you do that for?

Come on, move it, lard-ass!

Pick up every piece!


.. dive!' yelled the captain

through the thing. "

"So the man who makes it dive pressed

a button or something and it dove,...

.. and the enemy was foiled again. "

"'Looks like we foiled them again'

said Dave. "

"'Yeah' said the captain. "

"'We foiled those bastards again,

didn't we, Dave?'"

"'Yeah' said Dave. "

"The end. "


Here we have all the elements of drama.

We have the tension, the horror of war...

Uh... Mrs Hazeltine, when you're writing

a novel that takes place on a submarine,...

.. it's not a bad idea to know

the name of the instrument...

.. that the captain speaks through.

- I used to know that.

- And your similes... need a little work.

"His guts oozed nice

like a melted malted. "

Well, it's, um... a little...

- Too harsh?

- A tad.

Otherwise it was, um...

.. very good, it was, uh...

.. very real.

Here's another one.

This is a real classic by Mr Pinsky.

It's entitled 100 Girls I'd Like to Pork.


It's a coffee-table book.

100 Girls I'd Like to... hm.

"Chapter 1:
Kathleen Turner. "

"Chapter 2:
Cybill Shepherd.

Chapter 3:
Suzanne Pleshette. "

"Chapter 4:
The Girl

in the Taco Commercial. "

"Chapter 5:
The Woman in 4B.

Chapter 6:
The Oriental Laker Girl. "

"Chapter 7:
Chris... "

Mr Pinsky, this is not literature.

Well, you know,

I would put in photographs,...

.. a brief character sketch,

like a biography,...

.. and a nice dust jacket.

- Mr Pinsky, what is this?

- It's... literature. It's a fantasy.

Like Melville. This is

my great white whale.

- It's whacking material.

- Isn't that literature?

How do you associate Moby Dick to a list

of women you'd like to have sex with?

- I think it's brave.

- (Mrs Hazeltine) He's vulgar.

- They said Twain was.

- I'm saying he is.

- I think you're vulgar.

- You're a no-talent sh*t.

- Maybe I should change the title.

- (man) I like the title.

- (bell)

- OK, I'll see you Wednesday, class.

Good work today. Remember,

a writer writes... always.

Argh! Oh!

- This is your tie.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Stu Silver

Stu Silver is an American screenwriter and television writer best known for such films and television series as Throw Momma from the Train, It's A Living, Bosom Buddies and Soap. He also wrote the first half of Good Morning, Vietnam. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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