Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them.
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Georg Stanford Brown
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Bill Gambini and Stanley Rothenstein are two friends from New York University who just received scholarships to UCLA. They decide to drive through the South. Once they arrive in Alabama, they stop at a local convenience store to pick up a few snacks. But, no sooner than they leave the store, they are arrested. They had thought that they were arrested for shoplifting, but they were arrested for murder and robbery. Worse, they are facing execution for this crime. Bill and Stan do not have enough money for a lawyer, so the good news is that Bill has a lawyer in his family, his cousin, Vincent Laguardia Gambini. The bad news is that Vinny is an inexperienced lawyer who has not been at a trial. So, Vinny has to defend his clients and battle an uncompromising judge, some tough locals, and even his fiancée, Mona Lisa Vito, who just does not know when to shut up, to prove his clients' innocence. But he will soon realize that he is going to need help. Written by
Temperatures soared in excess of 100 degrees during the courtroom scenes. These were filmed in a converted warehouse with a corrugated metal roof in the midst of a Georgia summer. See more »
The black lady on the jury (seen when Trotter talks of "our ancestors from England") also serves Vinny in the café during the lunch recess before his presentation of evidence. If she's on the jury, she would not have been allowed to leave the court to work, and least of all to serve the defense attorney. See more »
A couple of Yankee youths take a trip to the deep south and find themselves being charged for murder . Thankfully one of the youths has a cousin who's a lawyer
Did I say thankfully ?
I'm not a big fan of comedies since the premise usually over stays it's welcome by at least half an hour , but screenwriter Dale Launer has crafted a very funny , well paced script that succeeds because of the amount of obstacles for the characters . Lawyer Vincent Gambini is warned by the judge to get a suit , so he gets a suit only to find there's an obstacle in the way . Vincent stays at a hotel , but there's an obstacle in staying there . Every time a character the audience feels for looks like they're going to get a lucky break ( Vincent especially ) another obstacle appears barring their way . A superlative example of pacing a script . Launer has also written things that at first appear throwaway at the time like eating grits at a diner but then incorperates them into the plot later on . Not only that but Launer has written a script with gags that are both credible and funny , even the skit involving possible sexual abuse in prison ( They'd have to be one of course ) isn't as silly as it could have been
The cast are pretty good too with Joe Pesci showing that he's just as good as a comedy leading man as he is at playing Italian American wiseguys . Let's see you in another movie sometime quick Joe . I'm not sure if Marisa Tomei really deserved her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role here but if the choice was between her and Vanessa Redgrave I'm glad the Oscar voters made the choice . The only real problem with the casting is that it's impossible to believe the short middle aged Vincent would have a hot leggy girlfriend like Mona in real life . But maybe I'm just jealous ?
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