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.
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
According to director Jonathan Lynn the screech owl in the scene in the woods was a real owl that had a little prior training so it wouldn't be scared away by the gunfire. The crew got it to open its mouth by giving it little pieces of beef, and artificially induced screeches were added to the film in post production. The owl's reaction to Vinny shooting the gun was authentic and needed only one take. The director states on the DVD commentary, "we got amazingly lucky with that screech owl". See more »
At the end of the trial during Ms. Vito's testimony the knots in both Vinnie's and Trotter's ties change several times in such a way that they had to be re-tied during a continuous scene. See more »
Mr. Tipton. When you viewed the defendants walking from their car into the Sac-o-Suds, what angle was your point of view?
They was kinda walking toward me when they entered the store.
And when they left, what angle was your point of view?
They was kinda walking away from me.
So would you say you got a better shot of them goin' in and not so much comin' out?
You could say that.
I did say that. Would *you* say that?
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Definitely one of my all-time favorite comedies. Well directed, well acted -- priceless comic performances by Pesci, Tomei, Gwynne & Austin Pendleton. And more than comedy -- there's also a lot of genuine pathos and real tension and drama, especially in the final courtroom scene. And I really don't understand the "controversy" or brouhaha over Marisa Tomei receiving the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in this movie. It's a crackerjack gem of a performance and a stellar comic portrayal. The only thing I can figure is that a lot of snobbery about serious dramatic portrayals somehow being more worthy of honor than great comic performances still very much lives on in much of the film community.
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