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My Cousin Vinny (1992)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  13 March 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 78,936 users  
Reviews: 199 user | 51 critic

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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paulene Myers ...
Constance Riley (as Pauline Meyers)
Michael Simpson ...
Lou Walker ...
Grits Cook


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 John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There have been many courtroom dramas that have glorified The Great American Legal System. This is not one of them. See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi primo Vinny  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


$52,929,168 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Actually disclosure would be the correct term in this case, as would discovery. Black's Law Dictionary, 9th Ed., defines discovery and disclosure as the act or process of finding or learning something that was previously unknown. However, if you look up disclosure, it will direct you to discovery as it is a broader definition. See more »


Judge Chamberlain Haller: I tell you this because I want you to know that when it comes to procedure, I'm not a patient man. I advise your, sir, that when you come into my courtroom, you are to know the letter of the law. I react harshly when you don't.
Vinny Gambini: You should.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Don't think that being from New York, you're getting a special treatment.
Vinny Gambini: I shouldn't? I don't expect to get special treatment, your honor.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Good. You won't. You'll be given no leeway whatsoever.
[Takes a book on Alabama law from his book case]
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Now, I expect ...
See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.140 (2011) See more »


Written by Billy Sherrill & Tammy Wynette
Produced by Jess Harnell & Chuck Duran
Performed by Gail Lopata Lennon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of my favorites
30 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I can watch this film over and over again. Joe Pesci plays Vincent LaGuardia Gambini, a Brooklyn lawyer who is asked to defend his cousin and friend from a murder charge in Alabama. Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito, Vinny's girlfriend, deserved the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, rare for a comedy to even be nominated for anything by AMPAS. I really liked Fred Gwynne as the no-nonsense Judge Chamberlain Haller, a great foil for Joe Pesci's laid back, easy going Brooklyn wise guy. Even his name, Chamberlain Haller, evokes seriousness. A lot of fun, especially the courtroom antics of Pesci. Highly recommended.

61 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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