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
In 2002 Marisa Tomei temporarily lost the Oscar she won for this film when she moved into a new house. See more »
In the scene where Vinny is holding the tape measurer at the back of the court it is first not taut, then in the scene when he is holding up his fingers for the second time it is very taut, when they cut away to Mrs. Myers and then back to Vinny it is not taut again. See more »
Sheriff Farley, uh... what'd you find out?
Sheriff Dean Farley:
On a hunch, I took it upon myself to check out if there was any information on a '63 Pontiac Tempest stolen or abandoned recently. This computer readout confirms that two boys, who fit the defendants' description, were arrested two days ago by Sheriff Tillman in Jasper County, Georgia, for driving a stolen metallic mint green 1963 Pontiac Tempest, with a white convertible top, Michelin Model XGV tires, size 75-R-14.
Is that it?
Sheriff Dean Farley:
No. A .357 Magnum ...
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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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