7.5/10
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212 user 47 critic

My Cousin Vinny (1992)

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 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Constance Riley (as Pauline Meyers)
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J.T.
Michael Simpson ...
Neckbrace
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Grits Cook
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

lawyer | trial | alabama | murder | jail | See All (52) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi primo Vinny  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,416,751 (USA) (15 March 1992)

Gross:

$52,929,168 (USA)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American Bar Association's publication, the ABA Journal, ranked the film #3 on its list of the "25 Greatest Legal Movies. See more »

Goofs

At the end when asked what caliber bullet was used in the murder, Sheriff Farley says .357 magnum. A law officer, especially a Sheriff, would just say .357 and not .357 magnum, which is a specific gun, not a caliber of bullet. See more »

Quotes

Judge Chamberlain Haller: How do your clients plead?
Vinny Gambini: My clients were caught completely by surprise. They thought they were getting arrested for shoplifting a can of tuna.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Huh? What are you telling me? That they plead not guilty?
Vinny Gambini: No. I'm just trying to explain...
Judge Chamberlain Haller: [cutting him off] I don't want to hear explanations. I don't know how you practice law in New York, but the state of Alabama has a procedure. And that procedure is to have an arraignment. Are we clear on this?
Vinny Gambini: Yes, but there seems to be a great deal of confusion ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

It Takes Just One
Written by Jan Buckingham & David Vidal
Performed by Prentis Goodwin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brooklyn lawyer Pesci tries to save the "two yutes" from frying in the electric chair. Classic!
16 May 2001 | by (Jersey City, NJ) – See all my reviews

"My Cousin Vinny," along with the megahit "Goodfellas," put Pesci on the map. Of course, he's been in the Scorcese's previous hit "Raging Bull," but didn't get a hell of a lot of recognition at the time. Joe Pesci's character of Vincent LaGuardia Gambini is a landmark character in comedy history. When his New Yauker street smarts collide with Southern hospitality--brilliant fish-out-of-water humor ensues!

Of course, Pesci should've be given all the credit. Marisa Tomei, who RIGHTFULLY won the Supporting Oscar for her excellent performance (please don't believe that urban myth about Jack Palance calling out the wrong name!!), is hilarious as Pesci's fiance with a foul mouth, a smart a**, the heaviest Brooklyn accent and an incredible expertise in automobiles. This was also the movie that made Marisa a star, and a performance I commend to this day.

What can I say? This movie has some of the most priceless bits of comedy. One, of course, involves Pesci's pronunciation of the word "youth" which sounds like "yute." One underrated bit is the one where Pesci first meets his cousin's friend (Mitchell Whitfield) in the jail cell. His cousin (Ralph Macchio) is asleep and Pesci suddenly pays the friend a visit. He doesn't know Pesci is the lawyer, and assumes he's some guy who...wants to make him his b**ch. The comic dialogue in that scene is so perfectly executed and I feel it's one of the funniest in the movie. I'm not going to give away any more of the film's slick, intelligent humor--You have to see it for yourself!!!

If you're in the mood for a smart, well-written, well-acted comedy that will have you on the floor--look no further! "My Cousin Vinny" doesn't disappoint in any of those aspects. This is a truly memorable piece of comedy, and though it was released in 1992, I'm sure comedy lovers will pay homage to this movie in the present day.

My score: 8 (out of 10)


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