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My Cousin Vinny (1992)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  13 March 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 78,098 users  
Reviews: 198 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:
Lane Smith ...
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


A Comedy Of Trial And Error 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The misunderstanding between Vincent Gambini and Judge Haller regarding the two "utes" was in fact a real conversation between Joe Pesci and director Jonathan Lynn. Lynn, who is British, at first had a hard time understanding Pesci's pronounced New Jersey accent. He decided that the routine was quite funny and put it in the film. See more »


After requesting a continuance to look over Wilbur's testimony, Judge Haller says the clerk will call back after 3, giving Vinny a "stay of execution...unless he can win the case in the next 90 minutes" (implying that it is currently 1:30). Then immediately after the recess, the time on the digital clock outside the window of Dave's Barbeque reads 12:55. It later reads 4:25 after only a couple of minutes of conversation with Ms. Vito. See more »


Vinny Gambini: Mr. Wilbur, how'd you like Ms. Vito's testimony?
George Wilbur: Very impressive.
Vinny Gambini: She's cute too, huh?
George Wilbur: Yes, very.
[laughter in the courtroom]
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Mr. Gambini...
Vinny Gambini: Sorry, Your Honor.
See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.48 (2012) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant Film!
17 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My Cousin Vinny is one of the most brilliant comedies ever produced. There is simply so much to love about this movie.

First, this is not simply a slapstick comedy. Sure, there is some of that, including a few hilarious moments in the Alabama mud. But the dialogue in this film is terrifically funny. The writers were able to turn a courtroom script into an incredibly funny exchange of dialogue between lawyers, judges and witnesses. And the whole idea of an out-of-work hairdresser knowing about Positraction is simply brilliant.

This dialogue is brilliant because of excellent performances by both Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci. These two sell this whole load of nonsense so beautifully it should be mandatory viewing for first-year drama students. These two actors show how talented people can read practically anything and make it not only funny but wholly believable.

Even all the side characters, from the judge to the D.A. to the defendants to the jury and witnesses are brilliantly played. Some of the exchanges between a local Alabama judge and a NYC poser lawyer would be completely ridiculous in anyone else's hands, but these people make it so real and so funny it's truly a thing of beauty.

This is one of those rare films that I can watch over and over again for hours and not tire of it.

10 out of 10 Barky

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