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
The prison scenes were filmed at Lee Arrendale Correctional Institute in Alto, Georgia. Though depicted in the film, the prison has neither a death row nor death chamber facility. The prison was also the setting for the movies Unshackled (2000) and Bad Boys (1983). See more »
When Vinny is bailed out of jail there is a group of protesters outside protesting an upcoming execution. The only prison in Alabama that holds Death Row is Holman Prison in Atmore, Al. Atmore is on the West side of Alabama near Mobile ... nowhere near the Georgia line. See more »
One version that aired on television omitted the entire subplot of Vinny making a deal with a pool player, and the scene where Vinny finds out there is a slaughterhouse next to one motel they stay in. References that Vinny makes to both these elements are cut out from his rant to Lisa about all the trouble he's going through for his court case. See more »
A remarkable cast makes this satiric comedy fresh.
MY COUSIN VINNY is just one of those "feel good" movies delivering some grins that won't wash away. An excellent cast includes Joe Pesci in one of his best roles as a hotshot lawyer. Expect a few unbelievable surprises from the irresistible guy who's smart enough to make one hilarious movie after another. He is downright likeable, and so is Marisa Tomei, a sassy and stylish figurine who was amazingly superb to take home the Best Actress Oscar. Both Pesci and Tomei have the colorful wits and personalities to make a wild pair for themselves (almost like living in the 50s for sure!). Also, the movie's best moment arises when a freight train disturbs Pesci's sleep at five in the morning. The deep downside is the latter portion: a climatic courtroom scene that, while up to the point of interest, runs terribly long and weak....until one of the film's cast members gets into the act! Still, it's worth plenty of good gags and good laughs that aren't so bugging. Pesci would look terrific in a torn-up leather jacket in front of the judge, to his ultimate disgrace! Smart comedy is smart thinking after all.
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