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My Cousin Vinny (1992)

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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.


Jonathan Lynn


Dale Launer
1,596 ( 130)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Pesci ... Vinny Gambini
Ralph Macchio ... Bill Gambini
Marisa Tomei ... Mona Lisa Vito
Mitchell Whitfield ... Stan Rothenstein
Fred Gwynne ... Judge Chamberlain Haller
Lane Smith ... Jim Trotter III
Austin Pendleton ... John Gibbons
Bruce McGill ... Sheriff Farley
Maury Chaykin ... Sam Tipton
Paulene Myers ... Constance Riley (as Pauline Meyers)
Raynor Scheine ... Ernie Crane
James Rebhorn ... George Wilbur
Chris Ellis ... J.T.
Michael Simpson Michael Simpson ... Neckbrace
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

Plot Keywords:

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


Truth, Justice And The Gambini Way. See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi primo Vinny See more »

Filming Locations:

Monticello, Georgia, USA See more »


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,416,751, 15 March 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When Vinny is trying to explain his "real name" to Judge Haller he knocks over the judge's chess board. This was accidental but director Jonathan Lynn thought it was so funny and authentic he decided to leave it in the film. See more »


When Bill and Stan get arrested, they're under the impression that they're in jail for shoplifting until Bill figures it out during the confession. Due to the Writ of Habeas Corpus, it's nearly impossible for someone in custody to go that long without being told what he has been arrested for. See more »


Vinny Gambini: [Vinny hears a drip in the motel bathroom] Weren't you the last one to use the bathroom?
Lisa: So?
Vinny Gambini: Well, did you use the faucet?
Lisa: Yeah.
Vinny Gambini: Then why didn'tcha turn it off?
Lisa: I DID turn it off!
Vinny Gambini: Well, if you turned it off, why am I listening to it?
Lisa: Did it ever occur to you it could be turned off AND drip at the same time?
Vinny Gambini: No. Because if you'd turned it off, it wouldn't drip!
Lisa: Maybe it's broken.
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Referenced in The Critic: Dr. Jay (1994) See more »


A Second Hand Love
Written by Phil Spector & Hank Hunter
Performed by Connie Francis
Courtesy of Malaco Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A comedy that you can see again and again!
23 February 2013 | by primonaSee all my reviews

Some people really do lack a sense of humor and take life way too seriously. These are the people that will complain that this movie is not funny. The rest of us will find at least some genuine funny moments. In my case, I found several. My Cousin Vinny is a movie that I will play to cheer me up because it's hard to feel down while watching it.

Joe Pesci who scared the hell out of us as Tommy Devito in Goodfellas takes on the role of wise cracking, inexperienced attorney Vincent Gambini. He is wonderfully matched with the nagging, street smart, and charming Maria Tomei as his girlfriend Mona. The two hard core New Yorkers wind up in rural Alabama to defend Vincent's cousin (Ralph Macchio) and friend on robbery and murder charges. There are plenty of funny moments created from the culture clash between the "yankees" and the southerners ranging from the fascination with grits to the colorful colloquialisms used by each. Some of the best moments involve the exchanges between no non-sense Judge Haller (Fred Gwynne) and Vincent who he can't understand due to his New York accent. However, this film does not rely on stereotypical southern slapstick comedy. It is actually smart and there's a real plot involving a court case that all but looks clear cut until Vincent and his girlfriend begin looking at the evidence. I love all the court room scenes and Pesci and Tomei have great chemistry.

This movie is truly underrated; although Tomei did earn an Academy Award for her role in this film. I highly recommend it to those of us with a funny bone!

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