My Cousin Vinny
-1992 American comedy film directed by Dale Launer
-Stars Joe Pesci as Vincent Gambini and Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito
-This was actor Fred Gwynne's final film role before he died of pancreatic cancer on July 2, 1993
-The film centers around 2 New York college students who are traveling through rural Alabama and they get convicted of a murder they did not commit. One of them has a cousin, Vincent Gambini, who is fresh out of law school, who gets the call to come defend them
-Most of the comedy in this movie comes from the brash, outspoken Italian American New York college students, the laid back nature of the townspeople, Vinny and his fiancee Mona Lisa fighting each other with strong New York accents
Did You Know?
-Actor Fred Gwynne's final film role
-While making this movie, Joe Pesci won the Academy Award for his role as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas. So he brought the award to the set to show the cast and crew
-Although it's supposed to take place in Alabama, filming took place in Georgia
-To appear younger than he really was, Joe Pesci had worn straps of adhesive to erase any wrinkles under his hairpiece, a temporary face lift gave his face a tight effect which can be seen clearly when he standing on the balcony of the hotel across from the pig farm
-One day, while driving through fictional Beechum County, Alabama, New Yorkers Bill Gambini(Ralph Maccio), and his friend Stan Rothenstein(Mitchell Whitfield) mistakenly forget to pay for a can of tuna after stopping at a small five and dime store. After they leave, the clerk is shot and killed, and Billy and Stan, who match the descriptions of the robbers given by witnesses, are arrested and convicted of the murder. Billy ends up charged with murder, and Stan is charged as an accessory. They both call Billy's mom, who tells her that there is an attorney in the family, his cousin, Vincent LaGuardia "Vinny" Gambini(Joe Pesci), who goes to Beechum County with his motormouth girlfriend Mona Lisa Vito(Marisa Tomei). Unfortunately, even though he is willing to take the case, Vinny is a personal injury lawyer from Brooklyn, New York, recently on the bar(after 6 tries and 6 years) with no experience in trial.
-Despite Vinny trying to fool the trial judge, Chamberlain Haller(Fred Gwynne), his ignorance of basic court procedures and rude, disrespectful attitude towards the judge lands him into trouble. Much to the dismay of his clients, Vinny does not cross examine any of the witnesses in the hearing. As their claims go unquestioned, it looks as though District Attorney Jim Trotter III(Lane Smith) has an airtight alibi that will lead to a conviction. After Vinny's poor work at the hearing, Billy and Stan decide to fire him and hire someone else, a public defender named John Gibbons(Austin Pendleton). But Vinny asks for one more chance
-The trial opens with Vinny representing his cousin and the public defender representing Stan. Despite further trouble, including wearing a secondhand tuxedo to court and sleeping through Trotter's opening statement, Vinny shows he can make up for his ignorance with an aggressive, questioning style. The public defender shows a stammer, which Vinny quickly and successfully discredits the testimony of the first witness. Billy gains faith in his cousin once more and Stan decides he wants Vinny as his defender
-Vinny cross examines the eyewitnesses, but Trotter presents evidence and a witness, George Wilbur, an FBI analyst who says that his analysis of the tire marks at the scene are from a Buick Skylark, thus being "Billy's" car. With only a short window to cross examine the evidence, Vinny is unable to come up with questions. He gets angry and lashes out at Lisa by taunting her about the need of her wide angle camera shots of the tire tracks. She storms out, leaving Vinny alone. When he looks at the photos, he comes to the realization that there is a key to solving this case: the flat and even tire marks going over the curb reveal that Billy's car could not have been in the murder, since Billy's Skylark does not have a suspension system worthy of doing that kind of stuff. To prove this in court, Vinny needs Lisa to testify. After requesting some research from the local sheriff, Vinny drags in Lisa, kicking and screaming, to be questioned. She says things that disprove the FBI analyst.
-The film ends with Vinny and Lisa driving down the road, arguing about future plans