My Cousin Vinny (1992) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: 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. Runtime: 120 mins Release Date: 12 Mar 1992
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 <more>
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
This is another of my favourite films and I never get tired of watching it again and again and always laugh at the funny scenes.I can't imagine anyone else in those roles than Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei, I don't think it would have worked as well as it did. They are one of the best on screen couples I have seen. They act like a old married couple. They just work so well together and have the right chemistry. They make me laugh more than anyone else in this picture, the scenes I particularly laugh the hardest at is when Vinny has been invited by the prosecuting attorney to go hunting <more>
and he doesn't know what to wear and Lisa goes into a tirade about the deer being shot and his brain lying on the floor and not caring what the "son of a bitch" who shot him was wearing. Another is when Vinny is trying to prepare for a case and she heaps on more pressure by talking about her biological clock, it is a lot more funny in the film and you should watch it for just those scenes alone.What I find entertaining about Vinny's character is that he is not a practised lawyer, he hasn't had any cases and doesn't really know what he is doing. He doesn't even know about disclosure till Lisa tells him. He also has to convince his cousin, the cousin's friend and the judge that he knows what he is doing. On top of this, he hasn't had a good night's sleep because it keeps getting interrupted by loud noises throughout the night, the judge doesn't like him and keeps putting him in jail for contempt, a local idiot who wants to fight him for $200 that he owes Vinny so there is a lot of factors working against him. You cheer for him when he starts to do the right things in court and will him on to find evidence that will prove his cousin and friend innocent of murder.I have to say one of the scenes that has me falling about laughing is the scene where there is a stuttering lawyer who is trying to do his opening statement but keeps stuttering through it and the jury's face is a picture and really it is their expressions I am laughing at.I like that the film is unpredictable. You don't know how it will be resolved, you are in a way in the same boat as Stan and Bill as you watched them leave the Sac o' suds without killing the clerk and you wonder who could have done it and how the witnesses are so convinced that Stan and Bill did it and at least at the end, you have a satisfying conclusion when you find out they have caught the bad guys in another state.It was good to see Ralph Macchio in something else other than The Karate Kid. I hardly recognised Fred Gwynne without the makeup of Herman Munster. He was such a treat especially when he couldn't understand what Vinny was saying when he said "yutes" and couldn't understand some of the other words Vinny said with his thick Brooklyn accent.10 for the actors, 10 for the directing and 10 for the writing which makes this film a joy to watch.
This is one of those films, which if you completely enjoy, is as much fun to see over and over as it was initially.It is simply a perfectly enjoyable and humorous piece of entertainment.The two primary leads, the two young defendants, the main co-stars judge, prosecutor, sheriff and the other cast, are all excellent.One of the best features as the story was presented is that every character seemed to contribute to its humor e.g. the prosecutor, judge, other defense attorney, sheriff, witnesses - even the dolt whom the Tomei character had beaten in a game of pocket billiards as well as <more>
Pesci and Tomei. So often in this type of film, there are either some characters/situations which cause lulls in the story, or the writers/directors give all the "good stuff" to the main star s . Not so here.The many prior comments here have covered the plot line amply. For anyone who may come across this one, if you haven't seen this film, rent it, buy it or see it the next time it's listed in a directory.
This was the best way for Joe Pesci to follow up GOODFELLAS and JFK. Those two were ultra-serious roles for him and to forray into comedy was perfect. It was a perfect role, perfect timing and a perfect opportunity to show people that he could play something other than the heavy or the bad guy. MY COUSIN VINNY is really just a distant cousin of his character in Goodfellas anyway. Just imagine one of the guys in Goodfellas that didn't want to follow in the footsteps of the rest of the gangsters and this is him. Vinny is a foul mouthed, sometime violent, insecure but smart man. He went to <more>
law school but took six attempts before he passed the bar. They are definitely similar characters. The difference is that Goodfellas was a serious film with a funny side and My Cousin Vinny is an absolutely hilarious film with a somewhat serious side.What makes the film work as well as it does, is many things. First of all you have the fish out of water scenario with Vinny and his fiancee Lisa, wearing leather jackets and cowboy boots down in the south where it seems everyone is wearing overalls and they hang out in establishments where their best selling feature is chicken and pool.You also have a great supporting cast that features Lane Smith as a very animated D.A. that has to hammer home every point to his jury like they were morons. He says the word "truth" is a word that comes down from England where all of our ancestors come, and looking at him incredulously is some of the black jury members. Fred Gwynne supplies some of the best comedy for the film with his constant badgering of Vinny. Everything from his suit, to his enunciation of words like "youts", to his court room impropriety to his just plain dislike of him. Gwynne and Pesci are so opposite as people. Gwynne being a giant of a man with a southern drawl and a long, virile face while Pesci is a short man with a distinct New Yawk slur and a pudgy, baby looking face. They are complete opposites and much of the hilarity comes from their inability to see eye to eye on many things.It also has to said that Marisa Tomei is brilliant in this film. There are people out there that try to demean her Oscar triumph that year because the favourite did not win like anticipated. But her performance here is nothing short of Oscar worthy. She is a gifted actress and her comedic timing in this film is bang on, or as she would say, " dead on balls accurate. "This is one of the funnier films to come out in the 90's and it is well worth seeing again.9 out of 10
I can watch this film over and over again. Joe Pesci plays Vincent LaGuardia Gambini, a Brooklyn lawyer who is asked to defend his cousin and friend from a murder charge in Alabama. Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito, Vinny's girlfriend, deserved the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, rare for a comedy to even be nominated for anything by AMPAS. I really liked Fred Gwynne as the no-nonsense Judge Chamberlain Haller, a great foil for Joe Pesci's laid back, easy going Brooklyn wise guy. Even his name, Chamberlain Haller, evokes seriousness. A lot of fun, especially the courtroom <more>
The more I watch it --- the funnier it gets!! (by linoochie)
Definitely one of my all-time favorite comedies. Well directed, well acted -- priceless comic performances by Pesci, Tomei, Gwynne & Austin Pendleton. And more than comedy -- there's also a lot of genuine pathos and real tension and drama, especially in the final courtroom scene. And I really don't understand the "controversy" or brouhaha over Marisa Tomei receiving the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in this movie. It's a crackerjack gem of a performance and a stellar comic portrayal. The only thing I can figure is that a lot of snobbery about serious <more>
dramatic portrayals somehow being more worthy of honor than great comic performances still very much lives on in much of the film community.
Brooklyn lawyer Pesci tries to save the "two yutes" from frying in the electric chair. Classic! (by mattymatt4ever)
"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 <more>
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
Underrated. I won't belabor relating and describing the plot, because that's been recited nicely by numerous others. I'll simply return to my one word point. Underrated. Even though Marisa Tomei broke through and won Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards for her performance, an award she earned and much deserved, I still say underrated. This film really never got on the public's radar the way it should have, probably because there are no big-name actors featured as box office draw. Joe Pesci was as good as it gets that way. In 1991 he was the hottest name in the cast. <more>
But has Joes Pesci ever established himself as a leading man who could carry a movie by himself? I ask that in open-ended wonderment, and certainly not disparagingly. Just asking, is it fair, has it ever been fair, to expect Joe Pesci to carry a film?Regardless of Joe Pesci's latent starpower, this cast of players as assembled possessed remarkable chemistry in the performances they gave, not only in their interactions with one another, but also in the creation of a final product that excels way beyond the sum of its parts, beyond any of their individual levels of genius, certainly beyond anything that could ever have been reasonably expected of them. Competent though they may have been, these were not thespian heavyweights or comedic savants. You ever wonder why this singular performance 15+ years ago and counting remains Marisa Tomei's magnum opus? That might be one big reason why. The Germans have a word for this. It's called gestalt. My inclination is to give most of the credit for this winning final product to director Jonathan Lynn. It seems obviously to be his creation. Who else singularly deserves it? Along the way it would have been such a cheap trick and easy thing to surrender to the obvious, but Lynn didn't do it. This is a story built around stereotypes. New Yorkers. Ethnic Italian New Yorkers. Southerners. Small town southerners. Southern justice. Southern small town justice with New York Italians in the dock. It would have been so easy to traffic in those stereotypes, to over-the-top cash in on them, to submerge the movie in them and to exploit them for all they were worth. These people could have been made into cardboard cartoons of themselves. Surely the Englishman Lynn was thusly tempted, but it was a temptation he mainly resisted. Oh, almost obligatorily, he dances us over to that edge and gives us a big whiff of all that, but instead of jumping in and wallowing in the stereotypes, he deftly pulls it back and carries it all off and away in a new and different direction, indeed in an uplifting direction. Just as there are no cheap tricks in this movie, there are no cheap shots either. People are not ridiculed for who they are or where they are from. It rises above that. Lynn raises it above that. Yes, the regional differences that exist are juxtaposed. And yes, we get the fact that cultural differences divide these characters. But the beauty of it is that no one is treated unfairly. In fact, the viewer comes away with the feeling that these are all good people. Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei are given a broad canvas to create great humorous art, bouncing one, two, three liners or more off of each other, at the other's expense. It's the game they play with each other, the nature of their characters' relationship, and it's fun to watch. And this must be said: not only does Marisa give an exquisite performance, she is an utterly delightful feminine creature to watch here. As for the southerners, in not taking the bait to exploit the southerners as dumb hicks, Lynne actually captures part of the true but rarely portrayed essence of the south: polite gentility. Lane Smith embodies that essence. And Fred Gwynne? He practically steals the show, and would have were it not for Marisa Tomei.What has been going through Joe Pesci's and Marisa Tomei's heads for the last 15 years? What is wrong with their agents? These two needed a sequel. If not a sequel, then more film s together. The dynamic between them was too good to just be abandoned. We should have been treated to much more of them together.As a trial lawyer let me say that the portrayal of courtroom events, while certainly not perfect, is more than adequate and passable. One thing that is accurately captured is the fish-out-of-water experience of a city lawyer when subjected to trying a case in a far-flung rural county. This depicton conveys the essence of what that's like.This movie deserves more recognition. It is clever, funny, and fun. I recommend it. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and indulge yourself.
Spoilers herein.All movies are about other movies. Some movie comedies -- those that aren't just skits with funny characters -- exploit movie stereotypes.That's the game here and it is simple to read: Pesci as minor league goodfellow, with his lowlife girlfriend both from New Joisie. Alabama as the intolerant, ignorant hicksville we know, also from movies.Neither place exists, in fact to extent that they do it is in people subconsciously mimicking film.What makes this project successful is that it is a gentle reference: each of the characters only brushes with their stereotype, except <more>
for Tomei. She's given the room to play a "real" relatively real character.The result is a simple, relatively pleasant space-filler. The problem with these things is that the current of film images is strong and deep. If you are not inventing, you are being invented. This is not as harmless as it appears.You can see the mechanics the screenwriter used: he needed a vehicle with traction that would balance both sides without slipping. So that -- and the esoteric knowledge to know that -- is what the plot turns on.Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.