- Actors: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne
- Directors: Jonathan Lynn
- Writers: Dale Launer
- Producers: Dale Launer, Paul Schiff
- Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
- Language: English, French
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
- Release Date: Feb. 4 2003
- Run Time: 120 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 139 customer reviews
- ASIN: 630592970X
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My Cousin Vinny (Widescreen) [Import]
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Two carefree pals (Ralph Macchio and Mitchell Whitfield) traveling through Alabama are mistakenly arrested, and charged with murder. Fortunately, one of them has a cousin who's a lawyer - Vincent Gambini (Joe Pesci, Lethal Weapon 3, Home Alone), a former auto mechanic from Brooklyn who just passed his bar exam after his sixth try. Vinny's never been in court - or in Alabama - and when he arrives with his leather-clad girlfriend (Marisa Tomei in her Oscar® winning Supporting Actress performance), to try his first case, it's a real shock - for him and the Deep South!
When two Italian-American boys from New York are falsely accused of murder in a small Alabama town, they call for a lawyer--but the only lawyer they know is their cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci), who made six attempts before he passed his bar exam. My Cousin Vinny is a classic fish-out-of-water comedy; the flimsy plot about clearing the two boys and solving the murder is just a hook to support a lot of culture-clash humor. Thanks to the strong cast of character actors like Fred Gwynne, Austin Pendleton, and Lane Smith, it's pretty funny--even old-hat jokes about Brooklyn versus Southern accents come to life. Pesci has played a few too many schticky characters, but this time it works. There's just enough humanity in his caricature to make Vinny likable and entertaining. When the movie was released, there was controversy about whether Marisa Tomei, playing Vinny's big-haired and black-leather-wearing fiancée, deserved to win the best supporting actress Oscar (she beat out Judy Davis, Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, and Vanessa Redgrave); but seeing her performance on its own, it's a comic marvel and worthy of honor. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"My Cousin Vinny" tells the story of how a coupla easy-goin' college kids on their way from "Big Apple," where they live, to California, where they go to school, run afoul of the law in Alabama. Somehow, Bill Gambini and Stan Rothenstein manage to get themselves charged with a murder they didn't commit. Two New York City kids, alone and broke in a small-town jail, charged with murder... And no lawyer in sight. What to do? Call home, of course! The solution to their problem of not having a lawyer? Naturally - enlist the help of the lawyer in the family,!
Enter Bill's cousin, Vinny Gambini (played by Joe Pesci), A sawed-off, wise-crackin,' street-wise, runt of a man with one of doze "tick Brawnx accents" and an ego that far exceeds his diminutive stature. His mission: to defend the two "yewts" (youths) against charges of murder. Accompanying Vinny is his beautiful fiancee, Mona Lisa (Lisa) Vito (Marisa Tomei), an unemployed beautician with an encyclopedic knowledge of automobiles and auto mechanics.
It looks like the day is saved for Stan and Bill. Only... they have a BI-I-G problem on their hands: Vinny's only been a lawyer for six weeks. That's after trying - and failing - to pass his bar exams for <i>six years!!</i> And, he's never... <i>ever...</i> tried a case in a real live courtroom.
I won't give away any more of the plot. You'll just have to watch "My Cousin Vinny" to see how Vinny Gambini stumbles and fumbles and bumbles his way through the most important case of his new-found legal career, all the while contending with characters like the austere Judge Chamberlain Haller, a man with a grim countenance and a sense of humor to match; Jim Trotter III, the local District Attorney, a smooth-talking, highly experienced, and very competent prosecutor; Public Defender John Gibbons, a second-rate lawyer who can barely spit words out of his mouth, much less complete sentences; and a host of the town's local citizens - some of them witnesses, others just a pain in the neck, but all of them busily engaged in a constant clash of cultures with Vinny, Lisa, Bill, and Stan.
Excellent performances abound in "My Cousin Vinny." Joe Pesci attacks his role as Vinny with gusto, imbuing his character with tons of bluster and baloney. Marisa Tomei comes darn close to stealing the entire show with her performance as Mona Lisa Vito. In fact, she's so good that she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for this role. In one of his last roles before his death in 1993, Fred Gwynne is excellent as the no-nonsense Judge Chamberlain Haller. A stickler for the rules of proper courtroom etiquette, this formidably featured magistrate finds it his duty to get the hapless Vinny Gambini to shape up... or pay the consequences.
Screen Writer Dale Launer never misses an opportunity to poke fun at many of our American foibles. Of course, the legal profession takes the brunt of Launer's sharp-witted pen. Ambulance chasing, incompetence, and an overly legalistic approach to the law are but a few of the legal profession's faults lampooned in this film. "My Cousin Vinny" brilliantly parodies our cultural differences as well. It draws sharp - and hilarious - contrast between the bucolic and the urban; and the provincial and the urbane. The movie also does an excellent job of pointing out, in a humorous way, our tendency to stereotype people and cultures not our own.
All this makes for a side-splitting two hours of cinematic entertainment!
I have been a VERY BIG fan of Ralph Macchio since I was a teenager over 15 years ago. Needless to say, I just had to see this movie when it came out. I died laughing. It's as simple as that. Mr. Macchio, of course, wasn't the only humorous actor/character in the movie. Marisa Tomei's foot-stomping, "my biological clock is ticking" scene is probably what won her the award. Every woman in America, who is at THAT stage in her life most likely thought "That's me up there" when they saw it.
Having lived in the country most of my life allowed me to laugh at the "city folk" and how they had to learn to transition themselves to life in the boonies ("What is a grit?"). I haven't viewed my video in a while (but almost bought a copy of it at the store last night-mine is taped from TV) but thinking about it makes me want to find it and have myself a good laugh. I promise that you will find this movie hilarious and if you don't, I question your lack of a sense of humor. :-)
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