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Comedy - Police, Drama - Court Room

My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Duration2h 00m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Norway: 10 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorJonathan Lynn
Writers/ScriptDale Launer
StarringJoe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marina Tomei, Fred Gwynne, Bruce McGill,  
RatingsIMDb: 7.6/10 by 117,429 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 86% by 56 reviewers. Review2view: 9/10.

Elevator Pitch: Two young New Yorkers, Bill Gambini and Stan Rothenstein, are on a road trip. When visiting a country store in Alabama, Bill accidentally steal a tin of salmon which he has put in his pocket. They are subsequently arrested for, they think, shoplifting, but actually after their departure another couple of guys had raided the store killing the owner. Unable to afford a lawyer they commission Bill’s cousin Vinny to help. Vinny arrives with his girlfriend, Mona Lisa, who we find knows all about cars. Vinny has failed the bar exam many times and right away he and the judge are at odds. There seem to be three eye-witnesses to the murder, and an expert witness on motor vehicles appears to seal the boy’s fate. But they have not reckoned with Vinny, or Mona Lisa.

Content: No sex or nudity. Some dining and smoking in a local bar where Vinny antagonises the locals. Mostly time spent in court as the trial progresses, although both the boys and Vinny are imprisoned at times (Vinny for contempt of court). Vinny and Mona Lisa spend time in a variety of hotel rooms, often failing to sleep due to noises outside. Mona Lisa has the opportunity of appearing in a number of different dresses and nightwear although we never see her suitcase.

A View: This movie has been much praised by the legal eagles who feel that everything that happened could happen in a real courtroom. Marisa Tomei won Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, and she is terrific. I really enjoyed it, feeling that while it is not  perfect movie, it is close. It has achieved the highest score so far since I took the step of giving my reviews points.

If you have a taste for courtroom drama here are three others which may entertain, although none as much fun as My Cousin Vinny. The Verdict, A Civil Action, Side Effects

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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