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My Cousin Vinny

Pesci plays Vincent La Guardia Gambini, proud Brooklyn attorney-at-law, who gets called South to Wahzoo City to defend his college-kid cousin (Macchio) and pal (Whitfield), falsely accused of a convenience store murder. Trouble is, Vinny ain't no expert on criminal law, having just completed his bar exams. Still, the majesty of the law doesn't over-impress this self-made guy; but then his shades, white shoes and total ignorance of procedure don't exactly impress by-the-book Judge Haller (Gwynne). Vinny fears he's gonna get found out, the kids fear they're gonna fry. Pesci's variation on New Jersey machismo (vulnerable in this case) isn't enough to fill a comedy; but Dale Launer's script luckily provides some fine routines for the supporting cast, notably the scene-stealing Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito, Pesci's sharp-tongued girlfriend. It's a small, surprisingly gentle affair, prone to fits and starts, but fun.

Release details

Duration: 119 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Screenwriter: Dale Launer
Cast: Joe Pesci
Ralph Macchio
Marisa Tomei
Mitchell Whitfield
Fred Gwynne
Lane Smith
Austin Pendleton
Bruce McGill
Maury Chaykin