It took up to 40 minutes to get from outside the building to where they were filming inside. Whitfield told Abnormal Use: “The first time, Ralph and I walked through the prison, as if we were holding our blankets and going into our cell, and you could hear the prisoners yelling at us. They are real prisoners, and they really yelled at us. They had to tone down what they had written in the film because they were saying terrible things. Ralph and I were petrified. His acquaintance said, as far as he knew, it was 13 times. That`s where the idea was born. What if you need someone to defend you after an indictment for a crime you didn`t commit and you knew your lawyer had taken control 13 times? How would you feel? This was the birth of the concept of the film. Bill Gambini and Stan Rothenstein, New York students who have just received scholarships to UCLA, drive across Alabama in their mint-green metallic 1964 Buick Skylark convertible and accidentally buy a can of tuna.
After they leave, the store clerk is robbed and killed, and Bill and Stan are arrested for the murder. Due to circumstantial evidence and a shoplifting confession, which is misunderstood as one of the shootings, Bill is charged with first-degree murder and Stan as an accomplice. Bill`s mother reminds him that there is a lawyer in the family: his cousin Vinny. Vincent LaGuardia “Vinny” Gambini went there with his fiancée Mona Lisa Vito. Although he is willing to take on the case, Vinny is a Brooklyn lawyer who is new to the bar and has no litigation experience. Unlike other comedies of its time, My Cousin Vinny tells the story of two New Yorkers who travel through Alabama. Sadly, they were arrested and tried for a murder they had not committed. In an attempt to save her, her cousin, Vincent Gambini, arrives to defend her cause. The catch? Vincent or “Vinny” is a rough and inexperienced lawyer and his escapades cause hilarity in the courtroom.
In 1991, Will Smith was not as popular as he is today. When My Cousin Vinny was in pre-production, Smith expressed interest in the role of Stan, Vinny`s cousin. Nothing was done and Mitchell Whitfield reprised the role for the film. Vinny did a card trick in a scene where he had to convince Bill to hire him as a lawyer. According to Pesci, the trick was not a fake, because it was important to him that it look as real as possible. Of course, you can always simulate something by taking multiple photos, but the production personally asked Pesci to learn as much as possible. He was a versatile actor, so he spent time perfecting the trick. There were no cuts in that scene and Pesci lived up to that. During pre-production, they struggled to figure out where to put Bill`s mother in the film.
One of the concerns was that people wondered why Bill`s mother hadn`t even come to visit. So what they did was make sure it was clear to the audience that Bill`s mother was having a heart attack before the events of the film. The actual scenes in which the mother comes to Alabama have been completely removed, and they have saved time for other important scenes. The film is also distinguished by the fact that it is not based on Deep South stereotypes – the people of the small Alabama town are a bit simple, but certainly not stupid, and are generally decent and reasonable people. And unlike most legal movies and TV shows, the prosecutor and judge are not portrayed as antagonists; The prosecutor is a reasonable professional who sincerely believes that he is bringing two murderers to justice and has no hostilities with Vinny or Vinny with him, and although the judge does not like Vinny, it is not baseless and he does not let his opinion of Vinny influence his moderation of the judicial process (with one exception). The humor derives from its premise Fish out of Water, in which proud New Yorker Vinny must adapt to living temporarily in a southern city, because New York and Alabama are of course two very different places with very different people and cultures. It is also soon revealed that, despite being a lawyer, it took him six attempts to pass the bar exam and this is his first real court case, and there is a lot of pressure on him as his cousin`s life is at stake. The night before, they had filmed the scene in which Vinny sleeps like a baby during a prison riot, after being held for contempt of court, Pesci had won the Goodfella Oscar. “He came from Los Angeles, and on the first take we took towards him, he held the Oscar in his arms,” Lynn said in the DVD commentary, laughing.
“We sent that to the studio as daily newspapers.” The guards in the film were real prison guards. The production used real prisoners as extras twice: once in the background, when Stan and Bill are taken to prison, and during a brief scene in which the duo play basketball during practice. “The prisoners were all extremely cooperative and did exactly what we asked,” Lynn said in a DVD commentary. “I don`t know what incitement or threats were made to achieve this.” The crew and some actors filmed for a few days in jail in Gainesville, Georgia. It was a state prison, and the prisoners were in a separate wing for solitary confinement. The prison had an area on death row next to which the crew filmed, which made it all the more interesting for the set. From the outside door, it took them 40 minutes to get to the place where they had filmed. In the film, it wasn`t extras, but real prisoners screaming and saying horrible things to Bill and Stan.
Eventually, he said he had “found a way where they should keep them and beautify their character.” She complains, but at least apologizes for bringing it up, and you don`t hate her because she mainly approached it, because it`s funny. Well, I thought, if she was talking about it at this point where he`s going through hell, he should be. And it is. So he cries in her. Mona Lisa`s biological clock (above) became one of her favorite scenes in the script. After Vinny`s girlfriend, Mona Lisa, released him on bail a second time, she criticizes his performance in court, telling him it`s pretty clear he doesn`t know what he`s doing. Then she says one of my favorite lines in the movie: “Don`t we teach you that in law school?” Vinny`s answer is just as classic: “NO! They teach you contracts…! Obviously, the implication that they teach “law” in law school is not “how to practice law.” In the scene where Vinny convinces Bill to represent him, Vinny does a card trick. “It was important to me that the card trick wasn`t fake,” Lynn said in a DVD commentary. “Of course, you can fake anything by cutting another shot and showing it, but I talked to Joe about it before we started shooting and he learned how to do this card trick. So the scene in which he does it has no cuts. In fact, it deceives the public before their eyes.
He did it wonderfully. I thought Vinny`s argument would be much less powerful if the audience could say, well, it was just wrong by the way the scene was cut. Two NYC middle school students, Bill Gambini (Macchio) and Stan Rothenstein (Whitfield), are driving through Alabama when they are arrested for the armed robbery of a supermarket and the shooting of its employee – due to a misunderstanding of why they were interrogated, Bill accidentally “confesses” to the crime and both are tried for first-degree murder and aiding and abetting. Fortunately, Bill has a lawyer in the family, his cousin Vinny, and Vinny soon arrives in Alabama with his quarrelsome fiancée Mona Lisa Vito to help the boys clear their names. Cheerfulness sets in. It`s a comedy about a lawyer named Vinny. Vinny defends his cousin and friend from a murder case. However, Vinny only passed the bar after taking it five times. Starring Joe Pesci as Vinny, Ralph Macchio and Marisa Tomei, the film was a critical and financial success. If you`re looking for something to see tonight, My Cousin Vinny is a great choice! While Vinny is certainly not a role model when it comes to legal knowledge, legal analysis, and ethical behavior, law students could learn from him how to apply legal thinking in the complexities of real-world legal practice.