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March 13th Release: 1992, My Cousin Vinny ***

March 13, 2008

The film poster for My Cousin Vinny states: “There have been many courtroom dramas that have glorified the Great American Legal System…This is not one of them.” Truer words have never been printed.

The story revolves around two NYU grads that are driving cross country to start at UCLA for grad school. On their way they stop in Alabama and get mistakingly arrested for murder (the Deep South always is “Alabama” to filmmakers – even though the movie was filmed in Georgia). Bill (Ralph Macchio) calls the family lawyer (Joe Pesci) to come bail them out (literally and figuratively).

Pesci brings along the annoying yet amusing Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei won the Oscar for this acting bit) as they embark upon a comical adventure dealing with stereotypical southerners. The best thing about this movie is Fred Gwynne as Judge Haller. This was Gwynne’s last role (best known as Herman Munster in the Munsters and Jud Crandall in Pet Sematary) before his death in 1993. This is not my favorite comedy of all time, but it is definitely one that I could watch a few more times. Yes, it feeds off dumb stereotypes and the interplay of the North and South, but so what? That’s funny!

For a brief scene, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q7mjoxHzm4

For more information on the cast and crew of My Cousin Vinny, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104952/

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