Trivia / My Cousin Vinny

  • Dawson Casting: Downplayed. Joe Pesci was 49 years old, playing a guy who just recently finished law school and has a 22-year-old cousin. Marisa Tomei is 21 years younger than him. Then again, Vinny went to night school to be a lawyer, and quite obviously took longer than normal because he had to work at Lisa's father's garage at the same time. Given his lack of knowledge, he probably took a while to pass the bar. He also mentions that he only became interested after beating a ticket, so he easily could have started past the normal time. It's probably more of a case of Marisa Tomei Playing Gertrude.
  • Playing Against Type: Fred Gwynne spent decades trying to move beyond the role of Herman Munster. He did so with this film, finally getting to show audiences that he had much more range through the character of Judge Haller. Unfortunately, he passed away soon after completing this film and didn't get a chance to explore other types of characters.
  • Star-Making Role: Marisa Tomei's film resume skyrockets after her Oscar-winning appearance in this film.
  • Throw It In:
    • The director, an Englishman, was casually chatting with Joe Pesci and got confused by his Brooklyn-accented pronunciation of "youth". After Pesci explained it, they both realized they were having a conversation that should be in the film. The famous "two yoots" conversation between Vinny and Judge Haller that resulted is practically verbatim what Pesci and the director said to each other.
    • According to the director's commentary, the screech owl that woke Vinny just happened to come across the film crew one night. It stayed because they fed it some meat.
    • The bit where Vinny knocks over Judge Haller's chess pieces was an actual accident on Joe Pesci's part. The director thought the moment and the two actors' reactions were perfect and left it in.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Samuel L. Jackson auditioned for the role of the man who tells Vinny, "You've got mud in your tires."
    • Dale Launer tried to get a sequel going for a while, which would have involved Vinny going to England for another trial. Joe Pesci's retirement ended any chance of it happening.
  • Some law schools actually use this movie when teaching courtroom procedures.

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