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17 Things You Probably Didn't Know About "My Cousin Vinny"

Everything that guy just said is bullshit.

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1. The screenwriter's first choice for Vinny Gambini was Robert DeNiro.

At the time, DeNiro was known for his serious roles, and, according to screenwriter Dale Launer, the studio president didn't think he'd be able to carry a comedy. (Funny now, considering the success of the Meet the Parents franchise.)

3. The famous "yutes" scene was included after Joe Pesci and director Jonathan Lynn had an almost identical exchange — Lynn being unable to understand what Pesci was trying to say.

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8. He's also supposed to be dyslexic.

Twentieth Century Fox / Via

Launer explained the original script showed close-ups of the text the way Vinny saw it: all jumbled up. It also included dialogue in which Mona Lisa offers to read the files to him, but the part was cut. This was supposed to explain why it took Vinny so many attempts before passing the bar.


9. Marisa's iconic "biological clock" scene wasn't in the first draft of the script.

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According to Launer, the studio president requested a scene showing Mona Lisa complaining about not getting enough attention. Though Launer was resistant at first (he called the suggestion "a tired old cliche" and a "boring" scene) he ended up using the extra screen time to make the character even more developed.


13. The prison scenes were shot in a real prison, and in the scene where Stan and Bill are walking to their cells, those are real prisoners shouting at them.

Twentieth Century Fox

According to Mitchell Whitfield: "They really were yelling at us. They had to tone it down with what they put in the movie because they were saying some horrible stuff. Ralph and I were petrified."

15. Director Jonathan Lynn has said that the movie, despite being a comedy, is primarily about "how wrong capital punishment is."

Twentieth Century Fox

In an interview with Abnormal Use he said, "I am profoundly opposed to capital punishment, and I think the film makes that statement. Although it makes it entertaining and in a way that isn’t preaching to people."

17. Super fans can take a My Cousin Vinny road trip around Georgia and see some of the filming locations — including the recently renovated Sac-O-Suds convenience store.

The blog "Road Trip Memories" tells you exactly where to go to see Sac-O-Suds, Monticello town square, the courthouse, and more.