Facts on the Movie "My Cousin Vinny"

by J.M. Chanel

"My Cousin Vinny" is a 1992 comedy film about two college kids, Bill and Stan, who are arrested for murder in a rural Alabama town. Bill calls in help from his cousin, a lawyer named Vincent "Vinny" Gambini, for legal assistance. However, his inexperience in the courtroom, lack of understanding of Southern culture and loudmouthed style create humor in the movie.

Working with the Owl

In "My Cousin Vinny," a screech owl appears in the scene at the cabin in the woods. According to director Johnathan Lynn, the owl did not have much training for the scene in question. The sound of the owl screeching had to be dubbed in during post-production and the only way the crew could get the animal to open its mouth was to feed it small pieces of beef. However, when Joe Pesci's character Vinny fires a gun, the reaction from the owl is genuine.


Marisa Tomei won "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" at the 1993 Academy Awards. It was the only Academy Award nomination received by "My Cousin Vinny." The award was controversial, because of a rumor that the award was only given to Tomei due to a mistake by presenter, Jack Palance. However, this rumor is not true, as workers are always stationed offstage at the Academy Awards to prevent potential accidents with award presentations.

Final Film Appearance

"My Cousin Vinny" is the final film appearance for actor Fred Gwynne, who is best known as Herman Munster from the 1960s TV series "The Munsters." Gwynne passed away on July 2, 1993, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Director Johnathan Lynn decided to cast Gwynne in the movie after seeing his performance in the 1984 film "The Cotton Club."

Shooting Locations

"My Cousin Vinny" takes place in a fictional town called Wahzoo City, Alabama. However, the film was actually shot in Georgia. The courthouse scenes were not shot inside a real courthouse, but on a set constructed inside a warehouse. However, the warehouse had a metal roof and shooting took place during a very hot summer in Georgia, causing temperatures on set to rise about 100 degrees

About the Author

J.M. Chanel began writing in 2002 as a webmaster for an independent film company. He graduated from West Virginia University, earning a Bachelor of Science in journalism. Chanel has been contributing to online publications since 2010.