Random Trivia For This Title:
- The misunderstanding between Vincent Gambini and Judge Haller regarding the two "utes" was in fact a real conversation between Joe Pesci and director Jonathan Lynn. Lynn, who is British, at first had a hard time understanding Pesci's pronounced New Jersey accent. He decided that the routine was quite funny and put it in the film.
- Shortly after her Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actress, a rumor started circulating that Marisa Tomei had won by mistake because presenter Jack Palance had incorrectly read out the wrong name. This is a highly unlikely occurrence--the Academy specifically has two officials stationed offstage to intervene and read out the correct name if such an event should ever transpire. Such an event didn't occur until the 2017 Academy Awards when Warren Beatty was given the wrong card and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as Best Picture, instead of the actual winner: Moonlight. The error was corrected on the telecast in about two minutes.
- Director Jonathan Lynn actually has a law degree and insisted the film's legal proceedings be realistic. In fact, many attorneys and law professors have praised the film for its accurate depiction of trial strategy and courtroom procedure, especially with regards to presenting expert witnesses at trial. Gambini's cross examination of Sam Tipton (grits), Ernie Crane (dirty windows), and Constance Riley (glasses) represents technically competent impeachment of the prosecutor's witnesses.
- When Vinny is trying to explain his "real name" to Judge Haller he knocks over the judge's chess board. This was accidental but director Jonathan Lynn thought it was so funny and authentic he decided to leave it in the film.
- The exchange between the prosecutor and automotive expert about the equipment used to analyze the tires was taken almost verbatim from an actual court transcript. The witness, asked how he analyzed the evidence, answered "I have a dual-column gas chromatograph, Hewlett-Packard model 5710a with flame analyzing detectors." The D.A. quipped, "Does that thing come turbo-charged?" and the witness answered, "Only on the floor models." This appears in lots of "funny things said in court" collections.
- The American Bar Association's publication, the ABA Journal, ranked the film #3 on its list of the "25 Greatest Legal Movies.
- According to director Jonathan Lynn the screech owl in the scene in the woods was a real owl that had a little prior training so it wouldn't be scared away by the gunfire. The crew got it to open its mouth by giving it little pieces of beef, and artificially induced screeches were added to the film in post production. The owl's reaction to Vinny shooting the gun was authentic and needed only one take. The director states on the DVD commentary, "we got amazingly lucky with that screech owl".
- Near the end of the trial, Sheriff Farley informs the court that "two boys, who fit the defendants' description, were arrested two days ago by Sheriff Tillman in Jasper County, Georgia." Sheriff 'Mack' Tillman was actually the real-life sheriff of Jasper County, at the time, where much of the film was shot, and this line was a hat-tip to him for the assistance he provided to the producers during filming.
- Austin Pendleton, a real-life stutterer, originally turned down the part of the stuttering John Gibbons. But he did it as a favor to his friend, Jonathan Lynn. According to Pendleton, he had trouble finding work in film for years because he became typecast as a stutterer.
- Final feature film of Fred Gwynne.
- Near the end of the film, as Vinny leaves, Fred Gwynne can be seen giving the exact same wave that he did as Herman Munster on [The Munsters].
- According to the DVD commentary, when Gambini says, "Now, Mrs. Riley, and ONLY Mrs. Riley, how many fingers am I holding up now?", Joe Pesci ad-libbed the "only Mrs. Riley!" part.
- Joe Pesci was 49, while Marisa Tomei was 27 when this movie was released.
- Joe Pesci won the Academy Award for Goodfellas while making this film and brought the award to the set to show cast and crew.
- During defense attorney John Gibbons' opening statement, if you look at the defense table behind him, you can see Stan, Bill, and Vinny all trying to hold in their laughter.
- When Judge Haller bluntly overruled Vinny's objection to the introduction of a surprise expert witness, he committed a blatant reversible error. Thus, Vinny would have had excellent grounds for appeal if his clients were convicted and a good chance to have their convictions overturned.
- [?] Lorraine Bracco was the first choice for the role of Mona Lisa Vito but declined the role.
- On the Dan Le Batard radio show, actor [?] Jim Belushi admitted he regretted that he turned down the title role in this film.
- When the judge warns Vinnie that he'd better show up in court with a full knowledge of Alabama law, he's setting Vinnie an impossible task. Alabama has the longest constitution of any state in the country, clocking in at more than 300,000 words. The U.S. constitution is only a bit more than 4,000 words.
- In the climatic scene where Mona Lisa was brought to the court as an expert witness in automotive general knowledge, it has been noted that Vinny had an alternative if Mona Lisa hadn't cooperated on the stand, or she was disqualified by the court as an expert. Namely, while it is discouraged by standard attorney ethics in most situations, the rules of court would have allowed Vinny to take the stand himself to testify as an expert in general automotive knowledge because he could not have anticipated at the beginning of the trial that such knowledge would be relevant.
- Joe Pesci's reportedly stands 5'4", Fred Gwynne was 6'5".
- Although Mona Lisa is correct in saying that Cheverolet did not introduce a 327 in the Bel-Air in 1955, she was incorrect in saying that it wasn't introduced with a 4 barrel carburetor until 1964. 1962 was the first year that the Bel-Air had a 327 and a 4 barrel carburetor.