My Cousin Vinny movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was My Cousin Vinny filmed?

1992

About My Cousin Vinny

Released in 1992, My Cousin Vinny is a comedy helmed by Jonathan Lynn who also directed the 2003 NAACP Image Award-winning musical The Fighting Temptations. Featuring a star-studded cast, it’s also the production that got us better acquainted with Marisa Tomei.

The premise revolves around Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci), a streetwise attorney from Brooklyn. He travels to Alabama accompanied by his girlfriend Mona Lisa Vito (Marissa Tomei) to defend his nephew Bill Gambini (Ralph Macchio) against trumped-up murder charges.

Bill and his buddy Stan Rothenstein (Mitchel Whitfield) are arrested for the murder of a store clerk. The pair, who are originally from New York, and driving through rural Alabama on their way to enroll at UCLA, stop by a convenience store to stock up. They end up unintentionally shoplifting a can of tuna.

Once they leave the store, a robbery takes place and it claims the life of the clerk. Having confessed to the shoplifting, the two are pegged for the murder, with Bill charged as the main suspect and Stan as an accessory.

Vinny, who finally passed the bar after five failed attempts, isn’t equipped to handle a murder case. He is a personal injury lawyer and doesn’t have any trial experience. Still, he manages to hoodwink Judge Chamberlain Haller (Fred Gwynne) who allows him to try the case.

Vinny’s inexperience brings about the humor alongside the hilarious interactions he and Mona Lisa Vito have with the reserved Southern folks. Critics praised the performances by Pesci, Gwynne, and Tomei who earned a Best Supporting Oscar for her role.

Legal professionals also lauded the movie for accurately depicting trial strategy and court proceedings. The My Cousin Vinny production team also smiled to the bank, having earned $64.1 million collectively at the box office against a production budget of $11 million.

City Locations

Monticello, Georgia

Location Types

Buildings/Offices, Diners/Coffee, Hotels/Motels, Retail

Location Styles

Americana/ Anywhere America, Hotel/Motel Style, Office Building Style

My Cousin Vinny Locations

Monticello, Georgia, served as the primary filming location of My Cousin Vinny. Set against the backdrop of rural Alabama, three towns in Georgia stood in for the fictional Wahzoo City. That includes the towns of Gainesville, Bostwick, and Alto.

The town of Monticello is rooted in the 1600s, and locals fondly refer to it as the “Deer Capital of Georgia.” The architecture and landscape around Georgia mirror what you expect to see in the deep south.

The opening scene features a montage showcasing various locations around Eatonton, rural Georgia, and Monticello. Several real-life locations are still standing and worth a visit for anyone who ends up in Georgia.

Before mapping out your movie-inspired itinerary, take a virtual tour of some of the My Cousin Vinny locations as we explore where the production team filmed some of the film’s best scenes.

Fun facts:

In his college days, screenwriter Dale Launer encountered a law student who had failed his bar exam 12 times before finally passing on his 13th attempt. Inspired by the student’s willingness to keep taking the exams until he passed, Launer wrote the story based on the premise of the events that would unfold after the said lawyer started practicing.

Car trouble scene in My Cousin Vinny

Monticello Town Square

In one of the earlier scenes, Vinny and Lisa, who have just arrived in tow, stop to sort out an issue with their car. Lisa, who is wearing a short skirt and black tights, gets out of the vehicle for a stretch, and Vinny teases her for sticking out.

Further proving his point, she starts taking pictures of their surroundings and says that the town looks like it has terrible Chinese food. A local walking by explains that they have mud on their tires. He adds that the town is famous for its mud. Lisa then asks, “Famous for mud… how’s your Chinese food?”

Downtown Monticello served as the backdrop of Wahzoo City where the majority of the film unfolds. The Monticello town square is where they filmed the car trouble scene. Several local businesses also had their screen time, and that includes when the movie showed vehicles driving past Forsyth Street.

Bill pockets a can of tuna scene in My Cousin Vinny

Sac-O-Suds, State Road 16

One of the film’s first scenes sees Bill and Stan make a pit stop to stock up for their road trip. They enter the Sac-O-Suds convenience store and pick up various items while debating about generic versus brand canned goods. Bill spots canned tuna and gets into another debate with Stan about it.

He says they should get tuna for the protein, and Stan points out that they’ve gotten beans which are also rich in proteins. Bill points out that “beans make you fart” and proceeds to reach out for a can of tuna. With his hands full, he unintentionally stuffs the can in his jacket pockets and continues balancing the load precariously.

Sac-O-Suds, the ill-fated convenience store, somewhat, doesn’t have a better fate off the screen. Located at Monticello, GA 31064, along State Road 16, the store remained closed for years until 2014, when it reopened.

On your tubing trip to the Ocmulgee River, stop by the convenience store to grab some movie-inspired memorabilia, bait, tackle, and barbecue. A visit to the My Cousin Vinny filming location is even more worthwhile because you’ll also get the opportunity to pose next to the signed movie poster and peruse the original script.

Sweeten the deal by grabbing a can of tuna from the store but don’t make the same mistake Stan and Bill made. From downtown Monticello, the store is 9.5 miles west, and if you are navigating your way from the Ocmulgee River bridge, you’ll find it to the east.

Jerry Gallo scene in My Cousin Vinny

Jasper County Historic Courthouse

After Vinny pulls a fast one over the judge, he discusses his grand scheme with Lisa outside the courthouse. Vinny explained to the judge that during his acting days, he found out there was already a thespian going by Vincent Gambone, and that’s why he opted for the legal name change.

Lisa asks him what name he presumably assumed, and Bill tells her he chose Jerry Gallo. His girlfriend asks if that was a smart move, given that Gallo is an accomplished lawyer who made the headlines the previous week.

Vinny says that’s the point, and if the judge checks up the name, he’ll come across the newspaper articles. Lisa insists, “But you didn’t read the articles?” If only he had read the papers, he would have avoided usurping the identity of a deceased lawyer.

The Jasper County Historic Courthouse provided the setting for exterior courthouse scenes and a few interior shots. Besides being a My Cousin Vinny filming location, it served as the backdrop for other productions like “Murder in Coweta County” and “The Bingo Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.”

The neoclassical-style brick building is at Monticello, GA 31064. Historically, it’s the County’s third Courthouse, with a cupola clock tower, shaped like a hexagon, as one of the building’s stand-out features. Inside, you’ll find a striking cast-iron staircase and beautiful stained woodwork.

New suit scene in My Cousin Vinny

Covington, Georgia

After the judge warns Vinny not to turn up to court with an outfit that isn’t “lawyerly,” he ends up with an ill-fitting suit. The judge is cross and asks if he’s mocking him by turning up to court wearing the suit, that’s visibly too small.

Vinny gives a winded explanation saying that the previous suit he bought got covered in mud. He blames the town’s lack of a one-hour cleaner for having to resort to buying yet another suit.

The only store that sells suits happened to be closed down because of the flu, and he settled for the ill-fitting suit he found at a secondhand store. The courthouse also spawned the cult-famous line, “What is a yute?”

For the interior scenes at the courthouse, the My Cousin Vinny production team converted a warehouse in Covington into a film set. Interviewed by Rolling Stone, Bruce McGill (Sheriff Dean Farley) explained that the frequent downpours experienced in Georgia rendered the warehouse useless for sound recording.

The rain made it sound as if they were recording the film inside a drum, according to McGill, and they had to halt filming several times while waiting for the rain to let up. Despite the setbacks, the courthouse set is attributed to adding authenticity to the production.

First time in prison scene in My Cousin Vinny

Lee Arrendale State Prison, Alto, Georgia

Bill and Stan are taken to prison, the first time for both. In contrast, other inmates are burly, vicious-looking while the two are clean-cut, young lads. As they make their way to a cell, the other inmates hoot and wolf-whistle.

In their cell, Stan tells Bill, “Sometimes there's a big guy no one wants to tangle with who'll 'protect you' - but you have to become his s*x slave and do anything he wants.”

The Lee Arrendale State Prison provided the setting for the My Cousin Vinny prison scenes. Filming the scenes within and around the maximum-security prison added to the authenticity.

The correctional facility has since transformed into a women’s prison, and unless you are a state guest or visiting an inmate, we are not sure if you can drop by to explore the grounds. A drive on 2023 Gainesville Highway will still allow you to get a glimpse of the filming location.

Squealing pigs scene in My Cousin Vinny

Susie Agnes Hotel, now the Bostwick City Hall

Vinny and Lisa put up at a hotel while in town for the trial, and one morning, they were woken up by the sound of squealing pigs. Sticking his head out the window, he spots a sign over the building next door reading Johnson’s Pork Products.

Trying to go back to sleep, he covers his head with a pillow trying to drown out the sound of the pigs getting slaughtered. Needless to say, it didn’t work. It’s also where Vinny delivered one of his memorable lines “Lisa, I don’t need this… I’ve got a judge that’s just aching to throw me in jail, an idiot who wants to fight me for two hundred dollars, slaughtered pigs, giant loud whistle.”

Located at 5951 Bostwick Rd, Bostwick, GA, the old Susie Agnes Hotel served as a filming location for the hotel scenes. Dating back to 1902, the brick building now houses the Bostwick City Hall, and sadly, they don’t sell any pig t-shirts on the premises.

The James S. Thrasher Memorial is where Vinny saw the pig business sign. Several transit lines will get you to the My Cousin Vinny location including buses 7, 105, 46K, 33B, and 49.

Conclusion

You are now armed with a list of My Cousin Vinny filming locations to include on your Georgia itinerary. While at it, also schedule a visit to the Mitchell’s Department Store. That’s where Vinny bought a cloth-made suit that was “lawyerly” and appropriate to wear in court.

It’s the suit that ended up in the mud leading him to purchase the second ill-fitting ensemble. The location of the secondhand shop where he bought the second suit now operates as a nail salon.

The Dave’s Bar-B-Que and Soul Food restaurant is where they filmed the scene where Vinny and Lisa got into an argument while brainstorming a defense strategy.

The first motel where Vinny and Lisa stayed and couldn’t get a good night’s sleep is the General Putnam Motel at 774 Madison Road. AirPower, at State Road 11, served as the setting for the Wahzoo City Hotel.