American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"My Cousin Vinny" (1992)


Defense Council Vincent Gambini Cross Examines Mr. Tipton

Audio mp3 delivered by Joe Pesci and Maury Chaykin



Gambini: Mr. Tipton, when you viewed the defendants walking from their car into the Sac-O-Suds, what angle was your point of view?

   Mr. Tipton: They was kinda walkin' toward me when the entered the store.

Gambini: And when they left, what angle was your point of view?

Mr. Tipton: They was kinda walkin' away from me.

Gambini: So you would say you gotta better shot of 'em goin' in and not so much comin' out?

Mr. Tipton: You could say that.

Gambini: I did say that. Would you say that?

Mr. Tipton: Yeah.

Gambini: Is is possible, the two yutes --

  Judge Haller: Uh, two what? Uh, uh, what was that word?

Gambini: Uh, what word?

Judge Haller: Two what?

Gambini: What?

  Judge Haller: Did you say "yutes"?

Gambini: Yeah, two yutes.

Judge Haller: What is a yute?


Gambini: Oh, excuse me Your Honor: two youTHs.


Gambini: [getting back to the witness]. Is it possible the two defendants [glancing over at Judge Haller who displays unmitigated annoyance] entered the store, picked 22 specific items off of the shelves, had the clerk take money, make change, then leave?

Gambini: Then, two different men drive up in a sim -- [witness Tipton shakes head "no"] Don't shake your head. I'm not done yet. Wait til you hear the whole thing, so you can understand this thing -- Two different men drive up in a similar-looking car, go in, shoot the clerk, rob him, and then leave?

Mr. Tipton: No. They didn't have enough time.

Gambini: Well how much time was they in the store?

Mr. Tipton: Five minutes.

Gambini: Five minutes? Are you sure? Did you look at your watch?

Mr. Tipton: No.

Gambini: Oh, oh, oh, I'm sorry, you testified earlier that the boys went into the store and you had just begun to make breakfast. You were just ready to eat. You heard a gun shot. That's right, I'm sorry. So obviously it takes you five minutes to make breakfast.

Mr. Tipton: That's right.

Gambini: Right, so you knew that. Uh, do you remember what you had?

Mr. Tipton: Eggs and grits.

Gambini: Eggs and grits. I like grits too. How do you cook your grits? You like 'em regular, creamy, or al dente?

Mr. Tipton: Just regular, I guess.

Gambini: Regular. Instant grits?

  Mr. Tipton: No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.

Gambini: So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you five minutes to cook your grits, when it takes the entire grit-eating world 20 minutes.

Mr. Tipton: I don't know. I'm a fast cook, I guess.

Gambini: I'm sorry, I was all the way over here. I couldn't hear you. Did you say you're a fast cook? That's it?! Are we to believe that boiling waters soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than on any place on the face of the earth?!

Mr. Tipton: I don't know.

Gambini: Well perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove! Were these magic grits? I mean, did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?!

D.A. Trotter: Objection, Your Honor!

Judge Haller: Objection sustained.

Gambini: Are you sure about that five minutes?

Mr. Tipton: I don't know.

Judge Haller: Mr. Tipton you can ignore the question.

Gambini: Are you sure about that five minutes?

Mr. Tipton: I don't know.

Judge Haller: Mr. Gambini, I think you've made your point.

Gambini: Are you sure about that five minutes?!!

Mr. Tipton: I may have been mistaken.

Gambini: I got no more use for this guy.

Rothenstein: [to his counsel] You're fired.

[pointing to Gambini] I want him!

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.