The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight
First edition cover
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The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight is a 1969 novel written by Jimmy Breslin, and a film of the same name based on the book and released in 1971. The novel is a roman à clef based on the life of Joey Gallo.
In the 1971 film version of the novel, Kid Sally Palumbo – the character based on Joe Gallo, also known as "Crazy Joey" – is played by Jerry Orbach. The Mafia comedy features a young Robert De Niro as a member of an Italian cycling team who stays behind illegally in the United States after the cancellation of the race, for which he had come to the country. For money, he is an adept thief who masquerades as a priest to con Mafia bosses into giving donations to a nonexistent charity.
This film is one of De Niro's earliest. Originally, Al Pacino signed up to play the part of Mario Trantino, but the role was given to De Niro when Pacino was cast as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Taking this role also kept DeNiro from being cast as Vito Corleone’s driver Paulie in The Godfather, which would have prevented him being cast later as young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II. Cast member Carmine Caridi had a small role in both Godfather I and II.
- The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight at the Internet Movie Database
- The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight: A Novel at Amazon.com
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