The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

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The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight
JimmyBreslin TheGangThatCouldn'tShootStraight.jpg
First edition cover
Author Jimmy Breslin
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
1969
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 249 pp
ISBN 0-09-102080-8
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight
Directed by James Goldstone
Produced by Robert Chartoff
Irwin Winkler
Written by Jimmy Breslin
Waldo Salt
Starring Jerry Orbach
Leigh Taylor-Young
Jo Van Fleet
Lionel Stander
Roz Kelly
Robert De Niro
Music by Dave Grusin
Cinematography Owen Roizman
Edited by Edward A. Biery
Distributed by MGM
Release dates 1971
Running time 96 minutes
Language English

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 America 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.

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