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The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971)

This is the funny story about two warring Mafia gangs in New York City. The weaker gang uses a lion to blackmail the opposite gang's "clients". The police succeed in stopping one of the gangs, while the other remains without the boss.

Director:

James Goldstone

Writers:

Jimmy Breslin (novel), Waldo Salt
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Kid Sally
Leigh Taylor-Young ... Angela
Jo Van Fleet ... Big Momma
Lionel Stander ... Baccala
Robert De Niro ... Mario
Irving Selbst Irving Selbst ... Big Jelly
Hervé Villechaize ... Beppo (as Herve Villechaize)
Joe Santos ... Exmo
Carmine Caridi ... Tony, the Indian
Frank Campanella Frank Campanella ... Water Buffalo
Harry Basch ... DeLauria
Sander Vanocur ... Television Commentator
Philip Bruns ... Gallagher (as Phil Bruns)
Philip Sterling ... District Attorney Goodman
Jack Kehoe ... Bartender
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Storyline

This is the funny story about two warring Mafia gangs in New York City. The weaker gang uses a lion to blackmail the opposite gang's "clients". The police succeed in stopping one of the gangs, while the other remains without the boss.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gang | police | lion | mafia | gang war | See All (10) »

Taglines:

The hilarious comedy about dis-Organized Crime.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some violence, racial slurs, drug use and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 1972 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A banda, amelyik nem tudott jól lőni See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To prepare for his role as a newly arrived Italian immigrant, Robert De Niro went to Italy for a week to record voices of the accent he required. See more »

Goofs

The lion in the back of the van is female. By the time it gets to the basement, it has become a male. See more »

Connections

Featured in Casting By (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A Comic Misfire
2 February 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971)

** (out of 4)

Weak adaptation of the Jimmy Breslin novel (adapted by Waldo Salt) about a Mafia family (led by Jerry Orbach) who try to take out a rival crime boss but every time they get close to killing him something goes wrong. I haven't read the novel that this film is based on but I've heard it's actually quite funny. With that said, clearly something didn't come over from the page to the screen and I think a lot of the blame has to go to director James Goldstone. The entire movie has such a serious tone that you're often having to remind yourself that you're watching a comedy because the film just needs to loosen up and let the cast do their job. For the life of me I couldn't understand why the comic moments weren't handled better and there are several scenes that should have been so much funnier. One example is when a couple guys are chasing a man they want to kill but they get to some dirty water and they don't want to mess up their expensive shoes. Flat. Another sequence happens when we learn that Mafia leaders send their wives out to start the car each morning just in case there's a bomb. Flat. The strange thing is that a love story breaks out between Orbach's daughter (Leigh Taylor- Young) and a guy named Mario (Robert DeNiro). This love story is actually the best thing about the film and I wondered if perhaps the two actors were so good that they just kept building up more scenes around them. Considering how far DeNiro's name is in the credits and the fact that he's got perhaps the biggest role tells you something. Both of them are quite good together and it's fun seeing a young DeNiro looking exactly like he did a few years later in MEAN STREETS only here he's nice. Orbach is good in his role as is Jo Van Fleet, Burt Young and Herve Villechaize who would appear in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN in a couple years. THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT is certainly a complete misfire in terms of a comedy but fans of DeNiro might want to check it out. It's also worth noting that his role was originally going to be played by Al Pacino but he had to back-out once Paramount agreed to let him have the part of Michael in THE GODFATHER.


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