The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight is a 1971 American crime comedy film directed by James Goldstone and written by Waldo Salt, based on the 1969 novel of the same title by Jimmy Breslin, which in turn was based on the life of gangster Joe Gallo. The film stars Jerry Orbach, Leigh Taylor-Young, Jo Van Fleet, Lionel Stander, Robert De Niro and Irving Selbst. The film was released on December 22, 1971, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


Kid Sally Palumbo (Jerry Orbach) grows jealous of his older, mobster boss Baccala (Lionel Stander), who has little respect for the crew Palumbo commands. Baccala allows Kid Sally to supervise a six-day bicycle race (for the purposes of keeping the money generated), and among the 12 Italian cyclists brought into the city is Mario Trantino (Robert De Niro), a budding thief. When the bicycle race does not take place due to outside interference, Sally is demoted to serving Baccala as a chauffeur, and Trantino stays in New York City to run his own cons, including masquerading as a priest. Kid Sally's mother Big Momma (Jo Van Fleet) urges him to take down the old, entrenched mobsters in power, but it appears the only fatalities are in his own camp, and the increase in violence draws the attention of the city police.

    More details

    contentLocation New York City
    director James Goldstone
    editor Edward A. Biery
    genre comedy crime
    keywords bicycle race masquerade
    musicBy Dave Grusin
    producer Irwin Winkler Robert Chartoff
    productionCompany Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    publisher Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    theme crime comedy mafia comedy