The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight Reviews

  • May 31, 2013

    Dated and dull slow paced comedy about rival mafia gangs.Lots of star tho.

    Dated and dull slow paced comedy about rival mafia gangs.Lots of star tho.

  • Feb 23, 2013

    An early Rob't DeNiro flick with Jerry Orbach, Lionel Stander, Herve' Villechaise (with dubbed-in tough guy bass voice), Burt Young and a host of great character actors like Jo Van Fleet, frank Campanella, Phil Bruns, Jack Kehoe, Michael V. Gazzo and ad infintum. This is a crude awkward black comedy, based on the Jimmy Breslin novel. It still makes me laugh.

    An early Rob't DeNiro flick with Jerry Orbach, Lionel Stander, Herve' Villechaise (with dubbed-in tough guy bass voice), Burt Young and a host of great character actors like Jo Van Fleet, frank Campanella, Phil Bruns, Jack Kehoe, Michael V. Gazzo and ad infintum. This is a crude awkward black comedy, based on the Jimmy Breslin novel. It still makes me laugh.

  • Feb 16, 2013

    The two best things in this film are one, that I figured out where Big Audio Dynamite got one of their samples ("I'm concerned over the possibility of another gang war.") and two, Jerry Orbach's gorgeous head of hair. Other than that, there's not a lot to recommend about this not so funny mafia comedy.

    The two best things in this film are one, that I figured out where Big Audio Dynamite got one of their samples ("I'm concerned over the possibility of another gang war.") and two, Jerry Orbach's gorgeous head of hair. Other than that, there's not a lot to recommend about this not so funny mafia comedy.

  • Oct 29, 2011

    To be fair it was pretty funny but it had an anti-climactic ending,funny seeing De Niro that young, good comedy.

    To be fair it was pretty funny but it had an anti-climactic ending,funny seeing De Niro that young, good comedy.

  • Mar 13, 2011

    Despite what people say, I have come to the conclusion that this crime comedy is actually really funny. Just having watched it for the fourth time or so, it hasnâ(TM)t bored me yet, which counts for something, I should think. True, some of the slapstick stuff is over the top (Big Momma, the nonchalance surrounding death and Mafia funerals, the lion â" which, by the way, changes from a lioness into a lion in the course of the movie â" or at least the manes become a lot longer), but the basis is very good. Jerry Orbach (as gang leader Kid Sally) and Lionel Stander (as Mafia boss Baccala) make this one worth while. One detail in particular that I liked a lot is the running commentary of the press, which is often synchronous to the events themselves. This also shows how serious crime had become in the early seventies: gangs seemed to be ruling the world and none of the authorities could do something about it (chief of police being backed into a corner by the lion, mayor with disinterested wife throwing up in the toilet, etc.). The many funny scenes give us a (tongue-in-cheek) insight into the common practices of criminal gangs (protection rackets, car bombs, gang rivalry, Roman Catholicism as the big excuse). To divert attention and possibly to provide variation on the obvious theme, the director added the character of Mario (a very young Robert de Niro), a petty thief trying to make his way in the world (his ideal world being the USA), linking up with Angela (Leigh Taylor-Young), Kid Sallyâ(TM)s decent sister. On the one hand, this addition slows down the action in the second part of the movie. On the other hand, it offers new comedy possibilities, different from the ones we have already seen. Angela and Marioâ(TM)s final separation is kind of contrived, but the final scene of the movie is great again. And there are some scenes I just canâ(TM)t get out of my head, like the one in which Baccala adresses his altar, saying he is willing to âgiva this creep a last chance. Just for youâ?, and so many similar ones.

    Despite what people say, I have come to the conclusion that this crime comedy is actually really funny. Just having watched it for the fourth time or so, it hasnâ(TM)t bored me yet, which counts for something, I should think. True, some of the slapstick stuff is over the top (Big Momma, the nonchalance surrounding death and Mafia funerals, the lion â" which, by the way, changes from a lioness into a lion in the course of the movie â" or at least the manes become a lot longer), but the basis is very good. Jerry Orbach (as gang leader Kid Sally) and Lionel Stander (as Mafia boss Baccala) make this one worth while. One detail in particular that I liked a lot is the running commentary of the press, which is often synchronous to the events themselves. This also shows how serious crime had become in the early seventies: gangs seemed to be ruling the world and none of the authorities could do something about it (chief of police being backed into a corner by the lion, mayor with disinterested wife throwing up in the toilet, etc.). The many funny scenes give us a (tongue-in-cheek) insight into the common practices of criminal gangs (protection rackets, car bombs, gang rivalry, Roman Catholicism as the big excuse). To divert attention and possibly to provide variation on the obvious theme, the director added the character of Mario (a very young Robert de Niro), a petty thief trying to make his way in the world (his ideal world being the USA), linking up with Angela (Leigh Taylor-Young), Kid Sallyâ(TM)s decent sister. On the one hand, this addition slows down the action in the second part of the movie. On the other hand, it offers new comedy possibilities, different from the ones we have already seen. Angela and Marioâ(TM)s final separation is kind of contrived, but the final scene of the movie is great again. And there are some scenes I just canâ(TM)t get out of my head, like the one in which Baccala adresses his altar, saying he is willing to âgiva this creep a last chance. Just for youâ?, and so many similar ones.

  • Mar 01, 2011

    This is a really bad movie. I watched it to see early De Niro and Jerry Orbach. But it's a dumb mafia movie, and I don't think it was every supposed to be anything more.

    This is a really bad movie. I watched it to see early De Niro and Jerry Orbach. But it's a dumb mafia movie, and I don't think it was every supposed to be anything more.

  • Jun 18, 2009

    A funny take on gang violence....amazing how young all these chaps look... cool for a relaxed evening

    A funny take on gang violence....amazing how young all these chaps look... cool for a relaxed evening

  • Mar 16, 2009

    Very funny and very underrated (especially for a De Niro film). One of those movies I laugh at just as hard as when I watched it the first time.

    Very funny and very underrated (especially for a De Niro film). One of those movies I laugh at just as hard as when I watched it the first time.

  • Feb 23, 2009

    More like the gang that couldn't stay funny or keep my interest.

    More like the gang that couldn't stay funny or keep my interest.

  • Sep 21, 2008

    Yes, a bit out of wack! But plenty of slap stick humor for the 70's at its time! Its an OK movie, nothing to write home about! The grandmother is hillarious!

    Yes, a bit out of wack! But plenty of slap stick humor for the 70's at its time! Its an OK movie, nothing to write home about! The grandmother is hillarious!