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 starring Robert De Niro. The novel is a roman clef of the life of Joe Gallo whose fictional counterpart is played by Jerry Orbach in the film. This Mafia comedy tells of the member of an Italian cycling team (played by a young Robert De Niro) who gets lost in New York. He soon finds himself in trouble with the local Mafia and so masquerades as a priest. This film is one of De Niro's earliest. Originally, Al Pacino signed up to play the part of Mario Trantino, but this was later given to De Niro when Pacino was given the part of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. De Niro subsequently dropped out of The Godfather, having been cast as Paulie Gatto - which opened the doors for his return to the Godfather series with The Godfather: Part II.