Double Feature

Donnie Brasco

The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

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Donnie Brasco

Johnny Depp is undercover special agent Joe Pistone, who infiltrates the mob as Donnie Brasco – “He’s a jewel guy.” Donnie is brought into the mafia crew by Lefty, a nuanced role by Al Pacino and the two men form a deep bond, with Lefty becoming a mob mentor to Donnie, “A wiseguy’s always right, even when he’s wrong.” Michael Madsen is formidable as Sonny Black, an ambitious, mid-level mob manager, that must make sure his blue-collar crew of Lefty, Donnie, Nicky (Bruno Kirby) and Paulie (James Russo) are kicking back enough “vig” to the men up the mob ladder above them. You won’t find any teased hair, eyeliner or eccentric wardrobe accessories on Depp as Brasco, just the tape recorder he hides in his boot, the leather jacket he wears to blend in and his soulful eyes that are constantly observing. The violence in Donnie Brasco is bloody and often unpredictable, with a dismemberment scene that would make Jeffrey Dahmer squeamish.

Garret Mathany discusses Donnie Brasco on the New Beverly blog.

Director
Mike Newell
Starring
Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche
Year
1997
Rated
R
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
127 minutes

The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

All hilarious hell breaks loose in New York’s criminal underworld when Kid Sally (Jerry Orbach) leads a bunch of small-timers in a gang war against the Boss in The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Based on the comic novel by Jimmy Breslin, the original story was inspired by the real-life exploits of Crazy Joe Gallo and his South Brooklyn gang. A pre-Mean Streets Robert De Niro co-stars as a kleptomaniac Italian cyclist. He got so deep into character he wound up arrested for shoplifting! Also featuring Burt Young, Jo Van Fleet and Herve Villechaize in memorable supporting roles.

View the original advertising press book for The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight on the New Beverly forum.

Director
James Goldstone
Starring
Jerry Orbach, Leigh Taylor-Young, Jo Van Fleet, Lionel Stander, Robert De Niro, Herve Villechaize
Year
1971
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
96 minutes

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