After honing his craft in theatre workshops and off-Broadway productions, De Niro's first big break came through his relationship with director Brian De Palma, who cast him in the Wedding Party, a movie filmed in 1963 but not released until 1969. They also worked together on Greetings (1968, pictured) and Hi Mom! (1970), and later on 1987's Oscar-winning The Untouchables. After these early roles, his career began to gather pace. He appeared as a Barker gang member in Blood Mama (1969), and he even paid his own passage to Italy to research a small role in The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971).