|First appearance||The Godfather|
|Created by||Mario Puzo|
|Portrayed by||Al Lettieri|
In the novel, it is said that he got his nickname because he has a nose like a Turkish scimitar. He also has a Turkish-American wife and children, and does much of his business (growing poppy) in Turkey. In Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation, he is portrayed by Al Lettieri.
In the film
At the beginning, during the opening credits, before the scene of Connie's wedding, Virgil meets with Sonny, without Don Corleone's knowledge. This is the inspiration for the attempt on the Don's life: Sonny has already been receptive to Sollozzo's proposal.
Sollozzo arrives in New York and enlists the aid of the Tattaglia family for his new heroin business. He then goes to the Corleone family to obtain money and protection from the police and courts. Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) refuses, however, stating that the drug business is bad for the neighborhoods and would strain his political connections.
Sollozzo, realizing that Vito's eldest son and Corleone family underboss Sonny (James Caan) would be more receptive to the heroin trade, decides to murder Vito. At the same time, he abducts Corleone family consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) and tells him to convince Sonny that he should accept the original deal and forego vengeance for his father's death. Hagen promises to calm Sonny down, but warns of an inevitable reprisal by Luca Brasi (Lenny Montana), Vito's fanatically loyal bodyguard and hitman. Unbeknownst to Hagen, however, Sollozzo had anticipated this and already killed Brasi.
Following his meeting with Hagen, Sollozzo learns that Vito is still alive. He sends agents to the hospital to again try to kill Vito after first having McCluskey (Sterling Hayden), a police captain in Sollozzo's pocket, arrest the men guarding Don Corleone at the hospital and pull the police guards outside the Don's hospital room to other duty. But the plans fall through after Vito's youngest son Michael (Al Pacino) arrives at the scene, finds all the guards gone, suspects that Sollozzo is about to make another assassination attempt, and is able to save his father. He tricks the assassins into thinking that he is guarding the Don, and the stir up eventually ends with McCluskey being summoned. McCluskey confronts Michael and punches him, breaking his jaw. Hagen arrives shortly afterwards with guards who are legally licensed to carry weapons; McCluskey cannot arrest them without raising suspicions about his motives, and so backs out.
Soon thereafter, Sollozzo seeks a meeting with Michael to resolve the hostilities. Under McCluskey's personal protection, Sollozzo meets with Michael in a restaurant. Although Michael is frisked before the meeting, a revolver had been planted behind the overhead tank of a toilet in the lavatory of the restaurant. Michael excuses himself and goes to the bathroom to retrieve the revolver. When he returns, he draws the gun and shoots Sollozzo in the forehead, killing him instantly, and kills McCluskey seconds later.
In the game