Virgil Sollozzo

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Virgil Sollozzo
Virgil Sollozo.png
Virgil Sollozzo, as portrayed by Al Lettieri in The Godfather.
First appearance The Godfather
Created by Mario Puzo
Portrayed by Al Lettieri
Nickname(s) The Turk
Gender Male
Occupation Drug Lord

Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo (1898 - January 1946) is a fictional character and one of the main antagonists in Mario Puzo's The Godfather.

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 the book, Sollozzo speaks Sicilian to Michael Corleone because he feels he can better express himself in that language. In the film, his English seems to be native and accent-free, though he still communicates with Michael in Sicilian.

In Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation, he is portrayed by Al Lettieri.[1][2]

In the film[edit]

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. (However, later in the novel and the film it becomes apparent that Sollozzo was only following orders from Emilio Barzini). 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 duties. 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[edit]

In The Godfather: The Game, Virgil Sollozzo is voiced by Richard Newman.


  1. ^ "The Godfather (1972)". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger. "The Godfather". Retrieved 2014-07-07.