Virgil Sollozzo

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Virgil Sollazzo
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
Information
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. This may be to prevent corrupt Captain McCluskey, who is also in attendance, from understanding what they are saying.

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 Tattagila crime family's aid for his new narcotics business. He asks the Corleone family for financial backing and to provide legal protection and political influence in return for a large cut of the profits. Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) declines the offer, stating that the narcotics business is bad for neighborhoods and would damage his political alliances.

Sollozzo, realizing that Vito's eldest son and Corleone family underboss, Sonny (James Caan), was receptive to his offer, attempts to have Vito assassinated. (In the novel and the film it becomes apparent later that Sollozzo was following Emilio Barzini's) orders.) Sollozzo also abducts Corleone family consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall). He tells Hagen to persuade Sonny to accept his original deal and forego avenging his father's death. Hagen agrees to try, but warns that Luca Brasi (Lenny Montana), Vito's fanatically loyal bodyguard and hitman, will retaliate against Sollozzo. Unbeknownst to Hagen, Sollozzo had Brasi murdered.

Vito survives the shooting but is seriously wounded. Sollozzo orders McCluskey (Sterling Hayden), a corrupt NYPD police captain on Sollozzo's payroll, to arrest or remove every hospital guard before making another assassination attempt. The plan is thwarted when Vito's youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), discovers his father is unprotected. Fearing an imminent attack, he and an ally pretend to be guards outside the hospital, tricking the would-be assassins driving by. Captain McCluskey arrives and in confrontation, breaks Michael's jaw. Hagen quickly arrives with licensed armed guards, forcing McCluskey to leave.

Soon after, Sollozzo arranges a meeting with Michael, supposedly to resolve the hostilities. Under McCluskey's personal protection, Sollozzo meets with Michael in a Bronx restaurant. Corleone operatives have planted a gun in the restaurant's lavatory. During the meeting, Michael becomes convinced that Sollozzo is planning another attempt on Vito's life. Michael excuses himself to go the bathroom where he retrieves the revolver. Returning, he draws the gun and fatally shoots Sollozzo in the forehead, then kills McCluskey seconds later.

In the game[edit]

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

References[edit]

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