Sollozzo Profile in Mob Candy's Godfather Issue


Here's a story I wrote for Mob Candy's celebration of the Godfather's 40th Anniversary issue, a profile of Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo and the great actor who played him, Al Lettieri, who died too young.
Mob Candy's issue that highlighted The Godfather's 40th Anniversary issue included my profile of Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo and the great actor who played him, Al Lettieri.
Lettieri knew how
to speak Sicilian fluently.

You have to see Lettieri in Sam Peckinpah's 1972 violent masterpiece "The Getaway," based on the brisk book written by iconic pulp writer Jim Thompson. 

The Getaway, in which Lettieri plays a hood named Rudy Butler, the film's "heavy," was somehow released with a PG rating; this was quickly corrected and replaced with an R rating. The actor, who spoke Sicilian, put on weight (you won't believe you're looking at the sleek, barrel-chested guy who played the Turk when you see the film).





He plays one of the most sadistic outlaws you've seen in a movie. Rudy needs transportation, so he kidnaps a young married couple to help him head off Doc. Sally Struthers plays the young bride (yes, All in the Family's Gloria) who seems to enjoy the beastly Rudy's lustful needs. However, Rudy will only take her sexually when her husband, played by Jack Dodson, a star of the 1960s Andy Griffith Show, is watching.

He enjoys the man's humiliation and anger. Eventually, Dodson takes a bathroom break and commits suicide by hanging himself, and Rudy loses all interest in the woman.

Lettieri was said to be  friends
with Colombo mobster Joe Gallo


Rudy hunts McQueen, playing Doc, to El Paso for the film's conclusion. Doc mistakenly thinks he'd whacked the villainous back-stabber -- only Rudy was wearing a bulletproof vest....







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