A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Amphibians In Movies

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Snakes in Movies
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The Virgin Spring  (1960)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
The Virgin Spring The Virgin Spring The Virgin Spring
The Virgin Spring The Virgin Spring The Virgin Spring
In this winner of the Oscar for best foreigh film, Ingiri, a pregnant wild bastard woman, is jealous of Karin, the young virginal daughter of the rich family that has taken her into their family as a servant, and who flirts with the father of Karin's baby. She prays to the god Odin while the rest of the family is Christian. She is told to make a sandwich for Karin to take on her trip to the church. She starts to make a sandwhich when she notices a toad on the floor and picks it up. She takes two large pieces of flat round bread, scooping out the middle of each piece, then she puts the toad in the bread and wraps it up. This is either some kind of curse, or just a nasty thing to do to Karin. Or maybe it was a Swedish specialty in those days. (It is probably Bufo bufo, the only toad found in Sweden.)

As she and Karin make a long journey to a church, Ingiri goes into a jealous rage then freaks out, scared to go into the dark forest. Karin drops her off at the house of an old one-eyed toothless shaman guy with a creek pouring through his living room who says he can help Ingiri. He empties a dried up finger, a bat, and a couple of snakes out of a box, saying the snakes are a cure for your anguish and a cure for your woe.

Later when Karin is sharing her lunch with three goat-herding brothers, one of them drops the round sandwich and the toad pops out. This seems to make them very angry but it's hard to know if it's because they have now been cursed by the toad, or if they're just angry that she was trying to trick them into eating a toad. Or maybe it's because there was no mustard on the sandwich. Either way, the toad was more than they could take so they end up proving that young girls should not go roaming around in the woods alone.

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