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A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California


Snakes In Movies





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Snakes in Movies
Lizards in Movies
Turtles in Movies
Amphibians in Movies
Alligators and Crocodiles
in Movies
 
Snake Face
All Movie Snakes
Must Die!
All Movie Snakes
Want to Kill You!
Snake Bites
Snakes Used
as Weapons
Giant Monster Snakes with a Taste
for Human Flesh
Pet Snakes
Snakes Used
to Shock Us
Dancing With Snakes
Snake Charmers
Snake People
Snakes Used Realistically
Snakes Used for
Food or Medicine
Snake Fights
SnakeSexploitation
Throwing and
Whipping Snakes
 
Rattlesnakes
Cobras
Black Mambas
Boas, Pythons,
and Anacondas




observation link


Cleopatra (1963)
 
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
 
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After the Romans conquer her city of Alexandria, Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) the Queen of Egypt, hides in a tomb that was recently built for her. (It has a nice cobra door lock.) She sets all of her servants free except for two of her handmaidens who she asks to bring her some fruit. This is a signal for them to bring her a basket full of figs with a venomous snake in it. When Cleopatra opens the basket we can see the figs and we just barely see the snake moving around under them. But this movie version of Cleopatra doesn't pick up the snake and make it bite her on the breast like other Cleopatras. Taylor seems to wear a different (Oscar-winning) costume every time we see her (many with snake desings or accesories) and most of them are very low-cut in the front, but when she kills herself her breasts are not exposed, so maybe that's why she just puts her hand in the basket and lets the snake bite it. We see her wince, and that is the only indication that the snake has bitten her. Later when Octavius Caesar and his men discover Cleopatra's body lying ready for burial, we see the snake crawling away on the floor. Apparently, it also envenomated her two servants who lie dead below her next to the empty basket and spilled figs.

The snake is difficult to identify. Cleopatra was filmed partly in Spain and Italy so I assume they used a snake from the Mediterranean area, possibly a local species of viper, but it could also be a water snake or maybe a whip snake.
 

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