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
Throwing and
Whipping Snakes
Black Mambas
Boas, Pythons,
and Anacondas

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Soldier Blue (1970)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
  Soldier Blue  
After hundreds or more westerns showing Native Americans as bloodthirsty savages and white settlers as peace-loving Christians, this was one of the first films to attempt to revise that view of history to show Native Americans in a sympathetic light as people with a right to their land who are fighting to protect it and their way of life from the whites who wanted to take it all from them and exterminate them. (The parallels to the counterculture and the Viet Nam war and its attrocities that had been recently revealed at the time the film was made were certainly very obvious back in 1970.) The film culminates with a very graphic and bloody depiction of the terrible 1864 Sand Creek massacre in Colorado where the Colorado Territory volunteer cavalry (an inexperienced force that had to defend the area because the US Army was fighting the civil war) killed over 500 Cheyenne people, half of them women and children, scalping, dismembering, and raping many of them. In the beginning we do see the Cheyenne massacre a group of soldiers to rob them of their gold, but the film's message is essentially very one-sided, verging on propaganda, as revisionist history of any kind tends to be in its infancy. But that didn't bother me near as much as the annoying opposites attract romantic comedy nonsense that took up half the film.

In the beginning of the film we see a very young Candice Bergan, 20 years before she was Murphy Brown, in a wagon surrounded by military troops who are escorting her. The camera switches to a long shot of them as they ride away then suddenly sinks down to ground level past the still bloody ribs and carcass of a cow down to a rattlesnake that is crawling under the skull. Then it cuts back to the soldiers. Unlike the average viewer, I'm usually too interested in the snake to wonder about why it's being shown, but I think that here the cringeworthy creepyness of the snake and the carcass for most viewers is meant as a sign that something bad is going to happen to these soldiers. And it certainly does.

The rattlesnake is not a species from the US. The film was shot in Durango, Mexico, so the rattlesnake they used is most likely a species of rattlesnake found in Mexico.
Soldier Blue Soldier Blue Soldier Blue
Candice Bergan plays a white woman who was kidnapped by the Cheyenne and lived with them for two years, learning their medicine and way of living off the land. She was taken from them and was being sent to her fiance when the Cheyenne attacked her wagon. She escaped the attack with a soldier. They hid in a cave as he recuperated from a gunshot wound, and when he finally woke up he sees her cooking something. She tells him to try it and he likes it until she tells him it's snake, then he makes a sour face. We don't see the snake, just some meat hanging on a stick that could be snake or could be any other kind of meat formed into little strips.

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