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

observation link

The Yearling (1946)
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 Yearling The Yearling The Yearling
The Yearling The Yearling The Yearling
The Yearling is a best-cinematography-Oscar-winning coming of age tearjerker about a young boy and his family who farm and hunt in a forest in the middle of Florida. There is some great wildlife photography including dogs chasing a bear through the woods then fighting it, but there's also a run-of-the-mill conventional rattesnake scene. The boy and his father, Gregory Peck, are searching for some stolen pigs when the father reaches down to move some plants and he gets too close to a rattlesnake and gets bitten. Then he shoots the snake with his rifle. I guess the reasoning behind always shooting a venomous snake, even when it is not a threat to you or no longer a threat, is to make sure the snake doesn't bite anyone else, but by that logic you might as well just set fire to the entire forest and destroy everything dangerous in it. He then sucks the wound and shoots a doe that happens to show up. He puts the doe's heart and liver on the wound to extract the venom. I don't know if that is an actual folk treatment for snakebite or one made up for the book or the movie. The real reason for the snakebite scene isn't to tell us anything about Peck, who eventually survives, it's to give him an excuse to kill a mother doe so the boy can take the fawn as a pet, which grows up to be the yearling of the film's title

The first snake we see striking at a man's arm is a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake which does not occur in Florida. It looks like they might have used a pane of glass between the arm and the snake or maybe they sewed the snake's mouth shut even though the movie had a disclaimer at the end that all of the animals were monitored by the American Humane Society. The snake that is shot is a different rattlesnake, possibly an Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnake which is found in Florida. It's a real snake that is not shown long enough to know if it's alive or dead. It does look like they shot it, or used a small explosive charge, to send it flying up, but no blood or damage is seen so maybe they used some of that Hollywood magic to fool me. Or maybe they really killed a live snake because as I aready implied, I doubt the Humane Society would care about a rattlesnake.

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