Click on a picture to enlarge it

Lizards in Movies
It Came from Outer Space (1953)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
This is a very good aliens-landing-on-earth science fiction movie written by Ray Bradbury and made during the flying saucer and aliens craze of the 1950s. It has a brief lizard cameo that's funny for anyone who knows their lizards. It's also a lot of fun for the goofy special effects and alien costumes.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
Astronomer and writer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) and school teacher Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) return to the place in the Arizona desert where they think they saw an alien that escaped from a space ship that crashed the previous night. The aliens have started capturing townspeople and taking on their physical appearance, making it hard to know who is human and who is an alien. (Later they capture Ellen and show up as her wearing a fancy evening dress.) John and Ellen are beginning to get scared. After they get out of their car, in a scene meant to be ominous and creepy, John starts talking about the desert:

John: "It's alive."
Ellen: "And yet it looks so dead out there."
John: "Oh, no, it's alive and waiting for you.
They see a lizard on a rock below them and turn their heads to watch it climb off a rock.
John: "Ready to kill you if you go too far. The sun will get you, or the cold at night. A thousand ways the desert can kill."

The lizard is a harmless Southern Alligator Lizard, which we're probably supposed to think is one of the thousand ways the desert can kill you. I had to laugh at the ominous use of a harmless lizard that doesn't even live in the desert to illustrate how dangerous the desert can be, but John's words are still true. The desert is quiet but deadly. To be fair, they also show a spider along with the lizard, but they should have some the real dangers of the desert, like a rattlesnake, the afternoon sun, or a truck full of drunks with guns.

The movie was shot in the California desert as well as on Hollywood sets. The lizard was most likely shot on a set, but that still doesn't excuse them from using a lizard that is common in coastal southern California, but not in the deserts.