Click on a picture to enlarge it

Lizards in Movies
Male and Female  (1919)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
Male and Female Male and Female Male and Female
I was very surprised to see a Gila Monster in this great Cecil B. DeMille silent movie from 1919. So far, it's the earliest appearance by a Gila Monster in a movie that I've found. (It might also be a Mexican Beaded Lizard, it's hard to see.)

Lila Lee is Tweeny, a Maid, who is on a yachting trip from England to the south seas with an English Lord and his family, including a spoiled rich girl played by Gloria Swanson. The ship sinks and they all become stranded on a deserted island. (I'm pretty sure it's Catalina Island with a bunch of added fake palm trees.) Two years later the women are shooting arrows and dressing like Robin Hood and they're all living in a house with their butler in charge.

When she is looking around the island for food, Tweeny looks down to see a Gila Monster crawl out from some dead palm fronds. She runs away in terror.

We see a real Gila Monster crawling in the dirt. I assume it was filmed at a studio and edited into the scene later.