Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This is a surprisingly good western with a good cast. The snake scene, on the other hand, is the kind of stupid cliche that I have come to expect in a western, good or bad, because snakes are always seen as mythical monsters and not as simple biological organisms. But the snake scene wasn't enough to dissuade me from giving this movie a thumbs up. It happens at the very beginning of the movie. We see a cowboy (played by Ray Milland who also directed) riding his horse which trips and throws him. He shoots the horse and goes on foot, stopping at a saguaro cactus to rest and then stands up and cuts off a piece of cactus to eat. Suddenly he hears rattling. He looks over and sees a rattlesnake, draws his gun and shoots the snake. For absolutely no intelligent reason. I guess it's supposed to make him look tough and able to quickly handle a dangerous situation and to show us that he's an expert shot and all that, but I can't help thinking that he just looks like a scared coward. After that he comes upon the scene of a stagecoach robbery/mass murder of men, women, and children, and then ends up with an entire town chasing him thinking he is responsible for the murders and other killings. We find out that he's Wes Steele, a notorious gun slinger, but in the end it takes him, an outlaw, to discover the real murderers and uncover the corruption of the town's dishonest but well-respected citizens. And it's also a love story when Steele gets involved with the woman he hides out with.
The snake looks like the old movie standard, a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake. I couldn't tell on the poor VHS copy I watched if the snake was alive or a dead one propped up and wiggled with a wire, but it does look like a real snake rigged with an explosive charge in its mouth so its head would blow apart to simulate a bullet shot.