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 crime drama about Luke, a prisoner in a Southern chain gang who refuses to respect authority. He keeps escaping and being captured. Paul Newman received an Oscar nomination for his role in this, but George Kennedy won an Oscar for his role as another convict.
In the snake scene, Luke is with a road gang cutting weeds along a road when he finds a rattlesnake. He grabs it by the tail and holds it up. A prison guard with mirrored sunglasses who is always harassing Luke shoots the snake's head off with his rifle. Luke throws it onto the road right in front of the guard.