Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This classic thriller has probably scared a lot of men away from venturing into the American back-country. It also probably inspired some to learn to play the banjo. And there's a snake in it - for a few seconds at least.
Four men from Atlanta take a canoe trip on an isolated river in the northern Georgia wilderness that will soon be dammed and turned into a lake, but they encounter some unexpected challenges. As they park their trucks before they put their two canoes in the water, city boy Ed (John Voight) asks outdoorsman Lewis (Burt Reynolds) if there are any snakes in the area. It's a dumb question (of course there are) but it serves to make us uneasy about the possible dangers of the trip and foreshadow the trouble to come.
Later, while paddling their canoe in the river, Ed and Bobby (Ned Beatty) see a long black snake in the river. It feels like a bad omen. Immediately afterwards they have trouble getting through some rapids and get separated from the other canoe. They pull over to the shore, where they are confronted by two armed local men, leading to the infamous "squeal like a pig" rape and murder scene.
The snake is probably a Black Racer, or maybe a Black Ratsnake. It doesn't look thick enough to be a watersnake, which is the snake most likely to be seen in a river in that area.