Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This is an action farce that according to IMDB was such a hit when it was released that it was the first movie to earn $10 million or more in its opening weekend, making Clint Eastwood's first comedy his biggest hit. It's dumb fun that's not meant to be taken too seriously.
Eastwood plays Philo Beddoe, a truck driver in southern California who supplements his income with bare-knuckle boxing. He's so good, the other fighters rarely land a blow. And even more amazing, Philo's knuckles never bleed and his hands have not been broken into pieces, even after he beats up an entire biker gang. As I said, this is a farce that you can't really take seriously. Philo also has a pet orangutan named Clyde who he walks with around town, taking him into coffee shops and bars where he lets him drink beer on Saturday nights. No shirt, no shoes, no service, but orangutans are welcome, I guess. Philo won Clyde by fighting four men at the same time because he couldn't stand to see Clyde in a cage at a roadside attraction.
Philo gets in trouble with a local biker gang called the Black Widows. They show their tattoos to try to intimidate Philo and his friend Orville. One biker tells Orville that more people are killed by black widows than rattlesnakes. Orville tells him "Most of the people I know just step on them and squish them." Philo takes the bikers outside, beats them up, and steals their bikes. He sells the bikes and gives the money to a singer named Lynn who he met in a country bar (played by Eastwood's wife Sondra Locke). He makes a joke about more people dying to buy black widow bikes than dying from rattlesnake bites.
Lynn turns out to be a tramp who hustles men for money but Philo is too much in love with her to figure that out. She leaves town as soon as he gives her the money, so he packs up his camping gear and follows her to Denver with Clyde and Orville and a girl Orville picks up along the way. Before that, Philo also beat up a police officer in a bar and the cop and his partner named Herb follow Philo to Colorado to get revenge for the beating.
The cops catch up with Philo one day when he's fishing in a lake. Herb is told to go around the lake and sneak up behind Philo, which makes no sense logistically, but he does it anyway. At some point when Herb is in the woods he drops to the ground as if he is crawling into position, which doesn't make much sense either, but I'm not complaining, it was all done just to get him close to a rattlesnake, and that's always a good thing in a movie. Like I said, Herb starts crawling and just around the other side of a tree he comes face to face with a rattlesnake close enough to bite him. He says "My god!" then "Feet don't fail me now" and he backs away slowly and starts running, cursing apes, snakes, and alligators. We haven't seen any alligators so I don't know why he threw them into the mix, other than to add to the comedy of the whole scene.That's it for the snake scene, but there is another 25 minutes of absurd action that follows.
The snake is most likely the standard movie rattlesnake - a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake. What's interesting is that when Herb is next to the snake, you can clearly see reflections on a pane of glass that was put between the actor and the snake. That means it they used a live snake and the actor was in the same space with it. I'd much rather see that anytime before seeing an actor next to a dead or fake snake or god forbid, a CGI snake.