Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
Robert Benton, the writer and director of this movie, has won Oscars and Oscar nominations for his writing (Places in the Heart, Bonnie and Clyde) and directing (Kramer vs. Kramer) but not for this little period mystery rom-com, set in Austin Texas in 1954. Rip Torn is Buford Pope, a sleazy business man who takes a box full of rattlesnakes from a reverend tenant of his because he doesn't tolerate any handling of snakes on the premises. That's the all-too-convenient set-up for why there are rattlesnakes on his desk that he can use to threaten and extract information from Nadine and Vernon (Kim Bassinger and Jeff Bridges.) But Vernon grabs the box and threatens Pope and his goons with the snakes so they can escape. On his way out he dumps the snakes into the office and turns out the light. We hear the bad guys screaming in the dark.
When Nadine returns to her home she turns over the bedcovers and finds a rattlesnake in her bed, put there to kill her. She shoots it with a shotgun, blowing a hole in the mattress.
The box we see contains two Timber Rattlesnakes (aka Canebrake Rattlesnakes) and a couple of harmless snakes, maybe rat snakes or water snakes, I can't tell for sure. When Vernon dumps them out, they used fake snakes. The snake we see on Nadine's bed looks like a Western Rattlesnake, probably a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. It's definitely not a species found in Texas. The movie was filmed in Texas, but the snake on the bed could have been filmed in California since I doubt they would have imported a rattlesnake. They used a coiled up dead or fake snake for the shooting scene.