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Snakes in Movies
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Snakes in Movies
Stanley  (1972)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This is the story of Tim, a Seminole Indian man in Florida with a pet rattlesnake named Stanley that he uses as a weapon to kill people.
Stanley Stanley Stanley
Stanley Stanley Stanley
Stanley Stanley Stanley
Tim has some serious problems. He treats Stanley like a pet dog instead of the deadly wild animal he is. He takes Stanley for rides in his truck and lets Stanley sit on the seat or the dash. Stanley's snake wife is named Hazel, and Tim likes to dress her up with flowers around her neck. She has three children in a their crib full of sand. (Unlike non-movie snakes, they don't immediately wander away.) Hazel and Stanley sleep in matching wooden canopy beds with their names written on them, and eat dinner at the table with Tim where he feeds them live mice. Somehow Stanley's lack of opposable thumbs, or hands, doesn't hinder him from bringing Tim a canteen full of water when Tim is doing yard work.

Tim also has a bunch of other snakes that he keeps in bare wooden cages in the cabin. He likes to take them out so they can play on the floor. Normal snakes would immediately try to escape, but since this whole movie is such an absurd fantasy about snakes, I supposed we're supposed to believe that the snakes are happy to stay on the floor.
Stanley Stanley Stanley
Stanley Stanley Stanley
Stanley Stanley Stanley
When Tim gets mad, he uses Stanley to kill his enemies. All he has to do is to tell Stanley to "Bite him" but sometimes Stanley acts on his own. He crawls onto a pit of quicksand with two bad guys, but instead of biting them he just sits there and watches two guys sink. Tim's main enemies are the men who want him to collect snakes for them so they can kill them and make them into belts they can sell. (These guys are sometimes called "hat banders" because they use snake skin as decorative bands around hats for sale.)
Stanley Stanley Stanley

Tim gives snakes to a woman who dances with them in a nightclub. Her snake act didn't draw big enough crowds so the dancer's husband forced her to bite off the snake's head and that makes Tim really angry. Needless to say, her act is cancelled.

Stanley and his family are played by real live Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnakes so lots of respect to Chris Robinson, the actor who plays Tim, who we see handling live rattlsnakes and even putting them around his neck. Maybe they were de-fanged or had their venom glands removed or maybe they had their mouths sewed shut, I don't know, but it's still a gutsy thing to do.

We also see other non-venomous snakes, including rat snakes, king snakes, boa constrictors, indigo snakes, and racers. We're suppsed to believe they're all deadly, and in one scene Tim dumps a bunch of them into a pool and the snakes mob and kill a guy who just wanted to take a swim.