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Snakes in Movies
The Tall Texan (1953)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
The Tall Texan The Tall Texan The Tall Texan
The Tall Texan The Tall Texan The Tall Texan
  The Tall Texan  
"Where there's Gold and a Woman... You'll find the Tall Texan"

This is a low-budget western shot in 8 days according to IMDB, and it looks it. The cast is pretty good (because some of them were liberals who were blacklisted during the Communist witch hunts of the 50's and they couldn't get any better work) including Lloyd Bridges (father of The Dude), Lee J. Cobb and the always watchable Marie Windsor. But the plot and the script are sub-par. The scenery (one reason I watch Westerns) is not bad. This is one of the few Westerns set in West Texas that actually looks like it could actually have been filmed there, because it was shot nearby in New Mexico.

We see the rattlesnake all of a sudden when Cobb is fighting with another man. It's the standard file shot of a Western Diamond-back. When Cobb sees it, he's startled and jumps back, then he shoots the snake two times with his pistol. We see another shot of the snake striking, then being dragged backwards. Cobb picks up the snake in one hand, and in one of the most bizarre uses of a snake in the movies, he whips the other guy repeatedly with the snake. Those West Texas rattlesnakes must be really really tough to withstand that kind of abuse. Any other snake would break apart in a stream of blood and guts. Actually, it's pretty easy to see that they substituted a fake snake for him to use as a whip.