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Snakes in Movies
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Must Die!
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Black Mambas
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Snakes in
Asian Movies
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Herps in
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Snakes in Movies
The Magician (1926)
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 Magician The Magician The Magician
The Magician The Magician The Magician
The Magician The Magician The Magician
The Magician The Magician The Magician
This is a silent horror movie made from a W. Somerset Maugham novel by the director of "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" and the original "The Prisoner of Zenda." It involves a beautiful young sculptor, Margaret Dauncey, the young surgeon she loves, Arthur Burdon, and an evil magician and alchemist, Oliver Haddo who hypnotizes Margaret to maker her follow his orders as he attempts to create human life in his lab using her virgin blood. The best part of the movie is a short fantasy scene where Haddo makes one of Margaret's sculptures of a faun (a Roman half-goat half man god of lust) come alive and we see him dance and debauch with lots of scantily clad men and women in what appears to be Hell, then forces himself on Margaret.

There are also some snakes. Margaret and Arthur and their friends go to a fair one night where they go into the Snake Charmer's Tent. We see some musicians playing and a cobra hooded and raised up and swaying back and forth. (It's a fake snake moved with puppet strings.) Margaret is fearful but Arthur tells her "There is no danger. These people only work with snakes whose fangs have been extracted." Haddo contradicts him saying that "The snakes these men work with are very poisonous." He claims that he can "make the most venomous snakes harmless by means of magic!" He asks one of the snake charmers to bring out "a horned viper - the deadliest of all snakes" and one is dropped out of a bag onto the ground. Haddo picks up the viper and forces it to bite his hand then drops it near the feet of a female musician. He shows everyone the two fang marks on his hand then waves his other hand over it and the bites disappear. But Arthur doubts his magic claiming that Haddo did not demonstrate that the snake was actually poisonous. Before Haddo can say anything, the viper bites the young woman, who was not paying attention to the viper because she was flirting with a sailor in the audience, and she falls over and is taken to the hospital.

The cobras are fake but the horned viper is a real one. Ingram got fed up with Hollywood so he opened his own studio in Nice, France, where some of this movie was filmed, so it was probably not too hard to find a horned viper which is a venomous snake native to northern Africa on the other side of the Mediterranean from Nice.