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Snakes in Movies
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Snakes in Movies
To the Devil a Daughter (1976)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
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This is a supernatural horror movie made by Hammer Studios in England (the last one made by the studio) starring Christopher Lee and Richard Widmark. Lee is Father Michael Raynor, an ex-communicated priest and the leader of a satanic church. He needs to use Catherine Beddows, a nun leaving the convent for the first time, in a few days on her 18th birthday in a satanic ritual that will make her the personification of the Devil on earth, but she was abducted and hidden by the occult writer John Verney (Widmark) to protect her. Catherine is played by 14-year-old Nastassja Kinski, whose full-frontal nude scene in the movie created a lot of controversy, along with imagined shots of her having sex with the Devil. The Devil was willing to wait until she was 18 to make her his child bride (or whatever he was doing, it's confusing.) Even the Devil knows that sexually exploiting minors is unacceptable, but apparently the people at Hammer were not worried about that.

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When Catherine was born, her father Henry Beddoes (Denholm Elliott) signed a pact to put her in Father Raynor's care until she is 18 when her soul will be given to the devil. The snake scene happens after Beddoes asks Verney to hide Catherine from Father Raynor. Raynor suspects that Beddoes is trying to back out of his promise by hiding Catherine so he calls him on the telephone. When Beddoes won't talk, Raynor wraps a rope around the phone. This magically conjures a snake wrapped around Beddoes' hand, which terrifies him. Raynor threatens to let him die unless Beddoes tells him where Catherine is hiding. Beddoes gives in and as soon as he tells Raynor the snake disappears.

The snake is a harmless gophersnake, but we are probably supposed to think it's a venomous snake.

You can watch the whole movie and read more about it at The snake scene starts at roughly 41 minutes.