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Snakes in Movies
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Snakes in Movies
The World's Fastest Indian (2005)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
World's Fastest Indian World's Fastest Indian World's Fastest Indian
World's Fastest Indian World's Fastest Indian  
"The extraordinary true adventure of Burt Munro from Down Under"

Anthony Hopkins is Burt Munro an old guy who comes to America to set a speed record with his Indian motorcycle. (That's the "Indian" in the title.) His trailer loses a wheel when he's driving somewhere in the California desert. He meets an old woman who helps him fix his wheel then takes him to boot hill to show him her ex-husband's grave. (Maybe this is how old women seduce old men?)

Burt talks about how thoughts of death cross his mind when you get to be his age, then out of nowhere a rattlesnake conveniently appears and strikes at him (not once, which would be realistic, but three times.) I think it happens just in case you didn't get the previous message about the fragile and transient nature of life and all that. Burt doesn't have the common sense to jump away from the snake which is rattling and hissing and striking at him, because he's from New Zealand where they don't have any snakes. But he somehow manages not to get bitten by the rattlesnake. The woman says she should move to New Zealand because she hates those damn rattlers.

They used a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake for the scene, which isn't really found on the route he would have taken from Hollywood to the Bonneville Salt Flats, but I can forgive that since the snake gives an admirable performance with all those strikes up at a stuntman's leg.