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Turtles In Movies

This is a list of some movies I've seen that had turtles in them that I found interesting for some reason. It's rare that a turtle has an important role in a movie. Most of them just appear as background.

Most of these are live-action feature films or TV movies, with some exceptions.

Links lead to pictures and information about the movies.

Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching a film.

Shortcut to Movie Title
("A", "An" and "The" at the start of the title can be ignored.)

Arabesque (1966)

A chase scene and murder takes place in front of and above some sea turtle tanks in a large zoo aquarium.
Before the Rain (1994)

Children torture tortoises with bullets and fire in wartime Macedonia.
Before the Rain Screenshot
The Beguiled (1971)

An angry soldier kills a little girl's pet turtle, so she gets revenge.
The Beguiled
The Beguiled (2017)

A soldier, angry that his leg was amputated, kills a little girl's pet turtle, so she helps the other women in the house poison him.
The Beguiled
Bone Dry (2007) 

A starved and tortured man walking through the Mojave Desert finds a Desert Tortoise, builds a fire, cooks it, and eats it.
Bone Dry
Bye Bye Birdie (1963) 

A pet tortoise is given a drug that makes it race out of the house and fly through the air.
Bye Bye Birdie
Colette (2018)

A country girl newly married and just arrived in Paris, Colette attends her first high society party where she finds a tortoise with jewels glued onto its shell. She pities the tortoise, knowing that it would prefer to be outside in the grass, just as she would rather be back in the country.
Turtle Screen Shot
Cool Hand Luke (1967) 

A guard shoots a snapping turtle and Paul Newman brings it back for dinner.
Cool Hand Luke
Curse of the Yellow Snake (1964)

A man and woman duck into a large Aquarium building to avoid a man who is following them, where they wait in front of tanks containing large sea turtles.
Turtle Screen Shot
Decision to Leave (2022) (Heojil kyolshim)

Police chase thieves who stole 58 softshell turtles until their motorcycle crashes, all the turtles escape, and the officers have to pick up all the turtles. One policeman nearly loses a finger to a turtle he picked up.
Turtle Screenshot
El Mariachi (1992)

A mariachi and a tortoise walk along the same road, both taking their time to get where they're going.
El Mariachi
Fair Game (1988) 

An 80's artist keeps some pet tortoises in her swanky LA studio.
Fair Game
For Your Eyes Only (1981)

James Bond finds a sea turtle underwater in the ruins of an ancient Greek temple.
For Your Eyes Only Seaturtle
Frogs (1972) 

Nature runs amok, with turtles and other animals killing the humans who are polluting their habitat.
Girl Shy (1924) 

Harold Lloyd accidentally sits down on a sea turtle resting next to a pond. The turtle walks into the water and he falls in.
Girl Shy
Immaculate Conception (1992)

Spending time together on a beach at night with nesting sea turtles gets a man and woman in the mood to conceive a child.

Immaculate Conception Snakes
The Innocents (1961) 

A young girl keeps her pet tortoise named Rupert in her dress pocket.

The Innocents
Jean de Florette (1986) 

Young Manon keeps a pet tortoise or box turtle at her house in the French countryside.
Jean de Florette
King Creole (1958)

A New Orleans street vendor sings a song to advertise that she has turtles for sale to eat.

King Creole
The Lady From Shanghai (1947)

A man and woman begin a love affair at the Steinhardt Aquarium near some sea turtles.

The Lady From Shanghai
Laggies (2014)

A pet tortoise helps a woman with arrested development move ahead with her life.
Laggies Screen Shot
Leolo (1993) 

A boy keeps a map turtle in his basement collection of herps and bugs.
The Lineup (1958)

Two criminals hired to recover smuggled heroin follow one of their targets to the Steinhardt Aquarium in front of the Sea Turtle tanks.
The Lineup
Lonesome Dove (1989) 

A tortoise on a rock in a stream is used as an excuse to show a beautiful woman bathing.
Lonesome Dove
Male and Female (1919) 

A man castaway on an island tries to use a sea turtle as a pillow, then realizes his mistake.
Male and Female
Mark of the Tortoise [Wartezimmer zum Jenseits] (1964)

A millionaire villain with a silly alias (The Tortoise) lives in a castle in Italy with tortoises roaming around it, including some with a skull and crossbones figure painted on their shells. He sends tortoises with his messages as a calling card of sorts. The tortoises are so non-threatening that he has to paint the skulls on them to give them a little gravity.
Turtle Screen Shot
Mary Poppins (1964)

Mary and Bert are ferried across a pond on the backs of two talking turtles.
Mary Poppins Screen Shot
Me Time (2022)

A man who keeps a tortoies home as a pet plans to set free a tortoise that belongs to a man he thinks is trying to steal his wife.

Turtle Screen Shot
The Missing (2003) 

A young girl in the old west sees a tortoise, picks it up, then sets it down.
The Missing
Mondo Cane (1962)

Sea turtles disoriented because of radiation from nuclear tests can't find the ocean and die in the sun.
Mondo Cane
The Night of the Hunter (1955)  (IMDB)

Robert Mitchum plays a religious fanatic murderer and con man who is chasing a young boy and girl. We see the children slowly floating downstream in a boat at night on a dark black river when they pass several animals, including a tortoise that is walking near the shore. The boy, who must be hungry says "They make soup out of them. But I wouldn't know how to get them open."
Night of the Hunter

One Million Years B.C. (1966)

A caveman is rescued from a gigantic Sea Turtle by a cavewoman in a leather bikini and her tribe.

One Million Years B.C.
Papillon (1973) 

Steve McQueen loads a crate of young sea turtles onto a boat to use as food on the journey.
The Phenix City Story (1955)

A corrupt nightclub owner tries to figure how to get people to bet on a turtle race, fixing the outcome so he can win.
The Phenix City Story
Popstar: Never Stop Neverstopping (2016)

Popstar Conner has a pet tortoise named Maximus
Rango (2011) 

The evil town mayor is a desert tortoise.
Red Cliff: Part 1 (2008)

An army vastly outnumbered by their enemies, use an old-fashioned strategy called Tortoise Formation to win a battle.
Red Cliff Screen Shot
The Red Turtle (2016)

A castaway has a long relationship with a red sea turtle.

Turtle Screen Shot
Robinson Crusoe (1954)

Shipwrecked on an isolated island, Robinson Crusoe learns how to survive. His meals include sea turtle meat and sea turtle eggs.
Robinson Crusoe
The Rum Diary (2011) 

A pet tortoise with jewels glued all over its shell roams around in a Puerto Rican beach house.
The Rum Diary
Sabotage (1936) - Two terrorists meet to discuss business in front of the sea turtle tank in a large urban aquarium. Turtle Screen Shot
Seven Chances (1925)

A man chased by hundreds of would-be brides jumps into a canal where he finds a turtle has become attached to his vest.

Bone Dry
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

Nick and Nora and friends are sitting at the bar of a seafood restaurant cheering four hatchling turtles that are racing to a finish line drawn across the bar, as if this is something they do every time they go out.
Shadow of the Thin Man
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003) 

A young boy finds a turtle and picks it up.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

A sea turtle with a large remora attached to it is used as an example of ugliness.
The Spy Who Loved Me Screen Shot
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

A boy rides a giant tortoise on a beach and another boy lassos a sea turtle and uses it to tow his raft.
Swiss Family Robinson

Swiss Family Robinson
Tampopo (1985) 

A restaurant chef kills a live soft-shelled turtle for dinner.

Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939)

Tarzan and Boy swim with a sea turtle.
Tarzan Finds a Son
The Tender Warrior (1971)

We see several turtles in a Georgia swamp. A poacher is tricked into grabbing a turtle that bites his finger, and an escaped leopard tussles with a snapping turtle.
Tender Warrior Screenshot

Tender Warrior Screenshot
Thunderball (1965)

The first time James Bond sees a woman he is searching for in the Bahamas, she is underwater holding on to a sea turtle.
Thunderball Screen Shot
The Wind Will Carry Us (1999) 

A frustrated man takes out his anger on a tortoise, kicking it onto its back.
Male and Female

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