Picture Palace
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Picture Palace

Snakes in Hollywood

Theda Bara in the 1917 film Cleopatra.

When it comes to Hollywood’s portrayal of snakes, there are two unwritten rules. All snakes are evil and the only good snake is a dead snake. The 2013 film Mud exemplifies the typical cinematic attitude toward snakes. A boy tells Matthew McConaughey that he’s afraid of snakes. McConaughey replies, “That’s cause God put ’em here for us to fear. We knew to be afraid of snakes long before we even got into this world.”

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Loren Kantor

Loren is a writer and woodcut artist based in Los Angeles. He teaches printmaking and creative writing to kids and adults.