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Picks and Pans Review: Nest of Vipers

updated 10/22/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/22/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

There are two things going for this movie: Senta Berger, as a mother who falls in love with her son's best friend, and Ornella Muti, the young girl who steals him away. That, of course, sets up a nasty triangle that in Italian soap operas like this can only end in seduction and death. Along the way, director Tonino Cervi provides beautiful shots of Venice but not enough action to match the scenery. Other directors, notably Bernardo Bertolucci and Luchino Visconti, have already drawn parallels between Italy's chaotic political situation before World War II and the personal decadence of its ruling class. Cervi clearly has borrowed from them, to the extent of almost duplicating some scenes. While Berger and Muti are wonders to behold, even the most tireless girl-watchers must be weary at this point of going to vacuous Italian films just to see a gorgeous face or two. (In Italian with English subtitles) (R)

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