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Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal (2015)

Best of Enemies (original title)
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A documentary on the series of televised debates in 1968 between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley.

Writers:

Robert Gordon (co-writer), Tom Graves (co-writer) | 1 more credit »
6 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gore Vidal ... Himself - Debater (archive footage)
William F. Buckley ... Himself - Debater (archive footage)
Todd Gitlin ... Himself - Media Studies, Columbia University
Brooke Gladstone Brooke Gladstone ... Herself - Host, NPR's On the Media
Richard Wald Richard Wald ... Himself - Former President, NBC News
William Sheehan William Sheehan ... Himself - Former President, ABC News
Frank Rich ... Himself - Writer, New York Magazine
Sam Tanenhaus Sam Tanenhaus ... Himself - Biographer, William F. Buckley Jr.
Patricia Buckley Patricia Buckley ... Herself - Buckley's Wife (archive footage)
Lee Edwards Lee Edwards ... Himself - Historian, The Heritage Foundation
Reid Buckley Reid Buckley ... Himself - Buckley's Brother
Linda Bridges Linda Bridges ... Herself - Buckley's Personal Assistant
Fred Kaplan Fred Kaplan ... Himself - Author, Gore Vidal: A Biography
Matt Tyrnauer ... Himself - Vidal's Editor & Friend
Sam Donaldson ... Himself - Correspondent, ABC News (archive footage)
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Storyline

'Best of Enemies' is a documentary about the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance. 'Best of Enemies' delves into the entangled biographies of these two great thinkers and luxuriates in the language and the theater of their debates, begging the question, 'What has television done to the way we discuss politics in our democracy today?'

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Buckley vs. Vidal. 2 Men. 10 Debates. Television Would Never Be The Same.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,378, 2 August 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$891,997, 8 November 2015
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin bought the rights to this documentary almost immediately; he is developing a narrative film based on Buckley and Vidal's confrontations. See more »

Quotes

Christopher Hitchens: The mores of the country were going to hell. And if there was one thing William Buckley cared more about than another thing it would have been that. If we go on like this, abortion will be on-demand, women will have sex with women, the family will be over, the church won't be respected, we will be screwing in the street and frightening the horses, buggery will be legal... And if you'd said all that to Gore, he would've said, Well OK, bring it on.
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Crazy Credits

There is a short scene after the credits showing footage of an interview with Buckley. See more »

Connections

Features Land of the Giants (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating viewing
17 December 2015 | by valleyjohnSee all my reviews

Best of Enemies is a fascinating documentary film about a series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. If that doesn't sound very interesting you couldn't be more wrong. This is a film about two men who absolutely hated each other. Two extremely clever men who fought each other live on television by debating with each that eventually led to personal insults being thrown at each other and it's mesmerising viewing. I have to admit I had never heard of these men before and that's probably because these debates happened a couple of months before I was born but I do know now and I feel much better off for it.


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