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Best of Enemies (2015)

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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

Credited cast:
Paul Newman ... Himself (archive footage)
Kelsey Grammer ... William F. Buckley (voice)
John Lithgow ... Gore Vidal (voice)
Dick Cavett ... Himself
Arthur Miller ... Himself (archive footage)
Walter Cronkite ... Himself (archive footage)
Gore Vidal ... Himself (archive footage)
Matt Tyrnauer ... Himself
William F. Buckley ... Himself (archive footage)
Noam Chomsky ... Himself
Christopher Hitchens ... Himself
Todd Gitlin Todd Gitlin ... Himself
Sam Tanenhaus Sam Tanenhaus ... Himself
Ginia Bellafante Ginia Bellafante ... Herself
Fred Kaplan Fred Kaplan ... Himself
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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

The film-makers shot an interview with Gore Vidal, but ultimately decided not to use it, so he only appears in archive footage. See more »

Quotes

William F. Buckley: [to Vidal] Now, listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I'll sock you in the goddamn face and you'll stay plastered.
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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 Ben-Hur (1959) 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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