Best of Enemies ()

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A documentary on the series of televised debates in 1968 between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley.


Photos and Videos


Himself - Debater (archiveFootage)
Himself - Debater (archiveFootage)
Himself - Media Studies, Columbia University
Brooke Gladstone ...
Herself - Host, NPR's On the Media
Richard Wald ...
Himself - Former President, NBC News
William Sheehan ...
Himself - Former President, ABC News
Himself - Writer, New York Magazine
Sam Tanenhaus ...
Himself - Biographer, William F. Buckley Jr.
Patricia Buckley ...
Herself - Buckley's Wife (archiveFootage)
Lee Edwards ...
Himself - Historian, The Heritage Foundation
Reid Buckley ...
Himself - Buckley's Brother
Linda Bridges ...
Herself - Buckley's Personal Assistant
Fred Kaplan ...
Himself - Author, Gore Vidal: A Biography
Himself - Vidal's Editor & Friend
Himself - Correspondent, ABC News (archiveFootage)
Himself - Anchor, ABC News (archiveFootage)
George Merlis ...
Himself - ABC Publicist
Himself - Political Essayist
Himself - Talk Show Host
Himself - Author (archiveFootage)
Himself - Comedian (archiveFootage)
Himself - Boxer (archiveFootage)
Eric Alterman ...
Himself - Media Historian
Ginia Bellafante ...
Herself - Culture Writer, New York Times
Elmer Lower ...
Himself - President, ABC News (archiveFootage)
John McWhorter ...
Himself - Linguist, Columbia University
Himself - Writer, Vanity Fair Magazine
Himself - Political Editor & Blogger
Everett Dirksen ...
Himself - Senator, Illinois (archiveFootage)
Richard J. Daley ...
Himself - Mayor, Chicago (archiveFootage)
Himself - Playwright (archiveFootage)
Himself - Actor (archiveFootage)
Himself - Political Satirist (archiveFootage)
Shana Alexander ...
Herself - Point Commentator (archiveFootage)
James J. Kilpatrick ...
Herself - Counterpoint Commentator (archiveFootage)
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt ...
Himself - New York Times Writer
Gore Vidal (voice)
William F. Buckley (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (archiveFootage)
Himself (archiveFootage)
Klan Member (uncredited)
Herself (uncredited) (archiveFootage)
Himself (uncredited) (archiveFootage)

Directed by

Robert Gordon
Morgan Neville

Written by

Robert Gordon ... (co-writer)
Tom Graves ... (co-writer)
Morgan Neville ... (co-writer)

Produced by

Caryn Capotosto ... co-producer
Julie Goldman ... executive producer
Robert Gordon ... producer
Tom Graves ... consulting producer
Eileen Meyer ... associate producer
Morgan Neville ... producer
Clif Phillips ... executive producer

Music by

Jonathan Kirkscey

Cinematography by

David Leonard
Mark Schwartzbard
Graham Willoughby

Film Editing by

Eileen Meyer
Aaron Wickenden

Editorial Department

Andrew Balis ... colorist
Christopher Clements ... creative consultant
Dan Moore ... additional assistant editor
Matt Radecki ... on-line editor
Lee Rosch ... assistant editor
Harry Locke IV ... on-line editor (uncredited)

Art Department

Scott Grossman ... graphics

Sound Department

Danny Caccavo ... digital editorial support
Steve Clack ... sound mixer
Doug Ford ... engineering services
Dennis Hamlin ... sound mixer
Pete Horner ... supervising sound editor & re-recording mixer
Jade Howard ... sound mixer
Tom Hurxthal ... sound mixer
Michael Lonsdale ... sound mixer
Josh Lowden ... general manager: Skywalker Sound Executive Staff
Charlotte Moore ... bidding & scheduling
Steve Morris ... head of engineering: Skywalker Sound Executive Staff
Al Nelson ... sound designer
Jonathan Null ... head of production: Skywalker Sound Executive Staff (as Jon Null)
Eva Porter ... client services: Skywalker
E. Benjamin Posnack ... sound mixer
Ronald G. Roumas ... audio/video transfer
Cathy Shirk ... post-production sound accountant
Dimitri Tisseyre ... sound mixer
Aaron Webster ... sound mixer
Andre Zweers ... sound effects editor
Mike Lane ... client services: Skywalker (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Martin Albert ... additional photography
Russell Bell ... gaffer
Jonathan Bruno ... assistant camera
Brendan Burdzinski ... digital imaging technician
Steve Dorst ... additional stills photography
Jim Flynn ... additional photography
Nelson Hume ... additional photography
James Lea ... additional photography
Martim Vian ... additional photography

Animation Department

Tom Foster ... animator

Other crew

Darcy Borg ... production intern
Alaric Campbell ... production assistant
John Carner ... production intern
Tom Graves ... consulting producer
Jane Kelly Kosek ... researcher
Carl Kriss ... production intern
Emily McAllister ... additional researcher
Kevin Norton ... production assistant
Carl S. Pyrdum Jr. ... police security
Alix Spence ... production assistant
James Thal ... production assistant

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

'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 Keywords
Taglines Buckley vs. Vidal. 2 Men. 10 Debates. Television Would Never Be The Same. See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal (United States, English title)
  • Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal (World-wide, English title)
  • Лучшие враги (Russia)
  • Najlepsi wrogowie (Poland)
  • See more »
  • 87 min
Official Sites

Box Office

Budget $1,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend United States $50,378, 02 Aug 2015

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 »
Movie Connections Edited into Best of Enemies (2016). See more »
Crazy Credits There is a short scene after the credits showing footage of an interview with Buckley. See more »
Quotes Richard Wald: ABC was the third of the three networks. It would've been fourth, but there were only three.
See more »

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