‘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?’
Best of Enemies is an American documentary film directed by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville about televised debates between intellectuals Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley in 1968. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It was acquired by Magnolia and Participant Media. The film features James Wolcott as an interview subject. Primarily, the film discusses the debates between William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal during the Democratic and Republic national conventions throughout 1968.
Best of Enemies
Directed by: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, John Lithgow, Gore Vidal, Dick Cavett, Noam Chomsky, Christopher Hitchens
Screenplay by: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
Cinematography by: David Leonard, Mark Schwartzbard, Graham Willoughby
Film Editing by: Eileen Meyer, Aaron Wickenden
Art Department: Scott Grossman
Music by: Jonathan Kirkscey
MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content/nudity and language.
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: July 31, 2015