In the summer of 1968, television news changed forever. Best of Enemies is a behind-the-scenes account of the explosive televised debates between two towering public intellectuals: Liberal Gore Vidal and rightwinger William F. Buckley Jr.
★★★★ “Hugely entertaining” – Empire
★★★★ “A truly spectacular piece of cinema” – The Upcoming
It’s Oscars time, pick a winner! In the run up to awards season, catch up on some of the docs that made the shortlist and select what you think will win the top prize at the Academy Awards in February 2016. In the summer of 1968, America’s ABC News was trailing badly in the ratings war. In a brilliant move they hired two of the most famous public thinkers to debate live on air during the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Liberal novelist, polemicist and intellectual Gore Vidal went head to head with William F. Buckley Jr – the leading light of the new conservative movement. It was a risky move – to say these men disagreed was an understatement, Vidal had utter contempt for the right wing Buckley who in turn despised Vidal as a lefty commie loving liberal.
Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted with their rancorous disagreements about politics, God and sex. ABC News’ ratings skyrocketed. And a new era in more combative televised public debate was born.