Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal

2015

Action / Documentary / History / News

7
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 94%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 4722

Synopsis


Uploaded By: LINUS
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November 23, 2015 at 08:17 AM

Director

Cast

Paul Newman as Himself
John Lithgow as Gore Vidal
Kelsey Grammer as William F. Buckley
Ronald Reagan as Himself
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
621.01 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 1 / 3
1.31 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 0 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by framptonhollis 9 / 10

a magnificent, uproarious documentary

Surprisingly heartfelt and enormously entertaining, "Best of Enemies" observes the iconic debates and feuds between political intellectual masterminds Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. Both figures of American politics have contributed greatly to the world today in both positive and negative lights, and this thrilling and hilarious documentary presents these truths in an impressively objective light. I am one who will acknowledge that, no matter what my personal political affiliations may be, both Buckley and Vidal were brilliant individuals, charming in both their classiness as well as their tastes for fun and humor. The documentary gives both of the somewhat threatening gentlemen equal screen time, capturing both their lives and the times surrounding them in a way that gives any and all viewers a well developed understanding of the rivals in both a personal and political light. even if you aren't personally all too interested in politics, this film is still entertaining as Hell, because it's always fun to witness a true battle of the wits unfiltered by a desperate need to be overly kind or obscure your own views for the sake of political correctness. What we see here is pure debate with as much chaotic comedy in the mix as there is fierce intellect and impressive exchange between brilliantly well spoken ideas.

Reviewed by asymptot 9 / 10

Fascinating

A fascinating and in depth look and the Buckley-Vidal debates and the precursors to the world we find ourselves in today. More interesting since I lived through this period and watched these debates in real time. We find ourselves in a world today not much different than the world of 1968 on race, economic inequality,far right and far left politics and down in the mud politics that doesn't debate issues but personal demagoguery. Buckley ran for mayor of NYC and discovered the angry white man as his main constituency, sound familiar Donald J. Trump.

Reviewed by l_rawjalaurence 6 / 10

Documentary about two Rather Pitiful Men

In 1968 ABC was in the doldrums in terms of its political coverage. Lacking sufficient resources to provide wall-to-wall coverage of the conventions of that year, the company had to look for other means to attract viewers.

It came up with the idea of staging nightly discussions of the proceedings involving Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley jr, two highly public figures who heartily disliked one another, while representing both extremes of the political spectrum. Vidal was a liberal, a lifelong advocate of free thinking who had scandalized the Establishment ever since the late Forties when his novel THE CITY AND THE PILLAR had appeared, with its open attitude towards homosexuality. Buckley was a right-winger, the forerunner of many public figures today; the founder and editor of the NATIONAL REVIEW, who, while not actively supporting continued racial segregation, nonetheless blamed members of the African American community for the country's economic woes.

The rest, as they say, is history. After a series of increasingly fractious nightly discussions, Vidal and Buckley finally came to blows, both literally as physically, during one live broadcast when Vidal denounced Buckley as a "crypto-Nazi," and Buckley responded by calling Vidal a "queer" and threatening to smash his face in. Buckley soon realized what a televisual faux pas he had made, and spent the rest of his life trying to atone for it.

Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville's documentary could be approached as an exercise in nostalgia, an evocation of a time on television when pundits actually said what they thought rather than simply expressing anodyne views, and discussion-programs always had that element of danger about them. Other memorable moments like this included an episode of THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS (1963-4), when a member of the audience took exception to the views expressed by journalist Bernard Levin and tried to punch him in the face.

On the other hand, the documentary also underlined what happens to people when they come to believe in their own celebrity so much that they pay little or no heed to what they are saying. Vidal and Buckley were both highly intelligent men; but their exchanges seemed somehow pathetic, as they tried to score intellectual points off one another rather than engaging critically with the political issues of that time. They did not appear interested in communicating with viewers, but rather tried to enhance their screen images. If that was indeed the case, then both signally failed in their task; they came across as members of the chattering classes, to be ignored rather than listened to.

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