William F. Buckley Jr.

Quick Review – “Best of Enemies” (****) – 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Quick Review:  “Best of Enemies” – RATING (****) at The 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

In 1968, ABC, the third place television network, decided to boost their ratings by hiring liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. to discuss and debate the happenings at the Republican and Democratic political conventions.


Directors: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

The result was a series of debates, discussions and heated exchanges between two of America’s intellectual giants with inverse political leanings. It was captivating television that drew in viewers, partly to understand the issues presented at the convention, partly for the witty banter between them and partly for the conflict and possibility of a fist fight. This unconventional news method paved the way for the modern pundit media circus that we have today.



Director: Morgan Neville

The film is as intelligent as its subjects. It delves into the psyche of these opposite men and shows up how they used the power of language to shape people’s views and change the course of history.



Director: Robert Gordon

Although it covers events decades past, it shows us the origins of the political landscape we have now and is just as relevant today. It’s delicious to watch and makes us long for the time where intelligent discussion was acceptable on TV. It subtly brings up excellent points about what the role of the news media is and should be, without ever being preachy.


Best of Enemies

William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal in the documentary “Best of Enemies”.

IMDB page for “Best of Enemies”