Best Of Enemies

This documentary is about the 1968 televised debates between intellectuals Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. Sound exciting? It kind of is actually, I know a little about Vidal but didn’t know much about William Buckley, they were both asked to comment on the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago by ABC News.

They hated each other before these debates and hated each other even more after. William was on the right, and Gore on the left, so they were never going to agree on anything. Very entertaining stuff, not only because of the debates but the history of the era as well as this being a new thing for television, ABC were losing the ratings war so they were desperate to do something about it, and this worked.

Buckley certainly comes across as a very intelligent (as well as Vidal) man but also a complete ass. When he died in 2008 Vidal wrote: “I thought hell is bound to be a livelier place, as he joins, forever, those whom he served in life, applauding their prejudices and fanning their hatred.”

They were never friends at all then.

Date watched: 19th January 2016
Score: 8/10
Movie count: 4

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