Chris Nashawaty
July 30, 2015 AT 07:03 PM EDT

Best of Enemies

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
87 minutes
Wide Release Date
07/31/15
performer
Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley Jr., Dick Cavett
director
Robert Gordon (Director), Morgan Neville
genre
Documentary, History, News

We gave it an A-

Heading into the 1968 presidential election, ABC was a third-place network. To spice up ratings for the conventions, it hired two partisan pit bulls—William F. Buckley Jr. on the right and Gore Vidal on the left—to spar in a series of debates that quickly spiraled into insults and threats of physical violence. This deliciously feisty doc contextualizes their verbal brawls and the odd love-hate (mostly hate) rivalry between two men who seemed able to regard their own sense of heroism only through the other’s villainy. A–

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