Get our recommendations directly on

Netflix Curator
, download our Chrome extension for free.Learn more.

Install Netflix Curator

watch later

like

have seen

remove

Best of Enemies (2015)Best of Enemies (2015)

Best of Enemies (2015)

An engrossing and entertaining look at an iconic series of American political debates in the late 1960s.

Documentary, History

best
THE VERY BEST

9.1

movie

United States of America

English

Discussion-sparking, Instructive, Smart

2015

Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon

Christopher Hitchens, Dick Cavett, Gore Vidal

87 min

Synopsis

A documentary about the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance. Best of Enemies delves into the entangled biographies of these two great thinkers, and luxuriates in the language and the theater of their debates, begging the question, "What has television done to the way we discuss politics in our democracy today?"

Our Take

9.1
Bilal Zouheir

Do today’s political talk shows often feel like meek, scripted, and predictable affairs to you? Would you rather have that euphoric feeling you get when watching someone smart and eloquent talk about important ideas? Multiply that by two and you get Best of Enemies. In 1968, ABC covered the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach and the historic Democratic National Convention in Chicago by airing a 10-part series of nationally televised debates between two ideologically opposed and sharp-minded public intellectuals: Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley. The former was an ardent and openly bisexual liberal and progressive. The latter an elitist cultural conservative, whose magazine, National Review, vowed to always support the most far-right candidate viable for office. This confrontational set-up is not only credited with ushering in an era of pundit politics, but also with producing some of the most entertaining intellectual debate ever to be seen on TV. When’s the last time you saw anybody unironically being called a “crypto-Nazi” on national television?

Comments

T
Trevor

Goodness me. Gore Vidal did so much more than ‘write movies & books around gay sex back in the ’60;s’. He was a fiercely intelligent intellectual and admirable human being who just happened to be homosexual. I would certainly have thought twice before entering into any debate with him. I would love to have him around now to watch him lay waste to Mr. Donald Trump and his ilk.

Add your review

What did you think? Who should watch it?

Next up

Another Round (2020)

best
8.0
A social experiment goes awry in this Oscar-winning, Mads Mikkelsen-led tragicomedy

watch later

like

have seen

remove

The Divine Order (2017)
7.1

A light and humorous drama that explores how Swiss women could not vote until 1971

watch later

like

have seen

remove

The Kingmaker (2019)
7.5

A revealing documentary about the Philippines' darkest era

watch later

like

have seen

remove

Shiva Baby (2021)
8.6

Sharp and anxious, modern and socially claustrophobic, Shiva Baby is a gem

watch later

like

have seen

remove

Pleasantville (1998)
7.0

A mesmerizing takedown of 1950s nostalgia

watch later

like

have seen

remove

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021)
best
8.9

Three separate stories intertwined with themes of love and fate

watch later

like

have seen

remove

The Tribe (2014)
8.0

No subtitles, no translation, just Ukranian sign language and a downward spiral into violence

watch later

like

have seen

remove

A Cop Movie (2021)
7.5

An empathetic and impressively inventive look at the notoriously corrupt Mexican police force

watch later

like

have seen

remove

American Girl (2021)
7.0

Mother and daughter hash it out in this poignant cross-cultural film

watch later

like

have seen

remove

Drive My Car (2021)
best
8.9

A poignant, meandering tale of art, love, and loss

watch later

like

have seen

remove

© 2022 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved. While we migrate to our new design, all premium content and features are temporarily available to all users. Contact us if you have any feedback or questions.

We are home to the best movie and TV show suggestions across streaming platforms and across over 20 countries. Netflix, Amazon, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are trademarked brands, all rights reserved. We don't have any affiliation with Netflix or any other VOD providers. All images, names, and trademarks are copyright and the property of their respective owners.