Best of Enemies

2015

Documentary / History / News

Best of Enemies (2015) download yts

Synopsis


Added By: Kaiac
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Director

Cast

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

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 8 / 10

"Confrontation of life styles"... dawn of a new TV era

"Best of Enemies" (2015 release; 88 min.) is a documentary about the infamous 10 televised debates that took place during the 1968 Republican and Democratic Presidential Conventions (in Miami and Chicago, respectively), between conservative William Buckley Jr. and liberal Gore Vidal. As the documentary opens, Vidal is commentating about old pictures hanging up in his house and one of them is showing Buckley and Vidal at one of those debates. We then get some background as to who these 2 guys are, and why ABC veered away to bring the "unconventional Convention" coverage. And then we get to the first debate... To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this documentary is co-directed by Morgan "20 Feet From Stardom" Neville and Robert Gordon, who is affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. If you think that means the documentary is kinder to Buckley that to Vidal, think again. The two men are pitted against each other, and vehemently disdain each other, even before these debates, and much more so afterwards. "It was a confrontation of life styles", as someone comments. Yes, it was, but as it turns out, these debates had another unexpected consequence: ABC's ratings went through the roof, and the other mainstream networks quickly realized they had to have their own versions of these "point-counterpoint" programs. In other words, the Buckley-Vidal debates set into motion what would eventually become the Fox's and MSNBC's news channels. Apart from the historical legacy created by these debates, the documentary also examines the long shadows cast be the debates over the personal lives of both Vidal and (even more so) Buckley. If you have any interest in politics and/or in TV history, you will not want to miss this documentary. It makes for completing viewing, period.

"Best of Enemies" made quite a splash at the Sundance film festival earlier this year. The movie's been out for months and I didn't think it would reach theaters here in Cincinnati, but then out of the blue t showed up this weekend at my local art-house theater here. I figured this would not be playing very long and went to see it right away, The matinée screening where I saw this at turned into a private screening, as in: I literally was the only person in the theater. A shame, as this is a riveting documentary. If you get the chance to see this, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, do not mist it! "BEst of Enemies" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Reviewed by jakob13 7 / 10

That was a time that lingers until today

The legacy of William F. Buckley, Jr. is not necessarily his 'National Review'; it isn't his devotion to the Buckley pere's hatred of FDR's New Deal, an act deemed a patrician's treachery to his class; it is the implosion of what his brother Reid concretes him as a revolutionary who ushered in the conservative revolution that we see in the impossible array of 17 candidates for the 2016 Republican nomination for the American presidency and the rise of Donald Trump. But, in 'Best of Enemies' trans-political make over is a glint in Buckley's eye as he faced the talented Gore Vidal as they 'commented' on the 1968 Republican convention in Miami and then the Democratic convention in Daley's Chicago. Who has read Buckley's apologia pro sua vita as spy for the FBI 'God and Man at Yale' today? Brilliant, effete, an amateur of the harpsicord,a seasoned sailor, he thought of himself the American heir to the little read GK Chesterton, in his affected speech. He could demolish in high disdain the arguments of his guests on 'Firing Line', guests like Norman Mailer, Allan Ginsberg and the like. Buckley was a man of the right--God, Country, Law and Order, who fought those critics of his values not necessarily in the name of freedom and humanity but in defense of older medieval values by attacking contemporary secular culture. And the embodiment of his distaste was the writer, playwright and commentator on things cultural and political Gore Vidal. ABC pitted these two 'aristocrats' of polished English as a wedge in the wall-to-wall coverage of the conventions by rivals CBS and NBC, at a time nightly television news was accepted more or less straight by the American people. From the get go, it was obvious that these two mavens of the Verb mutually loathed one another. Buckley shucking and sliding verbally, eyes popping, a supercilious grin on his lip as he flung mud at Vidal, not so much on what he said about the convention but for what he stood for. Remember, Gore Vidal had broken taboos for his 'Myra Breckenridge', about a transgendered man, light years ahead of the much admired Caitlin Jenner, a Republican. To Buckley, the writer of note was an enemy of God and patrician values and yes even to an elite education which Gore Vidal didn't pursue--he was a drop out who joined the Army during WW2, serving in Alaska where he wrote his much praised 'Williwaw'. Vidal was a 'revolutionary' in his own way; he published 'The City and the Pillar', which had a homosexual theme, that so exasperated the Old Grey Lady, the New York Times, which boycotted reviewing any of his books till decades later when they couldn't ignore his obvious talent. And in Gore, Buckley met more than his equal, so much so that until his death he wouldn't pronounce the V word. Buckley and Vidal were bellwethers; each had a finger on the rage and discontent of the times. And according to the talking heads, their 10 debates radically changed political discourse that now plagues our own day. 'Best of Enemies' is more than nostalgia, it is a palimpsest for the soul of the American soul. Buckley was an admirer of authoritarianism that Vidal was not. And it was to Vidal's credit that he pierced the supercilious armor of Buckley that, despite the adulation of his peers, rendered a life of hobnobbing with the rich and famous, the anti-Semites and racists, made him lose his 'cool' and restful nights of sleep. Even though he called Vidal a 'queer' (which wasn't a slur a half-century ago), Vidal suspected that he was a closet case, going as far as saying he was an incarnation of Myron Breckenridge. (For those who want to read about the conventions in Miami and bloody Chicago,Norman Mailer's 'Miami and the Siege of Chicago' is not a bad place to begin.

Reviewed by James 10 / 10

The Way We Were _ and Unfortunately, Still Are

In the tortured American summer of 1968, ABC News, then lagging badly behind its network rivals CBS and NBC, was looking for a way to attract viewers during that year's presidential nominating conventions. ABC's solution was to stage a series of debates at the events between two politically diametrically opposed and equally brilliant iconic pundits of the day, conservative William Buckley and liberal Gore Vidal. The results were more than even the network had bargained for, as the acerbic, highly charged confrontations changed forever how the media cover political stories. These comprise the Rosetta Stone of what we hear today as political talking heads lock horns. Perhaps the most surprising _ and in some ways, upsetting _ element about their verbal slice and dice is how relevant their discussions still are. Sadly, some things never seem to change. Filmmakers Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville have put together a searing and accurate view that transports us back to the way it was, which palpably explains the way it is. (R, 1:27)

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