Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville's new documentary, BEST OF ENEMIES, takes us into those bygone times with flair, panache and no lack of intelligence, as the filmmakers concentrate on a series of televised debates between two very well-known intellectuals of their day -- right-winger William F. Buckley, Jr., and left-winger Gore Vidal.
We also get a good look at the two men involved, and this is where the documentary particularly shines. Instead of giving us the expected leaning toward the ultra-liberal Vidal (below, right) at the expense of the ultra conservative Buckley (below, left), the filmmakers give both men a decent shake, exposing their strengths as well as their weaknesses. All this leads to what one might indeed see as the climax of the debates (and the film), at whick point Gore calls William a "crypto-Nazi," and Buckley bangs back by outting Vidal as a "queer."
Magnolia Pictures, Best of Enemies begins its theatrical run this Friday, July 31, in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver, with openings in dozens more cities across the country in the weeks and months to come. Click here and scroll down to see all currently scheduled playdates with cities and theaters listed.