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Best of Enemies

HD   R Closed Captioning

Morgan Neville & Robert Gordon

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About the Movie

In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult-their explosive exchanges devolving into vitriolic name-calling. Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed, and a new era in public discourse was born.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 113
  • Fresh: 106
  • Rotten: 7
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Best of Enemies bowls along smartly, with clips from the tapes spiced with intelligently snarky asides from friends and adversaries of the two men, and spliced with archival footage of the tumultuous times they addressed. – Ella Taylor, NPR, Jul 31, 2015

Fresh: Like its two subjects, "Best of Enemies" is lively and smart. Unlike them, it's even-handed. – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe, Aug 13, 2015

Fresh: New documentary explores the public intellectuals' televised spats. – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, Aug 7, 2015

Fresh: Best of Enemies offers a bracing view of a pivotal time in our recent history, as Vietnam and race riots scarred a nation's soul, and as the Establishment and the Counter Culture exchanged epithets and blows. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug 13, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A MADCAP INTELLECTUAL ROMP. Lively and fascinating.

If you like witty repartee among intellectuals, it’s hard to see how you could have more fun than watching this movie. Highly entertaining.

Best doc of the year!

Loved this doc - highly entertaining, funny and even poignant at times. Don't miss it!

Best of Enemies

Such a smart, amazing documentary. I was riveted

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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2015

Customer Ratings