Google+

DVD Features Historic Vidal-Buckley Debates

 

Best of Enemies

DVD Review by Kam Williams

DVD Features Historic Vidal-Buckley Debates

Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. were among the most brilliant and articulate minds of their generation. The pair were also polar opposites, politically, which made the idea of hiring them to appear in a series of televised debates an absolute stroke of genius.   

Best of Enemies, DVD Review, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Jr., politics, documentary, moment in history of TV

This was the brainchild of ABC-TV back in 1968, at a time when the network’s news department lagged far behind both CBS and NBC in the ratings. The plan was to have the liberal Vidal and conservative Buckley square-off during its coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions being staged that summer in Chicago and Miami Beach, respectively.

Arranging the showdown proved to be easier said than done, since the men not only hated each other politically, but personally as well. After all, Buckley saw himself as the defender of old-fashioned values and the status quo in the face of the Sixties’ counter-cultural revolution demanding equal rights for blacks, gays, women and other oppressed groups.

As expected, sparks flew during the spirited tete-a-tetes marked as much by effete Buckley’s arcane syntax as by firebrand Vidal iconoclastic comments. However, because neither participant wanted to lose, what began as sophisticated intellectual analysis eventually degenerated into an exchange of insults.

Best of Enemies, DVD Review, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Jr., politics, documentary, moment in history of TV

When Vidal referred to Buckley as a “crypto-Nazi,” he lost his composure and called his opponent a “queer.” A defamation lawsuit and counter-suit ensued, and the litigation would drag on for years.

Co-directed by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville, Best of Enemies is a fascinating documentary which revisits a seminal moment in the history of TV. For, the explosive Vidal-Buckley arguments over hot-button topics ranging from religion to sexuality served to usher in a new era in terms of discourse over the airwaves.

Best of Enemies, DVD Review, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Jr., politics, documentary, moment in history of TV

Besides archival footage of the debates, the conventions and anti-war demonstrations raging right outside, the film features commentary by luminaries like Frank Rich, John McWhorter and the late Christopher Hitchens. A must-see account of the birth of passionate, television punditry.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated  R for sexuality, nudity and profanity

Running time: 89 minutes

Distributor: Magnolia Home Entertainment

DVD Extras: Interview with directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville; over one hour of bonus interviews with commentators; and the theatrical trailer.

  

To order a copy of Best of Enemies on DVD, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B013W7LS44/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 

Entertainment

John Barrowman Thinks Casting Agents Should be Deaf, Dumb and Mostly Blind

  John Barrowman Thinks Casting Agents Should be Deaf, Dumb and Mostly Blind   By Jeremy Bamidele Science fiction, fantasy, and in lesser cases horror films have been ahead of their times in addressing social issues. This is partly due to their ability to disassociate themselves from the normalcy of reality. In fantasy, racial wars and prejudices are represented through orc vs. elves. Such disassociations allow them to seriously address issues while … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Blood Brothers

  Blood Brothers The Fatal Friendship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith Basic Books Hardcover, $28.99 392 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-0-465-07970-4 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This book] is the story of how Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and the central role Malcolm X played in his life. It is a tale of friendship and brotherhood, love and deep affection. It is also a story of deceit, betrayal, and violence--inside and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent from sales one year ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

The “Grand” Role

  The “Grand” Role by Amy Lignor   There are tons of parenting magazines out there that offer support, advice, and more to the expectant parent or parents. And, I think we can all agree, there are millions of people who wish to offer up advice on everything from how to treat said baby to how you should raise them, educate them, talk to them – heck, there are millions who will be more than happy to advise you on just about every aspect of your baby’s future. … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions

  Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions   The Yamaha Propeller selection page on Yamaha’s webpage is a great tool for every boat owner as a tool not only to make sure the correct prop is on their boat but also gives the ability and freedom to change the prop with ease, depending on the application. Everyone knows the equipment used for bass fishing is not the same for chasing tuna offshore, and the same logic applies to selecting a prop. At … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans

  Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans By Burt Carey Tiger Woods isn’t ready to stage a comeback just yet. The 14-time major champion sent messages via Twitter and his website Tuesday that he would not be competing at either the U.S. Open at Oakmont next week or the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans tournament the following week. "While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Feds Eyeing a Crackdown on Predatory Payday Lenders

  Feds Eyeing a Crackdown on Predatory Payday Lenders By Burt Carey The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing new regulations designed to place limits on excessively high-interest loans issued by short-term lenders. The CFPB proposal would require so-called payday lenders to prove borrowers have an ability to repay a loan by the time it comes due – usually by the borrower’s next pay period – without having to renew the loan or take out a new … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

From Food to Fireworks: The “Best” in July 4th Celebrations

  From Food to Fireworks: The “Best” in July 4th Celebrations by Amy Lignor   We’re all familiar with the celebration of “independence” held in Washington D.C. every year. The red, white and blue blasting into the sky over the cradle of our democracy reminds one and all what it means to be an American…what it means to be free. But there are other elegant galas and celebrations held across the land on July 4th that represent the “best” in a great many categories. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+