Best of Enemies

Best of Enemies

  • USA
  • 88
  • PG
  • Robert Gordon
  • Morgan Neville
  • Robert Gordon
  • Morgan Neville
  • Morgan Neville (Producer)
  • Caryn Capotosto (co-producer) (Producer)
  • Robert Gordon (Producer)
  • David Leonard (Cinematographer)
  • Mark Schwartzbard (Cinematographer)
  • Graham Willoughby (Cinematographer)
  • Aaron Wickenden (Editor)
  • Eileen Meyer (Editor)
  • Robert Gordon (Writer)
  • Morgan Neville (Writer)
  • Jonathan Kirkscey (Music)

In the summer of 1968, ABC News took a gamble on their coverage of the year’s Republican and Democratic National Conventions that unwittingly changed not only the course of televised news, but of political discourse forever. Desperate for ratings, executives hired the most vitriolic of enemies—left-wing pundit Gore Vidal and staunch conservative William F. Buckley Jr.—to argue the issues, live and unscripted. Unable to reign in their diametric opposition and utter distaste for one another past the literal first minute, they abandoned intellectual discussion for shocking personal mudslinging, and it became a sensation. Using explosive archival footage and commentary, award-winning filmmakers Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom) and Robert Gordon chart the infamous origin of the trash-talk format of today’s TV news from this event. Even more fascinatingly, they reveal how the rancorous two-party system itself was revived along the fault lines of race, sexuality, religion and capital at the heels of this unforgettable political theatre. Myrocia Watamaniuk

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