Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. point fingers in Best of Enemies.

Film follows sparring pundits

Best of Enemies is the story of the 1968 televised debates between arch rivals Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.

The Vernon Film Society’s next offering is the only documentary the VFS is showing this fall season.

Best of Enemies is the story of the 1968 televised debates between arch rivals Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.

Not just a running of the 10 debates, the film highlights, in depth, the views of the men, their ideas and backgrounds against a backdrop of the tense 1968 Democratic and Republican conventions.

With the morality of the Vietnam War still being fiercely debated, violence was always a possibility.

These were the first TV conventions  shown  in colour and it is estimated 80 per cent of the U.S. population followed them.

The ABC network was far less popular than the other three networks at the time,  and needed to bring something different to the table to cover the conventions. The network’s executives hired these most vitriolic of enemies – left-wing pundit Vidal and staunch conservative Buckley Jr. – to argue the issues alive and unscripted.

By the ninth debate, the men erupted on air,  threatening physical violence, which shocked both TV executives as well as the audience with their actions.

Using explosive archival footage and commentary, the film charts the infamous origin of the trash-talk format of today’s news from this event.

The film is a must see for all those interested in history, politics and watching two intellectuals spar and debate with all the wit and rancor they were well known for.

Best of Enemies screens at the Towne Cinema Monday, Nov. 30 at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $7 (cash only), at the Bean Scene and the theatre. The film is rated PG for coarse language.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon council boosts O’Keefe Ranch grant

Proposed increase of $75K passed through council by one vote margin

Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil ousted at French Open

Paris has never been kind to Vernon tennis star, now 0-7 at the Grand Slam event

Vernon company scores global award

Rotech Motor Ltd. named ROTAX Engines Distributor of the Year, beating out European powers

Vernon parents defend need for all-access school buses

Beairsto Parent Advisory Committee urging school board to keep the buses rolling

More senior housing coming to downtown Vernon

Vernon city council approves four-storey addition to McCulloch Court on Coldstream Avenue

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read