Gore Vidal's The Best Man

Monday, October 8
Share this
1hr 42mins // directed by:Franklin J. Schaffner // featuring:Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson and Edie Adams

Join playwright Christopher Shinn and director Michael Wilson (who also directed the Tony Award-winning 2012 Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man) for a post-screening discussion about how Vidal's work and the current political climate shaped the creation of their new play, Now or Later.

In Gore Vidal's The Best Man (based on Vidal's play of the same name), Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson square off as political adversaries during a presidential primary in this sardonic, insightful drama that brings out the best, and worst, in American politics.

Released during the Presidential campaign of 1964, The Best Man is a caustic political drama which kept a lot of critics and filmgoers guessing which real-life politicians inspired the lead characters. In one corner, you have William Russell (Fonda), the older, more idealistic candidate whose wife is on the verge of divorcing him. In the other corner, you have Joe Cantwell (Robertson), the younger, more opportunistic candidate who doesn't hesitate in using smear tactics if necessary. In the middle is the former President (Lee Tracy) who still hasn't decided which candidate to endorse.

Christopher Shinn's Now or Later (playing at the Huntington from October 12 thru November 10) tackles similarly timely themes of religion, freedom of expression, and personal responsibility in politics. On election night, the son of a Presidential candidate sends his father’s political team into crisis mode when controversial photos of him at a college party spread over the internet, potentially sparking an international incident.

Please click here for tickets/information about Now or Later.

[The Best Man film synopsis courtesy of Turner Classic Movies]