Picks and Pans Review: The Education of Gore Vidal

updated 08/04/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/04/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

PBS (Wed., July 30, 10p.m. ET)
Critic's Choice


"A nation of shoplifters...a sanctimonious society of hustlers." Gore Vidal says some harsh things about the United States in this stimulating American Masters profile. After reading aloud a typically iconoclastic passage from one of Vidal's essays, critic Adam Goodheart describes his reaction: "Gosh, did he just say that? Does he really think that?...Wait, it could be true!"

Novelist, dramatist and polemicist extraordinaire, the 77-year-old Vidal lives to provoke. Wherever he goes in this film—from his beloved Italian villa to Broadway for a revival of his political play The Best Man—Vidal flashes his subversive wit. As a bonus, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and other stars read from his work.


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