Scotty Bowers [now 91 years old]...remained friends with the irascible and brilliant writer Gore Vidal, a feat in itself.
I dropped by to see Bowers for a local angle on Vidal, since the wonderful documentary about him, The United States of Amnesia by Nicholas Wrathall, debuted at Sundance last year and after extensive festival rounds will be released in New York on May 23 and in L.A. at the Nuart Theatre on June 6.
The documentary takes a deep look at the man known for essays, novels, Broadway plays and screenplays for Oscar-winning Ben-Hur and the scurrilous and notorious Myra Breckinridge. A favorite of talk shows, Vidal was acerbic, a true intellectual and well-loved for his patrician manner and hilarious aphorisms.
In the film’s interviews, Vidal is most fascinating when talking about politics. He ran for Congress in 1960 and then again in 1982 in a California Senate primary race against Jerry Brown. In one amazing clip, Vidal mercilessly shreds Brown, who is reduced to stunned silence.
“I miss everything about Gore,” Bowers continues. “He was a good foxhole buddy. Believe me, there was only one Gore. He’s never going to be replaced or duplicated. He was a one-of-a-kind sweetheart.”