Best Defense (1984)

R  |   |  Comedy, War  |  20 July 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 3.5/10 from 4,549 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 6 critic

A military weapons engineer struggles to do his job responsibly, while a hapless tank commander has to live with the consequences in combat years later.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Cooper
Steve Loparino
Clair Lewis
Harvey Brank
Frank Joyner
Frank Holtzman
Jeff the 'KBG' Agent
Paul Comi ...
Chief Agent
Darryl Henriques ...
Col. Zayas, San Salvador
First Agent
John A. Zee ...
Col. McGuinn
Ali, Landry's Tank Crew
Christopher Maher ...
Sayyid, Landry's Tank Crew


Wylie is a lazy engineer. Landry is a Sergeant specialising in Armour. They have never met but their lives become entangled when Landry must take the tank Wylie designed into combat. Wylie is waiting for his employer to go out of business when he meets another engineer who gives him a disk with the plans for a system that will save his employer. The other engineer is dead moments later leaving Wylie with the disk and credit for the design. Suddenly Wylie is no longer a hack, but the saviour of his company and finds his life is no longer the same. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


On July 20th, America will see the best in comedy. See more »


Comedy | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 July 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Best Defence  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tom Noonan:  As the hardware designer Frank Holtzman. See more »


Chief Padilla, Guatemala: Boom. Dead. Communista.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jamie Lee Curtis/The Fixx (1984) See more »


by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
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User Reviews

Come on - give it a break...
9 December 2004 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

Brilliant? Um, no. Does the ending more or less blow? Sure. But does it have its moments and does it have a serious pair of balls on it? Yep.

Best Defense deserves a (moderately) better reputation than it's been left with. For starters, even though he seems embarrassed to even be IN the movie most of the time, Dudley Moore IS funny in here and has his funny scenes (I miss him). Eddie Murphy (even though his scenes are obviously pasted in) is the 1984 Eddie Murphy that we used to love so much (you can keep the 'Disney' Eddie Murphy of late, thank you) and is worth a few good laughs, and David Rasche (yes... SLEDGE HAMMER!) is a stitch as Jeff (the KGB agent). The scene where David is throwing Dudley all around the bar is worth the price of admission alone (assuming that's a small rental fee for the VHS tape, that is).

It's worth a look, if only because it makes moves that few movies (if any) these days have the guts to make - give it a chance - see it drunk if you have to. :)

P.S. Kate Capshaw is whistling the theme to 'Indiana Jones' in one scene??? Come on, everyone. That's pretty funny.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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