Best Defense (1984)

R  |   |  Comedy, War  |  20 July 1984 (USA)
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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
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


Unfortunately, they're both on our side. 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
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Did You Know?


The film's opening title cards read "Kuwait - 1984" and "California - 1982". The two are frequently featured throughout the movie in transitions between sequences of the movie's two time periods. See more »


Wylie Cooper: Fat girls tend to come a lot.
See more »


References Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) See more »


by Richard Stone
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User Reviews

Fairly amusing but the cross cutting between scenes occasionally gets tedious
28 October 2002 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Dudley Moore and Eddie Murphy are two entirely different looking actors who have two things in common. They were both hugely popular box office comedy stars throughout the 1980's and they were both part of the cast of this 1984 Paramount release. If these two comedy titans had any scenes together, that could've made the film really great but despite that setback, the film is not a total waste. Two stories are told in the film. One has to do with technology programmer Wylie Cooper's (Moore) chance encounter with a man who's on the run from some shady corporate criminals and how Cooper's life changes for the better and for the worse after the encounter. The other is set two years later and has to do with American soldier Landry (Murphy) test driving a faulty experimental tank that Cooper had invented and accidentally driving it into the middle of a battlefield. That tank (Cooper building it and Landry using it) is what the two stories have in common. The most major complaint about this film is its constantly shifting from one story to the other thus confusing some viewers. I managed to follow along though and if anybody who's thinking of seeing this one can too, you may find both leading actors in fine form. Just don't expect the comedy sparks of their far more successful individually starring vehicles including "Arthur" and "Beverly Hills Cop."

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