3.6/10
5,031
34 user 6 critic

Best Defense (1984)

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.

Director:

Willard Huyck

Writers:

Robert Grossbach (novel), Gloria Katz | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dudley Moore ... Wylie Cooper
Eddie Murphy ... Lieutenant T.M. Landry
Kate Capshaw ... Laura Cooper
George Dzundza ... Steve Loparino
Helen Shaver ... Clair Lewis
Mark Arnott ... Harvey Brank
Peter Michael Goetz ... Frank Joyner
Tom Noonan ... Frank Holtzman
David Rasche ... Jeff the 'KBG' Agent
Paul Comi ... Chief Agent
Darryl Henriques ... Col. Zayas, San Salvador
Joel Polis ... First Agent
John A. Zee John A. Zee ... Col. McGuinn
Matthew Laurance ... Ali, Landry's Tank Crew
Christopher Maher Christopher Maher ... Sayyid, Landry's Tank Crew
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 July 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Best Defence See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,872,297, 22 July 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,265,302
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

To receive a 15 certificate the UK cinema version was cut by 2 minutes with heavy edits to the opening sex scene. The cuts were waived for the upgraded 18 rated video, and the certificate downgraded to 15 for DVD in 2004. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Bad Flicks: Howard the Duck (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Written by Willie Nelson
See more »

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User Reviews

Fairly amusing but the cross cutting between scenes occasionally gets tedious
28 October 2002 | by sorannoSee 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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