3.8/10
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Best Defense (1984)

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

Unfortunately, they're both on our side. 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 Defense See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,872,297, 22 July 1984

Gross USA:

$19,265,302

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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 films' poster was created soon after Eddie Murphy's re-shoots had wrapped. What is noticeable in particular is Dudley Moore's look as he's sporting a different haircut than in the film in which his hair is much longer. This probably due to Moore filming "Micki + Maude" at the time for Blake Edwards in which sports a similar hair style. The poster would also undergo another change for its home video and eventual DVD release in 2004 and that the navy blue background featured in the original poster was eliminated and white was used in its' place along with the elimination of the films' tagline "Unfortunately, They're On Our Side" and Eddie Murphy's "Strategic Guest Star" billing and they are billed as regular co-stars with some art posting Eddie Murphy's name before Dudley Moore's and vice versa. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

ABC edited just 35 seconds from this film for its 1987 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Road Again
Written by Willie Nelson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My confusion was more entertaining
25 April 2011 | by neacorpSee all my reviews

This is one of those few films from my childhood that made a strong impression on me, mainly for the Eddie Murphy's WAM joke. I remembered it had something to do with a faulty new tank in the Iraq war and US engineers at home desperately trying to make something work in it. Oh the good memories.

But now that I rewatched it, well… Eddie Murphy and the tank take up only 1/5 of the movie, while everything else is dedicated to a poor plot about a looser caught up in a spy novel, later dropped and substituted for poor planning by the ministry of defense.

Besides Murphy tank escapade, only the Russian spy was entertaining to watch, but he only appeared in a couple of scenes. Everything else was a chore to watch. The special effects aren't that impressive. The idiot boss is just intolerably dumb. The portrayal of foreigners were horrid. And I have no idea why the wife and child subplot was even necessary, because you could literally replace them with a sealing fan to resolve the main flaw. Oh… Guess I forgot those parts for a reason.

One of the main problems was the editing of events – the tank was developed after the main plots got resolved, but the movie was spliced like it all was happening simultaneously. Unfortunately that meant that the tank flaws were already resolved, or not, so there was really no suspense.

Let's just say the best parts of the movie were about 5-10 minutes long and I would not have missed anything rewatching it. At some points I even confused Dudley Moore's acting for a Rowan Atkinson impersonation. That confusion kept me more entertained then the actual movie.

At least some of it is good to riff over.


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