Taglines: Unfortunately, they’re both on our side.
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.
Best Defense is a 1984 American comedy film starring Dudley Moore, Eddie Murphy, Kate Capshaw, George Dzundza, Helen Shaver, Mark Arnott, Peter Michael Goetz and David Rasche. The original music score was composed by Patrick Williams. It was released by Paramount Pictures.
About the Story
The movie takes place as two parallel plots separated by couple years: In 1982, Wylie Cooper (Moore), is an engineer developing a targeting system on a tank for the United States Army. In 1984, Murphy is US Army Lt. Landry, an American tank commander sent to Kuwait to demonstrate “XM-10 Annihilator”, America’s latest main battle tank, which is equipped with Cooper’s system.
Because of the tank’s poor design and shoddy construction, Landry and his crew are barely able to control or navigate the XM-10 before it leaves the proving grounds and wanders into a combat zone during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait (an unintentional foreshadowing of the Gulf War that occurred six years after the release of the film).
Cooper and Landry never directly interact during the film, but the plot shows how the decisions made by Cooper affect Landry’s tank. (A cut scene showed both Dudley Moore and Eddie Murphy together, but was edited out from the final film.)
Cooper, an engineer for a troubled defense contractor, is in charge of designing the “DYP-gyro”, a gyroscope for the army’s new tank. The company’s future hinges on the success of the project. Cooper’s gyro fails a crucial test, dooming the company. Downtrodden, Cooper later crosses paths with another engineer who has also designed a DYP-gyro. When the other engineer dies, Wylie takes the plans. A co-worker claims later puts Wylie’s name on the plans, and when the “new” gyro works, Wylie is hailed for saving the company.
Best Defense (1984)
Directed by: Willard Huyck
Starring: Dudley Moore, Eddie Murphy, Kate Capshaw, George Dzundza, Helen Shaver, Mark Arnott, Peter Michael Goetz, David Rasche
Screenplay by: Robert Grossbach, Gloria Katz
Production Design by: Peter Jamison
Cinematography by: Donald Peterman
Film Editing by: Sidney Wolinsky
Costume Design by: Kristi Zea
Set Decoration by: R. Chris Westlund
Art Direction by: Bo Welch
Music by: Patrick Williams
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: July 20, 1984