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Tampopo (1985)

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A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.



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Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Nobuko Miyamoto ...
Man in White Suit
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Kinzô Sakura ...
Yoshi Katô ...
Noodle-making master
Hideji Ôtaki ...
Rich Old Man
Fukumi Kuroda ...
Man in White Suit's mistress
Setsuko Shinoi ...
Old Man's mistress
Yoriko Dôguchi ...
Pearl diver (Oyster girl)
Masahiko Tsugawa ...
Supermarket manager
Yoshihiro Katô ...
Man in White Suit's henchman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mario Abe ...
Restaurant's boss
Sen Hara ...
Old woman in supermarket


In this humorous paean to the joys of food, the main story is about trucker Goro, who rides into town like a modern Shane to help Tampopo set up the perfect noodle soup restaurant. Woven into this main story are a number of smaller stories about the importance of food, ranging from a gangster who mixes hot sex with food, to an old woman who terrorizes a shopkeeper by compulsively squeezing his wares. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The first Japanese noodle western!


Comedy | Western


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tanpopo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Goro is washing his truck he dumps a bucketful of water on it, but uses no soap. This is actually a washing ritual which is part of the Shinto religion. See more »


Student of ramen eating: [voiceover] One fine day... I went out with an old man. He's studied noodles for 40 years. He was showing me the right way to eat them.
Student of ramen eating: Master... soup first or noodles first?
Old gentleman: First, observe the whole bowl.
Student of ramen eating: Yes, sir.
Old gentleman: Appreciate its gestalt. Savor the aromas. Jewels of fat glittering on the surface. Shinachiku roots shining. Seaweed slowly sinking. Spring onions floating. Concentrate on the three pork slices. They play the key role, but stay modestly hidden. First caress the surface with the ...
See more »


Featured in You Can Play This!: Tampopo (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful Film, A Classic
25 February 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film on TV around 1990 and loved it. Its one of those films that you put on your mental list of films to see again. My girlfriend managed to buy an Japanese import subtitled version for Xmas and we sat down to watch. Tampopo is a film that starts interesting and slowly draws you in until you realise you sat for an hour and a half mesmerised. Its one of those films that when the lights go up you're not sure what you just watched but somehow it all made sense and you know it was very special. This is a film for life. I won't watch it every week but everyone I loaned it to came back with the same comments as myself. There are moments of sheer beauty that make your eyes fill up with joy. Several times I had to hold back a sniff, Damn I wanna cook noodles now. If Tampopo doesn't capture your heart then maybe you miss the point of film making as an art.

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