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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In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Gorô
Nobuko Miyamoto ...
Tampopo
...
Man in White Suit
...
Gun
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Pisuken
Kinzô Sakura ...
Shôhei
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
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Storyline

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

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Taglines:

The first Japanese noodle western!

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tanpopo  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,410 (USA) (21 October 2016)

Gross:

$126,479 (USA) (2 December 2016)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pearl diver carries no air tanks, which is true to life. Traditional Japanese pearl divers use only their lungs, but have phenomenal breath control. Some can stay underwater for up to seven minutes. See more »

Quotes

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 ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The entire closing credit sequence is a shot a woman breastfeeding her child; the camera slowly zooms in on the baby's mouth sucking his mother's breast. See more »

Connections

Featured in Le cinéma passe à table (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Made me want to get a bowl of noodles immediately.
10 July 2003 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I watched this movie for the first time last night and I have to say, it was awesome. This is one of those rare movies that are made with so much emotion, you can't help but be affected by what's going on before your eyes. I found the movie to be funny, touching, shocking, sensual, weird, thoughtful, cute, etc. The love of food is apparent throughout the entire movie. It kind of reminded me of Like Water for Chocolate, the way food was revered in the story. The movie is done in an interesting way. Mainly, it's about a woman named Tampopo who is left in charge of her husband's noodle shop after he dies. Having problems with maintaining a general quality to the place, especially with the cooking, she receives assistance from a rugged cowboy-type. Along with several other characters, they help to turn the place into something special. Occasionally, the story veers away from this plot to follow other characters in food-related scenes. For instance, there's a vignette about a group of girls being taught how to eat noodle soup properly by an etiquette teacher at a restaurant. They notice another patron in the restaurant, sucking at his noodles loudly but clearly enjoying them. The girls then do the same thing, prompting the teacher to follow suit, all of them sucking away at their noodles with the most exaggerated sound effects I have ever heard. This results in a scene so hilarious that I had to stop it and rewind it after it was done. Soon after, the story goes back to Tampopo and the other characters in her universe. There's other characters that are returned to periodically, like this white-suited gangster and his moll. Their scenes are erotically charged and quite striking. It was funny but at the same time it just grabbed me attention wise. There's a moment where they pass a raw egg yolk back and forth through each others mouths without rupturing it. It's done slowly and erotically, the two lovers obviously enjoying this really weird thing we're seeing. I have to say I've never really seen anything like that in a movie. All in all, I was pretty much entranced from the moment the movie began. I really didn't think I was going to enjoy it this much! It's really funny and it shows a side to Japanese cuisine and how serious it is taken there that I had never known before viewing this. I recommend this movie from top to bottom and I think it has deservedly earned a spot in my all-time faves list! If you are interested in Japanese culture and you appreciate food in the least, you owe it to yourself to track a copy of this down and watch it, especially if you like a good bowl of ramen!

RATING: ***** out of *****.


34 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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