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Tampopo (1985)

 -  Comedy  -  September 1987 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 8,129 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 28 critic

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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Title: Tampopo (1985)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Goro
Nobuko Miyamoto ...
Tampopo
...
Gun
...
Man in White Suit
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Pisuken
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mario Abe ...
Resutoran no shachô
Sen Hara ...
Old woman, pressing Camembert cheese
Isao Hashizume ...
Waiter
Hisashi Igawa ...
Running man
Toshimune Kato ...
Young Employee
Kensô Katô ...
Hira
Yoshi Katô ...
Noodle-making master
Yoshihiro Katô
Fukumi Kuroda ...
Man in White Suit's Mistress
Nobuo Nakamura ...
Old gentleman
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The first Japanese noodle western!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dandelion  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The noodle cook in the train station is quite realistic. Japanese train stations are filled with small noodle-shops, diners, and lunch-stands, especially since many trains do not offer food for sale on board. See more »

Quotes

Man in White Suit: I'll kill you if you make that noise once the movie starts! Understand? And... I also don't like watch alarms going off.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Shane (1953) 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 *****.


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

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