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.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

If tax evasion is an art, wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo is Rembrandt. And so, a determined taxing woman gets the tough assignment of trying to catch him.

Director: Jûzô Itami
Stars: Nobuko Miyamoto, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Masahiko Tsugawa
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A grand old Japanese hotel is trying to get a prestigious contract as the site of a summit meeting of important foreign officials. Unfortunately, this hotel is quite popular with the Yakuza... See full summary »

Director: Jûzô Itami
Stars: Nobuko Miyamoto, Yasuo Daichi, Takehiro Murata
The Funeral (1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At the beginning of the film the father-in-law of the protagonist dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. The remainder of the film is episodic, moving from one incident to another over the ... See full summary »

Director: Jûzô Itami
Stars: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kin Sugai
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ryoko Itakura returns as the government tax agent willing to tackle the toughest cases. This time she takes on a fanatical but lucrative religious cult run by a vile lecher.

Director: Jûzô Itami
Stars: Nobuko Miyamoto, Rentarô Mikuni, Masahiko Tsugawa
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Goro's supermarket is not doing well; the rival "Bargains Galore" threatens his business. A chance encounter with Hanako, an energetic woman he knew in grade school, results in big retail ... See full summary »

Director: Jûzô Itami
Stars: Nobuko Miyamoto, Masahiko Tsugawa, Ryûnosuke Kaneda
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.

Director: Masayuki Suo
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one ... See full summary »

Director: Gabriel Axel
Stars: Stéphane Audran, Bodil Kjer, Birgitte Federspiel
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Sihung Lung, Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-Lien Wu
Big Night (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers gambles on one special night to try to save the business.

Directors: Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci
Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A radio play is going to go on air at a Tokyo radio station. It is a weepy melodrama written by housewife Miyako, who is the winner of the competition run by the station. Suddenly, the ... See full summary »

Director: Kôki Mitani
Stars: Toshiaki Karasawa, Kyôka Suzuki, Masahiko Nishimura
Fireworks (1997)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.

Director: Takeshi Kitano
Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Ohsugi
Tokyo Sonata (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An ordinary Japanese family slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyôko Koizumi, Yû Koyanagi
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tanpopo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frasier: The Return of Martin Crane (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A classic of world cinema
15 November 2006 | by (the big screen) – See all my reviews

This remains one of the better comedies of all time due to star performances, a superb script, and many, many surprises. Above all, the pacing is some of the best seen in any comedy.

Tampopo has all the qualities of good story telling: a hero, a disciple, a quest.

And when your hero is a trucker, the disciple a woman in need of help, and the quest to cook the best noodles then you know you're in for fun.

In between all this are vignettes on how food and life mingle. It is more than simple laughs there are moments of poignancy, and genuine flights of imagination.

Many directors could do well to watch the ease with which the camera is handled here: the plot flows beautifully and the switches to the small vignettes are handled with suitable aplomb.

All in all a three course meal.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The meal Kumada/the old man pretending to be a professor eats lucyferris
Time to play : LOVE IT or HATE IT! moomar1
Similar movies? amaryllis0201
the turtle scene yukidomari
the crayfish scene manifold
Omrice! kiddar
Discuss Tampopo (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?