103 user 78 critic

Tampopo (1985)

Not Rated | | Comedy | September 1987 (USA)
1:55 | Trailer
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.


Jûzô Itami


Jûzô Itami (screenplay)
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Gorô
Nobuko Miyamoto ... Tampopo
Kôji Yakusho ... Gangster in the White Suit
Ken Watanabe ... Gun
Rikiya Yasuoka ... Pisuken
Kinzô Sakura Kinzô Sakura ... Shôhei
Yoshi Katô Yoshi Katô ... Master of ramen making
Hideji Ôtaki Hideji Ôtaki ... Rich Old Man
Fukumi Kuroda Fukumi Kuroda ... Gangster's Mistress
Setsuko Shinoi Setsuko Shinoi ... Rich old man's mistress
Yoriko Dôguchi ... Girl Oyster-fisher
Masahiko Tsugawa Masahiko Tsugawa ... Supermarket manager
Chôei Takahashi Chôei Takahashi ... Company executives
Akio Tanaka Akio Tanaka ... Company executives
Yoshihei Saga Yoshihei Saga ... Company executives


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!




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Slurping noodles is considered polite in Japan. It is a way for the customer to show his appreciation to the cook. See more »


When the gangster tickles his mistress by placing the bowl of prawns in cognac on her bare stomach, the sound of her laughter doesn't match up with her mouth movement. See more »


Tampopo: What about your wife?
Gorô: She left with the kids.
Tampopo: Why?
Gorô: I don't know. I grew up in a miserable family, so I wanted to make my own home the warmest there was. I got married. We had kids. And we had a warm home. But I never felt comfortable there. I don't know how to act in a happy home. Before I knew it, my wife was gone... Maybe I'm just a cold-hearted guy.
See more »

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 »


Spoofs The Burmese Harp (1956) See more »

User Reviews

What a masterpiece this movie is!!
7 November 2011 | by redwoodsSee all my reviews

I can't count the number of times I've watched this wonder, discovered one night when I rented it from the local video store in 1993. I believe that like a great recipe, you need to practice it at least a dozen times to start to get a grip on it. Every time I watch it I take more pleasure as I get older (and hopefully wiser). This film is without a doubt one of the most sensual, generous masterly realized movie of all times. It is to be hold close to Fritz Lang and Kubrik masterpieces, but obviously in a completely different register. It would take me all night to decipher the various reasons why this pure marvel is so good. But this is not required. It is simply a tale about life and death, and the ongoing process of sex and food in between the two. Epicurism was never thought to be a Japanese value, until we Westerners with all our believes and convictions, realized that Japanese culture encompasses much more that our restrained field of philosophy. This ode to life touches all aspects of our arrogant human society in so many FUNNY and touching ways that I could hardly compare it to anything else watched anywhere else. In a way it is an encyclopedia of human traits. Maybe "La Grande Bouffe" would be the closest contender on SOME aspects only. But Tampopo goes much further in my opinion. And above all the marvelous acting makes it SO FUNNY!! Every time I watch it I laugh more... To have managed to put all these traits of human behavior in only one such great movie is truly an ASTONISHING work in terms of scripting, directing and editing. But even the way it is filmed is perfection itself. Above all keep in mind this NOT a serious boring movie at all but a funny piece of cake to watch... A bit crazy too!! Be aware you'll never look at your bowl of noodles the same way after watching this movie!! "Bon appetite!!"

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Release Date:

September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tampopo: A Ramen Western See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,410, 23 October 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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