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Tampopo (1985)

Ken Watanabe , Koji Yakusho , Juzu Itami  |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)

Price: $71.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Tampopo + Jiro Dreams of Sushi + The Ramen Girl
Price for all three: $94.59

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ken Watanabe, Koji Yakusho, Nobuko Miyamoto
  • Directors: Juzu Itami
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Full length, Import, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Itami Productions
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GG4RMU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,699 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tampopo" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Billed as the "first Japanese noodle western," this comedy offers a satirical view of the relationship between food and sex, one of the director's favorite topics. Watch as a widow running a Tokyo restaurant and a cowboy hat-wearing truck driver try to make the perfect bowl of ramen. Highly acclaimed film from director Itami.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love food and Alton Brown... August 13, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
...you will love this movie for it explores (with hysterical results) why food becomes such an important touchstone in life.

Truck driver Goro and Gun are in search of some good eats and run into a widow who is trying to run a ramen shop. Unfortunately, she's not doing too well so Goro and some unlikely guides offer her some sage advice and help her on her way to becoming a true ramenista. The story is punctuated with some vignettes about the "social aspects" of eating and our behavior with food.

THIS EDITION NOTES: This is a "no-frills" deal with the bear minimum of subtitle options and the movie's original trailer. Although Amazon is listing the zone playability as "unknown" the jacket lists it as ALL ZONES. It played on our ancient Zenith DVD player which can only handle zone 1 DVDs and nothing else. Picture is good, but sound quality is poor. However, its definitely worth the price to see this wonderful movie once again!
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wild Bunch at the noodle shop. Slurp! October 6, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
There are any number of very funny scenes in this lightly plotted and highly episodic romantic comedy from acclaimed Japanese director Juzo Itami. You may recall him as the guy who got in trouble with the Yakuza, the Japanese "mafia," because they didn't like the way he made fun of them in Minbo no onna (1992). You may also know that he committed suicide at the age of 64 in 1997 after being accused of adultery. He is the son of samurai film maker Mansaku Itami. I mention this since one of the things satirized here are samurai films.

But--and perhaps this is the secret of Itami's success both in Japan and elsewhere--the satire is done with a light, almost loving touch. Even though he also takes dead aim at spaghetti westerns and the Japanese love affair with food, especially their predilection for fast food noodle soup, at no time is there any rancor or ugliness in his treatment.

If you've seen any Itami film you will be familiar with his star, his widow, Nobuko Miyamoto, she of the very expressive face, who is perhaps best known for her role as the spirited tax collector in Itami's The Taxing Woman (1987) and The Taxing Woman Returns (1988). She has appeared in all of his films. Here she is Tampopo ("Dandelion"), a not entirely successful proprietor of a noodle restaurant. Along comes not Jones but Tsutmu Yamazaki as Goro, a kind of true grit, but big-hearted Japanese urban cowboy. He ambles up to the noodle bar and before long establishes himself as a kind of John Wayne hero intent on teaching Tampopo how the good stuff is made. Along the way Itami makes fun of stuffy bureaucrats, macho Japanese males, heroic death scenes, Japanese princesses attempting to acquire a European eating style, movie fight scenes, and God knows what else.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Japanese culture through humorous eyes October 26, 2000
By Anaguma
Format:DVD
I've owned the VHS version of this movie for several years and recently purchased the DVD (October 2000). I immediately noticed the improved clarity of the picture and heard sounds that I hadn't heard before on the VHS video. I enjoyed it even more - the picture was crisp and the soundtrack clear. This letterbox edition allows the subtitles to be turned off and contains a list of all the productions that Itami, Yamazaki, and Miyamoto were involved. I held off buying it due to the bad ratings some gave the quality of this DVD, but the version I got was great! If you've spent time in Japan, the zany humor really comes through, such as the group of businessmen in the New Otani Hotel French restaurant all ordering the same thing until the least senior of the group is reached. Even if you haven't lived there, it's an original film with an original approach to cinematography. As one of my favorite films from Japan, I give it 5 stars both on the movie and the DVD.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howdy There Pahdner! June 6, 2003
Format:DVD
I'm guessing that the director, Itami, had a great love for all the movie genres, including Westerns, gangster movies, comedies, you name it, because they are all loving reflected in this movie.
As others have noted, the plot is definitely patterned after Italian Spaghetti Westerns--a handsome but weathered character (Goro) comes into town and spots a widowed mother in distress (Tampopo). With the help of his eccentric friends (including a band of culinary hobos that sing in exquisite harmony a farewell song whenever their leader leaves them for a time), Goro helps Tampopo turn her fortunes around by becoming a noodle soup master! I could definitely see John Wayne playing the part of Goro every time he adjusted the brim of his cowboy hat or the bandana around his neck.
In addition to the main story line of the winsome noodle shop owner, several unconnected episodes are included. What ties them all together seems to be the theme of enjoying and appreciating and living for food, from the story of the noodle master imparting his wisdom on the perfect noodle soup to the disciple, to the old woman who sneakily wanders through an upscale grocery store just to TOUCH food, to the charismatic gangster whose dying words to his lover are about the wonders of an esoteric food delicacy, the intestines of freshly killed boars who have dined on yams that make a natural yam sausage.
Sounds odd, I know, but the director has a warm, affectionate viewpoint that lets us enjoy the eccentricities of the characters while still feeling good about them. There is not the faintest trace of meanness or cynicism in this movie. Laugh out loud scenes make this one of the funniest movies I've seen in years, and the honesty and poignancy of the wonderful characters will make this movie live in my memory for many years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "Noodle Western," ever
Ok, maybe the only noodle western, ever, but it did a great job of defining the genre.

This is one of those incredibly quirky movies. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Curmudgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars Tampopo
A little confusing, but entertaining. Watching the noodles being made was amazing. If you like cooking movies, this one is a must!!
Published 1 month ago by Diane Roselle
3.0 out of 5 stars Noodle Nonsense
A very funny film doubly so if you are a Japanese noodle enthusiast! The satire mostly hits it’s mark. Read more
Published 2 months ago by William F. Flanigan Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Tampopo
A slightly crazy and offbeat movie. It isn't linear by any stretch, but it does tell a few delicious stories revolving around food that are unlike anything you will see in a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Steven
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, poor DVD
This review is specifically about the Australian DVD referred to by this listing. The picture is certainly watchable, but the quality is only fair. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Baroque Sax
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Transfer
This is a fantastic movie, ruined by a grainy, washed out transfer. The technical problems totally destroy the experience of the film. Such a shame. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Thadeus Toad
5.0 out of 5 stars classic modern Japanese
It's funny, it's clever and it's a bit surrealistic, and very Japanese. So if you like modern Japanese cinema, this is a great choice of a movie
Published 4 months ago by beginner player
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong video sent
Would not know since I did not receive Tampopo, but a completely different movie that I returned. Was not pleased with the process of trying to return the item.
Published 5 months ago by Virginia Sill
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat ramen.
This is the ultimate ramen movie. Makes you hungry and want to eat ramen. The omelet scene is also really good.
Published 5 months ago by Daniel S. Choi
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see
This is an awesome movie in many ways. It is funny, educational, sexy and bizarre. The director is a true master, and the actors give their all. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tater
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