- Actors: Nobuo Nakamura, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Ken Watanabe, Kôji Yakusho
- Directors: Jûzô Itami
- Producers: Tampopo ( Dandelion ), Tampopo, Dandelion
- Format: Multiple Formats, Import, NTSC
- Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Subtitles: English
- Region: All Regions
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Not RatedUnrated
- Studio: Imports
- DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
- Run Time: 115.00 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B003TY2SNG
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,596 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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A great classic film. The first (and only?) ramen western. Thumbnail sketch: Japanese truck driver with a cowboy hat aids an overwhelmed middle-aged widowed noodle shop owner. Bizarre sub-scenes involving a Japanese gangster. A funny scene showing the sexual use of a raw egg.
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Top customer reviews
It plays better on larger and newer (hd) televisions, almost like watching it in a theater again, which is important since it is supposed to be like you are in the theater with the Japanese audience watching the movie that is within the movie. All of the experience seems better than watching it on a smaller, older television from a VCR.
Yes there is a movie about a dandelion (tampopo) and ramen, you might even say it is a ramen jedi story as the traveling truckers do save the widow and her ramen restaurant from the bad guys and teach the widow and her son to stand on their own two feet and how to cook ramen just right. There is also the analysis, even the over analysis, of all things noodle and how the Japanese pride themselves in being more civilized with the noodle. But it is also the story of our movie watchers, the fated lovers (spoiler alert) who are at their last movie together. Unluckily Itami committed suicide so there are only a limited number of his movies and this is probably the best for westerners to be introduced to them. Once you watch this movie you will probably want to check his others like "A Taxing Woman" or "The Funeral". He definitely had a sense of humor and was intelligent.
The main story is how a truck driving drifter and his buddy (Ken Watanabe in an early role), for reasons never really explained, become involved with the widowed proprietress of a noodle shop, a really bad noodle shop. This principal story is essentially a Cinderella story and is sweet to watch.
There are several vignettes along the way that have nothing to do with the principal story, all one-shot episodes 3-5 minutes but all focused somehow on food. There is one repeating vignette starring Koji Yakusho, who is described as an elegant gangster in a white suit and hat. He is most often with his girlfriend, the episodes are almost pornographic (so young children may need thier eyes covered, <snicker>) yet they also are moving in their way.
The actors are fun to watch, not only for the generally good acting but also because of who they are; Ken Watanabe, Koji Yakusho, Nobuko Miyamoto, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Toshiya Fujita - think Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, a young Brad Pitt, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro all doing a low budget film basically for the hell of it.
The movie is a paen to food and to eating. It's funny, heart warming and occasionally tear-inducing. Just remember when watching that these people are not American and that as such they don't have American sensibilities and reactions. But this is well worth watching.
This is great comedy, and that rarest of things, a Japanese movie poking fun of Japan, while at the same time revealing unexpected dimensions of the Japanese psyche.
Most recent customer reviews
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