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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good enough to eat
Directed by Juzo Iami this is a tremendously enjoyable, touching and stylish film exploring, amongst other things, the relationship between eating and sex (the scene involving a gangster, his moll and a raw egg has to be seen to be believed!).
At the heart of it all is a young widow named Tampopo (played by Nobuko Miyamoto) who is struggling to make ends meet by...
Published on 11 May 2004 by A. Stevens

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the original cut
The version I got was not not the original cut so omitted the famous crayfish scence, amongst othes which did conbfuse half the narrative. Dissapointing
Published 19 months ago by ARCHDUKE


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good enough to eat, 11 May 2004
By 
A. Stevens - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
Directed by Juzo Iami this is a tremendously enjoyable, touching and stylish film exploring, amongst other things, the relationship between eating and sex (the scene involving a gangster, his moll and a raw egg has to be seen to be believed!).
At the heart of it all is a young widow named Tampopo (played by Nobuko Miyamoto) who is struggling to make ends meet by running a noodle restaurant. Ambling into the story to help her comes Goro, a genial John Wayne kind of urban cowboy (well, actually a truck driver), and together they set out to find the perfect ramen recipe.
Along the way Itami inserts a series of comic vignettes, lightly poking fun at stuffy bureaucrats, macho Japanese males, spaghetti westerns and, especially, the Japanese love affair with food. Wonderful stuff.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the original cut, 12 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
The version I got was not not the original cut so omitted the famous crayfish scence, amongst othes which did conbfuse half the narrative. Dissapointing
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food, glorious food and much, much more..., 28 Dec 2005
This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
This is one of my favourite films of all time and never fails to pick me up when I'm feeling down. It has everything - a central story to warm your heart, namely, downtrodden noodlemaker and her bullied son meeting "Cowboy" Trucker Goro and his friend and begin the quest for the perfect bowl of noodles, interspersed with food reated stories that will make you laugh a lot and cry a little. Yes there is the celebrated and very sexy egg yolk scene - and very good it is too but the film is more than that.
Right down to the perfect closing credits the relationship between food and people is never forgotten. I never get tired of seeing this film, I love it.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favourite film of all time (well, top 3!), 13 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
Noodles, fighting, love, cowboys, trucking, tramps...
Basically the story of a bunch of misfit characters trying to beat the competition by perfecting the art of fast food noodles. At one level it's definitely a foodie movie, but there's something else here as well. At one point our heroes meet a bunch of down and outs musing over their own noodles and our guys are told "these people live life deeply". This somehow describes the je ne sais quoi of this movie for me.
Very funny, strangely moving and affecting. Really worth watching.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding, warm film about noodle soup and human relationships. How to make a rice omelet is included, 8 Jun 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
Tampopo has been compared to everything from a Shane-like Japanese western (loner comes riding into town and winds up helping, against the odds, a young widow with a little boy) to an episodic Tati-like film that uses gentle humor to show what a lot of us are like. In a way, it has the same sensibility as My Uncle...there's not a mean-spirited action or person in the movie, and we wind up liking the people we meet in the film. Like My Uncle, it doesn't have a Hollywood ending, but a conclusion which is both satisfying and poignant. Tampopo, however, is its own movie, not a derivation, and a fine movie it is, too.

Goro (Tsutomu Yamaguchi) is a long-haul truck driver. With him is his young co-driver, Gun (Ken Watanabe). It's dark. It's raining and they're hungry so they pull over and stop at a small noodle shop. Inside are some rough characters, led by a drunk guy who is giving loud advice to the cook and owner. She, Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto), is behind the counter hustling steaming bowls of noodle soup. It's not long before Goro intervenes after telling Gun to go back to the truck. The next morning he's bruised, aching and wakes up in the noodle shop. And when Tampopo begs him and Gun over breakfast to honestly tell her what he thought of her soup, he does. It wasn't good, he says. Tampopo is determined to do better and begs Goro to stay and teach her. For the rest of the movie we're on a kind of surreal, metaphysical journey to learn how to make a masterful bowl of noodle soup. Along the way, we're going to encounter stories that have nothing to do with Tampopo and Goro, some stories that have a glancing relationship to them, and some that are very much part of their story...and the stories all are humorously odd, a bit off-center, and funny. We even have two death scenes, one so over the top as to be awe-inspiring (Note to self: Decline any offer to eat grilled wild boar yam sausage). The thing they all have in common is food...an old woman lasciviously squeezing the fruit and cheese in a modern supermarket...an awkward salaryman at a private luncheon with the elderly bosses, none of whom can manage the French menu and play follow-the-leader by ordering sole, clear consume and beer. Last to order, it turns out he can handle the menu and goes for the quenelles, the escargot and a specific wine vintage. He may not have a long career but it's a funny and satisfying moment...or the young wife who each week drops off her aging husband at a fine noodle restaurant for lunch, but then must quickly leave for an hour to visit the bank, accompanied by the young chauffeur...or food as an aphrodisiac, with dancing shrimp on a naked tummy, new uses for whipped cream, and a raw egg passed back and forth by mouth between two lovers. (Note to self: Take a pass on that one, too.)

We learn all kinds of good things...how to cook a rice omelet for Tampopo's little boy that had my stomach grumbling with hunger...sharing grilled Korean kalbi, snipping the hot, marinated meat from the short ribs, wrapping it in lettuce and munching...filling a thin pancake with a smear of hoisin, shredded scallion, pieces of crisp duck skin with fat and some duck meat, then wrapping it up and chewing it down. Most of all, we learn about noodle soup, the different kinds and styles. It's not just the broth that must be outstanding, so must be the noodles. "I see improvement, but we want customers to line up," says one friend and advisor discussing Tampopo's noodles. "They're beginning to have depth but they still lack balance," says another. "They're not alive enough. They lack vigor," says a third. "And they still lack profundity," adds a fourth. Tampopo has some exacting teachers.

All things sooner or later have their conclusions, and so does Tampopo. The side stories eventually are resolved, Tampopo's noodle soup is a great success. We don't know what might happen with Goro, but the drunken lout we met at the start of the movie has turned out to be a nice guy. And he likes Tampopo more than he lets on. We close with one of the happiest and most satisfying images about humans and food there is...a baby contently and single-mindedly having lunch at the breast of his young mother. It's a charming end to a charming movie.

This DVD is out of print. It is not anamorphic and has no extras. It has an adequate film transfer and, if the price is right, is worth getting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I ordered, 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
I ordered the version of Tampopo pictured, at a cost of 37. I was sent a cheaper version (available at less than 7) which I had to return. There was no apology and I suspect that the 37 version is not actually available and this is a scam, in that they hope you won't notice that you have received a much cheaper version.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eggs-tremely good film, 5 Jan 2005
By 
This review is from: Tampopo [1985] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I first saw this film by flicking through the t.v channels in Canada and quickly stopped channel surfing. It is an excellent film with love, lust, laughter, food and fighting, it has everything you could possibly want in a film. I searched all over the place trying to get a copy of it and finally did through Amazon, I have made all my nearest and dearest watch it and it has always been well received, the egg yolk scene being a particular favourite. An excellent watch to while away a winters night too.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, distinctive and funny, 7 Aug 2007
By 
ds (Whitby, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
Tampopo is a rare thing indeed: a film with a brain, a heart - and a stomach!

Milk truck driver Goro and his friend Gun stumble across a sleepy noodle bar, Lai Lai, while out working one evening. Lai Lai's proprietor is the widowed Tampopo, for whom times are currently very hard indeed. She is run into the ground and her son is being bullied. She's not helped by the fact that even though her pickles are to die for, frankly, her noodle soup is at best mediocre, as Goro tells her after an altercation with a drunken Pisken, one of her few remaining regulars. So, in the spirit of Shane, Goro decides (with the help of some unusual and varied friends) to help Tampopo make the perfect noodle soup so she can turn her business (and her life) around.

This is the main thread of the story, but woven through it are a succession of vignettes that show the role of food in Japanese society: some are funny; some touching and moving; some revel in the sensual pleasure that eating and food can offer. All are memorable.

Standout scenes include lunch in a French restaurant for a group of salarymen; a finishing school teacher trying to show a group of young women how to eat their spaghetti "Western style"; Tampopo's son sneaking into a restaurant with a tramp to have a (delicious looking) rice omelette skillfully cooked for him; a family sharing the last meal cooked by their dying mother. And on top of this is the infamous scene with the gangster, his moll and a raw egg yolk (and crayfish!).

Each vignette is insightful in some way about the role of food in Japanese life. The role of women in all of this is also touched upon; each time something positive or good happens, somewhere a woman is involved. To a Western eye some of these scenes may seem to demonstrate a rather chauvanistic sexism. I am not sure that this is in any way misogynistic on the part of the director, merely a reflection of the reality of Japanese culture and the roles of women within it. Neither too is it sentimental or afraid of showing reality, as some viewers should be aware when a chef prepares a turtle for a communal meal.

The ending is entirely predictable, with Tampopo's reinvigorated shop becoming a resounding success. As in life, though, the journey is the interesting thing here. No one is a bad guy, not even Pisken, who turns out to have been holding someting of a candle for Tampopo and is in no small part responsible for the noodle bar's ressurection. And of course, Goro does what all good cowboy heroes do, riding off into the sunset before the final sequence, which shows a mother giving her young baby the most simple and pure food of all.

I first saw this film nearly twenty years ago and am glad to have finally found a chance to watch it again (via a copy I purchased on amazon.com). My memory recalled it as one of my favourite films and time has, I'm glad to say, not dimmed that recollection: it's every bit as good as I remember. Sound and picture quality are pretty good overall, with english subtitles available. There are few extras (only really the cinema trailer). The main menu is predominantly Japanese while the chapter menus are entirely so, suggesting that little has been done to the release when brought into the US. This is not a bad thing, to be honest, and adds something to the disc's character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food, glorious food, 21 Nov 2010
By 
Suroor Alikhan "suroora" (Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
A quirky film about food. The main story (there are several vignettes woven into it) is about a young woman, Tampopo, who has a noodle soup restaurant. Goro, a truck driver (an urban cowboy--well, sort of) complains that her noodle soup isn't up to scratch. The rest of the film is their search for the perfect recipe, which takes them to a group of homeless gourmets who scavenge from five-star restaurants. And then there's a side story about gangster and his moll. One the things I loved was that the camera would find something interesting and follow it, temporarily abandoning the main story. A wonderful film that will having you craving noodle soup!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy through Amazon or check what the seller is offering, 20 Feb 2010
By 
M. Turner "Mac" (Durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] (DVD)
The Fox Lorber version shown here is the original US import DVD. It's not technically perfect just more collectible. If you are being offered a Japanese version the quality is probably fine it just doesn't have the same rarity value so don't pay inflated prices.
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Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import]
Tampopo [DVD] [1986] [US Import] by Jz Itami (DVD - 1998)
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