Raining in the Mountain (1979) - full transcript

An esquire brings a female thief and his bailiff to search out a priceless handwritten scroll by Tripitaka, in a temple at the mountains. Meanwhile, a General and his lieutenant arrives for the same reason. Both of them are invited to help advise the ailing Abbot of his successor. The esquire and the General supports a different senior disciple.

Ripped, corrected & synched
by Fingersmaster. Enjoy!

A Lo & Hu Co-Production


Presented by King Hu, Wu Sau-yee

Executive Producers Lo Kai-Muk, Chung Ling

Starring Hsu Feng as White Fox,

Sun Yueh as Esquire Wen,
Tung Lin as Chiu Ming,

Wu Chia-hsiang as Master Wu Wai,

Wu Ming-tsai as Gold Lock,
Lu Chun as Hui Wen

Guest Starring Shih Chun as Hui Tung

Art Director King Hu

Martial Arts Director Wu Ming-tsai

Edited by King Hu

Cinematography Henry Chan

Music by Ng Tai Kong

Assistant Directors Tung Lin,
Fred Tan Han-Chung

Produced by Hon Kap-Chan

Written and Directed by King Hu

Three Treasures Temple
is just beyond that shrine.

See that senior monk?

He's the temple guardian.

As long as he's on duty,

outsiders dare not set foot here.


Please follow me.

Who is he?

Brother Hui Ssu.

Brother Hui Ssu.

This is my concubine.


Esquire Wen,

the Abbot sent me to welcome you.

Thank you!

When I received the Abbot's letter

I rushed right over.

How is the old master?

Not well.

He had a fainting spell two days ago,

but he's a little better today.

I'm afraid his time is not long.

This is the famous Three Treasures Temple.

What are the "three treasures"?

Not worldly but spiritual treasures:

the Buddha, the Dharma
and the monastic community.

I don't understand.

Do you mean Tripitaka's...?

The Mahayana Sutra in Tripitaka's own hand.

How much is it worth?

It's priceless.

I've brought aged ginseng
from the north.

Perhaps it can help the Abbot.

Many thanks!

The Abbot told me to inform you

that before he dies,

he must name a successor.

Because we've so many worthy monks,

he's asked lay friends to assist him.

Who else has he invited?

I don't know.

The Abbot also thanks you

for all the donations

you've given us over the years

and your warm support.

Don't mention it.

The Abbot has another request.

- Does the temple need more...?
- No, we're financially sound.

He asks you

to lend your support to the new abbot.

But of course.

Brother Hui Ssu.

Who do you expect him to choose?

It's not for me to speculate.

- Let them take your luggage.
- Yes, sir!

- Take the valet to his room.
- Yes, sir!

This way.

Your meal will be served shortly.

Thank you. You're dismissed.

Let's eat.

Go ahead. I'll just be a minute.


Up there!

There it is!

Come on!


It must be here somewhere.
Keep watch!


Find it?


What does it look like?

It's a long scroll.


The door's unlocked.

Unlocked? It can't be.
Let's take a look.


It's open!
Hurry, tell Brother Hui Wen.

Brother Hui Wen!

Brother Hui Wen!

What is it?

The Scripture Hall door is unlocked.

Yes, I opened it.

Then left it unlocked?

What'd he say?

He said to leave it open.

This way.

Was it a trying journey?

Not so bad.

Good day.

Take the luggage to the guest rooms.


Over there!

What is it?


Brother Hui Tung, who is that?

- Esquire Wen's new concubine.
- Esquire Wen?

The wealthy landowner from Chiang Tung?

I know him.


You know the woman?


Who is she?

She's called White Fox.
A thief.

A thief? Are you sure?

It's her.

Did you see it, General?

She has a master key.

Oh? I didn't notice.

I arrested her once in the north,

but she escaped.

I don't know Esquire Wen very well,

but I should inform him

that he has married a thief.

Brother Hui Tung,
please arrange a meeting.

Very well!

General, wait!

What is it?

There's more to this
than meets the eye.

You were too careless.

You brought me here
to steal that damn scroll for you.

So what was I supposed to do?

Wait for the right time!

This temple food is awful!

Everyone here eats the same food.

Those leading spiritual lives
for ego luxuries.

I'm not leading a spiritual life!

Given your history,

perhaps you should!


I don't understand...

With your wealth you can buy anything.

What do you want with
a ragged old scroll?

What do you know?

It's the Mahayana Sutra,

hand-copied by the great monk Tripitaka.

It's priceless.

Money can't buy it.

What good is it?

It's one of a kind.

I've long dreamed of possessing it.

I'll get it for you as soon as I can

and then get the hell out of here.

I'm telling you,

I don't want to hang around this dump!

Don't be rash. I've got a plan.

Forget it! I'm getting out of here!

I'll give you your money back.

Hire someone else. I quit.

Why are you so angry?

I don't like waiting around!

All right, all right!

Hey! Keep your hands off!

You paid me to steal the scroll

and that's all you'll get!

So now you're a lady of virtue, eh?

Shut up!

We had an understanding, didn't we?

I sell my skills, not my body!

I'm not a whore!

Keep it down, will you?

- Why should I?
- Please, my lady.

- Who is it?
- It's me.

- Brother Hui Wen.
- Greetings.

Come, I'll introduce you.

This is Brother Hui Wen.

We've already met...
at the Scripture Hall.

Fortunately, he's our friend.

He's the Abbot's number two disciple

and will very likely be the next abbot.

We can't be certain of that!

Don't worry.

My words carry weight with the Abbot.

I'll leave you two to your business.


Your support is invaluable.

Did you get my letter?


I can almost guarantee you
the position.

Did you receive my letter?


If I become the new abbot,

the scroll is yours!

Then it's a deal!

We businessmen place trust above all.

I'll speak to the Abbot in a bit.

I'll sound him out for you.

Please, don't be hasty.

General Wang is pressing Hui Tung's case!

Wang's a soldier, not a scholar.

The Abbot won't necessarily
heed his counsel.

Let's hope not.

- I must be going.
- Very well.

One more thing:

your concubine may move freely about,

but she mustn't arouse suspicion.


Someone's outside.

Gold Lock!

Over here!

- Let him go.
- Yes.

Who is he?

He's the famous Master Wu Wai.

What is he known for?

He's a devoted lay Buddhist.

I don't get it.

Although he's a layman, he knows

the sutras better than most monks do!

Then what's he doing with all those women?

He's immune to sensual pleasures.

Him? He looks like an old lecher.

Even the emperor defers to him.


It's so good you've come!

Your Reverence!

Arise, arise!

Get up!

Esquire Wen.

General Wang, it's been a while.

Over a year since we last met.

Master Wu Wai travels in style, doesn't he?

I believe he too has come here

for the succession.


Who do you think will be chosen?

Who do you think?

Brother Hui Tung, without a doubt.

Brother Hui Tung is very clever.

Over here.

Give it to me.

This food is for Master Wu Wai.

I know. Now give it to me!

Go on!

Who will Your Reverence pick?

My mind is unsteady these days

and my old body is failing me.

That is why I seek your advice.

The temple is a huge responsibility.

If I choose unwisely,

disputes will arise.

General Wang and Esquire Wen
have also come.

If there is a disagreement,

they can arbitrate.

What are your criteria
for choosing the new abbot?

I have none.

It doesn't matter...

...whether he is a monk or a layman,

so long as he is enlightened.

Hui Ssu,

go and fetch Master Wu Wai's meal.

Will do.

Brother Hui Tung.

I'm delivering Master Wu Wai's meal.

I'll take it.
You prepare a pot of tea.


Your Reverence, when are you planning
to choose a successor?

In a few days.

But there's a worldly matter
to attend to first.

A convict has purchased a permit
to become a monk here.

Let's take a rest.

Nobody's around. I'll take it off.

Thank you, officer!

Not at all.

We've been through a lot together.

- Is this Chiu Ming?
- Yes.

Here's the document you need.

May I see the Abbot?

The Abbot sent me
to take charge of him.

Make good use
of your time here, friend.

Perhaps we'll meet again.


I don't know how to thank you!

Please don't.
Get up!


This is the Abbot
and this is Master Wu Wai.

I bow to you, Reverence.

Who is your master?

You are my master.

Do you sincerely wish to become a monk?

I do.

You are a convicted criminal.

What are you charged with?


So you did transgress.

No. I was falsely accused.

By whom?

Lieutenant Chang Cheng.

How did that happen?

My brother was a woodblock printer.

Our family owned a rare edition
of the Diamond Sutra.

Chang Cheng wanted to buy it.

My brother wouldn't sell it.

So Chang Cheng accused us of theft.


And then?

He beat my brother to death in court

and I was sentenced
to serve in the army.

Have you ever met Chang Cheng?


If you happened to meet him,
what would you do?


You bear no grudge?

Start by mopping the temple floor.

Go and get the goods.

Hurry! Give it over!

Calm down.

Be careful!

Hey! Where's the money?

- Not enough!
- It's plenty.

I'm taking a loss...

Seven strings of 100...

Six strings of 320...

Six strings of 910...

Seven strings of 620...

Four strings of 650.


Wrong again!

You! Do it over!

Esquire Wen.

General Wang.

I just saw something strange.

While Wu Wai was preaching,
his attendants

were bathing in full view
of the monks!


Just over the hill.

This way of propagating Buddhism

is really something new.

Going a bit far,
wouldn't you say?

Very profound.

I think I'll have a look.

They're still there.
Follow me.



What sect is it?

No idea...

Gentlemen, the Abbot...

will see you now.

Very well.

This way.

- Please.
- Please.

Please follow me.


- Gentlemen.
- Your Reverence.

The Abbot had matters to attend to

and couldn't see you earlier.

He hopes you're comfortable here.

Very much so!

The Abbot says,
when his successor takes over,

if there's a dispute,

he'd like you two to mediate.

Rest assured, Reverence.

We'll do as you wish.

Very well.

Your Reverence,

which of the monks

will you choose as your successor?

Each of them is worthy,

each is perfect in his own way.

You two have done much for me
over the years.

How can I repay you?

I've heard Tripitaka's handwritten
Mahayana Sutra is kept here.

Would it be possible to see it?

By all means.

Is Esquire Wen also interested?

I've long yearned to see
the treasured scroll.

Ha! It's no treasure,

just a roll of tattered paper.

It truly is a priceless treasure.


Its true value lies in its meaning.

But of course!

Brother Hui Ssu, lead the way.

Let's go!

- Hey, what's that?
- Indeed.

- Let's go and check it out.
- Sure.

Wait a second.

What is it?

- Let's take a look.
- At what?

The ground's covered with them...


They look like prayer beads.

They're unstrung!

- Hurry!
- Come on,

pick them up!

Give them to him.

Here's one...

- Keep looking.
- Right.

There's more here.

Go and look by the back door.

- Are there some more?
- No.

- There are some here.
- Gather them.

- They're gone.
- Go look.

Any more?

Here's one more!

You! Who are you?

Chiu Ming.

Chiu Ming?

Chiu Ming?

What did you do
before you came here?

I was sentenced to serve in the army

but I bought a permit
to become a monk instead.

Since you're a monk now,

what are you doing with these women?

Watch what you say, sir.


You dare lecture me?

This is preposterous!

Let's go! Don't be nosy.

Hurry! Go!

- What are you doing?
- The hook!

All for a raggedy scroll...


Chiu Ming, tell no one about this,

or it will be trouble for you.


The man who struck you
was Chang Cheng.

Don't be afraid.


Henceforth, you shall guard
the Scripture Hall.

The responsibility
is too great for me.

Why is that?

I've heard Tripitaka's handwritten

Mahayana Sutra is kept there.

If something should happen to it...

That is a worldly view.

The old scroll has no real value.


Take this ginseng to Master Wu Wai.

Tell him it's a gift from Esquire Wen.


Brother Hui Ssu,

I'd like a word with you.

When did he take the vows?

This morning.

Why were you two
in the Scripture Hall?

The Abbot appointed him
guardian of the Scripture Hall.

A convict guarding the scriptures...

What's the deeper meaning of this?

Perhaps Master will choose Hui Ssu.

No, he won't!

Hui Ssu is too young.

You've managed the temple's assets
for many years.

No one is better suited than you.

Please don't say that!

If Hui Tung should overhear,

there'd be no end of trouble.

You're both talking rubbish!

Don't be foolhardy!

My way is better.

Listen... wait...!




Sir, wait!

Let us begin.

Your Reverence!

I am your devoted lay friend,

but I'm also governor
of this district.

There is a matter
we must get to the bottom of.

Feel free to speak.

Are you aware

of this man's background?

Please go on.

He's a criminal.

A thief!

He was arrested
and sentenced to the army.

I don't know how he
got the money

to buy his way out.

His Reverence is aware of this.

It was the Abbot himself
who administered the vows.

Your Reverence has led a spiritual life,

indifferent to worldly affairs.

Do you question my judgment?

No, no! All I'm saying is

you may be unaware of his background.

But let's not dwell on that.

If he'd reformed, I'd let it go.

But he's up to his old tricks!

Oh? How has he erred?

He was stealing in the Scripture Hall.

Luckily, Chang Cheng
was on hand to stop him.

It's a lie!

Your Reverence...

I have reported the incident to the Abbot.

General Wang.

May I question Lieutenant Chang?

Of course.

Lieutenant Chang.

How do you know he was stealing?

As it happens,

I saw him sneak into the Scripture Hall.

I grew suspicious and followed him.

When I asked him what he was doing,

he couldn't give me a straight answer.

Then I knew
he was up to something.

You guessed, Lieutenant?

Lt. Chang is an officer of the law.

He's familiar with the likes
of Chiu Ming.

Wasn't Lt. Chang himself an outlaw

before he joined the constabulary?

Let's not digress.

Chiu Ming was stealing

and Lt. Chang confronted him.

In shame and anger,

he threw Lt. Chang
from the Scripture Hall!

Chiu Ming! Is it true?


General Wang,

I've heard that Lt. Chang
is a martial artist.

Indeed he is!

Then how is it that he was
thrown down the stairs?

No, no, no! This is a sacred place!

I would never violate
its sanctity by fighting.

Lt. Chang would've
arrested him anywhere else.

But the temple

is under the Abbot's jurisdiction.

Hui Tung, what do you think
should be done?

According to the rules,

he should be expelled for thievery.

He assaulted an officer of the law

and should be remanded
to General Wang.

Hui Wen, what do you think?

The Scripture Hall
has long been my responsibility.

If Chiu Ming trespassed there,

I am at fault.

But I don't understand how it was

that Lieutenant Chang
happened to be there.

Leave that aside for now.

And you, Hui Ssu?

Punish him!

May I ask why?

Because that's the only way
to satisfy General Wang.

Bind Chiu Ming to the Scripture Hall.

General, I fear the Abbot

is onto your scheme.

He's a senile old man in his 90s,
he won't see through it.

He's not senile in the least.

And Wu Wai is suspicious too.

It isn't looking good.

Only you and Chiu Ming
know what happened.

He's tied to the Scripture Hall.

Wait a bit, then go and finish him off.


Why are you freeing me?

By order of Esquire Wen -

he wants to befriend you.

Isn't this in defiance
of the Abbot's orders?

Not at all.

It won't work.

Why not?

Killing Chiu Ming
would be of no avail.

A murder while we were here

would reflect badly on us.

We came for the scroll,

let's not complicate matters.

You're right.

Forget it.

General, go to the Abbot immediately

and ask him to release Chiu Ming.

You'll make a good impression.

I can't go back
on what I said earlier.

You can!

Your Reverence,

yesterday my anger blinded me.

I didn't think Chiu Ming
would be treated so harshly.

Now I regret it. Can you pardon him?

General, he deserves his punishment.

He's been there for hours.

Surely he's suffered enough.

Can't he be released now?

It's getting late.
Perhaps the General should rest.

We'll discuss this another time.

See the General out.



- General...
- Yes?

Tomorrow the monks will be tested

and a new abbot will be chosen.

Please be there to advise us.


Gentleman, have you studied

the three disciples' answers?


All excellent.

General, what do you think?

Their answers are all very good.


Of all the temple's monks, you three

have the best knowledge of Buddhism.

Each of you is worthy
of the abbot ship.

Now His Reverence must make a decision.

The three of you go to the pond
behind the temple

and each fetch a bucket of clear water.

Will do.

Is the water in your buckets clear?


Hui Tung, tell me

how you got your clear water?

Only by working with my brothers

was I able to obtain clear water.

Explain your answer.

Only when the many streams

have run to the sea

does it reflect the full moon.

Hui Wen?

I filtered the water through fine gauze...

for only by ridding oneself
of worldly ideas

can one rediscover his true nature.

Hui Ssu?

Let nature take its course...

clear heart, clear water.

Hui Ssu!

Come forward!

Come, come.

This is a large temple, with many monks.

Therefore, to avoid internal disputes,

an outsider shall become the new abbot.

He shall assume the mantle of leadership.

Chiu Ming!

Chiu Ming! Come forth!


Henceforth, you shall
be called Hui Ming.

You shall take my place

in upholding temple traditions

- and propagating Buddhist doctrine.
- Rise!


Hui Ming has been chosen
as the new abbot.

Respect him as you would the old abbot.



Abbot Hui Ming is now in charge.

These are the temple's accounts.

Hui Wen will answer
any questions you have.

This is Tripitaka's Mahayana Sutra.

It has long been
a source of trouble here.

Deal with it properly.


Tomorrow the old Abbot will retire...

to prepare for Nirvana.

We will see him off to South Mountain

by reciting the Amitabha Sutra.

This is absurd!
A convict as abbot!

It's completely inappropriate!

He'll find it's not easy being abbot.

He still has me to reckon with!

Gentlemen, please excuse me.

Very well.

- I pity him.
- Who?

Hui Tung. All his efforts were in vain.

A monk so power hungry

isn't fit to be abbot.

Should I have a talk with the old abbot?

About what?

To suggest he appoint Hui Tung instead.

On what grounds?

Well, let's say that
as district governor...

I won't allow a convict
to serve as abbot.

I simply won't allow it.

Don't do it!

We have to win Chiu Ming over now.

How? He hates our guts.

I'll see to it.

Over here! Gather around.

Hui Tung has something to say.


Listen to Hui Tung.

Speak of this to no one!

Lead them to the new abbot.

Tell him you're not getting enough to eat

and you're weak from hunger.

Raise a ruckus. I'll back you up.

Come on! Let's give him hell!

Good. I'll leave it to you.

Count on us!

Is there any other business today?

We captured a smuggler this morning.

Your Reverence.

What is it, Lieutenant?

What happened between us earlier

was a misunderstanding.

I'm sorry you suffered for it.

I've already forgotten it

and I hope you'll forget it too.

There's something else
you should know.

Please speak freely, sir.

The food here is...


The food here in the temple is awful.

All the monks are complaining.

I just overheard Hui Tung inciting them

to confront you about it.

I've come to let you know

so you won't be taken by surprise.

How can you let us starve?

What does it matter?

What if it goes too far?

Don't worry!
Hui Tung will back us up!


What if he doesn't?

We'll leave the monk hood!

Easy to say! How would we get by?

A bowl of gruel isn't hard to come by.

If you two want to back out,

let's just forget it!

Your Reverence! We'd like a word with you.

Very well.

Is it about the food?


You still want to go through with it?

Master, you know what we eat.

- I do.
- Watery gruel,

and little else!

Monks are falling sick every day!

They're weak and can't see well at night.

Sick? We're starving!

Ravaged by hunger!

What's going on here?

What's all the shouting about?


We'll find a way to improve the food,

but there'll be other changes as well.

From now on, monks will not spend

the entire day in contemplation.

They'll do farm work as well.

Plant crops?

Monks farming? Is he serious?


Your Reverence,

I don't think it will work.

Yes, it will.

We don't know how to farm!

Then learn.

From whom?

I'll teach you.

Disperse now.

We need more food!

How can we farm on empty stomachs?

- He's left.
- Let's go.

Solving the food problem won't be easy.

You've seen the temple accounts.

What we take in barely covers expenses.

We don't have the money for more food.

Then go collect alms.

I'm in charge of alms collection.

Money's scarce this year!

Then borrow!

Your Reverence!

We've nothing to put up for collateral

unless we go to Esquire Wen.

Then go to him now.

Your Reverence, the food situation...

It will be rectified tomorrow.

These are the ones.

They've been eating meat and drinking wine.

He's their supplier.

We caught them this morning.

Where did they get the money?

From Hui Wen.

Brother, what are you saying?

They confessed to it.

I sent them to buy provisions.

I didn't tell them to break their vows!

How were such matters handled in the past?

For monks, three months
of solitary confinement.

For laypeople, a severe caning.

I'll take care of it.

Fine. But we'll initiate a new procedure.

Monks will go to the rear courtyard

and clear land to plant vegetables.

Turn the smuggler over
to Lieutenant Chang

to await trial.

- Your Reverence...
- Do as I say.

Go now!

- Take care of it immediately!
- Yes, sir.

How dare you defame me?

Your Reverence.

Esquire Wen.

I was on my way to see you.

And I was just on my way
to congratulate you

but I saw you were very busy.

No congratulations, please.


we want to improve the food here.

Can you help us?

I'd help if I could,

but as Hui Wen knows,

I'm having difficulties myself.


could you help us borrow?

Lenders want collateral for loans.

We could mortgage the temple property.

The lenders wouldn't accept it.

Why not?

If you defaulted,
they couldn't sell the temple.

Is there any other way?

With the Tripitaka scroll as security,

you could borrow a large sum.

How much?

Tens of thousands of taels of silver.

Fine. First give
Hui Wen a draft for 10,000 taels.

As for the scroll,

let me think about it.

Here are two drafts,
each worth 10,000 taels.

One for the temple, one for you.

And here's the key to Scripture Hall.

If he changes his mind,
resort to your original plan.


If they steal it,

it won't cost me anything.

Let's go.

How can I explain a murder
in the temple?

Leave it to me!

But he's the abbot!

You go first.


On my own I'm no match for him.

Don't worry. I've got your back.

Go on! Go!

Your Reverence!


Your Reverence!

Hui Tung and Chang Cheng
are plotting to kill you!



Put some salve on it
and you'll be fine.

Then go watch over
the Scripture Hall tonight.

If there's any trouble there,

I'll hold you responsible.

Now go!

Have you seen Chang Cheng?

Go out the back.
Meet me at the riverside.

See you there!

- Esquire Wen,
- I...

Well, this has been an eventful visit.

Indeed it has.

Are you leaving today too, General?

Yes. I've official duties to attend to.

Then I won't delay you further.

You're too polite!

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

- After you.
- Please.

Chang Cheng!

Chang Cheng!

"White Fox has scroll. In pursuit.

Await you at riverside."

Damn it! Where by the riverside?




- What about Gold Lock?
- Run!

Chang Cheng.

Isn't this Gold Lock?

After them!

Come on!


I say, sir, can you ferry us across?

I'll pay you 10 taels of silver.

20, then!

All right?

Let's go!



- What?
- You haven't paid him.

On second thought...

What if he betrays us?

Better yet...

That won't do!

Old fellow, I forgot to pay you.

Old fellow, over here, over here!

Please, sir... stop!

Esquire Wen.

Brother Hui Wen.

Esquire Wen.

I've told the Abbot all about our plot.

You stole and murdered
on temple grounds.

How will you account for that?

Chang Cheng attacked me!

But you've no proof of it!

Chang Cheng was a known killer.

The brute got what he deserved.

That may indeed be so,

but the law won't see it that way!

Then... what can I do?

Return with me and
beg for the Abbot's mercy.

Perhaps he'll be lenient.

So... all my efforts were in vain?

I'm afraid so.

Go to hell!

Esquire Wen!

Esquire! Not that way...!

This tattered parchment

has caused trouble for far too long.

Now I'm returning it to Tripitaka.

General Wang.

The Mahayana Sutra's true value
is in its meaning.

It should be available to all.

I've made scores of copies.

One of them for you, General.

Call her over to take the tonsure.



Chant the sutra.

-- English --