This movie was filmed in Korea so none of the actors could get off the set — King Hu was known for demanding a lot from his actors.
Monk travel far
Governor and friend who come with mistress
to temple in mountain
where abbot live and guard scroll of old Buddha.
Followed by layman who know plenty
but no monk
bring many girl
but no touch
who tell teaching on rock while woman bathe naked
to tempt young monk into breaking zen way of living.
Good men help abbot in matters of three
monk to succeed and become next to guard old scroll.
But Governor and friend come to steal with mistress and agent
grab scroll while Abbot make big decision before take off on nirvana mission.
In come street sweeper
criminal or thief
become monk and leave
past behind as well as hair
to guard monk scripture room and writings
New Abbot with bad past
make change strong and heavy
ask monk to tend garden
make veggie for food
better than what monk served
Scroll once again captured
burn scroll that cause trouble
the treasure is not in the material
but in the teaching.
This old thing bring all trouble.
Cut mistress hair to make up for spilt blood.
Nirvana reached on boat to cross from shore to shore.