7.1/10
1,075
10 user 40 critic

Cowards Bend the Knee (2003)

Cowards Bend the Knee or The Blue Hands (original title)
It's time for hockey! There's no telling what will happen when the Winnipeg Maroons' own star player Guy becomes embroiled in the twisted lives of Meta, a vengeful Chinoise, and her ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Gretchen Krich, Sullivan Brown, Maya Lawson
Careful (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Alpine village of Tolzbad in the 1800s, the townsfolk talk quietly and restrain their movements lest they incur avalanches. This atmosphere lends itself to repressed emotions - shown... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Kyle McCulloch, Gosia Dobrowolska, Sarah Neville
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told a tale by their Icelandic grandmother about Einar the Lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gottli, Angela Heck
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A musical of sorts set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, where a beer baroness organizes a contest to find the saddest music in the world. Musicians from around the world descend on the city to try and win the $25,000 prize.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Mark McKinney, Maria de Medeiros
Archangel (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Michael Gottli, David Falkenburg, Michael O'Sullivan
Comedy | Horror | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A ballet rendition of Bram Stoker's gothic novel DRACULA, presented in a style reminiscent of the silent expressionistic cinema of the early 20th Century. This work employs the subtle and ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Wei-Qiang Zhang, Tara Birtwhistle, David Moroni
My Winnipeg (2007)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Fact, fantasy and memory are woven seamlessly together in this portrait of film-maker Guy Maddin's home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage, Louis Negin
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor playing Christ in a play, are brothers in love with the same woman. Anna, a state scientist and said woman, is in love with both brothers and ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Leslie Bais, Caelum Vatnsdal, Shaun Balbar
Fantasy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Peter Glahn is released after years of incarceration as a political prisoner and is now returning to his homeland, the mythical Mandragora where the sun never sets. On board the ship home, ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Pascale Bussières, Shelley Duvall, Frank Gorshin
Keyhole (2011)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Gangster and deadbeat dad, Ulysses Pick, embarks on an unusual journey through his home.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini, Udo Kier
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A never-before-seen woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that's been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the... See full summary »

Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
Stars: Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A father and son ride the rails in their powerful locomotive. Witnessing a crash between two other engines, they rescue the lone survivor, Berenice, and make her a part of their family. All... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Jim Keller, Brandy Bayes, Caelum Vatnsdal
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Melissa Dionisio ...
...
Veronica
Tara Birtwhistle ...
Liliom
...
Mike Bell ...
Mo Mott
David Stuart Evans ...
Shaky
Henry Mogatas ...
Chas
Victor Cowie ...
Herdis Maddin ...
Grandma
Marion Martin ...
Mrs. Maddin
Aurum McBride ...
Baby
Bernard Lesk ...
Stickboy
Erin Hershberg ...
Customer / Stylist
Erika Rintoul ...
Customer
Edit

Storyline

It's time for hockey! There's no telling what will happen when the Winnipeg Maroons' own star player Guy becomes embroiled in the twisted lives of Meta, a vengeful Chinoise, and her hairdresser/abortionist mother Liliom. Innocent Veronica, caught in the middle, is treated to both services! Meanwhile poor, dithering, cowardly Guy can only stand by and watch. Written by Anony-Moose

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Cowards Bend the Knee  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,030 (USA) (13 August 2004)

Gross:

$22,940 (USA) (20 August 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Alice Krige was Maddin's first choice to play Liliom, but was unable to appear in the film due to an illness. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a film loaded with libido and hyper-consciousness, a hallucination of abortions, murder and hockey
29 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's not in Guy Maddin to make what Hollywood people would call a "normal" movie. Armed with 8mm cameras, loads of lights, sound effects (if not actual sound equipment), and a mind like a steel Dziga-Vertov trap marinated in Winnipeg and sex and murder, he makes movies the way he damn well pleases to do them, which usually are done like super-kinetic, libido-charged fever dreams that come to represent a kind of consciousness that could be misconstrued as a music video if not for the fact that it's a 1920's silent film about revenge-plotting women and blue hands ala Evil Dead that kill innocent victims while hockey is always a major subject (and, sometimes, with players in full wax museum mold).

It might not always make sense- and by this I mean relatively to some of Maddin's best and strangest like Brand Upon the Brain! and The Saddestmusic in the World- but it's never less than boring and always more than enough for the open-minded. And by this I mean open-minded enough to find oneself in the horror-movie world of a hockey player named Guy Maddin (yeah, not the first time and wont be the last the director has a character named by himself), who goes through a psycho-sexual-homicidal journey through a pair of blue hands which belong to a devious girl's father. They aren't actually his hands put on his, however, they're just painted blue. But there's an effect that comes with this: the hands kill ala Evil Dead without Maddin really wanting to. So come a series of events involving wax-painted hockey players who can come to life, an abortionist that works out of a beauty parlor, another woman who cant stand how Maddin waxes her legs, and, yes, plenty of frenetic Canadian Hockey.

That's what it's aboot, so to speak, but there's more, much more, particularly in Maddin's 10-chapter set-up, and featuring Beethoven's 7th among other classical selections (frankly I enjoyed the 7th in Saddest Music more, but this is even crazier, which helps). Everything moves at such a pace and clip you wont know what stops and goes. But Maddin's mind works wonders as a master of his craft and at relaying his own personality and life experiences in the framework of what is essentially a really demented B-movie. It's like with Jodorowsky: he makes movies with his you-know-what as opposed to his head. I wouldn't want it any other way.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?