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Jacob's Ladder (1990)

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Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death.


1,088 ( 701)
2 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Alessandro ...
Brent Hinkley ...
Hospital Receptionist
Doug Barron ...
Group Leader


New York postal worker Jacob Singer is trying to keep his frayed life from unraveling. His days are increasingly being invaded by flashbacks to his first marriage, his now-dead son, and his tour of duty in Vietnam. Athough his new wife tries to help Jacob keep his grip on sanity, the line between reality and delusion is steadily growing more and more uncertain. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most frightening thing about Jacob Singer's nightmare is that he isn't dreaming.


Drama | Horror | Mystery


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dante's Inferno  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$26,118,851 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


For all of the chiropractor scenes, director Adrian Lyne ensured there was a real chiropractor on-set, who would work with actor Danny Aiello so as to ensure authenticity. According to Lyne, chiropractors often approach him and thank him for going to the trouble of getting what they do exactly right. See more »


A support wire is clearly visible on one of the demon's wings during the party scene. See more »


Louis: Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So the way he sees it, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It's just a matter of how you look at it, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits roll over a grainy black and white photo of Gabe and Jacob crossing the street together. See more »


Featured in The Nightmare (2015) See more »


By Bob Crewe (as B. Crewe) / Kenny Nolan (as K. Nolan)
Published by Kenny Nolan Publishing / Tannyboy Music / Stone Diamond Corp. (BMI)
Performed by LaBelle
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I enjoyed it much more after a second viewing
15 January 2003 | by (Greenville, NY) – See all my reviews

I remember viewing this movie a couple years back and I did not get a lot out of it, I thought it was just too weird. In fact, I even wrote a review of the film on here. I'm glad I gave it another try because I really got a lot more out of it after the second viewing. Maybe it was because my expectations of the film were lower or I have matured in past few years. Anyway, this is a highly fascinating and entertaining thriller about a Vietnam veteran who always feels like there is somebody or something "out to get him". He feels this way because he keeps seeing strange images and many people in which he comes in contact with appear to have horns growing out of their heads and whatnot. Him and his war buddies believe that these strange occurrences are the result of something that happened during the war. The best element of this film is its atmosphere and paranormal feel which will really give you the creeps as well as have you guessing what the cause of the strange occurrences that are affecting Jacob really are. Well worth viewing, and if it doesn't grab you on the first viewing, don't hesitate to try it again, you may enjoy it more. 8/10.

56 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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