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Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 66,676 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 336 user | 94 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Jacob's Ladder (1990)

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"Back Roads" centers on a young man stuck in the Pennsylvania backwoods caring for his three younger sisters after the shooting death of his abusive father and the arrest of his mother. ... See full summary »

Director: Adrian Lyne
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jacobs Nightmare  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,118,851 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After initial test audiences reported that the film was overwhelming, director Adrian Lyne cut out twenty minutes of material, almost all of which came from the last third of the film. Four major sequences were removed after Jacob (Tim Robbins) first meets Michael (Matt Craven); a scene where Michael gives him an antidote for the Ladder, a scene where Jacob thinks he is cured but turns out not to be; a scene where he goes to Michael's apartment and finds Michael decapitated; and a scene just prior to his final meeting with Gabe (Macaulay Culkin), where he meets Jezzie (Elizabeth Peña), who shows her true form. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Jacob and Geary are walking down the stairs, Geary is holding his briefcase with his left hand. After he says "war games in Thailand" and makes a motion with his right hand, the next shot shows that hand now holding the brief case. See more »

Quotes

Jezebel: Well, personally, I never went for church names.
[Jacob laughs]
Jezebel: What?
Jacob Singer: Where do you think Jezebel came from?
Jezebel: No one calls me that.
Jacob Singer: You're such a heathen, Jezzie. How'd I ever get involved with such a fuckin' ninny?
Jezebel: You sold your soul, remember? That's what you told me.
Jacob Singer: Yeah? For what?
Jezebel: A good lay.
Jacob Singer: Look what I got.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Building 'Jacob's Ladder' (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

MY THANG
Written by James Brown (as J. Brown)
Published by Unichappell Music (BMI)
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


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