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Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  2 November 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 71,935 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 339 user | 99 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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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
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Did You Know?


Sidney Lumet, Michael Apted and Ridley Scott all tried to get the project green-lit during its several year period of non-production. See more »


When 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 »


Jacob Singer: They weren't human.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Machinist (2004) See more »


Written by Robert Bateman (as R. Bateman) / Georgia Dobbins (as G. Dobbins) / William Garrett (as W. Garrett) / Brian Holland (as B. Holland) / Freddie Gorman (as F. Gorman)
Published by Jobete Music Co., Inc. (ASCAP) / Stone Agate Music (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a creepy and unnerving psychological thriller.
2 February 2000 | by (roanoke, va) – See all my reviews

I've always felt that this film has never gotten the credit or attention it deserves. Along with the similary underappreciated Angel Heart, this film creates a sense of dread and foreboding atmosphere that never lets up and comes close to overwhelming the viewer at times.

Tim Robbins deliver possibly one of the best performances of his career and all of the other cast is fantastic as well. The editing and especially the cinematography are top notch and contribute greatly to the overall feel of the film.

i won't go into any plot details since any revelations could ruin the film for someone who hasn't seen it. but if you want to see a movie that will genuinely freak you out and have you sleeping with the lights on, you can't go wrong with this great film.


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