13 user 2 critic
In the foreign land of Canaan lives Isaac, son of Abraham, with his clever, strong-willed wife Rebekah and his twin sons Esau and Jacob. The first-born, Esau, is a strong and fearless ... See full summary »


Peter Hall


Francesco Maria Nappi (book), Lionel Chetwynd (teleplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Modine ... Jacob
Lara Flynn Boyle ... Rachel
Sean Bean ... Esau
Joss Ackland ... Isaac
Juliet Aubrey ... Leah
Irene Papas ... Rebekah
Giancarlo Giannini ... Laban
Christoph Waltz ... Morash
Christoph M. Ohrt ... Be'or (as Christoph Ohrt)
Philip Locke ... Diviner
Daniel Newman Daniel Newman ... Reuben (age 14)
Cecilia Dazzi Cecilia Dazzi ... Billah
Yvonne Sciò ... Judith (as Yvonne Scio')
Garry Cooper ... Caananite 1
Bev Willis Bev Willis ... Caananite 2


In the foreign land of Canaan lives Isaac, son of Abraham, with his clever, strong-willed wife Rebekah and his twin sons Esau and Jacob. The first-born, Esau, is a strong and fearless hunter with a voracious appetite for sensual pleasures. Jacob is a shepherd, more tender and compassionate han Esau. Just as Esau is the pride of his father, so is Jacob the apple of his mother's eye. Rebekah is convinced that Jacob, though the second born son, is the chosen one and the rightful heir of Isaac and Abraham. And she tells him that when she was with child, God announced to her: "Two nations are within thy womb. Two manner of men shall be delivered to you. The one shall be stronger than the other and the elder shall serve the younger". One day Esau returns from a hunt to find Jacob preparing a lentil porridge. Famished, he asks Jacob for some food. Jacob agrees, but on one condition: that Esau sell him his birthright. Since Esau ascribes little value to its meaning, he readily agrees and they...

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Decent and enjoyable religious story about Jacob, his father Isaac, wife Rachel and other notorious Biblical characters
14 April 2020 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

In land of Canaan lives Isaac : Joss Ackland, and his wife Rebekah : Irene Papas . Both of whom have two twins sons : the valiant , strong Esau : Sean Bean and the shy, silent Jacob : Mathew Modine. Esau is a brave, fearless hunter while Jabob is a lonely shepherd who is usually caring sheep. While Jacob is more compassionate, sensitive and tender than Esau. The good mother Rebekah is convinced that Jacob is the chosen heir, and due to God announced her long time ago : "two nations are within your womb, two manner of men shall be delivered , the one shall be stranger than the other and the elder shall serve the younger" . However, Jacob is the second born son, and he has not right in his father's inheritance against the desires his mother . Shortly after, Jacob is preparing a lentil porridge when his famished brother Esau asks him some food, Jacob agrees but only one condition, that Esau sell him his birthright .The starving Esau agrees it, though he gives little value to its meaning , and they eventually conclude the covenant. Later on, Rebekah prepares a ploy, as Jacob replaces Esau when Issac is blind and almost dying, and he then obtains his blessing as the main heir instead Esau. To be aware of Jacob blessing, Rebekah advises Jacob to flee due to the kill intention of his brother Esau . In his way to Haran, Jacob experienced a weird vision in which he saw a long stair to heaven, the famous Jacob's ladder and at the stair top, he heard the God's voice while shouting blessings to Jacob. Along the way Jacob fights an Angel and other incidents. Arriving in Haran Jacob meets Rebeca : Lara Flynn Boyle, and falls for her. Jacob asks his uncle Laban : Giancarlo Giannini for marrying her, but he has to carry out a hard condition by working 14 years for him. But then Jacob is deceived again, as in the wedding night Rebeca is replaced by her sister Lea : Juliet Aubrey. A bit later on, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel in exchange of other seven years working.

Biblical story narrated on The Genesis Book from the Holy Bible. This is the classy Biblic history with usual ingredients, dramas confrontation and romances. However, here lacks battles, epic events and spectacular settings. As it is a medium budget film, without pompa, shot simply on the usual location in Morocco .Well played by a very fine main and support cast. Matthew Modine is nice as as the good shepherd who God finally appoints as ruler of Israel and Father of Israelis. Lara Flynn Boyle is attractive as Rachel and Juliet Aubrey as her sister is charming . Remaining cast is excellent as Joss Ackland playing Isaac, Irene Papas as Rebekah, Giancarlo Giannini as Jacob's father-in-law, Christopher Ohrt as Morah, Yvonne Scio and brief appearance by a young Christopher Waltz.

It packs a sensitive and adequate musical score by Marco Frisina under supervision by the great Ennio Morricone. And colorful, evocative cinematography by Ennio Guarneri. The motion picture was professionally directed by Peter Hall. He was director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, as he took over the direction of the National Theatre from Sir Laurence Olivier. Peter Hall, Rebecca Hall's father, also directed some films as Never talk to strangers, The homecoming, La traviata, Perfect Friday, Work is a 4-letter word. Rating 6/10. Entertaining religious epic for the Bible lovers.

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Official Sites:

Five Mile River Films



Release Date:

4 December 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jacob: A TNT Bible Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Ouarzazate, Morocco

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lux Vide, Lube, Beta Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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