Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.
Jacob Singer is trying to make sense of his fractured life and memories. Plagued by hallucinations, flashbacks, and conspiracies, he struggles down a path to enlightenment from these manic strains. With nothing but support from friends and loved ones will he be able to push through the haze of his PTSD.
When Jacob's kidnapped and the car makes a turn, the shot is flipped - the car's plate is mirrored. See more »
You know you look like an angel, Louie? Like an overgrown cherub. Anyone ever tell you that?
Yeah, you. Every time you see me.
You're a lifesaver, Louie.
Yeah, I know.
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The credits roll over a grainy black and white photo of Gabe and Jacob crossing the street together. See more »
Showtime Networks' The Movie Channel in the United States broadcast a version with the director's cuts included in March 1993. See more »
For several years, there's a very trendy cinematographic genre. This is the "psychological fantastic". This genre is very successful as the movies: "the sixth sense" (1999), "what lies beneath" (2000) or "unbreakable" (2000) showed. All these movies must have been influenced by "Jacob's ladder". In this way, you can regard Adrian Lyne's movie as a precursory and innovative movie. Lyne achieved a masterstroke in an absolutely new genre for him. It means that you're very far from the atmosphere of "9 weeks and a half" or "fatal attraction".
"Jacob's ladder" is based on an outstanding screenplay including numerous weird details that increase the spectator's curiosity. It's precisely with the spectator that Lyne and Bruce Joel Robin, the scriptwriter play with. They take a malicious pleasure in getting the spectator lost in a real maze where seem to border dream and reality. Like Tim Robbins, you look for the clue to the mystery. This clue may be the chemist which Jacob's meeting at the refreshment bar truck. This chemist will lead the plot towards an amazing conclusion.
In Adrian Lyne's movie, there's also a part of the fantastic genre that is very well exploited: at first common and normal living conditions but that are little by little overcome by the unreal, the strange and the fear.
The movie also enjoys an outstanding performance to begin with Tim Robbins. A brilliant success and a movie that deserves to rank among the ten best fantastic movies of the nineties
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