7.5/10
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415 user 138 critic

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Trailer
1:46 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Adrian Lyne
Reviews
Popularity
3,091 ( 522)
3 wins. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Robbins ... Jacob
Elizabeth Peña ... Jezzie
Danny Aiello ... Louis
Matt Craven ... Michael
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Paul
Jason Alexander ... Geary
Patricia Kalember ... Sarah
Eriq La Salle ... Frank
Ving Rhames ... George
Brian Tarantina ... Doug
Anthony Alessandro Anthony Alessandro ... Rod
Brent Hinkley ... Jerry
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Elsa
Suzanne Shepherd ... Hospital Receptionist
Doug Barron Doug Barron ... Group Leader
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Storyline

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.

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Served as a major inspiration to the early games in the Silent Hill (1999) video-game franchise. See more »

Goofs

The subway train Singer gets off of is marked as the "C" train, heading out to Rockaway Park. It never served the Bergen St. Station. However, the original script called for the station to be the Nostrand Ave. Station, which would have been factually correct. Also conspicuously absent from the train is graffiti, common to the subways of that era. See more »

Quotes

Jacob Singer: What's it say?
Jezebel: [Reading the thermometer] Oh my God! I'm calling the Doctor!
Jacob Singer: What's it say?
Jezebel: It's gone to the top!
Jacob Singer: Great!
Jezebel: [On the phone] Hello Dr. Forest! I'm so sorry to bother you! This is Jezzie Pimpkin up in 14G! I just took Jake's temperature and it's up to 106, could that be right?Oh my God!
[gets off the phone and starts running a bath]
Jezebel: Get out of bed!
Jacob Singer: I can't! I'm FREEZING!
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

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 first meets Michael; 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, where he meets Jezzie, who shows her true form. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ring (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

PLEASE MR. POSTMAN
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)
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User Reviews

 
When movies have something to say
7 September 2014 | by Flamboyant_Little_DevilSee all my reviews

When movies have something to say they (can) become great movies. Jacob's Ladder is one such movie.

A Thriller/Film-Noir that sets a standard for the genre, it deals with metaphysical enquiries of the most profound there can be: Life, Death, War, Peace, the World outside and inside one's self, Heaven and Hell, Torment and Redemption.

Above all things, it's a voyage through a man's perspectives upon the Past and his Present, through his life and his personal fears and sorrow.

The acting is superb; the general mood is dark and sad with a lot of eeriness and yet strangely peaceful at times.

The viewer will feel the main character's (Jacob Singer) confusion and sympathise with his personal cause.

The Sound Track is beautiful and fits quite well with the general imagery and feeling throughout.

The dialogues are meaningful (specially between Jacob and Louis, his chiropractor), which (sad to say) has become a rarity in movies nowadays.

Get the movie, get the Extras and enjoy this Gem.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jacob's Ladder See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,500,760, 4 November 1990

Gross USA:

$26,118,851

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,118,851
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carolco Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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