Jacob's Ladder

( 6 )

Overview

A tortured man finds himself caught in a middle-ground between hallucination and reality in this supernatural thriller, scripted by Bruce Joel Rubin of Ghost 1990 and My Life 1993. Jacob Singer Tim Robbins is a soldier stationed in Vietnam who undergoes a traumatic experience on the battlefield - the nature of which is initially unclear. The film then moves into his post-Vietnam experience in 1970s New York, where he feels consistently traumatized, but can never quite remember exactly what happened to him in ...
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Overview

A tortured man finds himself caught in a middle-ground between hallucination and reality in this supernatural thriller, scripted by Bruce Joel Rubin of Ghost 1990 and My Life 1993. Jacob Singer Tim Robbins is a soldier stationed in Vietnam who undergoes a traumatic experience on the battlefield - the nature of which is initially unclear. The film then moves into his post-Vietnam experience in 1970s New York, where he feels consistently traumatized, but can never quite remember exactly what happened to him in Southeast Asia or to free himself from his anxieties over the recent tragic death of his young son Macaulay Culkin. Though well educated, Jacob works as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service and has become romantically involved with one of his co-workers, Jezzie Elizabeth Pena, after divorcing his wife. Soon, Jacob's tenuous hold on reality starts to slip as horrifying events befall him; he is nearly run over by a subway train, pursued by faceless demons in cars, and spots reptilian tails and horns protruding from the bodies of those he encounters. Jacob also suffers severe panic attacks related to the chaos that may be reality, or may exist only in his mind. He seeks counsel from Louis Danny Aiello, a kindly chiropractor, as his ex-wife Sarah Patricia Kalember, fellow Vietnam vet Paul Pruitt Taylor Vince, and enigmatic stranger Michael Matt Craven all try to help the tortured soul. Jason Alexander, Ving Rhames and Eriq LaSalle highlight the supporting cast.
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Special Features

"Making of" Featurette; Audio commentary by director Adrian Lyne; Deleted scenes; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Too dark and obscure to connect with mainstream audiences, Jacob's Ladder earned a devoted cult following based on its bizarre hallucinatory visuals and terrifying story of a Vietnam veteran apparently suffering a mental breakdown. The New York City inhabited by Jacob Singer is at first just a few degrees away from normal, but the differences make the viewer's flesh crawl. As he's exiting a subway, Jacob notices that the homeless man lying across the seats has a reptilian tail that slithers out of view; later, a nurse drops her cap to reveal a horn-like growth that is clearly inhuman. Whether these and the more extreme images that follow are figments of Jacob's henpecked imagination is open to audience interpretation. Although the film ultimately offers a satisfying explanation for the wartime mishap and subsequent demonization of Jacob's life, screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, who scripted Ghost the same year, is clever enough to leave things open-ended. Director Adrian Lyne's ease with special effects, never previewed in such prior outings as Flashdance and Fatal Attraction, is that of an experienced horror director. The hospital/mental ward/afterworld purgatory he brings to twisted life near the end is both difficult to watch and impossible to look away from. Though all the supporting performances are strong, Tim Robbins has never been more nakedly emotional as the star of his own unrelenting nightmare.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/14/2010
  • UPC: 012236180319
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:56:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 13,436

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Robbins Jacob Singer
Elizabeth Peña Jezzie
Danny Aiello Louis
Matt Craven Michael
Ving Rhames George
Pruitt Taylor Vince Paul
Jason Alexander Geary
Macaulay Culkin Gabe
Patricia Kalember Sarah
Eriq La Salle Frank
Brian Tarantina Doug
Anthony Alessandro Rod
Brent Hinkley Jerry
Elizabeth Abassi Hospital Patient
Becky Ann Baker Nurse
Doug Barron Group Leader
Stephanie Berry Partygoer
Lewis Black Jacob's Doctor
Nora Burns Hospital Patient
John Capodice Army Officer
Thomas A. Carlin Doorman
Scott Cohen Resident Doctor
Sam Coppola Taxi Driver
B.J. Donaldson Eli
Reggie Mc Fadden Partygoer
Christopher John Fields
John Louis Fischer Machine Gunner
Ann Pearl Gary Mourner
Kyle Gass Tony
Alison Gordy Hospital Patient
John-Martin Green Partygoer
Dennis Green Attendant
Barbara Gruen Mourner
Brad Hamlet
Gloria Irizarry Mrs. Carmichael
Diane Kagan Nurse
Holly Kennedy Hospital Patient
Perry Lang Jacob's Assailant
Brian Larkin Jed
Bellina Logan Emergency Ward Nurse
A.M. Marxuach Field Doctor
John Patrick McLaughlin Army Officer
S. Epatha Merkerson Elsa
Byron Minns Orderly
Chris Murphy
Billie Neal Della
Evan O'Meara Sam
Jaime Perry Field Medic
Joe Quintero Street Kid
Antonia Rey Woman on Subway
James Ellis Reynolds E.M.T. Bearer
Arleigh Richards Paul's Wife
Jessica Roberts Hospital Patient
Patty Rosborough Drunk
Jan Saint Santa
Carol Schneider Nurse
Suzanne Shepherd Hospital Receptionist
Dion Simmons Street Singer
Kisha Skinner Street Singer
Mike Stokie Field Sergeant
Blanche Irwin Stuart Hospital Patient
Raymond Anthony Thomas Policeman
Davidson Thomson Evil Doctor
Michael Tomlinson Field Doctor
Alva Williams Masked Man
Technical Credits
Adrian Lyne Director
R. Benson Songwriter
Joel Blasberg Screenwriter
Risa Bramon Casting
Connie Brink Special Effects
Jeremy Conway Art Director
Richard Dean Makeup
Steven Dewey Special Effects
Kathleen Dolan Set Decoration/Design
Dale Dye Consultant/advisor
FX Smith, Inc. Special Effects
W. Steven Graham Art Director
Billy Hopkins Casting
Maurice Jarre Score Composer
Mario Kassar Executive Producer
Jeffrey Kimball Cinematographer
Tod A. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Alan Marshall Producer
Ellen Mirojnick Costumes/Costume Designer
Brian Morris Production Designer
Musikwerks Special Effects
Phil Nelson Stunts
Tom Rolf Editor
Bruce Joel Rubin Associate Producer, Producer, Screenwriter
Gordon J. Smith Makeup Special Effects
Andrew G. Vajna Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Intense, but thought provoking...

    I remember watching this movie when it came out in 1990, and being very confused. I only watched the movie, instead of viewing the details and listening to the dialogue. It took a couple of viewings, and television interview with the Director, for me to finally "get it". The basic plot is about a Vietnam veteran who is experiencing various visions of demons and other strange phenomena. Are the visions reality, or did the US government experiment on some of our US soldiers fighting in Vietnam? Hmm, would our government do that in the movies? The movie start off in Vietnam, then fast forwards to the present, and then flashes back to Vietnam at times throughout the movie. I really enjoyed the acting of Elizabeth Pena and Danny Aiello. I really like Danny, and wish there were more scenes of him in the movie. Ving Rhames is also in the movie, as one of Tim Robbins Vietnam buddies, and Jason Alexander of Seinfeld, as a lawyer. I would recommend a couple of viewings, as you will miss things the first time. All in all, I really enjoyed the movie, and learned to appreciate the ending. I know some people do not like it, but I liked the "choice" that Jacob Singer makes on where he ultimately goes!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stick with it, the end is worth the wait

    This is a very strange but very worthwhile film. If you can sit through the parts that seem to make no sense, the end will explain everything. The finale is both sad and uplifting at the same time. I found the dual narrative structure a little hard to follow at first, but it was great once I figured it out. While not exactly shocking, the ending may surprise you, and it will totally change your view of the story. I highly recommend this to fans of The Sixth Sense.

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    Posted December 16, 2008

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2008

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews